• 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.

When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

– Audre Lorde

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

– Winston Churchill

A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.”

– Albert Schweitzer

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.”

– Jalaluddin Rumi

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

– Alfred Adler

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

– A wisdomism

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

The best reason to start an organization is to create a product or service to make the world a better place.”

– Guy Kawasaki

The journey is the reward.”

– Greg Norman

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

– Charles Darwin

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

– Lao Tzu

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

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

– Christopher Morley

The world I believed in, back in my most innocent, uninformed, childish mind—is real.”

– Martha Beck

Everyone is a mirror image of yourself—your own thinking coming back at you.”

– Byron Katie

I’m not afraid of storms,
for I’m learning to sail my ship.”

– Louisa May Alcott

The great use of life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.”

– William James

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice

Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.”

– Annie Dillard

Passion makes perfect.”

– Eugene Biro

Many people prefer to play it safe when it comes to business matters. Are you willing to take risks in the pursuit of entrepreneurial success?”

– Steven Schussler

Instead of loving your enemies, treat your friends a little better.”

– Edgar W. Howe

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

– Carl Rogers

You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it.”

– Goldie Hawn

Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them.”

– Richard Dumb

To find what you seek in the road of life, leave no stone unturned.”

– Edward Bulwer Lytton

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

– Dalai Lama

The awakening to the mystery of life is a revolutionary event; in it an old world is destroyed so that a new and better one may take its place.”

– J.J. Van Der Leeuw, The Conquest of Illusion

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

– Zig Ziglar

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

Do not say, ‘why were the former days better than these,’ for it is not from wisdom that you ask this.”

– Ecclesiastes, 7:10

If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.”

– Jesse Jackson

I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun.”

– John D. Rockefeller

My goal was to tell the life side of the story. We have become a nation of voyeurs that expect sensationalism, and that offends me.”

– Kathleen Jo Ryan

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

– Christopher Robin to Pooh

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

– Lewis Carroll

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.”

– President Calvin Coolidge

No matter how difficult and painful it may be, nothing sounds as good to the soul as the truth.”

– Martha Beck, from "Leaving the Saints"

The only way to compel men to speak good of us is to do it.”

– Voltaire

You don’t go into a field that requires cracking people’s heads open or operating on something as delicate as the spinal cord unless you are comfortable with taking risks.”

– Dr. Ben Carson

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

– Bruce Lee

A truly forgiving person is someone who experiences all the anger merited by injustice and still acts with fairness and compassion.”

– Martha Beck

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?”

– Steven Schussler

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

– Steve Jobs

Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.”

– Robert H. Schuller

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

– John Lennon

The only dream worth having is to live while you’re alive and die only when you’re dead.”

– Arundhati Roy

Find somebody to be successful for. Raise their hopes. Think of their needs.”

– Barack Obama

If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.”

– Robert Fritz

It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew, and in that there is joy.”

– J. Kristnhamurti, The First and Last Freedom

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