I was pondering about the first blog of the new year. Of course, it had to be on Entrepreneurship and I
figured I’d share some thoughts on a discussion I had with Michael Gerber over dinner one evening. Those of you who follow me have read many past posts about Michael Gerber and the most famous Business book ever written – the EMyth.
It goes without saying that Gerber’s book changed many entrepreneurs, fixed foundering businesses, and made for many successful enterprises. His theory that to be successful you must work ON your business not IN it. Sounds simple but most find it hard to ‘give away’ what they perceive to be their control by having others do the work.
I was telling Michael about a close friend of mine who I felt had reached the pinnacle of Entrepreneurism. He had divested his business to so many people that he rarely did any work himself preferring to go golfing. I proudly pointed out to Gerber that my friend as living the EMyth.
Boy did he jump on me while we sipped our scotch. Gerber, as those who know him, is an opinionated guy and does not suffer fools at all. I tried to backtrack thinking I had not explained my buddy’s business in terms of the EMyth principles. Gerber laughed and said he has developed a new theory as part of the EMyth. Wow- was I to be privy to the new theory?
The new addition? Michael told me that in the new era of entrepreneurs in the social media world a new reality as coming into the mindset of the entrepreneur – giving something back to the world once you’ve made your company successful. Was Gerber suggesting that we all go socialist? Hardly, he had thought a lot about his revolutionary book over the years and maybe with age he decided there was something missing, paying good fortune forward.
I mentor a lot of young entrepreneurs and I’ve not noticed this new mindset. I’ve seen a 22 year old software developer take Christmas baskets to young families paid for out of his pocket, a 30 year old interior designer taking an evening to distribute socks to homeless people in Vancouver and an aspiring entrepreneur at a local business school taking time to share her knowledge with others.
Paying it Forward is on the rise. Imagine if we had entrepreneurs consumed not by making piles of money but also changing the community in which we live one person at a time. I gives me tingles. Gerber you still have a finger on the pulse of business.