The other day I had the opportunity to speak with a young man who had recently purchased his parents’ business.
He was determined, hard working, resourceful, and overwhelmed.
He was overwhelmed because he was doing it, doing it, doing it – 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it was affecting his health and family life.
The business was turning a few millions in sales and had been in the family for 40 years.
The E-Myth by Michael Gerber
He spoke to me about reading the E-Myth by Michael Gerber and how Michael talked about systems as being key to the success of any business.
He then explained to me that his business was way too complex to ever systematize in the way Gerber wrote about.
And, yet his business wasn’t selling machined parts to the space industry; it wasn’t brain surgery. It was selling stuff in a retail environment. (I will keep it generic just so if he ever reads this blog, he won’t recognize his business!)
And the point really is this – how many of you assume your business is too complex to systematize?
In fact, almost every businessperson I’ve talked to in the last 30 years thinks that!
What Does the E-Myth Mean?
By the way, what is the E-Myth book mean anyway? It simply means that it is a myth that businesses are started by entrepreneurs. A doctor starts a medical practice, a plumber a plumbing business, a hairdresser a hair salon.
They are people who have great technical skills in what they do and make the mistake in thinking that if they are good at something technically, they will make a good business owner. Then they find that there is a lot more to business than the technical production. There is human resources, operations (training people to do what you do), marketing, finances, and lead generation and customer conversion.
Your Unique System is Your Business
The other mistake that people make in thinking that they cannot systematize their business is that they think it is about the system. No, it is not about some robotic, inhuman, rigid system that you force people to operate inside of.
The system you create for your business will be unique, brandable, recognizable, and fluid.
The Miracle of McDonald’s
Think of the miracle of McDonald’s Hamburgers. The miracle I hear you saying??
Yes, the miracle. First, most of you are likely rolling your eyes and imagining that a simple hamburger is easy to create (most of us having grilled a burger at least once in our life) and that your business is much more complex than grilling burgers.
Take another look. Could you have done what Ray Kroc did? He took a successful hamburger restaurant in California and at age 52 designed as system around that restaurant, a prototype that has been duplicated over and over and over again around the world.
Also, kindly note, I am not endorsing eating at McDonald’s – I don’t and likely never will again for as long as I live.
What I do remember marveling at – when travelling throughout Europe for 6 months at the age of 18 – is seeing the Golden Arches in Amsterdam, Holland, and craving some Western style junk food, eagerly went inside to order a Big Mac and a milkshake.
I couldn’t believe it – it tasted exactly like a Big mac in Calgary, Canada!
I know, I know, you’re thinking that’s not hard to re-create a mediocre hamburger! However, I was longing for a burger, know what I wanted it to taste like, and it did in a country on another continent!
How easy would it be for any of us to do that in our own business? To create a predictable result over, and over and over again for 64 years in almost every country on the planet?
It Is All About a Unique Model
Don’t look at the products McDonald’s creates – look at the business model – the systems that allowed it to grow and grow.
When we get up to go to work in our businesses, it is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind – the doing it, doing it, doing it. Essentially the role of the technician. Instead, think of going to work ON your business – to design the systems that will produce predicable outcomes for your team, your customers, and yourself.
Is it easy? No! It is very difficult, because you have to give up control to others, to trust others, to stop blaming people, and blame a system instead. You have to carve out the time to dream, and to create fluid systems that work.
And, if something doesn’t work, we look at it as a systems failure not a people failure – and we are the ones responsible for the systems creation – then we can only look to ourselves to fix the problem.
On a personal note, I had the privilege of receiving a call from Michael Gerber, who was eager to hear about our unique online ControllershipPLUS business model (through comments made about us by a friend of his). He interviewed me and talked to me for 1 hour.
Here is a short clip with Michael being interviewed 10 years ago, his words are still timely:
Thanks for reading….