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by: Bernard Teo






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List of Categories : Commentary * Database * Singapore * Technology * Travel *

Sun 18 May 2003

Thinking for a Living

Category : Commentary/thinkingliving.txt

I thought about calling this weblog "Thinking for a Living" because that's what I do - I get paid for having ideas and figuring out how to get them implemented - initially for an assortment of government agencies, and then, for the company that I helped to start.

After seven years of plenty (even though somebody once told me you can't make money as Mac developers), we're now, the three of us, living off the fat (somewhat) and that's why I've got time to waste writing this weblog.

One thing I've learnt, and I don't know if anyone wants to hear, but here goes (if you've come back, you must have found something interesting) :

One. Michael Gerber (The E-Myth) is right. Most small businesses don't work. In The E-Myth Revisited, Gerber describes, through the experience of a bakery shop owner, how you can start with a bright idea and fall towards despair, chained to the treadmill, doing everything yourself, struggling just to keep from slipping behind.

It was, for me, a powerfully visceral image. Life as an entreprenuer was often like that. Despair was always just around the corner.

I've learnt that you've got to make your business work like a machine, able to make money even when you're not there. The irony was that we did manage to help other people run their business like a machine, through the systems we designed and built for them. While these businesses ran like clockwork, we ran ourselves to the ground.

So, it's time to go back to the drawing board. But how do we build the ultimate business machine of our own? Can we succeed? Stay tuned, to find out.

Posted at 1:27PM UTC | permalink


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