Although the original version of The E-Myth was written over two and a half decades ago, it’s a book that’s stood the test of time. As Martin Zwilling explained in an article for Forbes, the basic premise of the book “is the mistaken belief that most businesses are started by people with tangible business skills, when in fact most are started by technicians who know nothing about running a business. Hence most fail.”
Zwilling goes on to state that while some people say the book is no longer relevant because the Internet puts so much information at everyone’s fingertips, having access to information and actually using it are two very different things. A big reason why 50% of businesses fail within the first four years is because so many are still started by people who have a valuable skill but don’t know how to manage the business side of the equation.
Successful Business People are Made, Not Born
There will always be those who believe that success is something that people are simply born with or without. However, as extensive research into this subject has shown, while individuals may have a natural propensity towards a pursuit like business, it’s the decisions they make over time that determine their success.
What that means for you is whether you want to start your own business someday or you wish there was a way to make a business you already own more successful, it is possible to improve your skills and abilities. The key to making that happen is taking the right approach to learning.
Even if it’s just twenty minutes a day, reserve a block of time that you can spend researching the market you’re in or plan to enter. This is also the time to spend learning about technology that’s relevant to the business you run or want to start in the future. Although this may not seem like much, you’ll be amazed at how much insight this small but consistent approach to learning yields over the course of weeks and then months.
In addition to learning as much as possible about your specific industry, it’s also crucial to always be learning about business fundamentals and strategies. The best way to do that is by reading books. What if you don’t have time to read as much as you’d like? One option is to read summaries of the best business books. Because the sheer amount of quality information that’s published on a monthly basis can be overwhelming, utilizing summaries can help you expose yourself to it without drowning in a sea of too much information. And then if you ever find yourself with more free time than normal, you’ll already know which books are worth really diving into.
While there is a lot of value in reading, it’s important to remember that it’s not the only option that’s available for learning. You can also learn a ton from talking with people who have the type of knowledge you want to acquire. That’s why it’s important to get out and build relationships with the experts in your industry. It’s also valuable to spend time networking both inside and outside of your own industry. Although focus is a good thing, the lessons you can learn from people in other businesses can be exactly what you need to spark new ideas.
As you start pulling in all this new information, you should give your brain time to digest it. However, that doesn’t mean you should be afraid to put it into action. On the contrary, actually trying out new things you learn is the only way to find out if they’re the right fit for your own business. In fact, experimenting is the best way to learn from both what works and what doesn’t.
Running a successful business is anything but easy. In order to make yours a success, you need to give yourself every advantage possible. And even though that may sound a little overwhelming, the good news is thanks to the huge impact that ongoing learning can have on your business success, you can accomplish a lot simply by making that single commitment.
Tiffany Valentine is a small business owner. After working in the corporate world for fifteen years, she finally made the leap and opened a specialty retail store. Although she’s learned a ton during the last two and a half years, she knows that she still has a whole lot to learn.