I’ve been running Kaizen Systems for over ten years and in that time have read a lot of books – not as many as Andrew Gray, but quite a few!
The first business book I read, probably about seven years ago, was The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. He talked about working ON your business rather than IN your business. As a technician, it resonated deeply with me and I vowed to take note.
Late last year I was fortunate enough to go as a guest of K&H to see John Warrillow speak about his book Built to Sell. Basically the same core subject matter as The E-Myth but in a form that was more up to date and easier to digest: build a scalable business where the company will still thrive and prosper if you, as the business owner, were no longer involved.
The key message I gained from seeing John speak and from reading the book is that this approach gives the business owner options:
- By making sure the business can thrive without you, you will earn a lot more if you decide to sell.
- You can continue to own the company and receive income from it.
With either option you are free from the company to explore other opportunities – it’s your choice what you do next.
Initially it bothered me that even though I had gone out of my way to educate and improve how I ran my business and I thought I had really tried to achieve what The E-Myth and Built To Sell told me to do, I still knew that I didn’t have a business that would work without me. Sound familiar to anyone?
As I’m sure we all recognise, knowing you have a problem is the first step to solving it and with more resolve than ever I decided to do just that.
Lots of soul-searching followed and then James Butler, a business coach I trusted and respected, suggested that I attend a business improvement programme called The Better Business Programme from a company called Your Business Your Future.
A key thing for me was the importance the programme placed on the personal goals of the business owner, not only the business – a principle I already felt was very important when planning a company’s long-term strategy.
I applied and was accepted and as I type this I am a week away from ‘Presentation Day’ – the day you deliver your vision and detailed plan of how you will deliver ‘Your Better Future’.
Clearly this programme is not for everyone, and they are quite selective as to the companies they accept – as every business should be when choosing their customers.
For me, I can confidently say it has started the transformation for me and my company and I’m confident we are on the right path. I know there is a lot of hard work ahead but I’m looking forward to it with renewed passion for my business because I know the hard work will pay off.
There are many reasons why this programme has worked for me – quality speakers, the format, the coaches and just spending a lot of time with other entrepreneurs in a similar position with the same determination to make their businesses succeed.
But the main reason can be summed up by this quote from Joel Barker mentioned by another participant on the programme:
Vision without action is a dream.
Action without vision is simply passing the time.
Vision with action can change the world.