Escaping the Entrepreneurial Seizure: Interview with Michael Gerber (Plus: Tim Speaking)
4. In your new book you write–very counter-intuitively to most–that the reason most small businesses fail is not that they dream too big, but that they dream too small to create a truly thriving enterprise. Can you elaborate?
By “dreaming big” I mean conceptualizing a result greater than anything you have ever experienced. When I started my first company, now E-Myth Worldwide, I had absolutely no business experience. All I had was an idea bigger than life itself. My idea, my dream, was to transform small business worldwide.
That dream was the energizer for everything that was to follow. That dream for me was the realization of a picture I had formed in my mind of the typical small business I walked into every day, where the owner lived for sweat equity, worked 18-hour days, and had no idea that his or her life could be any different than the overwhelming life he experienced, and that all of his or her peers experienced in the day-to-day hell of doing it, doing it, and doing it some more. I just knew, don’t ask me how, it didn’t have to be that way.
Then I saw McDonalds and the impression I walked away with was huge. I suddenly realized exactly how the tragic condition of small business could be turned on its ear. All I had to do was to McDonald-ize every small business by teaching the owner how to think like Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds, did. That led to the invention of E-Myth worldwide.
That’s what I mean when I say dream big. Dream about great results. Dream about a world that works, rather than one that doesn’t. Think of one thing you wish to transform and than go to work ON it, rather than IN it, which quickly became my E-Myth mantra. The result of that will be something bigger than you ever imagined. Dreaming small is not dreaming at all. Dreaming small, which is what most small business owners do, is really the act of shrinking yourself to live a life that you can imagine because it fits your perception of what you know and are able to do. There is no imagination in that. And a life without imagination is already dead. In my new book, I am focused on awakening the soul of my reader to enable him or her to discover the entrepreneur within. And, once discovered, to put his or her imagination to work to invent a new life beyond anything he or she has ever done before. Just like I have done. Just like you have done, Tim. Just like every entrepreneur does.