Or what the Holy Trinity and The E-myth can teach us about being successful

A few weeks ago while giving a personal update on my content and blog, I briefly alluded to Michael E Gerber’s book ‘The E-myth‘, and how it closely mirrors elements of the personal development journey. Here, I break it down further.

Now if you have never read The E-myth, I encourage you to do so. It is one of the top books to read on the topic of entrepreneurship and small business. Consider it an indispensable part of your journey. In the book, Michael highlights the fact that just because you know how to execute the product or service of the business, does not mean you know how to run and grow the actual business. Those are really two separate skills.

Sounds very common sense, but it is often a glaring blindspot for excited and new entrepreneurs. They go into business super eager and passionate. They feel because they are passionate about cakes and can bake a terrific cake, they are qualified to own and run a bakery. Sure, passion is a good ingredient to have. It will drive and move you forward when little else can. Being able to deliver on the promise of your business is important, but, the big picture of making it work requires a broader set of skills than just baking.

Most new entrepreneurs are good enough at this one thing – executing the actual job of the company, but they suck at the other two legs of the tripod needed to make a business work. To successfully start and run a business according to Michael, you need to wear 3 main hats – the Visionary, the Manager and the Technician.

The Visionary is the entrepreneurial energy. It is the spark of inspiration that says, ‘What if this solution existed? What if we solved this problem? What if we took advantage of this opportunity?’ It is the drive to begin, to start, to set things into motion. It is the prime instigator, casting the vision, showing us where we can be, and where we need to go. Without a solid dose of this hat, we remain stagnant at a survival level, never thriving or breaking through to new heights. Too much of it, and we won’t ever get anything done.

The Technician is the worker bee part of the equation. This is the actual job, the value proposition, the point of the company. This is what you sell, or deliver. Like I mentioned earlier, we are usually heavy on here. We know how to organise the event, or design the logo, or build the model. We know how to bake the cake. Without the technician, nothing moves, but with too much focus on this function, you end up working all the time and never building an actual business.

Between the technician and the visionary is a gulf. One personality is usually too busy in the clouds, dreaming of the next big fluffy idea. The other is usually too stuck in the dirt, busy with the nitty gritty of getting things done. The one who bridges the gap, the one who makes sure the wide eyed directives from the top are effectively translated to day-to-day action is the Manager. The manager is the one who designs and sets up the systems, processes, checks and balances to ensure that the big plans are executed every step of the way.

Incidentally, this idea maps out to the process of achieving personal success, and just achieving goals in general.

There is the clear need for vision. We know we have to have meaning, purpose, a reason for being, a grand vision to achieve or contribute to in our lifetime. There is also a clear need to be able to get things done, to take action, to book the meetings, to do the work, to make things. It is our inner manager that helps us connect the two.

When we begin our journey of growth, we start off by being visionary about it. We think deep and try to figure out what we want to get done, what we want to build. And then we come down from our high perch and get down to the ground, and start building. We oscillate between the Visionary and the Technician.

Half the time all we have is a hunch. We don’t even know what exactly to build. we are building and learning at the same time. But after a while, after a lot of trial and error, and learning, we figure out enough of what we need to build and develop enough skill to actually build it.

At some point, we cross a threshold. It is not just enough to take some action sometimes. Now, we understand that it will take a bunch of different actions all working in concert towards our defined goal. We move from just being able to do a set of push-ups, to an entire system of workouts to maximise strength and gains. We start to operate more in the Manager role. It is this energy that establishes order.

We need all 3 hats, all 3 personalities working together to create a well oiled harmonious ecosystem, where we are able to set large scale intent and see it come to fruition. We are able to set the goal of getting fit, learn to do the exercises, and then create the systems and routines that propel us forward.

That is a big chunk of the work. The actual building phase – the manager portion. Making the plans. Creating the processes, documenting them. Building and instilling habits. It is the system that holds all the bits together. Here we experience the lag. We are busy setting up, but there are no major rewards yet. Here we must patiently build. Once we have sturdy systems in place, we are able to rise back up more into the visionary aspect, riding and driving these systems where they need to go.

And if you think about it, this is really just an archetypal pattern. It is the pattern of the trinity. The father, the mother, the child.

The father, the spirit, the son.

The instigating force, the conductive force, the active force.

Our intentions crystallise from the rarified world of ideas into the plans and patterns of actions which give key results.

If you are busy, and frustrated by not getting results, perhaps do a diagnosis on these 3 states of being. Is your intention and focus right? Do you have a vision? Are you taking right action? Are you doing what needs to be done? And are they organised and directed enough? Are they repeatable? Are they sustainable? Will they take you where you need to go?

Are you wearing and operating in all 3 hats?

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