YOUR PRIMARY AIM
Your business is not your life, though it plays a significantly important role in your life. But before you can determine what role your business will play in your life, you must understand what you want your life to be like. You must ask yourself some important questions:
• What do I value most?
• What kind of lifestyle do I want?
• What do I want my life to look like?
• What do I want my life to feel like?
Your PRIMARY AIM is the answer to these questions.
Establishing a Vision
Think of your life as a puzzle made up of several different pieces. Your business is only one of those pieces. You need this piece to complete the puzzle, but on its own, this piece amounts to nothing, and without a picture of what the puzzle will look like when it's finished, you can't possibly put any of the pieces together?
Do you see why your Primary Aim (your vision of the completed puzzle) is so important to the success of your business? With no clear picture of how you want your life to be, how on earth could you begin to live it.
Great People Live Their Vision
As with mature companies, great people:
• Know how they got where they are and how to get where they're going
• Have a vision of their lives which they practice emulating every day
• Spend their lives living out the vision they have of their future in the present
• Compare what they've done every day with what they intended to do (and where there's a disparity between the two, they don't wait very long to make up the difference)
Great people create their lives actively. Everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is the difference between living fully and just existing.
Create the Vision
So before you return to your business at the end of the day, ask yourself the following questions:
• What do I want my life to look like?
• How do I want my life to feel on a day-to-day basis?
• What would I like to be able to say I truly know in my life, about my life?
• How would I like to be with other people in my life - my family, my friends, my business associates, my customers, my community?
• How would I like people to think about me?
• What would I like to be doing two years from now? Ten years from now? Twenty years from now?
• What specifically would I like to learn during my life? Spiritually? Physically? Financially? Technically? Intellectually? About relationships?
• How much money will I need to do the things I want to do? By when will I need it?
These are just a few of the questions you might ask yourself in the creation of your Primary Aim. The answers become the standards against which you can begin to measure your life's progress.
YOUR STRATEGIC AIM
Now that you've looked at the big picture, it's time to design a picture of a business that helps facilitate your Primary Aim (i.e. the big picture.) How can you make your business do what it is supposed to do to serve your life? The answers to this question will form your Strategic Aim (or Business Plan.) There are some broad concepts I want to explain to you first that lie at the root of my system. It's important for you to have an understanding of these concepts before you tackle your Strategic Aim.
The concepts are as follows:
• The 3 Personalities Identified by Michael Gerber in the E-myth (The Entrepreneur, the Manager and the Technician)
• The Difference Between Working in Your Business and on Your Business
• The Concept of Leverage
The Entrepreneur, the Manager and the Technician
Let's start by understanding the common problem that lies at the root of most business failures. Everybody who goes into business is actually three people in one:
• The Entrepreneur
• The Manager
• The Technician
Each of these personalities wants to be the boss.
None of them wants to have a boss.
So they start a business together to get rid of the boss . . . and the conflict begins
• the Entrepreneur dreams
• our creative personality
• lives in the future
• the visionary, the dreamer, the creative energy
• thrives on change
• sees the opportunity
• craves control
• without the Entrepreneur, there would be no innovation
• The Manager frets
• our systematic personality
• lives in the past
• the pragmatist, the planner, the organizer
• clings to the status quo
• sees the problem
• craves order
• without the manager, there would be no planning, no order, no predictability; there would be no business or society
• the Technician ruminates
• our active personality
• lives in the present
• the doer, the tinkerer
• takes things apart to put them back together
• sees the thing at hand
• craves a technical challenge
• without the technician, things wouldn't get done
We all have an Entrepreneur, Manager and Technician inside of us, and if they were equally balanced, we'd be describing an incredibly competent individual. Unfortunately, the typical small business owner is 10% Entrepreneur, 20% Manager and 70% Technician.
Working On Your Business, Not In it
We've already made an important revelation that . . .
. . . your business is not your life.
Your business and your life are completely separate things. Your business is something apart from you, with its own needs, its own rules, and its own purposes. An organism, you might say, will live or die according to how well it performs its sole function: to find and keep customers.
Once you recognize that your life is not your business, but something your business must serve, you can begin to go to work on your business rather than in it. This is where you can put the Franchise Prototype to work for you; where working on your business rather than in your business will become the central theme of your daily activity, the prime catalyst for everything you do from this moment forward.
Pretend that the business you own - or want to own - is the prototype, or will be the prototype, for 5,000 more just like it. That your business is going to serve as the model for 5,000 more just like it. Perfect replicas. Clones. In other words, pretend that you are going to franchise your business. (Note I said pretend. I'm not saying that you should. That isn't necessary - unless, of course, you want to.)
Further, pretend that there are standards you have to abide by in order to pull this off. In other words, there are rules of the game.
These rules are:
1. The model will be operated by people with the lowest possible level of skill.
2. The model will stand out as a place of impeccable order.
3. All work in the model will be documented in Operation Manuals.
4. The model will provide a uniformly predictable service to the consumer.
Your business must serve your life
If your business is not serving your life on some level, you should be taking steps to either change your business or get out of your business. You should be working to live -- not living to work.
If you and your business are to grow and thrive, you must begin to work on your business rather than in it.
What does this mean?
It means that rather than making the hamburger, you analyze the hamburger and figure out if there's a bigger, better, faster, cheaper way to make it. It means analyzing the market and your customers, and determining if hamburgers are even the thing you should be making in the first place - or whether perhaps tacos or pancakes will make you succeed instead.
In other words, it means stepping outside The Technician's shoes and taking a look at the big picture. If all you do day in and day out is churn out job after job, you'll never find a better way to do these jobs, and you'll never attract significant new business to your doorstep. If, instead, you can take a step back and analyze how and why things run, you can find ways to make your business bigger, better, more efficient.
As you map out your Strategic Aim (i.e. your Business Plan), ask yourself the following questions:
• Who are my customers?
• What do my customers want? What do they need?
• How is my business fulfilling these needs?
• How are my competitors addressing these needs?
• What could I do differently in my business to serve my customers better?
• Is there a gap between what I'm doing for my customers and what I need to do?
• How should I close this gap? With people (ie assistants)? With technology? With new
• programs? New products? Improved knowledge?
• How much money do I want my business to earn?
• How will I achieve this level of earning (be specific)?
These are just a few of the questions you might ask yourself when working on your business. The answers become the standards against which you can begin to measure your business's progress.
The One Hour Business Plan has been included to help you easily complete this important process yourself. In the same way that I want you to fill in the blanks to map out your Primary Aim, the Business Plan will allow you to fill in the blanks to map out your Strategic Aim.
As we've discussed, most of us sincerely give our business everything we've got. Working 25 hours a day and 8 days a week, we burn the candle at both ends . . . and still wind up short. How is it that we can put so much into our business and still have so much left undone? How many of us pray for another few hours in every day, or muse about how productive we'd be if only we could clone ourselves.
Now, as we've identified, the reason this happens is that we let the Technician rule. The problem is that while we work hard, most of us work only within the limits of ourselves. And when we run out of time, we have no more to give. And we'll always run out of time.
We work hard ... but we don't work smart
You can't make more hours, and there's a limit to what you personally can do in any given space of time, but you can leverage resources outside yourself to exponentially magnify what you get done.
I have leveraged my business in three ways:
Marketing is reverse prospecting. I will teach you the marketing mindset - i.e. how to leverage yourself through marketing and get your prospects to call you (rather than you calling them).
Leverage your time through the efforts of others. The role of your assistants is to perform the tasks that free you to focus on activities where you can change the outcome.
Technology can be used to amass and track volumes of data, which would be impossible to organize by hand. It can speed up and invent processes. It makes these processes more efficient and allows them to be easily duplicated. Technology makes things that were impossible, possible. We will become more and more dependent on technology in the future.
By leveraging yourself in these three important areas, you can turn your job into a business.