The Myth of the Entrepreneur
Last Update: Feb 6, 2017
This is the first in my series of E-Myth Revisited posts. The E-Myth Revisited examines the core myth behind what people believe an entrepreneur is and what it takes in reality to make a small business successful. This series of posts will cover the core topics explained in the E-Myth Revisited book and apply them to being a Wealthy Affiliate and making money online.
The Entrepreneurial Myth
The central premise of the E-Myth Revisited is the idea of the Entrepreneurial Myth. This is the commonly held belief that entrepreneurs are larger than life forces of success. That through bravery, skill, and their own force of will they are able to overcome tremendous odds and achieve the dream of owning their own business.
In the author's experience they are just the opposite. They are often exhausted and over worked. They are struggling to keep their business a float. They are in debt up to their eye balls, and they don't really have any way out of this situation.
Small Business Owner vs Internet Marketer
The E-Myth Revisited approaches entrepreneurship from the perspective of the small business owner. As a result, while the core ideas of the book apply to any business, some of the underlying applications to the Internet Marketing world are a little different.
One of the key differences is what is called the barrier to entry. The barrier to entry for a small business can be quite high. The start up cost and overhead is much higher and often requires a loan or investment to get started. Depending on your locality and business you're probably required to get a license and meet other regulations. Depending on the business you'll also need a store front or office space. Also, if it's a local business you're potential customer base will be restricted to your local area.
Most of those things don't apply to an internet marketing business. I'm specifically using the term “internet marketing business” vs “online business” to exclude the internet businesses that do require large upfront start up costs, warehouses, servers, etc. to launch.
One of the selling points of an internet marketing business is that pretty much anyone can start one. All you need to do is buy hosting and setup a website. The start up cost is likely less than your phone bill. This leads to a slightly different version of the Entrepreneurial Myth that I'll call the Internet Marketer Myth.
The Internet Marketer Myth
The Internet Marketer Myth is the myth of someone that has some how managed to circumvent all of those barriers to entry required to start a small business while still achieving all of the success. They spend a couple of bucks on hosting, throw up a website in a weekend, and six months later they're making enough money to quit they're job and live happily ever after.
Where the image of the small business owner is that of a Hercules with the super human ability to overcome challenges, the image of the internet marketer is that of a trickster able to scheme their way around the challenges. This can be seen in the serial purchases of the new ebook and training courses of the latest internet marketing strategies. This habit comes from the idea that if you haven't become successful yet it's because you haven't found the right scheme.
The Reality of the Internet Marketer
About a month ago I posted the image Life of a Wealthy Affiliate. It was meant to be a joke, but a lot of people also saw some truth in it. The reality of an “internet marketer” is that of an individual that is engaged by the benefits of having their own business, but doesn't see it like a business because it doesn't require the same initial commitment. Often times they jump from one idea to the next trying to find that “one idea” which will get them the holy grail of financial freedom, time freedom, and the ability to work from where ever they want.
They find a new system. They get excited about it. They go full speed ahead for a few months. When they don't see the results they want they get frustrated. They stop spending time on their website. Maybe they go looking for a new system. Maybe they give up for a while only to return later and try it again. Maybe they give up forever and decide “internet marketing” is just a scam.
This is a generalization, and you may not completely reflect your experience. However, it is generally true for a lot of people trying to make money online. The mindset of a "typical" internet marketer is different from a "typical" small business owner, because the initial commitment is dramatically smaller. However, the ultimate road to success is really the same for both of them.
We'll talk more later about the differences between the traditional small business owner and an internet marketer, because it relates to how the E-Myth explains the root problems of building a successful business. How it applies to the two is different, but the underlying problem is the same for both.
The key is to start dispelling the myth. Internet marketing is a business just like any other business. The only difference is the start up cost and barrier to entry. All the other things that go into building a successful business still apply. As we progress through the E-Myth Revisited series we will examine these fundamental practices and apply them to building an internet marketing business.
I hope you found something useful in this post and I look forward to your thoughts and comments.