The Business Life Cycle
The E-Myth describes the three major phases a business goes through in the Business Life Cycle. These phases are Infancy, Adolescence, and Maturity. Each of these phases is marked by major evolutions in the business. Below we'll look at the first two phases, infancy and adolescence.
Infancy is described as the technician's phase. When the business is first launched the technician mind is free to just do the work without anyone telling them what to do, and because this is a new business there is a lot of work to do. So the business owner spends long hours giving the business everything it needs to get started. At first, the business owner is happy to do this because the business has set them free and they're willing to pay their dues to get it off the ground.
However, eventually the business grows and starts to demand more than the business owner can provide. The business owner is already devoting all their time and energy to the business and still can not get everything done that needs to be done.
Finally to handle the overwhelming amount of work that needs to be done as the business grows the business owner hires their first employee to take over some aspect of the business. Of course, the aspect they hire somebody to take over is one that they dislike dealing with, so they just hand it off and forget about it. This works out so great that when the employee has free time the business owner hands over more and more things they don't like to do including hiring employees to do things the business owner doesn't want to do.
For a brief while the business owner is overjoyed. They are no longer being overwhelmed by their business and this is everything the business owner wanted from owning a business. Then slowly things start to fall apart. Little by little the business owner starts to realize that things aren't being done the way they want them to be done and balls are being dropped. So the business owner jumps back in to take things over themselves. However, the business has now grown so much that there are even more things to handle and there is no way the business owner can do them all themselves.
At this point one of three things happen. The business owner downsizes everything to a level they can manage themselves again and gets rid of all their employees. Or the business continues to grow until it implodes because the business owner can't control everything that needs to be done. Or the business owner some how manages to barely keep the business alive but it completely consumes the business owners life and the business owner is perpetually miserable.
In the E-Myth Revisited, each of the above phases are covered in their own chapter, however I'm sort of glossing over these steps because I don't think most internet marketers get this far. For internet marketers there is a missing step that comes before infancy that we'll cover in the next post. In the E-Myth there is also a third step called Maturity. Most internet marketers don't get this far either, but this is the step that we want to copy, so we'll be going into more detail on this as well.