Outside of my gym in Richmond, VA
What's the big deal?
Every so often, you read a book that completely changes your life. Well, The E-Myth completely changed my business life just a couple of years ago, and I continue to apply tenets of the business advice to my daily life, even beyond business itself. I can't recommend this book heartily enough. Let me share a few things the concepts within have done for me, and how Michael Gerber (the author) talks in plain English (and reads it himself!) how you can get your small business together, even if you don't have a ton of experience running a business.
The "E" in E-Myth stands for "Entrepreneur", and Gerber explains that many of us are in fact bitten by the entrepreneurial bug at some point in our lives. For me, it came at a very early age. One of my hobbies as a kid was to collect comic books for their value, not for their cool stories or art (although I appreciated those aspects as well). Ever since then, I've run my own businesses to smaller or larger degrees, always appreciating that I could work harder for myself to improve my station in life. I was excited to be running my own businesses, and this trend continued for me well into my 30s, as I ran both a martial arts tournament and my own Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym (with some other friends). Life was good, and the possibilities were limitless!
Working harder isn't everything
However, Gerber outlines a dilemma that seems to plague all of us who own one (or multiple) businesses: the entrepreneurial bug is hardly enough to run a business alone. His parable of Sarah, the woman who owns a pie shop, absolutely hit home for me: as my businesses have grown in scale over the years, I've found myself doing less of what I want with my time, and more of the tedium and minutiae than on what I loved doing (in my case, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu). Here's Gerber's great insight: if you put in the time and hard work now to set up structures and systems within your business, you'll be able to spend your time doing much more of what you want, AND you'll be able to make a decent (or better) living at it.
A few hours of listening to this book may well change your life. I know it changed mine. I saw how we were falling into many of the same traps the business owner in the book had fallen into, and in spite of growing a much bigger gym rapidly in terms of the number of students, we hadn't really done all the right things in order to make it run like a system.
Nowadays, my gym runs like clockwork. This means that not only do I spend less time doing things I don't want to do, but the overall system works so much better, and the overall experience for our students (or customers, if you prefer) is considerably better. We now offer nearly three times as many classes as we previously offered, have experts in their particular areas working the jobs we need done (not just the owners), and have a great time and amazing atmosphere in which to have that great time.
Is it time for a change at your place of business?
Exactly what we needed
Recently at Revolution BJJ, we expanded so that we're now 3 times bigger than we were just a year ago. It's hard for me to be able to wrap my mind about how much we've changed, because I'm only thinking about the future, and how much more we have left to do. If you'd like to see your business improve in a similar manner, and focus much more on improving your business than on merely running it, then the E-Myth is the book you need to sit down and read (or listen to) right now. I can't recommend it highly enough.
With the expanded mat space, we offer nearly 50 classes a week between the 4 different martial arts offered, and have extremely qualified experts in their fields teaching each and every class. We have a super awesome receptionist, a sales team, and a system that functions like clockwork. The sky is the limit.
I now view my job as the owner of the business exclusively to make the business better. Getting all the "business as usual" stuff taken care of on a daily basis has allowed us the opportunity to focus on the stuff that really matters, which is making the gym better on a daily basis. Here's a picture of the newly expanded space at Revolution BJJ.