You may be thinking what I was thinking before heading down to New York to listen to "The #1 Small Business Guru in the World" - that question is:
"What the heck is a Dreaming Room, and why would I want to be in one?"
Well, on my way to New York I had an opportunity to listen to Michael Gerber's new book, Awakening the Entrepreneur Within and the audio recording gave me a very good idea of what to expect at the Dreaming Room experience.
Essentially, at the age of 70, Michael Gerber had both a personal and a business epiphany. After 30 years of E-Myth teaching, coaching, writing, and mentoring, he realized that he was becoming the Manager that he wrote about - he himself was caught in the limited role of merely running his E-Myth Enterprise, allowing the entrepreneur inside of himself to stay silent (Michael relates this story in the book through a conversation that he had with his mother - who essentially told him to 'go for it').
So, listening to the voice inside of himself (and his Mom), Michael remodeled his E-Myth platform, leading with a simple concept - that an entrepreneur would be better served learning whether or not they are in the right business at all, before turning to the E-Myth system to fix the business that they set out to build. This is essentially 'pre-business planning / preventative maintenance' for entrepreneurs.
I totally get it.
What Michael asks participants to do is to envision the business that they want and how BIG it can possibly be. Michael - as he says in his book - wants the entrepreneur to understand the process of Dreaming about the business (and life) that they truly want, and then to set a Vision for how that business will be born/expanded to fit that Dream. Michael's process calls upon the right brain, creative side of the entrepreneur to drive the business forward. Dreaming occurs before the Visioning / Planning. Better understood, the right-brain leads the process of building a business that is aligned with what you really want out of life.
Of course for most advisors reading this newsletter, we live in a left-brain driven world - economic reports, value drivers, stock market returns, benchmarks, laws to be interpreted and followed, valuation guidelines to follow, rule-setting authorities that guide our daily communications with clients, and on and on with the licensing, continuing education requirements, and so on and so forth. Where in this world of left-brain, analytical thinkers does a Dreaming Room fit in?
Well, if you can get past the initial corniness of the whole notion of paying to sit in a room and Dream (after all, "Can't we just stay at home and do this for free?", you may ask) this becomes a powerful exercise towards reinforcing what drives your business forward. This process also helps you to more easily identify the things that are holding you back from making progress in your business. Here's a hint: the things holding you back are the tasks that you don't enjoy doing, but somehow believe that you are the only person qualified (or that you can currently afford) to do them.
Did I get a book published with my first attempt (actually, with one single manuscript sent to the largest publisher in Finance) because my business building process began with a strictly analytical approach towards business exits? Not at all. In fact, I had a Dream to Transform the State of Business Owner Exit Strategies Worldwide. That is what I am living every day and what is providing a natural accelerant to my business. So, I understand - at a personal and business level - what Michael was talking about, and I could see the wisdom (albeit unorthodox style) of his new business model.
This review of Michael's Dreaming Room experience will mean different things to different people but at the end of the day, it's easiest to understand it as conducting your business and your life by whatever get you really gets you fired up. When that happens, great things tend to occur rather effortlessly.
Michael Gerber figured this out and set out on a new mission to transform how entrepreneurs get themselves into businesses. This process is intended to be vetted out before the businesses are built on weak foundations (not a lot of enthusiasm) and become broken and in need of repair. I applaud Michael for this courage and original business model, as well as with his own ability to break himself free from the 'comfort zone' of his E-Myth business to once again Awaken the Entrepreneur Within himself.
© John M. Leonetti
Specializing in Business Exit Strategies, John M. Leonetti, Esq., M.S. Finance, CM&AA founded Pinnacle Equity Solutions to provide exit strategy planning services to business owners as well as education and training programs for professional advisors. To learn more about John's Exit Strategy Services and his recently published book, "Exiting Your Business, Protecting Your Wealth", visit ExitingYourBusiness.com