I Became My Own Bottleneck
I started my business designing and developing websites because that’s what I knew how to do. I was pretty good at it, and I also enjoyed it. I come from a few generations of artists in our family, so I think I might have inherited an eye for design. Also, I studied engineering so I love technology and I geek out on the technical part of development. It was a perfect combination for building websites. So, that’s what I did.
A few years into running my own company, I also became a pretty savvy salesperson…this skill set was a must to gain more clients. Then, I needed to do accounting…money was coming in and going out and I needed to manage it all. Then, I started to juggle many projects at once, and my organization and management of these projects were getting a bit out of control. I couldn’t keep my deadlines.
Eventually, I became my own bottleneck. I couldn’t grow anymore because there are only 24 hours in a day and only one employee doing everything….me. I became the poster child of what the book E-Myth I referenced last week is talking about. I desperately needed a change. A mindset change and an operational change. This is where one phrase from the book finally hit home for me:
“Work ON your business, not IN your business.”
What does that mean?
I realized I had started my business as what they call “a technician” – relying on my own effort to get results. No matter how capable I was at the job, and how hard I worked, every aspect of the business was still dependent on me.
But this is NOT the entrepreneurial mindset – it’s literally the e-myth. According to the Chairman of the E-Myth Board, a true entrepreneur has to be able to think differently:
“To the Entrepreneur, the business operates without them.
To the Technician, the business operates because of them.
To the Entrepreneur, the business is the product.
To the Technician, the business is a place to go to work every day.”
Working ON your business means imagining your business as something completely separate from you. Ask yourself: How would your business have to operate if it couldn’t depend on you to personally produce results? What would it mean to re-imagine every system your team would need to effectively deliver the ideal customer experience—without you?
On the most basic level, what ultimately saved my life and business was a fundamental shift in what it actually means to work.
If you’re overwhelmed right now, I want you to know: there is another way. Imagine a business that operates consistently, profitably and self-sufficiently that doesn’t rely on you… where instead of drowning in tasks, you enjoy freedom as you work and grow your business.
This really is possible – can’t wait to talk about it more next week!