Do you ever feel like you're being tugged in multiple directions? Like your business needs you to be multiple people at once? Don't worry, most business owners do! It's completely normal and best described by Michael E. Gerber, small business guru and bestselling author. In his book The E-Myth Revisited, Michael's story of Sarah the pie maker illustrates three personalities every business owner needs to be successful: The Entrepreneur, The Manager, and The Technician.
Our focus this month will be on these three essential business personalities and how they are at odds with each other, yet need to work in harmony to ensure your business achieves its goals.
From the book The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael E. Gerber:
"The fact of the matter is that we all have the Entrepreneur, Manager, and Technician inside us. And if they were equally balanced, we'd be describing an incredibly competent individual.
The Entrepreneur would be free to forge ahead into new areas of interest;
The Manger would be solidifying the base of operations; and The Technician would be doing the technical work.
Each would derive satisfaction from the work he does best, serving the whole in the most productive way.
Unfortunately, our experience shows us that few people who go into business are blessed with such a balance."
A critical part of building a business that works is finding a dynamic balance between these three personas that doesn't leave you totally schizophrenic! Depending on the maturity of your business, the amount of time you spend in each of these roles will vary and there isn't any magic formula to use. The key is to understand the qualities of each one, to know which one(s) you are naturally drawn to, learn to become aware of which persona you're being, and which persona your business needs you to be more of. In order to do this, you first need to have a strong understanding of the qualities of each one.
Entrepreneurial work is most often described as defining the future and creating the vision for the business. It also includes setting the "rules of the game" for your business by establishing policies, and developing strategies that shape the business. The Entrepreneur defines the results the business must get.
Managerial work is the work of getting results through others. It is "indirect" work and it includes work such as systems development, planning, organizing, supervising, mentoring and training, setting goals and standards, and budgeting - any kind of work that directs, regulates, and monitors the work of others and develops and installs systems that are operated by others. The Manager designs the work that gets the results that the Entrepreneur defines.
Technical work, of course, is the actual, hands-on, "direct" work of producing and delivering your company's products and services or doing the administrative and support work of your business. So, doing the bookkeeping, baking the cookies, assembling the bicycles, delivering the pizzas, restocking the shelves, tailoring the suits, paying the payables, collecting the receivables, writing the advertising copy, handling customer complaints - doing the work and operating the systems of the business are the technical work. The Technician does the work, in the way the Manager designs, that gets the results the Entrepreneur defines.
All three personalities are vital to your business! The challenge is how to allocate your time so you can be the right mix of these three personas in order to give your business what it needs, when it needs it. Next week we will explore this mix by focusing on what it means for each of these three characters to get something "done" in the business. Between now and then - be mindful of which persona you're letting dominate your time.