• 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
Be InkandescentInkandescent PRInkandescent Networkingnew! Inkandescent Speakers • Illustrations by Michael Gibbs

Michael Gerber Takes Us Inside 'The Dreaming Room'


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.

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

– Robert Frost

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

– Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”

– Henry Miller

Inspiration and genius — one and the same.”

– Victor Hugo

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”

– Anna Quindlen

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

– Guy Kawasaki

Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading.”

– Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop

Women once had the goal of being Superwoman; I think most of us now simply strive to have a super day.”

– Author, Activist Lee Woodruff

Don’t wait for someone else to lead you to your right life; that privilege—and responsibility—is yours alone.”

– Martha Beck

Remember that it’s okay to ask for help when you’re stumped, because sometimes you really can’t be expected to handle everything alone.”

– Martha Beck

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

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

– William Jennings Bryan

Education is an admirable thing to have, but it is well to remember that nothing worth knowing can be taught.”

– Oscar Wilde

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

– Audre Lorde

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

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

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”

– Leon Joseph Suenens

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

– Carl Rogers

If it isn’t good, let it die. If it doesn’t die, make it good.”

– Ajahn Chah

The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. The greatest failure is to not try.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”

– Muhammad Yunus

‎The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”

– Muhammad Yunus

Success is the necessary misfortune of life, but it is only to the very unfortunate that it comes early.”

– Anthony Trollope

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which obstacles vanish.”

– John Quincy Adams

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

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

– Madam C.J. Walker

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

– J.G. Holland, novelist

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

– Lewis Carroll

There is little success where there is little laughter.”

– Andrew Carnegie

Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.”

– Jack Kerouac

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

– Seneca

If you want to be busy, keep trying to be perfect. If you want to be happy, focus on making a difference.”

– Lisa Earle McLeod

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

– Jalaluddin Rumi

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

– Edgar W. Howe

Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do.
 Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

– Ella Fitzgerald

My job is my hobby. I come to work to play.”

– Uli Becker, president, Reebok International

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

– The Dalai Lama

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

– Magical

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

– Winston Churchill

With ordinary talents and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.”

– Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

Most people never pick up the phone and call. Most people never ask, and that’s what separates the people who do things from the people who just dream about them.”

– Steve Jobs

Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make Me Feel Important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”

– Mary Kay Ash

You must have chaos within you, to create a dancing star.”

– Frederic Nietzsche

Traveling is one way of lengthening life, at least in appearance.”

– Benjamin Franklin

A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.”

– Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

The dove descending breaks the air / With flame of inkandescent terror.”

– T.S. Eliott

If you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come.”

– Oprah Winfrey

It is to no purpose to turn away from the real nature of the affair because the honor of its elements excites repugnance.

– Carl von Clausewitz, On War

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