I've been stewing around for a few days about the whole "work ON your business, not IN your business" concept. And what especially sealed the deal on my obsessive over-analyzation of Michael Gerber's principle of entrepreneurship is when someone said to me that they weren't sure why I was even worrying about it, because it "wasn't like I wanted to become a pie mogul or anything."
And what bothers me about that person's statement (or maybe Gerber in general) is two-fold...
First, the supposition that to be a successful entrepreneur, we have to make a choice. Apparently, after starting a business, you either Exit Left for entrepreneurial complacency or Exit Right to become a business magnate. Frankly, either/or situations never make me happy...I prefer infinite possibilities. Isn't the very point of owning your own business precisely so you make your own decisions about how to do things and no longer face the decision-making hierarchy found in most traditional workplaces? Because when it boils down to it, I want to do BOTH - I want to work in PJP and on PJP. Should I be the person digging the teaspoons out of our overpriced and marginal commercial dishwasher? Probably not in the long-term planning scenario. Should I be in an office somewhere and not be aware that our overpriced and marginal commercial dishwasher requires someone to dig teaspoons out of it? I hope not, because neither option makes me terribly happy.
Secondly, the automatic assumption that owning a small business means that the long-term goals will be...well, small...makes me righteously indignant. Add on an additional layer that assuming a small business owned by women will be content with making a respectful profit, but keeping everything the same day-in and day-out...well, SIGH, indeed. Jeanne and I need exceptionally large goals and ridiculous strategies to achieve those goals or we are immediately bored. And because we are both in charge, that is a totally legit modus operandi.
I don't doubt that there are a few who will read this and think I've got it all wrong...that a choice has to be made and we need to either Exit Left or Exit Right or we will be lost in East St. Louis while someone steals the hubcaps off our Griswold Family Truckster. But I can't agree just yet. I have some ideas about how it is possible to have both.
Mainly because I want to be a pie mogul. In case I haven't said it before.