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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Awakening the Entrepreneur Within

I spent yesterday at a seminar hosted by Michael Gerber and Sheila Stewart at Cuyahoga Community’s Corporate College East. Michael is the author of the E Myth Revisited, a book I mulled over two summers ago that changed the way I looked at my business. In E myth, Michael reveals the hard truth about what got most of us into our own business and why businesses fail– the belief we could do our “stuff” better on our own, but the lack of structure and rigor to do the rest of what makes a business. In his most recent book, Awakening the Entrepreneur Within, he delves into what it takes to make a business successful – connecting to the deeper sense of commitment that goes beyond the personal into the impersonal – not about me, but what I have to offer my customers to improve their lives.

Michael, who is in his seventies, presented in a fashion resembling the coaches and elder relatives of my childhood, commanded yesterday’s audience to “write this down”, “write this down”, “write this down”. And he meant business, AND he was watching to see that we did “write it down”. Unlike the like more “enlightened” presentations of today, he lacked any visuals and basically delivered a lecture, which was very refreshing. I sensed a “passing of the torch” in his message and I valued the information.

What I liked most was his use of questions in his presentation. I have found questions to be some of the most valuable information one individual can pass to another. Questions, especially if open and positive can coaches, especially if they have been created by one who “has been there” – they are packed with knowledge potential. Among the questions Michael told us to “write down” are the following ones I will use as I continuously seek my livelihood in this business:

  • · What’s missing in my business picture?
  • · Do I wish my life to be different?
  • · What’s it mean to be the McDonald’s of consulting and how can I leverage a successful business model too?
  • · If it were possible to be the best, how would I do it?
  • · Do I want to be the best at what I do? Do I want to be the best in the world?
  • · What do I know that made me what I am?
  • · What are my greatest results and for who were they intended?
  • · How do I relieve my customer’s pain and where is the opportunity?

· The essence of Michael’s message is this: Why would you spend a half-hearted life building a half-hearted business?

If you would like to view my graphic notes from this seminar please click on this link.

I welcome your comments.


jonny goldstein said...

Great stuff! I love your sketches from the event. One thing, you might want to change the link to your notes. It currently goes to your general flickr account, but it ought to link to the set of notes from the event.

Mark Pinto said...