In another excellent discussion with my accountability buddy we talked about small business success. He recommended snagging a copy of ‘The E-myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It.” Have I mentioned this is the smartest guy I know?
A few days later, during a one-to-one meeting with a BNI member, the very same book was recommended after admitting that I really didn’t know where I wanted to take my business.
The universe was screaming at me by this time because a copy of “The E-Myth” was purchased months ago, and resided on my Kindle. The student was finally ready. Wow! What an eye opener.
I’ve always wanted a business, yet, the very idea of how to have a successful business, a really successful business has eluded me. All I do is work endless hours for less than minimum wage after the bills are paid. Fortunately, my bills always get paid. Embarrassing as it is to admit, I once “found” $5,000 that was not record during a particularly busy work period. But the most upsetting revelation came the day I realized my assistant was taking home more than me — every week! And she was only working one 5th of the hours.
Then, I did the one thing The E-Myth says that most small, frightened, cash strapped business owners do. I fired my last assistant and went back to doing it all myself. If this business was going to survive I had to go it alone. Furthermore, as a creative, clients come to me for my graphic design direction and vision. They don’t come to my administrative assistant. Right?
My delusion went even further by convincing myself that after successfully selling my services and winning the job, plus coming up with a brilliant design solution my client loves, it’s ‘time to make the doughnuts,’ — alone. Each working day (7 days a week) I put my 20+ years and thousands of hours of computer experience to work to make my design ideas come to life. Some days it’s with Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Other days the job calls for WordPress and HTML, plus Photoshop and MSWord. Then there are days it’s all of the above plus learning how to tackle yet another design challenge that building WordPress websites brings, like how to get the email opt-in box to display exactly where the client has requested: not where the WordPress template says it should go. All this for $5.00 an hour I lament?
That’s what a technician run and operated business looks like. According to “The E-Myth” it’s doomed to fail from sheer exhaustion. It’s not really a business it’s just what it appears to be: working my butt off for less than minimum wage.
The solution? Let the Entrepreneur and Manager take a larger role if I want a real business. One that not only succeeds, but a business that can be sold to another entrepreneur.