For whatever reason, “The E-Myth Revisited” was always on the list of books I would like to read one day. Then I heard Michael Gerber do a keynote for a friend, Susan Baroncini-Moe, for her record-breaking webcast in June and I felt like Michael and I were of kindred spirits. Needless to say, I bought the book.

I love how Michael describes the three types of personalities found in every business person right from the start. Each person may have varying degrees of each personality with one in particular standing out. By identifying which one you embody the most, you will know where you need to put in more effort or add appropriate team members.

Here are the three personalities he identifies:

  • The Entrepreneur
    • the dreamer
    • the visionary within us
    • the part of us that desires change
    • looks to the future
    • the creative side
  • The Manager
    • the pragmatic within us
    • the planner
    • the organizer
    • lives in the past
    • maintains the status quo
  • The Technician
    • the doer
    • lives in the present
    • loves to keep a steady flow of work
    • wants to know “how to do it”
    • work is what a person does

The above summary is skimming the surface as Michael brilliantly shows how the three interact with each other and how each sees the other. The important thing he points out is a successful business needs all three personalities to succeed.

Which one of the three characterizes you the most? Before you start down the path of owning your own business, you need to identify your primary personality. The majority of people who want to break free from the “boss” are technicians who love doing what they do but the system seems to limit them or doesn’t recognize their efforts. So they venture out to start a business. And after a while, begin to wonder why they are burnt out and are not successful. Each of the three need to be present to bring balance.

If you haven’t read “The E-Myth Revisited,” I would highly recommend you put it on  your read next list.

 

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Over the next 8 weeks, I will be spending 3 hours a week studying the Guerrilla Marketing concepts by Jay Conrad Levinson.  After each session, I will share some thoughts and insights I picked up from my studies. Please note: when I post my thoughts, I will just be throwing out quick notes (whatever I can write out in 10 minutes).

I invite you to ask questions, share your insights, or examples of how you have or are using guerrilla marketing concepts.  The goal is not just to accumulate more knowledge but to apply what is being learned and test the concepts.

*Just a side note: I have no association at this point with Jay or Guerrilla Marketing International. What I am going to share are my thoughts, takeaways, and experiences as I study the book, “Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business” (4th Edition) and any materials I pick up from the website, blogs, and emails the company sends out.

 

There are those people in your life that no matter what goes on or happens to them, they are eternal optimists. They always seem like life is grand and they never have a bad day. There is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. They are the ones who encourage you to keep your head up and keep pushing forward.

Then there are the realists who tell you like it is. They will either lean to a positive or negative side of the fence. The ones leaning on the positive side will tell you like it is and offer solutions and encouragement to continue on in your journey. Those leaning on the negative side are more likely to not only be forthright, they will also likely be very discouraging in their advice. They will only see the negative side and not offer any solutions.

Do I really need to point out the fact we do know some who are pessimists? They have already pointed out all the faults of the previous groups of people I just mentioned. Misery is their constant companion. I choose not to be around this group at all cost.

I would love to say that I am an optimist and many of my friends and family would probably agree that I am generally always positive.  However, I would rather be a blend of the optimist and realist.

For most of us, we picture the optimist being in dream world. They talk of all the great possibilities and share these visions of utopia. They often seem to ignore or at least not acknowledge the real challenges and struggles to get there. Optimists may seem difficult to relate to for most of us.

Learning when and where you need to be one or the other is the challenge. Your clients or customers want you to be the optimist. Your confidence and positive outlook fills them with warm fuzzies that makes them feel comfortable doing business with you.

On the other hand, your colleagues, friends, and those who are looking to you as a mentor or leader want to see the real you. Here is where the blend of an optimist and realist  holds out hope for others who are inspired by your success. Knowing that you are not perfect and everything doesn’t always work like it should encourages others to step forward and take action on LIVING their dream.

Find the balance between being an optimist and a positive realist. I think you will enjoy the blend.

 

When the circumstances scream “IMPOSSIBLE,” the level of determination can prove otherwise.

You and I both have read, shared, and rallied behind different motivational statements to encourage us to reach for our dreams, our destiny, our goals.  You and I both know we have the same hours in the day as the richest and most successful people in our world. You and I both understand we are given an opportunity each day to do something that will turn our ordinary lives into an extraordinary life.  What then is the key motivator that will inspire us to rise above our current situation?

DETERMINATION

This is one thing that can not come from someone else. It has to come from within you. The deeper and stronger the determination, the more likely you will succeed and push beyond your original goal.

Each person’s level of determination will flow out of different motivations. Perhaps it is a desire to show someone up who told you, “You can’t do it.” Maybe you hit rock bottom and don’t ever want to go back to that place. There are those who are sick and tired of being sick and tired. You may just want something so bad that you will not stop until you get it.

A dream will only be a dream and a goal will only be a goal if you don’t have the determination to make them happen. When obstacles present themselves, and they will, this inner fire is what will help you push past, go around, or blow the obstacle up that stands in your way. Search within yourself and find that passion, that sheer driving force of will that won’t be denied. Then, you will move past the majority of people and truly LIVE your dream!

“Chinook and sockeye salmon from central Idaho…travel over 900 miles (1,400 km) and climb nearly 7,000 feet (2,100 m) from the Pacific ocean as they return to spawn.” Wikipedia

The above photo is as close as any to capturing where I feel like I am right now. Over the last several years, I have spent time preparing myself for a journey back to my first love: inspiring people to greater heights through speaking and training. Just as the salmon know when it is time to return, I decided it was time to go.

When I embarked on this journey, I began to map out my path to reach the goal. The first stretch of the journey was fairly easy to navigate. The farther I travel, the stronger the current becomes. Although I am making progress, it is slowing down as I push against the force flowing toward the ocean.

Now I am finding myself fighting a strong current along with a wall that I need to jump. Not only is the current swift, there is a bear at the top of the wall creating a sense of fear for all those pushing forward. The odds of my making it seem to be stacking up against me.

This is the very place that I am right now. The goal is much farther up the river. Once I reach that place, I will have established the beginning of my legacy and can then relax as I follow the stream back to the ocean and enjoy the rewards of having battled the upstream journey.

The biggest temptation at this point in the journey is to see the bear, turn back, and return empty to the ocean. The story Napoleon Hill shares, “Three Feet From Gold,” rings in my subconscious mind and reminds me to keep pushing forward. (If you are not familiar with this story, Paul Hutchings upload an audio recording of this section of “Think and Grow Rich.” Start it at the 8:00 minute mark for the story.) Intellectually, I know that I am only 3 feet away from the gold. Emotionally, I feel like it is miles and miles away.

The hardest part of this process is to transfer what I know in my head to my heart and inner being to calm the inner turmoil that resides within me.  Therein lies the struggle of an entrepreneur.  I share my thoughts to bear witness to the struggles one faces when we pursue our dreams.  This is only one of many obstacles that are sure to come. Those who persevere and press on will be the ones who LIVE their dreams.

“Not all people are so constituted that they wish to know the truth about all matters vitally affecting life. One of the great surprises the author of this course has met with, in connection with his research activities, is that so few people are willing to hear the truth when it shows up their own weaknesses.

We prefer illusions to realities!”

Napoleon Hill, Laws of Success

Click on the picture to see the illusion.

A few years ago, I applied for a sales position with a company who was expanding in our area. They asked me a question during the interview that went something like this: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate yourself as a salesperson?” They were a little taken back by my answer as I replied that I was an 8 or 9. My answer prompted the question, “Why an 8 or 9 and not a 10?” They were looking for someone who had the illusion that they were a 10. Who can really say they have no room for improvement?

Too often, we hide behind the illusions we create to hide what we really know to be true. We grow comfortable  hiding behind a mask and not dealing with reality. To acknowledge our weaknesses induces fear, a fear that is based on an inherent idea that the only the strong survive. So we create these facades to keep us from being devoured by those who appear to be stronger.

Only when we choose to dismantle the illusions do we really free ourselves to succeed. Once we know our weaknesses, we can then create plans to strengthen those areas. While I believe you should play to your strengths, you also need to take steps to improve upon your weaknesses. This may be done in a variety of ways including accountability, delegation, coaching, creating a well-rounded team, to name a few.

Be willing to listen and acknowledge the truth when it shows up. Stop hiding behind the illusions and create a reality of success.

Yesterday, I spent time doing what sparks my inner creative genius to flourish: mowing the grass. I don’t know why it is one of my most creative times, it just is. And yesterday was no exception. I decided I am unofficially going back to school.

Now, I am not going the route of a traditional education at a college or university, I am creating my own eight week sessions on topics I want to learn more about. I recognize the need to learn more and I have the opportunity to chisel out a full load of classes for myself.

Here is the list of classes I am creating for myself (not taking all of these at once):

  • Marketing
  • Branding
  • Sales
  • Leadership
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Economics
  • Social Media for the Small Business Owner
  • Personal Development
  • Wine/Beer Making
  • Marine Biology
  • Public Speaking
  • Writing
  • Business/Life Coaching
  • Small Group Facilitation

My initial format for my class time will consist of 30 minutes of study, 10 minutes of applying what I learn to my own business or life, and 10 minutes of sharing what I learned either by writing or video blogging (study, apply, and share).  This will be done in 8 week segments with 2 weeks break between sessions.

I may develop an interactive session with these classes where three or four other people all meet together online to share knowledge, ideas, and thoughts. If you have an interest in group learning or want to follow along this learning adventure, sign up to receive updates.