I have recently been reading “The E Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber. It is an updated version of his classic “The E Myth”. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. In the book Gerber posits that the American entrepreneurial dream is just a myth.
He says that most people who are in business for themselves don’t really own a “business”, they just own a job. Here are few excerpts that help explain the problem. I encourage you to read the book for some answers. It’s a short but powerful read. If you’re in Oklahoma, Arkansas, or Kansas, call me and I’ll send you a copy.
“Then, one day, for no apparent reason, something happened. It might have been the weather, a birthday, or your child's graduation from high school. It might have been the paycheck you received on a Friday afternoon, or a sideways glance from the boss that just didn't sit right. It might have been a feeling that your boss didn't really appreciate your contribution to the success of his business.
It could have been anything; it doesn't matter what. But one day, for apparently no reason, you were suddenly stricken with an Entrepreneurial Seizure. And from that day on your life was never to be the same.
Inside your mind it sounded something like this: "What am I doing this for? Why am I working for this guy? Hell, I know as much about this business as he does. If it weren't for me, he wouldn't have a business. Any dummy can run a business. I'm working for one."
And the moment you paid attention to what you were saying and really took it to heart, your fate was sealed.
In the throes of your Entrepreneurial Seizure, you fell victim to the most disastrous assumption anyone can make about going into business.
That Fatal Assumption is: if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does that technical work.
All of them believing that by understanding the technical work of the business they are immediately and eminently qualified to run a business that does that kind of work. And it's simply not true!
In fact, rather than being their greatest single asset, knowing the technical work of their business becomes their greatest single liability.
The real tragedy is that when the technician falls prey to the Fatal Assumption, the business that was supposed to free him from the limitations of working for somebody else actually enslaves him.”