Read: Cover to Cover
Category: Big Idea, Entrepreneur, Small Business
Michael Gerber should not be a new name to you (if it is, tisk-tisk). He is the author of thirteen books, including what the PR guys call a mega-bestseller (sort of like a power seller on ebay). If you haven’t read the E-Myth Revisited, I recommend you read that one before this one (maybe that’s how he got the mega). As in his other books, he is like your wise grandpa (assuming your grandpa is Sam Walton on your father’s side or Warren Buffet on your mother’s), part philosopher, part inspirationalist, part evangelist and poet, but always passionate about steering you in the right direction. And he has nailed one thing that, to me, has always been the stop sign, the red light and for some, the cyanide in growing our self-employed life. He strips away all the extraneous help – better marketing, how to use SEO, be an expert, grow your business in three easy steps – he throws all that out the window and starts with a premise that no one wants to hear. “That small and independent business are populated by owners working for a living…that all they ever wanted to do was create a job; to create control over their personal income; to create a place to work; a place to do what they know how to do. In short, they want to be self-employed.” What is wrong with that, Gerber says, is that it is no business at all. He wants you to understand that you have the potential, the brains, the chutzpah, to look at your business as a business, not just a place to answer the phone when it rings, complete a job and wait for the next customer. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. But if you follow certain rules, you can change not only your own future, but you can change the world. Yup, you can change the world if you change your paradigm to how you see what makes a business vs. what your business makes. Great stuff. But like all great grandpas, he hits you with his cane and then gives you a lollipop and says, “I know you can do better.”
While I was reading the book, I had an inspiration from his words that will change my own business. This is no easy feat – I am a “creative,” and ideas happen faster than planes landing at JFK. But this was a BIG idea that will impact my present business and it came from Gerber’s chapter on the First Principle, “A Small Business, Built Rightly, Can Grow 10,000 times Its Current Size.” So this is not just another book to read, say “Wow, that was great” and then go on doing the things you’ve always done. You are reading this blog because you want to know if this is a book that can change/add/empower you in growing your business. If you are interested in having job that you created for yourself, and just want to know how to get more business, this book is not for you. However, if you want, nay need and desire to create a business that you can grow, sell, innovate and possibly change the world – this is a must read.