I hate the word self-employment. It identifies you as a person who is running their own business, correct?

Well I hate the word. It sounds like you have created a ‘job’ for yourself forever destined to be doing it by yourself.

I like the term ‘Entrepreneur’. It sounds so dramatic, mysterious, sophisticated and perhaps unique. It makes us feel like perhaps we may be able to tread in the footsteps of the Donald (Trump) or even have the capability to run an international conglomerate.

Michael Gerber, the famous Business Consultant and writer of the invaluable E-Myth series of books on business made note that in each new entrepreneur there are 3 different mindsets in the operation of the business- the Technician, the Manager and the Entrepreneur.

In every entrepreneur there is the Technician, the guy who does the work, the Manager who runs the business and the Entrepreneur who does the thinking.

Let’s say you start a new automotive garage, guess who does the work on the cars? You do – because you own the company and you’re the only employee you have; so far- you are the Technician.

So you get a little busy and after working yourself half to death you decide to hire a couple of employees. Now they are the technicians and you become the Manager.

So you manage your new business for months or years until your several technicians (employees) start to wear you out and you find an outstanding technician who is leadership material. You make him the Manager.

Since you have replaced yourself as the Manager you now become the Entrepreneur.

Let’s put this in perspective, the Technician is the employee in a normal corporation, the Manager could be compared to the President of the company and the CEO , the Entrepreneur. The President manages the daily operations of the business and the CEO/Entrepreneur is the thinker , the head of the organization.

My best friend owns a huge photography company. He is the CEO/Entrepreneur.

He’s an unusual guy. He likes to watch late movies on his big screen TV in his large home in a suburb of Vancouver so he likes to sleep in till 10 or 11 am. Twice a week his schedule changes and his trainer wakes him up at 10. Normally he gets up and has his coffee, shower, reads the paper and around lunch time he goes to his basement and opens the non-descript glass door to – his office!!

He opens the door and inside are 10 people working hard on computers where they are proofing photographs, printing pictures and outputting thousands of photo orders (sometimes there are 3 shifts of these workers per day).

He calls to Dave , his dedicated Manager, and asks him how things are going. Dave replies as usual that everything is under control. The CEO is doing his job. Everyone has work to do and it is running smoothly. Rents will be paid, cars will be maintained, families will have food, homes will have paid mortgages and the best thing – customers will be happy. Another day in a successful business.

The CEO, happy his staff is working and the fact that his Manager is managing leaves the workplace after 15 minutes in the office.

Golf calls his name. He used to golf but as an Entrepreneur it holds little interest after a while – my friend, the CEO/Entrepreneur needs a challenge.

He called me a while ago and told me he had started a flower shop up the street from his ‘office’. I asked him what he knew about running a flower shop. I’ve been his friend for decades and although he is a nice guy, he is man’s man, gruff, big, and aggressive -you know the type- like an FCC fighter. It was a shock for me and it was obvious. He looked at me knowing my thoughts and said that he had hired a manager and 2 florists cause “what do I know about flowers”.

He is an Entrepreneur! I can’t wait to see his next business.

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  1. I was just searching around about this when I discovered your post. I’m only dropping by to say that I really enjoyed seeing this post, it’s really clear and well written. Are you going to blog more about this? It appears like there’s more material here for later posts.

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