See Like an Entrepreneur

Find out how successful entrepreneurs see the world -- and how you should see it, if you want to find success.

If you've been reading my column every month or if you've been reading my trilogy of E-Mythbooks--The E-Myth Revisited, The E-Myth Manager, andmy latest, E-Myth Mastery--then you know I have a particularmindset about the word and function and role called "TheEntrepreneur."

In this column, I intend to delve deeper into the word, functionand role of the entrepreneur by sharing with you how everygreat--and therefore successful--entrepreneur sees the world.

Let's get right to it. And keep this column. If you writedown the key points I'm going to give you here, you can take itto the bank that you'll never see your world exactly the sameagain and that the impact this new way of seeing will have oneverything you do from now on will amaze you.

Point #1: The entrepreneur is a systems thinker. She seeseverything as a system. She sees the business she intends to createas a system. She sees the end game she's going to produce--inother terms, her exit strategy--as a systems opportunity. She seeseverything as an opportunity to create synergy between how thebusiness attracts a customer, how the business converts thatcustomer into cash flow, and how the business continuously fulfillsthe promise it makes to its customers to turn those customers intoclients.

She sees her business as an enterprise, not simply a smallthing. She sees it as a wish about to be fulfilled, as somethingdramatically scalable. And she sees, if not exactly, how to rollthat out: She presses and presses and presses the question to thepoint where she discovers how to roll that out. And remarkably,what she discovers--always--is a system!

Point #2: The entrepreneur is a visionary. That meansbefore he ever gets down into the doing it, he's primarily onewho sees the business visually. To him, the business is first andforemost a vision, a picture. And a picture has shape, size,colors, form. And all of that is seen as signs, and floors, andwalls, and people, and how the look, the color and style of theirdress, the napkins, the windows, the logo, the stationary, theinventory, the trucks, the cars, everything you can see in abusiness is a significant component of the completed visualsystem.

How it looks is the ball game, at least to the greatentrepreneur it is. Just like it must have been and is today to thegreat entrepreneur in the sky, the creator of all. (You know who Imean.) Just as the world, the universe, and everything in it hasvisual electricity--if you would only look--so must theentrepreneur's business have visual electricity. See it, seeit, see it!

Point #3: The entrepreneur is a marketing maniac. To thetrue entrepreneur, who I insist upon calling an E-Myth entrepreneurwherever and whenever I find him, the entire business is thefulfillment of the promise the entrepreneur makes. "On time,every time!" is such a promise. "When you care enough togive the very best!" is such a promise. "The lowestprices...guaranteed!" is such a promise. The promise, thepromise, the promise.

You get to make one promise to your customer to grab his or herattention, and only one promise. And that promise has got to defineyou in the world, in your customers' mind. Look around, andyou'll see the promises underlying the most extraordinarycompanies in the world, which are all entrepreneurial companies,which are all marketing companies, which, every single one of them,make a promise and keep that promise, and therefore hold a specialplace in the minds and hearts of their customers.

The entrepreneur is responsible for seeing that promise andunderstanding why and how his company must operate in such adeliberate way as to keep that promise, every single time. Theentrepreneur is a marketing maniac. His passion, his persistence,his dogged determination to invent a company that makes and keeps apromise which defines it in the world as preferentiallyunique--that is his reason for being.

Point #4: The entrepreneur is a fanatic for detail.I've talked above in points 1, 2 and 3 about seeing, andthat's the entire point of this column: that if theentrepreneur can't see it, it doesn't exist. Whichmeans that the Entrepreneur sees his or her company asthough it were a product, a widget, a thing, just like a computeror an automobile or a chair is a thing. And every thing in theworld is made up of details. Every thing in the world isconstructed, thoughtfully, patiently, intentionally, piece by pieceby small, often unobservable pieces.

The entrepreneur is fascinated by how those pieces fit togetherto make up his or her extraordinarily functional, wonderfullyvisual and emotionally satisfying business. See the pieces. See howthey fit together. See how they're engineered to produce alasting impact. See how they wear under wear. See how they hold upwhen you apply pressure to them. See how the napkins are placed inthe napkin holder. See how that works when the customer takesnapkin. Have you ever experienced difficulty taking a napkin out ofa napkin holder in a restaurant? Of course you have! You pull one,and you get six! They come out of that infernal aluminum box in aclump. You use one, waste five. Any entrepreneur worth his or hersalt would see that immediately, and do something about it.

That's what I mean when I say an entrepreneur is a fanaticfor detail. Every little part of a business either contributes tothat business' success--or to its failure. Every greatentrepreneur knows that businesses fail because of all the littlethings that don't work. That explains his fanaticism. Make itwork! Make it work better than any other business! Make the napkinholder work. Make the doormat work. Make the sign work, and thelittle letters work, and every single light work.

You get my point. Go to work on your business, notin it, and you'll begin to put these things to workfor you, as opposed to because of you. And thenyou'll fully understand what I mean by the entrepreneur'spoint of view.

Michael Gerber is the founder and chairman of E-Myth Worldwide,where he invented a revolutionary small-business development systemthat's been proven in thousands of businesses across the globe.Since 1977, Gerber has been sharing his business success strategieswith millions of fans of his E-Myth books, audiotapes and programs.As a business-coaching pioneer and bestselling author, Gerber haschanged the face of small business by providing entrepreneurs withan innovative and stunningly clear understanding, capability andprocess to transform any small business into a world-classenterprise.

Editor's Pick

The Dark Side of Pay Transparency — And What to Do If You Find Out You're Being Underpaid
Thinking of a Career Change? Here Are 4 Steps You Can Take to Get There.
A Founder Who Bootstrapped Her Jewelry Business With Just $1,000 Now Sees 7-Figure Revenue Because She Knew Something About Her Customers Nobody Else Did
Everything You Need to Know About Franchise Law
Money & Finance

7 Ways to Make Extra Income Even With a Full-Time Job

Want to make more money? Real estate investing, Amazon ecommerce and the sharing economy are waiting for you.


How to Cope With Career Baggage and Heal Emotional Scars From Past Jobs

Here's how professional scar tissue can show up in new roles — and a few tips for managing it effectively.


Improving Yourself Takes 9.6 Minutes of Work Each Day

Micro-habits are the antidote to a chaotic world, offering a pathway to sustainable change.


Reduce Fleet Downtime With These 5 Strategies

Irrespective of the timing or cause, there are strategies or approaches to effectively managing and decreasing fleet downtime.


50 Work-From-Home Jobs that Pay As Much or More than Average Salary

If you're tired of driving to an office and would love to work at home, there are plenty of high-quality full-time work-from-home jobs for you.


How to Select the Right PR Partner in Today's Economy

While it may seem complicated, identifying a good PR fit is crucial for your company's longevity.