The secret to success in anything—business, sports, raising a family, pursuing a hobby, or whatever—begins and ends with attitude. To say it another way, your point of view will determine how you see things, how you think about things, how you react to things, and how you act upon them. The success of businesses that have had the extraordinary advantage of an E-Myth Business Coach, and indeed the success of the E-Myth Mastery Program itself, can be attributed to a point of view. We call it simply the “E-Myth Point of View”, or in shorthand, the EMPOV.
There are five core principles that make up the EMPOV. The first is the Principle of Life, which begins with the simple premise that your life is really your only business. The purpose of starting and owning a business is to give you more life, however you may define that. It could mean more money, more freedom, more enjoyment, more time to spend with your family or friends, more satisfaction from doing what you love, more control over your destiny, and so on. Most business owners, however, find themselves experiencing just the opposite. Instead of having a business that gives them more life, they have a business that is literally consuming their life! They’re not really running their business…their business is running them. Is your business giving you more life?
The second principle is called the Law of Objectivization—big word, simple meaning. In your business you might be many things; you know, the “Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.” However, as the owner of the business, while wearing that hat, your job is not to produce and sell what your business produces and sells. As the owner of the business, your job is the create a business that produces and sells your product perfectly, predictably, consistently, on time, as promised, even if you’re not doing it…especially if you’re not doing it. In order to do that, you have to be able to see it as a seamless picture of perfectly orchestrated activity. And, in order to do that, you have to get out of it, get away from it, and look at it from the outside looking in and 5000 feet above it. When is the last time you really saw your business as your customers might?
The third principle is the classic E-Myth phrase, “Working On It, Not In It”. A slightly more pragmatic reading of that phrase for the very small business adds a qualifying word, so it reads “Working On it, not just In it.” We have found in our business coaching center that the overwhelming majority of business owners we encounter as prospective clients spend between 99 and 100% of their time working IN their business and virtually no time working ON it. Working ON the business is the strategic activity of creating a business that works, with or without you, and is a sustainable manifestation of your vision. Working IN the business is simply doing what needs to be done—the tactical work. It simply cannot become what you envision it to be unless you go beyond that and begin designing and creating a business, instead of a job! When is the last time you spent time working ON your business?
The fourth principle flows quite naturally from the first three. In order to realize your vision by working ON it, you need an effective set of tools that ensure consistency, predictability, scalability, and leverage—they’re called “systems.” So the fourth principle is called “Systemization.” They come in many forms and the very best are simple, easy to master, and dynamic rather than static. It may be the script used for answering the phone or frequently asked questions, the list of benchmarks to consider in the sales process, checklists for opening or closing the office, the color scheme and décor used in your business location, the dress code you have your employees follow, and so on…all systems. All are intended to deliver a clear and consistent message: this is who we are, this is what we do, this is how we do it here, this is why we do it better than anyone else, this is why you can depend on us, this is why you should join our game and become our customer. Without systems, you have no way of growing your business in a way that will replicate what works over and over again. Without systems, you’re leaving the results you’re trying to achieve to chance. Do you have clear and documented systems for each and every critical function in your business or does that information simply live in the heads of you and your people?
Last but not least, the fifth principle is the Business Development Cycle. It consists of three important functions: Innovation, Quantification, and Orchestration. As stated earlier, systems are dynamic rather than static. They are subject to the possibility of review and revision, i.e. innovation, as more information illuminates newer and better ways of working that produce even more effective and consistent results. In addition, critical systems in the areas of marketing and sales, finance, management, and operations should be quantified for impact and effectiveness all the while they’re in use, and especially as they are being tested and compared against alternative ways of achieving the same desired results. Everything counts, so count everything. As each system is created and quantified for impact, it is important to properly roll it out or orchestrate it in a way that adequately trains employees in the use of it, provides all of the resources necessary to implement it, provides mechanisms for feedback on deficiencies in the system, and ensures its consistent use by all employees. The Business Development Cycle engaged in correctly will help ensure long term adaptability and sustainability in the business. Do you have actual systems for innovation, quantification, and orchestration that are consistently follow in your business?
If you have a business with no clear, written and well understood vision, a business that feels like it’s sucking the life out of you, a business in which critical knowledge lives in the minds of people who could be gone tomorrow, a business that simply wouldn’t run well without you for any significant period of time, a business that feels stagnant from lack of creative and productive change, then maybe you need to change your point of view. As Albert Einstein famously said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”