• July 2012

Awakening the Entrepreneur Within

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Michael Gerber’s blockbuster book for entrepreneurs, “The E-Myth,” we had the pleasure of interviewing the world-renowned author, who is our July 2012 Entrepreneur of the Month.

This entrepreneur-extraordinaire has not only sold many millions of books—and made millions for himself—he has spent decades helping us figure out why most businesses don’t work—and what to do about it.

And, like many entrepreneurs, there came a point in his career when he wanted to create something new—something that leveraged the insights he had gleaned over the years, and captured his imagination. In 2008, his new big idea, called “The Dreaming Room,” was born. Scroll down to learn more.

Also in this issue, our columnists offer a plethora of ideas to awaken the entrepreneur within you:

  • Meet Truly Amazing Woman Edie Fraser. This DC-based philanthropist has launched dozens of businesses, not to mention the careers of others. Click here to meet her.

And remember: “It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew, and in that there is joy.” — from The First and Last Freedom by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Here’s to making your dream come true!Hope Katz Gibbs
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Michael Gerber Takes Us Inside 'The Dreaming Room'

JULY 2012: BEYOND THE E-MYTH

By Hope Katz Gibbs
Be Inkandescent

When Michael Gerber’s “E-Myth” was published in 1986, he had an inkling that entrepreneurs would take note.

After all, he was offering a solution for the millions of people struggling to understand why their small businesses don’t work and what to do about it.

Andrea Keating (pictured below) can relate. The founder of the international video-staffing firm Crews Control has turned her 1988 start-up into a multimillion-dollar business. And, she has bought other firms that have also made multimillons in the years since. But, Keating admits it wasn’t easy.

“That’s why Gerber’s book has always resonated with me,” she shares. “In talking about ‘the myth of the entrepreneur,’ his bestseller dispels the commonplace assumptions surrounding starting and running a successful small business. Gerber knows the challenges that I faced as a new business owner—and his advice helped me overcome them.”

What is the E-Myth? Gerber defines it like this: “The Entrepreneurial Myth says that technicians suffering from an entrepreneurial seizure believe that because they understand how to do the work of the business they intend to start, they are automatically gifted with an understanding about how to build and grow a business that does work.”

Sound familiar? Here’s more: “Picture the typical entrepreneur and Herculean pictures come to mind: a man or woman standing alone, wind-blown against the elements, bravely defying insurmountable odds, climbing sheer faces of treacherous rock—all to realize the dream of creating a business of one’s own. The legend reeks of nobility, of lofty, extra-human efforts, of a prodigious commitment to larger-than-life ideals. Well, while there are such people, my experience tells me they are rare.

“Of the thousands of businesspeople that I have had the opportunity to know and work with over the past two decades, few were real entrepreneurs when I met them,” he continues. “The vision was all but gone in most. The zest for the climb had turned into a terror of heights. Exhaustion was common, exhilaration rare.

“But hadn’t all of them once been entrepreneurs? After all, they had started their own business. There must have been some dream that drove them to take such a risk.”

For entrepreneurs like Keating, Gerber’s guidance helped them navigate from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature business perspective that enables growth. Click here for details on Keating’s journey.

By the time he was 68, Gerber knew there was more to the story. The more he thought about the process and reality of building a business, the more he realized the entrepreneur within him had died years before.

“After teaching, coaching, training, and mentoring more than 60,000 business owners, I discovered that everything we taught our clients isn’t nearly essential enough,” he explains today, at 75. “It’s about stimulating a clear understanding about what truly artful, effective, dedicated entrepreneurs do that moves them and the business products they invent beyond all the rest of us.”

That realization prompted Gerber to birth his 2008 book, “Awakening the Entrepreneur Within.” Here, he introduces us to The Dreaming Room, a place where he says, “ordinary people go to create extraordinary companies.”

Step 1: Entrepreneurs flesh out the Dream, Vision, Purpose, and Mission of a meaningful venture using the following three components:

• Intentional Dreaming®. This step is completed with the creation of a white paper that clearly articulates the Great Result® that the new venture is intended to produce (aka: the Dream, Vision, and Purpose), and the process by which it is built and realized (aka: the Mission).

• Intentional Organization®. This includes the architecture of the business model—what it looks like, how it works, and the fluency of performance.

• Intentional Growth®. Gerber says this is the product of direct-response marketing. Find more details here.

Step 2: Gerber posits:

1. An entrepreneur is an inventor. An inventor sees the world through alert, wide-open eyes and asks, “What’s missing in this picture?” He answers it by inventing the missing piece. This is not a guarantee of success, but failing to be an entrepreneurial business is a guarantee of failure.

2. Entrepreneurs do not buy business opportunities, they create them. While business opportunities such as franchises are more likely to guarantee success, they are only successful to the degree the buyer suppresses his or her inclination to invent. In the end, they are doomed to disappoint.

3. Invention is contagious. The entrepreneur’s passion comes not only from inventing a new business, but also from basking in the delight of other people as they gladly experience his or her invention. Sustaining it then becomes the primary focus. The more significant the invention, the easier it is to sustain its success.

4. To most entrepreneurs, the success of the business is measured by growth. The faster the business grows, the more successful the invention. Slow growth, or no growth, is death. Unfortunately, most businesses don’t close soon enough.

5. Everyone possesses the ability to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are made, not born. There is no corner on creativity. There is simply the desire to express it. Developing an entrepreneurial skill simply requires practice.

Ready for Step 3? To discover the job of the Dreamer, Thinker, Storyteller, and Leader in every good business, click here.

Understanding the Four Dimensions of the Entrepreneurial Personality

Tap Your Inner Dreamer, Thinker, Storyteller, and Leader

There are four dimensions of the entrepreneurial personality that come into play in the creation of a new venture, explains bestselling author and business icon Michael Gerber in his book, “Awakening the Entrepreneur Within: How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies.”

“It’s important to get a better understanding of the role each plays in the conception of an enterprise,” insists the man who gained fame and fortune helping thousands of business leaders grow their companies.

When it comes to identifying your entrepreneurial personality, which one of these resonates most with you?

From Awakening the Entrepreneur Within.

The Dreamer

Gerber says this isn’t the one in the center of you who dreams of getting a new home, or moving to Hawaii, or becoming a millionaire, or finding the perfect mate. This is the one inside you who is so inspired, so completely aroused, that there is no question that you are going to do this new business. The only question is when and how.

“This Dreamer lives at the center of the entrepreneur’s heart,” Gerber explains. “This Dreamer stands on the mountaintop of imagination, and creates dreams where there are none at all. This Dreamer’s Dream comes to us in the light, yet we avoid looking directly into it for fear we will not be big enough to bear it.”

The Thinker

This is the Dreamer’s most important companion and ally, Gerber insists, “for he listens carefully to the Dreamer’s thoughts, and knows that without the special role he plays in the manifestation of the Dreamer’s vision, the Dreamer would be lost.” The Thinker, he notes, is the one who thinks “how” in relation to the Dreamer’s extreme “what.”

The Thinker asks the questions essential to forming the business model:

• What form will the Dream take visually, emotionally, functionally, and financially?
• What impact will the Dream have on customers, investors, employees, suppliers, and strategic partners?
• What is unique about this venture? How will it be delivered?
• What are the core operating assumptions of the venture? What problem is it intended to solve?
• Will this solution be cost-effective?

The Storyteller

Also known as the Performer, this is the part of the entrepreneur that evokes excitement when the Dream is conveyed to other people. The Storyteller knows that without a compelling story, no Dream would ever become a reality.

“The Storyteller digs deeply into the Dreamer’s Vision and the Thinker’s formulation, and looks for the creative arc that lies at the heart of every great story,” Gerber explains, noting that the Storyteller cannot test his reality without people. “People determine if the Story either rings true or hollow. To the Dreamer and the Thinker, the Storyteller is the means through which they find a voice.”

The Leader

This is the one who assumes responsibility for moving the Dream forward, takes accountability for fulfilling the Dream, for knowing where he is going, how he is going to get there, when he’s going to get there, and what the venture will look like when it gets there.

“The Leaders takes on the Vision and the formulation of the enterprise,” Gerber notes. “He knows the Story, buys the Story, lives the Story, is committed to the Story, and tells the Story in concrete terms that are evidence of the fact that the Story is more than just a story—but rather a tangible reality that can be lived and experienced.”

Are you ready to take the plunge?

Now that you understand the basics, it’s time to begin the process of inventing, conceiving, articulating, and building your new venture. And that’s the point of Gerber’s Dreaming Room.

In addition to describing the process of how best to build a viable business, this consummate entrepreneur has developed an incubator for emerging entrepreneurs called The Dreaming Room™. He has also launched a series of other services—ranging from being a book partner, which comes with a $100,000 price tag—to purchasing an original limited edition copy of the “E-Myth” for $200.

Whether you want to buy in and get hands-on help from Gerber himself, or create your own Dreaming Room, consider this final bit of advice:

“I hope you have your wits about you. I hope that your shirt is sweatproof, that you’re not afraid of being denied entry, or of being let out should you somehow be allowed in. I hope you have a good sense of humor, and that your inner child doesn’t feel too threatened,” Gerber adds. “This is going to be hard work. Sometimes you’ll enjoy it. Other times you won’t. However, when you’re not having fun, I can promise you that you will be making progress toward a significant goal.

“To create a miracle company, or a miracle life, takes a magnificent sense of the surreal. You have to be ready to see things that fly away faster than a thought, and capture them in your lens without skipping a beat.”

Click here to learn more about Gerber and his offering: www.michaelegerbercompanies.com.

Click here to buy Awakening the Entrepreneur Within.

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Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all.”

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Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

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History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”

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It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

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The fixity of a habit is generally in direct proportion to its absurdity.”

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Who cares if my glass is half empty or half full; I still have something to drink.”

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I can’t go back to yesterday—because I was a different person then.”

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If you do not tell the truth about yourself
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Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”

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I may not be able to change what takes place, but I can always choose to change my thinking.”

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Destiny is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

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Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do.
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If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

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You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.”

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We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”

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This is the age when magical technologies make more and more radically fun ideas plausible, even easy. You’re only limited by your creativity.”

– Martha Beck

I have spent a good part of my life convincing people that a blank sheet of paper is the greatest opportunity in the world, and not frightening at all.”

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A man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.”

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I was taught at a very young age that you can do whatever you want to, but you have to make it happen — not just talk about it.”

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Speaking more than one language is no longer just an asset in today’s job market; it is a requirement.”

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Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!”

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If you think you are too small to make a difference, try going to sleep with a mosquito in your room.”

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Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’”

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No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

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If you were independently wealthy and never had to work a day in your life, would you still choose to spend your time attempting to become a successful entrepreneur?”

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Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.”

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There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”

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If people like you they’ll listen to you; if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”

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Never cut what you can untie.”

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

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Change is a math formula. Change happens when the cost of the status quo is greater than the risk of change.”

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Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”

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I’ve come to confirm that one’s title, even that of president, says little about how well one’s life has been led. No matter how much you’ve done, or how successful you’ve been, there’s always more to do, to learn, and to achieve.”

– Barack Obama

We are perfectionists. We are hungry to work all the time. We are entertained by every aspect of business and we never want to stop working.”

– Suzy Welch

‎That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.”

– J.G. Holland, novelist

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”

– Alfred Adler

Do not be afraid of mistakes, providing you do not make the same one twice.”

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No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it”

– Andrew Carnegie

There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.”

– Christopher Morley

I always maintained that the greatest obstacle in life isn’t danger, it’s boredom. The battle against it is responsible for most of the events in the world — good or ill.”

– Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Dexter

We are all of us born with a letter inside us, and that only if we are true to ourselves, may we be allowed to read it before we die.”

– Douglas Coupland

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”

– Thomas Carlyle

Tolerance and patience should not be read as signs of weakness. They are signs of strength.”

– The Dalai Lama

I don’t do very well without fear. There needs to be a part of me saying, ‘That’s going to fail,’ so I can prove myself wrong.”

– Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe

‎No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

– Charles Dickens

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

– Lao Tzu

Confidence is the most important thing you can teach someone… if you can teach them confidence, you don’t have to teach them anything else.”

– Vin Diesel

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

– JFK

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