Last night, my wife and I sat down to watch Guy’s Chance of a Lifetime, a reality competition show where seven candidates compete for the chance to run their own Chicken Guy! franchise. I love watching most shows on Food Network, and I probably binge watch “Triple D” more times than I’d like to admit. While I really want to like this show, I was a little turned off by how catty the contestants were. I understand it’s a competition, but in the first episode, each of the contestants were real quick to toot their own horn, and the only humility I witnessed was doled out by the live shift the contestants needed to work on their first day. On the other hand, I suppose conflict makes for good TV.
E-Myth: Working on the Business
Watching this show reminded me of Michael Gerber’s book The E-Myth. In this book, Gerber explains how many entrepreneurs, especially ones that start artisan businesses fail to scale because they cannot get out of running the core processes of the business. Think of someone that start a business baking pies, but they’re going crazy because they’re baking pies all day long.
Several of the contestants claimed to be great cooks and swore that they knew everything there was to know about fried chicken, but they missed the point — Guy Fieri and his team figured out how to create the product, that’s how they created the franchise. What these contestants need to focus on is how to operate the business: sales, marketing, hiring, firing, financials, etc.
Watching this show hit home for me because I have been struggling with the same problems that artisans going into businesses for themselves have run into, characterized in The E-Myth — I don’t own a business, I am the business. I started HatchWork Solutions in 2013, consulting for companies implementing automation technology. While I have been able to scale out a little bit by adding more people to the mix, I am still the business.
My career goal is to be an expert at building businesses. I have been fascinated with business ever since I was young. I even took a Small Business and Entrepreneurship class at a local junior college when I was in high school, just for the fun of it. I love that it creates jobs and creates financial independence.
I think the next steps I need to take are to:
- Sustain and maintain my current level of earning through my existing business model (i.e., consulting)
- Develop new revenue streams that offer more scale
- Break current habits of being too focused on technical work
- Develop new habits of focusing on building the business
Feel free to stick around if you want a front row seat into my reinvention. It won’t be smooth, and I’ll probably share more warts than I would normally feel comfortable sharing, but I think it will be helpful (if not entertaining).