In his book, The E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber describes three distinct roles that business owners must perform – the Entrepreneur, the Manager and the Technician. Each role is distinct, relies on contrasting skill sets and is absolutely essential to building a successful business. Often, when a business is struggling it’s because the roles are out of balance and one (or more) of the areas is being ignored. Let me explain . . .
The Entrepreneur personality is the visionary, the dreamer part of you. Imagination is your playground and you get to dream big. The Entrepreneur sees opportunity everywhere. Where others see disaster or misfortune, the Entrepreneur sees opportunity for change. It is the creative part of your personality constantly pulling you toward expansion and growth.
The Manager personality is the pragmatic part of you. The Manager creates order and predictability through planning and scheduling. It’s the part of you that craves organization and stability and resists again change. The Manager loves the status quo.
The Technician personality is the doer part of you. The part of you that loves to do the work with clients. You love your tools and techniques and you just want to be left to your work of helping people transform their lives.
The reason many service professionals struggle with building a successful business is that they are technicians. They think that building a business is all about doing good work with clients and customers. That is only part of having a successful business.
You need the Entrepreneur to create the vision for your business. The Entrepreneur looks outside of your clients, your community and your world to the larger world to see what is possible, so you can create a business that supports your lifestyle and offers you maximum freedom. The Entrepreneur sees past the daily grind to the big picture of what you are creating and understands the next steps you need to take to get there.
You need the Manager to build the business plan and infrastructure that supports the vision for your business. The Manager writes the policies and procedures, creates the budget and plans the marketing strategies that let clients know how to find you.
Many service professionals are intimidated by the Entrepreneur and the Manager. They don’t have a big vision for their business because either they don’t know what is possible or they are afraid to let themselves dream because they might not succeed. They don’t know how to create a budget, write a business plan, establish policies and procedures or develop and implement marketing strategies . . . so instead of learning the skills they need to be the Entrepreneur and the Manager, they just stay in their comfortable role as a technician and hope everything will work out for the best.
If you want to build a business that helps people, makes money and makes a difference in the world, then you have to embrace the necessity and learn the skills of all three roles, understand how to move easily between them and plan time for each of them in your schedule. If you are okay with struggling or just getting by, then continuing to operate just as the technician is fine. Just understand that struggling is a choice.
I’d love to hear which personality you struggle most with in your business and what you have done to get more comfortable with it. Please leave your thoughts and comments below.