The Entrepreneurial Model: Think Like an Entrepreneur

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The E-Myth Revisited" by Michael E. Gerber. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is the entrepreneurial model for business? Do you have the mindset of an entrepreneur?

In The E-Myth Revisited, Michael E. Gerber asserts that a successful business owner embraces an entrepreneurial model—a business model with measurable steps, a guiding vision, a defined structure, and functional systems. Another key to success is an entrepreneurial perspective, which keeps the focus on the business rather than the work.

Read more to learn about an entrepreneurial model and mindset.

The Entrepreneurial Model

The entrepreneur uses a business development model with measurable steps. The business itself has a guiding vision and a defined structure and it functions by principles and rules. The business is an aggregation of parts that work together systematically to produce the intended result.

The business model of a technician-run business is created day by day. The vision is narrow, focusing on the work and the present, with no sense of where the business is headed.

The two models begin at different points. The entrepreneurial model starts with a particular customer in mind rather than with an idea for a business. The entrepreneur looks for an opportunity to provide something a specific customer wants and that no one else offers, in a unique way. The result is a business designed based on the customer’s needs. The entrepreneur understands that the customer’s needs will continue to change, which provides the business with ongoing opportunities to fulfill needs.

By contrast, the technician’s starting point is to satisfy herself by doing what she wants to do. She views the customer as a problem because he’s never satisfied.

A small business owner needs to break away from her technical side and employ her entrepreneurial instincts to create and activate an entrepreneurial model for a business that works effectively. The franchise movement provides that business model.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset

In addition to an entrepreneurial model, you should adopt an entrepreneurial mindset. When you build a business from such a perspective, you focus on the business and how it works as opposed to what it does. However, most people start businesses from a technician’s perspective, focused on the work rather than on the business.

Other differences between the two perspectives are:

  • The entrepreneur begins with a vision of the future, then works to align the present with that vision. The technician focuses on the present and hopes the future will be much the same.
  • The entrepreneur is outwardly focused on meeting customer needs and making a profit. The technician is inwardly focused on the business as a place to work and earn an income.
  • The entrepreneur sees the business as a whole, while the technician sees separate parts.
  • The entrepreneur asks how the business should work, while the technician wants to know what needs to be done.

When you adopt an entrepreneurial model and mindset, you give your business a better chance to succeed.

The Entrepreneurial Model: Think Like an Entrepreneur

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  • Why so many new business owners fail
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Elizabeth Whitworth

Elizabeth has a lifelong love of books. She devours nonfiction, especially in the areas of history, theology, and philosophy. A switch to audiobooks has kindled her enjoyment of well-narrated fiction, particularly Victorian and early 20th-century works. She appreciates idea-driven books—and a classic murder mystery now and then. Elizabeth has a blog and is writing a book about the beginning and the end of suffering.

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