Building a business that works takes more than the exquisite technical skills most entrepreneurs bring. We talked about that in Part 1.
In this article…
We’re back with Sarah, owner of Sarah’s House of Pies. Sarah has made the decision to press forward with Michael E.Gerber’s recommendations from his bestselling book, The E-Myth Revisited, to develop a relationship with all three business personalities: the Entrepreneur, the Manager and of course, the familiar Technician. Finally, the Entrepreneurial Perspective is introduced as an important part of every business that actually works.
In Part 1, lessons 1-3 were presented. The remaining lessons 4-6 are below…
Lesson 4— All three business personalities are needed to successfully run a business: the Entrepreneur, the Manager and the Technician. Look at their characteristics. Notice their distinctive roles.
The Entrepreneur is the visionary in us, the energy, the imagination and catalyst that sparks change.
The Entrepreneur lives in the future, never in the past and rarely in the present. She is happiest when constructing images of “what-if.”
The Entrepreneur is the creative personality, shines when dealing with the unknown and engineers chaos into harmony.
To the Entrepreneur, most people are problems that get in the way of the dream.
The Manager is all about being practical. Without the Manager, there would be no planning, no order, and no predictability.
The Manager lives in the past and craves order. The Manager compulsively clings to the status quo.
The Manager builds a house and then lives in it, forever. The Entrepreneur builds a house and is immediately looking for another house to build.
Where the Entrepreneur see opportunities, the Manager sees problems.
The Technician is the doer. The Technician loves to tinker. She loves the feel of things and the fact that things can get done.
If the Entrepreneur lives in the future and the Manager in the past, the Technician lives in the present.
If the Technician is working, she is happy, but only if working on one thing at a time. The Technician is not interested in ideas; she is interested in “how to do it.” All ideas to the Technician need to be reduced to a methodology to be of any value.
Everyone gets in the Technician’s way and disrupts her day. The Entrepreneur is always stirring up trouble with yet another new great idea while the Manager is determined to impose order on the Technician’s work.
Remember, these are lessons most business owners are ready to learn in the adolescent stage of business. Adolescence is a stormy time for business development too.
To the Manager, the Technician becomes a problem to be managed. To the Technician, the Manager becomes a meddler to be avoided. The Entrepreneur creates havoc for everyone, gets bogged down by the hesitancy of the Technician and the Manager and will often harass, cajole or scream and finally promise whatever is needed to keep projects moving.
Lesson 5—Balancing the three business personalities is a challenge.
These three business personalities are within each of us, but not in the right percentages. The typical business person is 10% Entrepreneur; 20% Manager and 70% Technician. You’re not surprised to see The Technician dominating, right?
Remember, Gerber says, it’s a problem when the Technician consumes the other personalities because…
The Technician fills your day with work, avoids the challenge of learning how to grow a business, shrinks from the entrepreneurial role so necessary to the lifeblood, the momentum, of a truly extraordinary small business, and from the managerial role so critical to the operational balance or ground of a small business on a day-to-day basis…
Instead, the goal is a balance of 33% Entrepreneur; 33% Manager and 33% Technician.
It’s so easy to get overextended. It’s critical to implement strategies to keep the balance.
The first step is to recognize the balance between your Entrepreneur, Manager and Technician. In my business, I was pretty much status quo with the typical statistics of 10% Entrepreneur, 20% Manager and 70% Technician. Then I discovered the Entrepreneur within and she dominated while the Technician took a small vacation. Now, the Manager is demanding equal time…and has made her case for some extra help as the Entrepreneur and Technician are doing a joint project. The Manager is taking antacids.
Kind of fun.
Lesson 6—The ideal strategy for building a business that works is to start from the mature phase of business development and the Entrepreneurial Perspective. Begin with the end in sight.
I’m sure you’re wondering if this is a mistake. If maturity is the third phase of a business development, how is it possible to start there? Enter the Entrepreneurial Perspective. You begin with the end in sight.
A mature company is founded on a broader perspective which is the Entrepreneurial Perspective of building a business that works not because of you, but without you. And because it starts this way, it is more likely to stay this way. Remember, a company that is started from a Technician’s Perspective, which our baker Sarah used, is all about the work itself, not a model of business that works.
A mature company has a vision which shapes the present…it isn’t the flying by the seat of your pants style of the adolescent phase or the I can do everything, I just hope I don’t drop dead phase of infancy. A mature company still goes through the stages of infancy and adolescence, but has a plan. And that plan includes some contingency strategies for upsets. (thank-you manager).
Your job as a business owner is to prepare yourself and your business for growth.
Do you have a vision for your business?
Here are some of the questions you need to answer as a part of your business vision…
- Where do I wish to be?
- When do I wish to be there?
- How much capital will that take?
- How many people, doing what work and how?
- What technology will be required?
- How large a space will be needed, at Benchmark One, at Benchmark Two, at Benchmark Three?
Will it be a flawed plan? Will you change your mind? Of course! But a plan is better than no plan. The bigger picture of your business vision is needed before opening your business…that’s what successful businesses who reach the mature phase have in common.
BONUS Ideas— How do you make time for this and develop these business-owner skills?
You just start…that is, you schedule time to learn.
Choose one of the following ideas and find 20 minutes sometime today and…
- Look up Michael Gerber’s book, The E-Myth Revisited or another business building book on Amazon.
- Do an internet search for SCORE, a valuable network of working and retired executives and small business owners who offer small business entrepreneurs confidential business services at no charge. SCORE is a Resource Partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Sign up for a business mentor today.
- Make a list of business owners you know or are nearby and ask if you can interview them sometime. Tell them you are thinking about starting a business. See if you can tell how much technician, manager and entrepreneur they exhibit.
- Go to the SCORE website and read sample business plans.
Make a commitment to learn the business skills, 20 minutes at a time. Invite someone to help you be accountable.
The takeaway is…
We know a lot about what makes businesses successful. We also know a lot about problems most business owners face in the infancy and adolescence phases of business development.
Learn your lessons. Do your homework. Balance the three business personalities. Craft your vision and business plan.
Contrary to popular belief, says Michael E. Gerber, people who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.
I like that. That’s what Sarah did. She was willing to learn… more.
See the Young Woman Smile.
Have some pie.
Need help with accountability so the business you envision happens? Schedule a Love My Work Strategy Session with me today! Let’s give your business success a boost during a complimentary 45 minute conversation.