Camille is a dog lover who is proud to call herself an entrepreneur. Two years ago, she left the corporation she’d given twenty years of her life and struck out on her own.
She is in business for herself. But is she thinking like an entrepreneur? Has she managed to embrace the entrepreneur mindset that will bring her the success she seeks? Or is she still thinking like a manager, bent on accomplishing top-down corporate goals?
Camille (not her real name) has a business plan. But she’s not sure it’s taking her where she wants to go. After two years on her own she realizes she’s just treading water, making it from month to month but somehow not moving forward.
In candid moments, she admits to a sense of confusion as to what “forward” means to her these days. Definitions that used to be so clear have lost their crisp edges. Assumptions that once seemed grounded in bedrock are crumbling, and she finds the shifting sands of a rapidly evolving marketplace a bit unsettling.
Thank heaven for Boodle, her beloved Rottweiler! At least she has someone to talk to. Boodle believes in her, no matter what. He’s never in doubt as to what matters: dinner, a big hug, a good romp, and her warm body to curl up next to at night. His simple fidelity brings a smile to her heart.
If only she could find that kind of clarity!
When you took that big step into your own business, the tough questions about entrepreneur mindset may not have been immediately apparent. Questions like, What aspects of your life as a whole must you bring into your business to achieve the level of satisfaction you crave? And how can you do that in a way that makes you irresistible to your target market?
Business author Michael Gerber, who rose to fame in 1988 with his book The E-Myth, offers an interesting answer to this question. To date, Gerber has published over thirty titles dealing with this very question—for a proper entrepreneur mindset is the key that must be carefully shaped if it is to open the door to an enterprise that leaves you feeling fulfilled at the end of the day.
In the article below, Gerber offers a perspective from which Camile—and YOU, if you’re struggling with the bigger questions of where your business is leading you—can benefit:
E-Myth author Michael E. Gerber says that starting a business is like writing a book, because you must create a business that says something important about you.
I’ve spent most of my life working with small-business owners. And what I’ve learned is that most small-business owners don’t truly understand how to think like an entrepreneur.
And, because of that, the vast majority of small businesses–and the people who create them–remain today what they were when they were started: jobs for the people who created them. They aren’t entrepreneurs at all, but are instead what I call “technicians suffering from an entrepreneurial seizure.”
Seventy percent of all small businesses are sole proprietorships, meaning that their owners are self-employed. They have created a job for themselves, but have not learned how to create a business, meaning they could step away and still have the thing run.
Please don’t misunderstand me; I am not negative about small business. To the contrary, I have worked with more small businesses over the past 50 years of my life than anyone I know. Tens of thousands of them.
My problem is that I am simply shocked again and again at how little most small-business owners seem to understand about what it truly takes to invent, design, build, grow, and maintain a thriving company. Even those who consider themselves to be information junkies seem to miss the point by a wide margin.
In short, entrepreneurship is not about information; it’s about perspective.
Some call it “mindset.”
What is a truly entrepreneurial mindset?
In order to develop a truly entrepreneurial perspective, you must begin again. No matter how long you’ve been in business, it’s important that you take on the perspective that you’re starting it anew today.
So, when you start your company, you must think of it as though you were about to write a book. What would that book of yours say? What would you, as the author of your book, wish to impart to your reader that would hopefully transform the way they think about their life, about their success, about their future?
That’s the point of your business, isn’t it?
Your business is a product of how you, its creator, think about it: what it sells, what it does, how it does it, who your people are, and how you help them grow.
It’s why Starbucks is such a wonderful example of an entrepreneurially designed company. Look at how the founder of Starbucks has made its mission, to expand the economic viability of small family growers throughout the world, a part of everything Starbucks does.
It’s why causes are important to entrepreneurs in this Age of the New Entrepreneur. Causes add dimensionality to your business. Causes add meaning to your business, beyond simply making money. Which is not a cause in itself but a necessity. A necessity doesn’t need to be stressed every day. But a cause must be.
As you go to work on your business, you must think beyond what the day-to-day reality of your business calls you to do. As an entrepreneur, you must rise above the stuff of doing it, doing it, doing it.
It means you must ask meaningful questions about your role in the world, your community, and how you can institutionalize your new-found perspective into the genes of your company, so that it lives, speaks, and demonstrates it in every action your company takes.
Which means that every single entrepreneur on the face of this earth, in this Age of the New Entrepreneur, is actually writing a book. If he or she is truly determined to create a great company, that is.
And the nature of that book must begin right now. Where you are. With the question: What do I wish to say?
Michael E. Gerber is a true legend in entrepreneurship, helping transform 70,000+ businesses in 145 countries over the past 25 years. Michael’s New York Times best-selling book, The E-Myth Revisited, has sold over 5,000,000 copies. @MichaelEGerber
The above article was published on the Inc.com site under the title “Traits of a Truly Entrepreneurial Mindset” on July 26, 2012.
“What is it you wish to say?” is a profound question indeed. An authentic answer is the only kind of answer that will bring you the level of fulfillment you seek. When you find that answer, you won’t have to worry about branding your business. It will stand out above all the rest, for truth rings loudly in the human heart.
For all the guidance you will need to get to a stronger entrepreneur mindset quickly, become a Pet Writes Business M.A.G.I.C. member. Take advantage of the 7-Day Trial, and you’ll have access to the weekly member Business M.A.G.I.C. call and any available podcasts. You’ll also find guidance for writing that book Gerber speaks of, in a literal sense. Being a published author will give a big boost to your authority standing in your field or industry.
Looking forward to helping you evolve your entrepreneur mindset,
Chiwah Carol Slater
Author, Ghostwriter, Editor, Book Shepherd, Business Branding Coach
Founder, PetWrites.com, WordWeaver4U.com