Why the E-Myth is a must read for those interested in business.

I just finished reading an excellent book that has been around for years. It’s called the E-Myth and starts by painting a picture of working in business that intimidated and scared me into thinking that I couldn’t possibly do it. More than that, I would always ponder why someone would go through so many intense challenges just for the sake of their business. 

Gerber attributes the failure of many small businesses not to a lack of skill, but to lack of knowledge about what the priorities are. The image of the small business owner as the lone crusader in a fight to keep the business going is a reality for some people. Someone close to me was having many very similar challenges quite recently with their business. Gerber then proceeds to describe an alternative way to establish, run and grow a business so that it achieves predictable results of success. Now obviously, that isn’t a guarantee, but the main ideas that I took away from the book were:

* Your business should become your vehicle and help you to live the life you want to, not become a burden and source of misery.

* In the words of Stephen Covey, beginning with the end in mind will ensure that you have a broader vision of what you want your company to eventually blossom into.

* The best businesses have create a culture that compels everyone connected to it to produce good work. This is down to creating an environment of purpose where each person feels their work is valued and important.

* Well thought out systems of operation go a long way to making sure that people who enter the business understand exactly what is required of them meaning that business owners can focus on strategy rather than technical work.

* Well planned systems means that your business can operate without you even being there. Thus creating the freedom that all business owners went into enterprise for in the first place.

* The organisational hierarchy of the company should be created at it’s inception, not when the company grows as that might be too late.

*Discovering your primary aim (The reason why you want to start a business) will help you make decisions about the company that allow it suit your needs and wants. 

If any of these ideas or concepts interest you, I would strongly encourage you read the book. I gained a huge amount from it, and will no doubt be referring back to it over and again once I start creating my own business.

I wish you the best

Shaun

Self-acceptance is more important than self-improvement?

I have always been very passionate about the role of self-improvement in my life. The name of my blog shows that I believe in a holistic way of life. Self- improvement has served me well in that capacity because I believe I am more effective now than I was in the past.
However, there was always an idea that puzzled me. It was a paradox in my thinking.
If I’m always striving towards new goals, when will I get the feeling of being successful? When will I enjoy the fruits of all the work I’ve done on self-improvement?
The missing piece between success and self-improvement is self-acceptance. I now realise that without self-acceptance, there is the danger that you will never be happy with your success. Success isn’t a tangible thing. It’s a feeling, and that feeling is relative. If you took two people with the exact same circumstances in life, one could be the happiest person alive and the other person the most miserable. The way they perceive what they have and their level of identification with those things, will determine whether they feel successful.
When I have felt successful in life has been when I have cultivated that state internally. It is the journey towards the goals as well as the end point that can create a feeling of success.
I am working on self- acceptance because I realised I was playing a dangerous game where I was losing the ability to be happy in the present moment because I was forever chasing goals. The goals were not the problem, it was my identification with the result of attaining them. In short, because I was obsessing over achievement, I would have been dissatisfied with my level of income, health, relationships or career. I was making the false assumption that those things are who I am. I cannot wait for the ideal of everything before I become happy. That is not true living.
Self-acceptance is the subtle art of knowing yourself internally so that you don’t have to rely on the external things around you for identity. I understand why people chase success symbols like cars, huge houses and other similar things. It is almost a way of measuring your level of success in the world. However, this measurement system is fundamentally flawed because it does not go deeply enough. It also cannot measure the intangible elements that really make us who we are. Here are some of them.
Our core values
Our purpose
Being happy
Having the ability to immerse fully in the present moment
Love.
A connection to a force that is greater than our-selves.
These things are the timeless.
Let go of the idea that your external possessions are who you really are. Become in tune with the concept, that everything you need for life you already have inside of you. Look within. Here is a resource to help with this.
http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-Self-Acceptance-Can-Crack-Open-Your-Life This is a ten day programme of activities that are designed to help you start thinking about self acceptance. I have found some of them useful especially day one. It was really challenging to think that deeply about myself and it did give me some perspective on who I really am. I really liked this paragraph to explain what self-acceptance means:
Self-acceptance is the process of befriending the Unconditioned Self—the part of you that is more than just your name, your history, your story, your failures or your successes. You are more than just your experiences or how other people see you or the clothes you wear.
I wish you the best.

Post 010 : What should education be about?

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/suli-breaks-the-secret-of-success-forget-exams–its-all-about-getting-the-breaks-8630036.html

‘I saw one of his videos a few weeks ago and it really struck a chord. As a fifty something year old, I feel that my education aimed to prepare me for narrowly defined roles within an ‘establishment’ society. It didn’t encourage me to think creatively, or to seek less conventional opportunities, or indeed to try to change society. When my son went to school a couple of decades later, much the same was happening, and I’ve no reason to believe it’s changed now. I’ve spent all my working life in a reasonably well paid job which I hate. OK, so its kept poverty at bay, but surely there’s more to life than that. It’s only recently that I’ve begun to realize that my so called ‘good’ education has held me back, and I’m finally doing something about it’

I read this when reading the comments after an article talking about spoken word artist Suli Breaks. He has a problem with the current education system in England. He basically believes that the emphasis on passing exams and grades is to the detriment of the children going through the system.

I agree with this. I am currently a teacher, and it is being turned into a place of cold efficiency, teaching tricks and uniformity. I was recently in a meeting with other teachers where we shared our practices and what we were doing with our children. More than ever before, there is a growing relentless drive on driving up standards of performance in the classroom. So much so, that teachers are feeling burnt out, tired, stressed and uninspired by the massive opportunities that they have to work with the future generation on a daily basis. The ironic thing is that in most cases, the standard of teaching that our children receive is good. However, if you read the media recently, you wouldn’t believe that.

On a personal level, I find the whole business  overwhelming at times because there are according to who you speak to so many ‘priorities’ that it can be easy to get lost in a black hole of paperwork and fads.  I think that this is the main problem with the education system in the u.k today. There doesn’t seem to be a collective spirit anymore of what education should be about. Do we want our children to be able to regurgitate facts, or do we want them to learn how to think? Do we want to challenge and expand their thoughts and feelings about the world around them or do we want them to focus on academics at the expense of building character and a world view. The education system will stay in a perpetual state of chaos until there is unity between all people who participate in it. Either that, or we allow the parents to choose the type of education that their children go on to pursue.

I feel that my time is coming to an end in the classroom simply because I’m not sure that I’m doing the best work that I could with the youth in there. I feel a growing need to leave the classroom and create something new and unique that could help children and adults focus on all aspects of themselves and to learn how to connect with who they truly are. I haven’t got it all planned out yet, but I feel that I will offer much more true value when I do this because I will be connected much more strongly to the principles behind my actions. Young people today need guidance in many areas. When I think back on my school days, the idea that your grades were everything was very strong. We were told on many occasions that the grades we got would be the passport to success. I now think differently. I believe that the character and values we have as well as the actions we take are the true determinant of success in the real world. School is so extrinsically based that the opportunity to go inward and discover ourselves and unique abilities can sometimes be missed.  I want to become a facilitator of that self discovery for as many people as possible and provide opportunities for this to take place in and out of the classroom.

I basically want to help create life long learners.

 What do you feel are the most important aspects of a first class education? 

I wish you the best

Shaun