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OK, you autists... another facinating article for your consideration

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The Gorn:
Not link sharing but offering what I believe to be of value. Riiii!

I love that article, Gorn!  It is so true.  The last small business I worked for was a small tech shop.  The owner knew something about tech, but he hired experts to do the work.  I think he was an HR person, so he was skilled at picking out the right contractors and making money off of them when he placed them and for every hour they worked.  He was the social butterfly that belonged to all kinds of associations.  His function in the business was about making and maintaining contacts, not doing the work.

It was also helpful to him that he had a corporate background in HR, so he knew how to compete for placing contractors in big business.  Socially, he maintains a higher profile in the community, knows everyone of importance, etc.  A lot of local, smaller businesses used him for managed small network backups and monitoring.  It's an excellent business model, but it never would have worked if he didn't maintain all of his relationships.  He even maintained the fire department network in his town.  Is that the greatest contact ever, or what?

One thing I would add is you have to be truly committed to be in business.  Be the business.  My father had his own business.  It was a truck repair shop.  He was a cross-country truck driver for many years and knew a lot people in his circle.  He was very social.  Then, he started his own business and worked day and night building contacts.  He had his own garage and knew everyone in town.  He was a true wheeler dealer.

My sister had a clothing store she was part owner in.  She had three other partners.  One was a friend and the other two were money men, basically.  It was a good deal for her for about 10 years.  She didn't make a killing, but did ok and got to pick out all the clothes they sold.  She has good taste and was always a very social person.  That business model though is fraught with problems because you don't have full control.  If you're ok with that, the shared resources make owning a business easier.

First I am not an autist ;) - jack booted thug - yes, autist no  >:D . I read it, everything in it is true. I have met lots and lots of IT people who get stuck in the minutia instead of the big picture. On the other hand I have met lots of successful people who do ABC but are by no means passionate about ABC yet makes lots of $$.

Example that happened to me recently - I was talking to this friend about selling on Amazon. He is very, very smart, communicates well, nice guy. Hard core architect IT guy.

Instead of focusing on the part of buying stuff cheap in China and than reselling it on Amazon for maximum profit he was more interested in the technical mechanics of how the systems work and building a system to sell the widgets. He fundamentally did not get that with Amazon you are not building a system - you are using their system and are only acting as the middleman. He wanted to reinvent the wheel.

In his own words he doesn't code for the money, he codes because he likes to code. He and I get into these tough discussions because frankly all I care about is how to make money off of it.

Nice guy but I would never want him as a business partner because he is not focused on the money making part. He is only interested in the mechanics of the systems.

There are companies that violate what we are talking about but they are rare. Apple being an obvious one - Jobs and his soldiers were passionate about building the computers they sell. However I would not say that the current CEO and his lieutenants are anywhere near what Jobs was. Frankly I think the current CEO has deviated to far from Jobs philosophy. If Jobs was alive these people would be fired.

Another one was a famous German car company that I interviewed with (I don't want to put their name here because they can be very testy). The premiere one whom is at the top of the food chain. A number of years ago I interviewed there and I had the craziest interview I ever had. When I arrived at their building the first thing I realized almost every car in the parking lot was German. That was the start of it - in the lobby they had racing cars and engine blocks. I am a gear head and a German car guy (what a shock ;) ) so I was in heaven.

I interviewed with the VP of operations for N. America. He was a German national. His office was full of car stuff that you never see unless you work in a car company. Anyway when they brought me in - he asked me if I wanted coffee or tea or something to eat. I said no thank you and he still told the secretary to bring in the snack tray. I figured it was going to be really bad.

Than he took me over to a small table with chairs and he sat next to me. Than it started. He says - tell me about yourself? So I came out of the gate really hard - where I went to school, where I worked, what I had done, blah, blah. Typical corporate crap.

Next thing you know he looks up the ceiling like he is looking at the sky, puts his hands behind his head. He says nein, nein (no, no) thats not what I want to know. Tell me what do you are care about in life? What are you passionate about?

At that point I realized this was not a normal interview. So I said the hell with it - I told him I care about my family and friends, this country and am passionate about lots of things. He said what kind of things - I told him about my hobbies including the art & cars.

Than he asked me what kind of car I drove? I told him - a German one of course. He said how did it make you feel? I told him and than he took me for a walk around the building. He asked me if I ever raced? I said sure. He asked me if I liked to win? I said of course.

While we were walking he offered me the job. I was dumbfounded.

He said do you know why I asked you those questions? i said no - he said every person that works at this company from the CEO to the lowest paid clerk is a car enthusiast. We don't hire people who are NOT car enthusiasts. We want people whom are passionate about cars.

So it is possible to be an enthusiast and run a company. But I don't think its the norm.

BTW, I didn't end up taking the job because it was going to turn my life upside down as I had to move and my mother had cancer. I explained this to them and they said they understood and wished me and my mother luck. They told me if my situation ever changes to call them.

The Gorn:
Point taken about the autism, ilconsigliere. :D But you know weaponized autism is a powerful force that serves your own fascist interests, too. :P

So I guess I communicated the core ideas well.

Guys, here's the deal with this article. I stated this and nobody really picked up on it.

This article is not intended specifically as helpful. It basically describes a problem that all small business owners must eventually deal with when they run a business that uses their own core talent.

This article is chicken soup for the overwhelmed small business owner.

I want visitors to get the idea that I'm on their side, I "get" how hard their chosen life is, and I'm here to help.

That alone, that in itself is my slimy agenda with this article. Not to clone "The E-Myth" ideas. I'm just using the E-Myth as a platform for this feelgood material.

I also wanted to agitate with envy and irritation by describing the dumb a$$-ho**s who earn so much more by being superficial sales types in the same lines of work.

And then reel the reader back in to reality by telling them how they can start to dig out.

I'm not writing this article for my freaking health or for writing brownie points. I want to "touch" my possible customers with the idea that I'm in their corner and I "get it."

I assume it does that, at least partially. What do you think?

The Gorn:
ilconsigliere,your anecdote about being courted for a job by that three letter car company makes perfect sense in this way:

As an employee you're rewarded for being in the template of the values of the business and for being an enthusiast and a techie in the business's line of work.

As a startup business owner, this tendency shoots you directly in the foot. You need to drop the great skills at --- cars, racing, car mods --- and take care of all the other crap that a car related business requires. While still selling excellent products.

This blog post and the "E-Myth" are both about retaining that love of subject matter when you start your own business. You have to let it go a bit if you want that business.

If you do that as an employee, you're looked on as burning out or alienated.


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