Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Why thought leaders work themselves into their business - not out of it!

The ‘E-Myth' by Michael Gerber is a great book. In essence, it explains how a business owner needs to be obsessed with removing their fingerprint from the business.

Otherwise, Mike's Plumbing will always be dependent on Mike, and Julie's Bookkeeping Services will always be dependent on Julie.

I love the ideas in this book, yet also know of a place where they don't exactly apply.

That is, in the area of thought leadership. I doubt very few bookkeepers, plumbers or widget makers are passionate about pipes, accounts or widgets. But as a Thought Leader, you ARE into your expertise.

Indeed to be a great thought leader, you should be obsessed about your expertise.

It may be growing a small business; it may be about selling via relationships; or possibly it's about creating wisdom in the workplace. Whatever your expertise is, you should actually look for ways to put more of you into the business - not less.

Here are four ways you can put more of you into the business.

1. Register a domain name that is your personal name
2. Create a newsletter that is from you personally
3. Speak at your own events. Don't outsource this to someone else
4. Make sure your name is managed like a brand

Here are three ways you can get out of the way.

1. Hire a PA
2. Make your job the job of make up and have other people do the set up and clean up activities
3. Invest in mentoring from others so you can accelerate your learning curves

You should still create systems and processes (the key idea in the ‘E-Myth') but these should be not so you can sell out of the business, but rather so you can buy more into the parts of the business that fill you up.

Keep thinking.



  1. Great Matt!
    I speak to so many people that are in business to get out of business. They're running their business to retire. And, as you say, that's often the right approach.
    However, as a Thought Leader, to stop doing what I do would be to die a little inside. Or may be die a lot!
    I say to people that I'm semi-retired right now because I love what I'm doing most of the time. For me, full retirement is only working on the projects I want to work on and saying no to the rest.

  2. Thanks Geoff. Nice insight re semi retired.

  3. I 100% agree with this!!
    Love your newsletters Matt - always have a squizz.
    Such great bite size nuggets of goodness!


  4. I like this idea Matt. I agree that it's important to stay highly engaged with your business, but that doesn't mean doing everything yourself. You need to develop your processes so you can step away from the day to day run of the mill stuff and focus your time and energies on the key elements you bring to the business - your unique combination of skills, knowledge and expertise. Thanks for highlighting this insight.