Find out more about
Craig's incredible
Accountability Programs!




Subscribe to my newsletter by entering your email address below




Busting entrepreneurial chops!

About 3 weeks ago, Michael Gerber, the author of the E-Myth, took on, and confounded about 250 business owners, CEO’s, and Entrepreneurs at a breakfast on Long Island.

Hosted by TAB, The Alternative Board, Gerber set out to bust chops, and did a spectacular job of it.

You probably have read his book, and the fundament assertion: The E-Myth is that small businesses are started by entrepreneurs risking capital to make a profit. Gerber’s view is that it ain’t so – what most often happens is that most small businesses are started by people who replace a job working for someone else with a job working for themselves. He goes on to say that this is at best a messy and unsatisfactory process, where 40% fail in a year, and 80% fail in 4 years.

As if that weren’t enough buckshot in the entrepreneurial backside, Gerber now asserts: The only purpose for starting a business is to sell it! Whaaat? Sell “my baby?” Yep.

By my estimates, at least 75% of the attendees (including this entrepreneur) did not have selling in mind when they started their business. And the idea of selling their business – or that it was, in fact, saleable, was somewhere between uncomfortable and unconscionable. So did Gerber stop there? Of course not – he took the proposition apart, let us look at the elements, and let us put it back together again.

  1. “The best thing to do as the owner of a business is to move 6 blocks away!” Reasoning – as long as the owner is doing all the work, he is creating zero – he’s just being an employee. Only by distancing himself from the place where the business is generated can he do his real job – creating a business that he can ultimately manage from a distance, and sell.

  2. Ah, but your business has problems, difficulties, concerns. Gerber is right there with the following comforting.aphorism: “The fish always stinks from the head down.” Interpretation: “You are the head of your business. You must be the source of the stink!” The bad news – you’re the sole source of your problems; the good news – since you’re the boss, you can f it as soon as you stop complaining about it!

  3. Complaint: “You can’t find any good, loyal, hard-working employees any more. They come in late, go home early, and do drugs at lunchtime.” Gerber’s solution to one of the entrepreneur’s favorite conundrums – “You can’t build a successful company that relies on people. You must build a system that anyone can deliver.” Sounds like McDonalds? Gerber spent some time with that parallel.

  4. “If the business depends on you, you haven’t created a business, you’ve created a job for yourself. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!” Gerber reiterates – “You can sell a business, but you can’t sell a job to anyone else.”

  5. Gerber goes on to suggest that we are quickly seduced into “being our business.” Gerber distinguishes between three fundamental business roles: Owner/CEO, Manager, and Technician. You and I probably spend time in each role, particularly if you’re a sole proprietor, and probably more time than we’d like to admit at the lower levels. Have a look.

    a. Technician is a doer. Lives in the present. Does the work.

    b. Manager’s is a planner, gets message of history, lives in the past. Chooses order in preference to chaos. Seeks problems to solve.

    c. Entrepreneur is a visionary – lives in the future, never in the past, rarely in the present. Asks “what if” or “what then.” Looks at chaos for new opportunities.

My compliments to Richard Strautman of TAB, the Alternative Board, for his notes of Gerber’s presentation, and the neat little assessment that follows:

In your company:

What are you? What would you like to be?
Entrepreneur ____% Entrepreneur ____%
Manager ___% Manager ___%
Technician ___% Technician ___%

Final Gerberism: “If your business isn’t growing, you’re dying!”

Hint: Neither the manager nor the technician have any real interest in growth.

Questions? Give me a buzz at (516)944-6454 or an email to



If you do not wish to receive this mailing list any longer, click here.

Copyright © 2003-2005 By Craig Jennings - All Rights Reserved