Every Business Is a Family Business

I’m a huge believer in the concepts Michael Gerber puts forth in his book the E-Myth. Embedded in that book are numerous gems which will make you a better business person. But one concept stands out above all others in my mind: Every Business is a Family Business. Gerber thought this was so important that it’s the very first sentence of the first chapter of the E-Myth.

It is not a difficult concept to understand. A bad day at the office leads to a drive home with clenched fists and gritted teeth. We open the door into a cacophony of dogs barking and children fighting. No longer a slow burn, you straight lose your bananas.

Compare that same scenario after a great day at work. You sing along to the radio blaring on your drive home. You burst into your house as your dog leaps and barks with unbridled joy. Your children are so excited to see you they are literally falling all over each other to get your attention first. And, hey, isn’t that your favorite show on TV? Man, life is good.

Whatever happened at work carried over to home even though you swear you always “leave work at work.” This is why Every Business is a Family Business.

I wish there was a silver bullet of wisdom which could eliminate those horrible days. What I will offer is a few ways you can try to make those days fewer and fewer:

1. Re-discover your “Why.” Losing focus on why you do what you do can lead to burnout and fatigue. Re-acquaint yourself with the deeper meaning of your job. It could be as simple as wanting to help make your clients’ or customers’ lives better (that’s mine!). If you don’t know your Why, please see our blog “How to Find your Why in 60 Seconds” at DuckettLadd.com.

2. Identify your Ideal Client/Customer: Review your client list/customer base to determine with whom you truly love working. What you will often find is that these are people who share common beliefs, and whose Why aligns with yours. Identify others in this same mold and go after them with laser focus!

3. Identify the Dogs: Now find those clients or customers who give you the most aggravation. You know who they are. Unfortunately, they often generate substantial amounts of revenue for your business. Systematically reduce your reliance on this revenue with the addition of more Ideal Clients. Find the tipping point, and put the dogs out to pasture. It will be nauseating, but then you’ll be free.

4. Understand your Influence: In the E-Myth, Michael Gerber’s comments are specific to a business owner and their family. But understand that you are ultimately not just affecting your family’s lives; you are affecting the families of those with whom you work. This can lead to resentment not just with the employee, but also with their family. Be a positive force in your people’s lives, they and their family will thank you.

Every business is a family business. Strive to create your ideal job based on a community of teammates all pulling in the same direction. Your Ideal Clients will gravitate to you. You will still have rough days, but I promise they will become fewer and further between.


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