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That Johnny Cash moment

Johnny CashApart from the word ‘cash’, what has Johnny Cash got to do with running a successful business?

Well, fans of US TV series The Wire may recall the opening montage of episode 10 of series 2, which is scored to Johnny Cash’s song ‘Walk the Line’. During this sequence, Detective Pryzbylewski (Prez) contemplates with great satisfaction the smooth operation of the various electronic surveillance devices he has painstakingly set up over several months to produce evidence to catch the target drug dealers.

I am reminded of this every time I see my own business, K&H, or any client’s business running smoothly and efficiently without the owner/creator having hands-on involvement. In other words, when you reach the point where all the systems, training, recruitment etc. that you have worked so hard to put in place start to really work.

I think of this as the Johnny Cash moment – the point at which the E-Myth vision of the business is fulfilled.

For me, it has taken nearly ten years, if you take the date I first read the E-Myth as the starting point. That was while I was on holiday in Italy 2003, and that was the first time the myth of being an entrepreneur was first dispelled in my mind.

Ten years is a very long time (and there are lots of excuses I can make for it taking that long) and with hindsight it could have been a lot quicker, but to me the rewards of that success are that much sweeter for having waited so long and overcome so many challenges.

After reaching this point, the next challenge for any business is how to keep things running as smoothly, and making sure that your team is motivated and rewarded for all their efforts. The need to meet that challenge is what inspired our Income & Share Ownership Planning (ISOP).  This allows your team to share in the success with a real stake in the ownership and profits of the company, and for the business owner to start to take a back seat when he/she is ready – and all done making full use of the generous tax incentives that are available.

In too many businesses I have seen over the years, the opposite happens: the employees are actually punished for the success they have helped create as a result of the business being sold.  All too often they end up being made redundant or leave because of the new owner’s alien culture or relocation etc.  ISOP avoids this risk and preserves the culture and everything else that made the business successful.

Have you experienced a ‘Johnny Cash moment’  in your business, and how long did it take you? Please post a comment with your thoughts.

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