Are You Working In Or On You Business? The E-Myth

It’s one of the most important questions a small business owner can ask themselves. “Are you working in or on your business?” This is the primary theme of Michael Gerber’s book, The E-Myth, that I read many years ago. It’s a powerful question and oftentimes small business owners that I ask this question to, don’t fully understand what I’m asking.

I was recently up in Vancouver doing some consulting. I had a limo pick me up from the airport to take me to my meeting and then to my hotel. Jacob, my limo driver, is the owner of the limo business. He has a pretty nice fleet of limos, but he was having to drive today because his business was busy, which is a nice problem to have. So, I asked him the question, “Are you working in or on your business?” Jacob replied, “Both.” I said it is an ‘or’ question, you have to pick.

Then he said, “I suppose it’s in, then.” Yes, you are correct. I then asked him if he had ever read The E-Myth by Michael Gerber. He said no. I then gave him a brief summarization of the book and the premise. I asked him what his goals for his limo business was. His reply was “I want to be the best limousine service in Vancouver.” Well, what exactly does that mean Jacob, I asked. How do you become the best? He really didn’t have an answer.

I told him that it was important to make that goal measurable. Being the best limousine service in Vancouver is one thing, but how do you know when you get there? When is the goal achieved? Jacob was beginning to understand the real question that I was asking. He knew that he was hustling and working a lot, but didn’t really see that it was making the difference he was wanting in his life for his family.

I got his business card and told him I was going to send him The E-Myth book to read and I wanted him to send me an email letting me know when he finished it and what his main take-aways were. I also asked for him to send me his 3 top goals that were well written and measurable for the next 90 days. Then 6, 12 and 18 month goals. I told him that if he would commit to doing this, I would follow up with him in 90 days. If he was still serious and working these goals, I would also give him a few 30 minute consultations on the phone at 6, 12 and 18 months.

I truly enjoy meeting entrepreneurs and hearing their stories. It inspires me to do more to mentor entrepreneurs and speak into their lives and businesses. I strive to do this when I am out doing consulting and traveling. It’s one way that I know I can reach out and share the knowledge that I have obtained over the years from my own mentors who have invested their time in me.

We’ll see if Jacob follows up and takes me up on my offer. I do hope he does. He has a great limo business in Vancouver, check it out at: Vancouver Washington limos. I think that it truly can be the best. But it’s up to Jacob…

5 Must Read Business Books

If you’re a business owner (or are looking to become one), you’ll need all the information you can get. Sure, much of this information will pertain to the nitty-gritty details of the daily running of a business. Some of it will provide insight into the workings of your competitors, giving you a better chance of beating them.

But perhaps the most useful information will come in the form of broad-stroke ideas that expand your mind and help you think in new and exciting terms. The knowledge from these 5 must read business books can be applied to any business, big or small and regardless of its type and end goal.

  1. Good to Great (Why Some Companies Make the Leap) by James C. Collins: If you’re thinking business, there’s no doubt you wondered plenty of times why some businesses make it while others don’t. Perhaps even more concerning for some, this book explains why some businesses are ‘doomed’ to remain average, despite their best efforts. Not satisfied with thinking in local terms? Good to Great might give you a ladder to climb onto the grand stage.
  2. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen: This book is best digested by businessmen who are already making some progress in the field. Christensen’s Dilemma is all about leading instead of following and inventing instead of copying. More specifically, he urges business owners and strategists to get ahead by anticipating future market needs rather than focusing too much on present ones.
  3. The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump: Love him or hate him, Trump knows his business. With a fortune estimated between $4-9 billion, Trump clearly made some good deals, and would like to help you do the same. The business mogul’s book encourages you to go for deals that are truly lucrative instead of those that simply let you get by, while also warning you to stay away from bad ones. As the man himself puts it: „A bad deal is worse than no deal.“
  4. Start With Why by Simon Sinek: Compared to many other great business books, Sinek’s piece is fairly new. Published in 2011, it focuses on making you understand the importance of creativity and innovation, and has already gained widespread praise. Sinek examines many great thinkers and leaders, allowing you to find out your ‘why’ by understanding theirs. If you’re the type of businessman who wants to lead, you can’t afford to miss this book.
  5. The E Myth by Michael Gerber: While some of the books on this list focus more on concepts and mindsets, this book aims to deliver the answer to a very clear question: why do so many small businesses fail, or get nowhere near to where their owners would want them to be? If you haven’t yet started your small business and are reading this, consider yourself blessed – Gerber will tell you where so many before you went wrong, and will make you go from budding entrepreneur to savvy businessman in no time.

4 Great Books To Read On The Power Of Thought

Successful people come in all shapes and sizes, from all backgrounds and cultures, each making their own kind of impact on a very diverse field. Perhaps the only thing they have in common is the mind – more specifically, a successful mindset.

If you took the time to interview 500 multi-millionaire businessmen, you’d find that most (if not all) of them think very much alike when it comes to certain things: they plan stuff out, they persevere in the face of adversity, they have a clear vision of where they want to be and so forth.

Don’t worry if neither you nor your bank account are there yet – we have been blessed with a plethora of reading material meant to help us grow and shoot for the stars. Before we can go on to accomplish the things we consider great, our mind first needs to be fine-tuned into working with us rather than against us. To that end, here are 4 great books to read on mindset and the power of thought.

  1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill: Ask anyone with a penchant for business-oriented self-development what their favorite book is, and the answer will more than likely be Napoleon Hill’s timeless classic, Think and Grow Rich. Fully understanding the need for wealth (having known it all-too-well himself), Hill assembles an extensive step-by-step on how to get rich, making it available to anyone. It’s no scam or scheme – with this book, you will learn how to gear your mind towards success.
  2. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne: Too many people have dismissed this book as a fad, or the latest Oprah Special. In truth, the information it holds is precious – The Secret gathers teachings that have been around for a while and gives them an appearance that appeals to the masses. The premise is simple, yet amazingly powerful: our mind creates the circumstances in our own life. Think positive hard enough, and positive things will come to you – the same goes for negativity.
  3. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle: Among the people familiar with his ideas, Tolle commands absolute respect. After a colorful lifetime of striving to understand life, Tolle has a simple message for us: live in the now. Forget the past and the future, and as you do so, you’ll become free of stresses and troubles. Just watching this man speak makes it clear that he operates at a different, more peaceful frequency than the rest of us, and we could all learn a thing or two from his great self-help book.
  4. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra: Chopra condenses many Hindu principles and translates them in a way that is useful for everyday life. It features many ideas found in the books mentioned above on top of introducing other concepts like the Butterfly Effect. If you’ve ever wondered why things happen the way they do and how you can create a better life for yourself and others solely with your mind, you should give this book a go.

3 Mindset Shifts To Grow Your Business

It’s been said time and again that a person’s mindset is the key to their success. Many of the world’s top businessmen and entrepreneurs would agree – you won’t get far if you’re always thinking small, or if you’re always wrestling with negative thoughts. I recently went over these 3 mindset shifts with a business owner that I mentor at Boerne Carpet Cleaning Pros. He was open to the mindset shifts because he was eager to take his business to the next level.

Let’s say you have the basics of a successful mindset down. What are some specific modes of thinking that will help forward your career and boost your profits all on their own? Here are 3 mindset shifts to grow your business.

  1. You are the one who decides what the limits are. Most business founders start out small. Some never expand a lot, while others go on to establish a global presence. You probably wouldn’t believe how humble IKEA’s beginnings were… The bottom line is, if you tell yourself your business can’t move past a certain point, it won’t. While everyone can do with a healthy dose of realism, never get caught up thinking you can’t compete with the big boys, or even that you don’t deserve more money and success. Henry Ford said it best: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” Given the man’s accomplishments, it’s a safe bet he knew what he was talking about.
  2. Don’t get caught up in your failures. This is often a very difficult mindset to adopt – we tend to sweep our wins under the rug, sometimes even thinking that we “got lucky” or “struck gold”. When we lose, however, we’ll tell ourselves all sorts of negative nonsense instead of appreciating the failure for what it was – a lesson. No man on this Earth starts something with mastery over it, and everyone – even the moguls and tycoons – gets to where they are through trial and error. If you don’t try, you won’t succeed, so remember – whenever you experience a loss, learn what you can from it and move on.
  3. Never get discouraged. This is an even harder mindset to form than the previous one, but it’s perhaps the most rewarding of them all. The overwhelming majority of people who are now riding high – A-list actors, CEOs, athletes, innovators – experienced some pretty soul-crushing lows in their time. What do they all have in common? They never gave up, not even once. Sure, they might have thought about it, but at the end of the day, they all kept going. The saying that we are our own worst enemy is true on many different levels. Aside from rare events of catastrophic magnitude, nothing can devastate your career or business as much as a single “I give up” from your lips. Is your business struggling to a point where you’re thinking about going back to the drudgery of your 9-to-5? Are you having doubts about ‘having what it takes’? The following might sound like a cliche, but it’s true: the next big break could be right around the corner, but you’ll never reach it if you quit. Keep working on your business even when you feel like you should close up shop – eventually, it’ll pay off.

4 Incredible Takeaways From Think And Grow Rich

Never in the history of time has information been as abundant as it is today. Thanks to the internet, we have the opportunity to learn things that can truly be called ‘invaluable’ for free (or next-to-nothing), and with minimal effort.

So why is it that so many people still struggle financially their whole lives, even in well-developed countries like the U.S., called the land of opportunity? The answer to that is certainly complicated and a debate of its own, but the very thing that enables us to get rich could also be what is preventing us from doing so: an (over)abundance of information.

Everyone has an opinion, even when they don’t know what they’re talking about. Following the wrong advice can quickly lead you astray and discourage you from going further, and sometimes, there’s no telling good advice from bad.

Fortunately, it’s easy to discern that Napoleon Hill’s famous book, Think and Grow Rich, falls heavily on the good side. Despite being published nearly 80 years ago, the literal interpretation of this ‘millionaire’s book’ is still every bit as true as it was in 1937, which speaks volumes about its power. If you haven’t read it yet and have your mind set on success, the bookstore (or its online equivalent) should be your next stop. Here are 4 incredible takeaways from Think and Grow Rich.

  1. You will go as far as your imagination takes you. As children and young teenagers, we are sometimes discouraged from getting lost in our own imagination – ‘daydreaming’, as our elders called it. Yet Napoleon Hill ascertains that the ability to imagine your success and its rewards is instrumental to actually getting there. Being born into poverty didn’t stop Hill from dreaming big, and his dreams helped countless people achieve theirs.
  2. Don’t be afraid of desire. Having too much desire is yet another thing that’s rarely considered good – some would call you greedy or covetous for it. Hill, on the other hand, calls desire “the starting point of all achievement”. To get what you want, your desire needs to be strong – perhaps stronger than any other emotion you have.
  3. Persistence is the key to riches. Hill talks about it almost as an alchemical process, saying you will “transmute” the aforementioned desire into wealth mainly through persistence. Persisting means exercising your willpower and pushing forward against all odds and, sometimes, even your own feelings, until you finally have everything you want.
  4. You will activate your ‘sixth sense’ when you rid yourself of negative emotions. The wording might seem a bit strange, but the message is clear – before you can take Hill’s principles as your own, you must first eliminate the negative emotions built up over the years. Hill calls indecision, doubt and fear the ‘three enemies’ you must eliminate, and he’s right – save for when engaging in dangerous extreme sports, nobody’s ever benefitted from these emotions. Recognize these feelings and states of mind for what they are the next time they show up, and make a decision to get rid of them – slowly, but fully.