Author: Be less a technician, more a dreamer
High Country Business Review
Best-selling author Michael E. Gerber appeared Thursday before more than 100 area business people to speak about his new book, “The E-Myth Revisited,” and his new seminar series designed to help small businesses become world-class organizations.
Gerber is visiting Colorado preparing to conduct a one-day seminar in Denver on Aug. 6. Raj Manickam of Vail Valley-based Steammaster ” a co-sponsor of the event along with the Eagle Valley Chamber of Commerce ” said that he and his team had just three weeks to pull together the event after hearing that Gerber agreed to speak in Vail during his trip to Colorado. Gerber also agreed to do so for just the cost of his transportation and lodging, so all the proceeds from the event are being donated to the Vail Symposium.
Gerber, a sharp-dressed, bespectacled, 71-year-old businessman, said in his experience of consulting and speaking to tens of thousands of small businesses that no business is unique in its challenges.
Small-business owners work much too hard, according to Gerber, and more customers equals exponentially more effort, so many small businesses can only grow to a limited point until the owner, who does all the work, either burns out or dies. In many situations, Gerber said, business owners are just “technicians suffering from an entrepreneurial seizure.”
So Gerber built his business, E-Myth Worldwide, to be the McDonald’s of small-business consulting. He has spoken to more than 165,000 businesses in 45 different countries to help entrepreneurs become more successful.
Gerber said a business owner must get away from being a technician and remember not to relinquish the role as an entrepreneur. He or shemust create a business with a central promise to his or her customers.
Gerber used the example of FedEx, the success of which is based on a promise to customers that it will deliver packages overnight. In order to keep a promise to customers, a business owner must create systems, much like a franchise does, to standardize the entire operation. Then an owner must hire great people who agree to fulfill the promise by using the systems.
Gerber concluded by telling the story of his own business and how he finally hired a chief executive officer to replace himself, which resulted in a three-hour-per-month job. The greatest part of not running the company day-to-day, he said, was that he then had the freedom to dream more. And Gerber believes that the essence of a person and an entrepreneur is to dream and create. When we do not have the time to dream and create, we die, he said.
Gerber’s message resonated with both entrepreneurs and full-time professionals and big fans of his or those who had never heard of him before. Chip and Laura Howard, Edwards residents, had heard of Gerber but not read his books or heard him speak.
Laura, a mortgage-loan consultant with Colorado Capital Bank in Eagle, said there are a large number of small businesses in the Vail Valley that could benefit from Gerber’s book, and she sees many people who start businesses who are good at their craft but not so good at creating a company.
Laura Howard said Gerber’s talk was helpful to her as well, and as a salesperson, she can apply the idea of systemizing her sales process more. Chip Howard, a sales consultant for American Business Solutions, which provides payroll and human-resources software and systems, said he believes he could learn a great deal from Gerber to use in his own business and share with his clients. However, because the hour-long speech was largely a teaser for the book and seminar Chip figures he and Laura will now have to buy the book.
Business partners and owners of Vail Integrative Medical Group, doctors Joel Dekanich and Mark Pitcher, who are both Gerber fans, agreed that the talk was a reminder for them of the importance of creating vision, mission, purpose and promise.
As their practice continues to expand ” they have recently opened a third practice in Eagle ” they continue to see the importance of creating systems in their offices and having the staff know the company’s mission.
Hearing Gerber also reminded them, Pitcher said, that they do not take enough time during the day to work on improving their practice because it’s so easy to become focused on seeing patients. Dekanich commented on the good timing of their attendance because they were planning a strategy session that evening.
For Manickam, a fan of Gerber’s books, the creation concept Gerber spoke about resonates with him.
“I really believe in what Gerber said that we are all creators and always creating, whether we know it or not,” Manickam said.