Free Pass for 2009 Sales & Marketing Symposium: Winning Customers in the Era of Social Media

I look forward to attending Liminal Group’s 2009 Sales & Marketing Symposium, a half-day morning taking place next Wednesday, March 25, 2009 from 9am to 12pm, at Asia Society, 725 Park, NY. I have one complimentary pass provided by Liminal Group —if you’d like it, write in the comments (preferred) or mail me to indicate why you would benefit from a free pass.”

Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Time: 8:00am – 12:00pm EST
Location: Asia Society
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021

Speakers:

Penelope Trunk, author, Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success .

Paul Greenberg, author, CRM at the Speed of Light: Essential Customer Strategies for the 21st Century, President, The 56 Group, LLC; founding partner of CRM training company, BPT Partners, LLC. At the end of 2007, he was the #1 non-vendor influencer, by InsideCRM in their annual “25 Most Influential CRM People” announcement. He was also named one of the most influential CRM leaders in 2008 by CRM Magazine.

David van Toor, General Manager for Sage’s CRM group.

New York Events: Best Practices of Venture Capitalists in Identifying Investment Opportunities

I’m starting to release the findings from the large research study I’ve been leading on “Best Practices of Venture Capitalists and Private Equity Firms in Identifying Private Company Investment Opportunities”. My colleagues from Evalueserve and I have interviewed over 100 venture capitalists and private equity investors for this study.

I have two speaking engagements coming up in New York where I’ll be discussing our findings. I hope that you can attend! Of course, I welcome feedback/discussion.

Feb. 19, 6:30pm: Israeli Business Forum
1500 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, NY

Feb. 24, 6:30pm: MIT Enterprise Forum,
100 Park Avenue, 24th Floor, New York, NY

Among the issues I’ll discuss:
– How are you positioning yourself to become a company`s preferred investor?
– In the current tough climate, how can you lower your deal origination costs?
– What does research on deal-origination indicate are the primary sources of deal flow for institutional investors?
– What are you doing to identify companies that might be interested in being approached?
– What are the earmarks of a potential investment opportunity?
– How are you systematically identifying industries/situations in which you may be able to create new companies, rather than find existing companies?
– How do you increase your inflow of useful referrals?
– What is the best way to make warm cold calls?

I have attached the draft slides below:

How Lawyers Can Grow Billings Using Online Networks and Internet Marketing

I’ve been engaged lately in several projects for attorneys and law firms, with the objective of expanding their business clientele through an online presence. Consider it “LinkedIn and Beyond for Lawyers.” An online presence — in social networks, blogs, webinars — has become more acceptable, even expected, for attorneys in the last few years.

  • LinkedIn, the largest networking site for professionals across industries, has over 750,000 lawyers and legal services providers with profiles.
  • The American Bar Association site lists over 5,000 ‘blawgs by lawyers.
  • Specialized communities are sprouting. LegalOnRamp is an online network exclusively for corporate general counsel to interact with each other and law firms; featuring more-than-cursory articles, a wiki to freely publish documents, survey results and industry data; and an active Ask the Expert section.

Where’s the benefit? The most common question for those starting to focus online is: “What do I get out of it? I created a LinkedIn profile but haven’t gotten any inquiries.” Of course, your results vary with effort. Consider a few common objectives:

  • You want to maintain contact with affiliates and other lawyers that will refer business to you. In this case, a profile for each professional, inserting the bios from your web site, is a good start on LinkedIn. Once these are published, you can request connections to your colleagues already on LinkedIn. Xing is a comparable social network emphasizing Europe and Asia and Plaxo is another recommended service with 40m subscribers, in which you receive updates about colleagues’ change of contact information. You can also publish quick thoughts or new to all your colleagues on these sites, which will complement regular emails and holiday cards. This assumes you have a solid electronic contact database. For this, Microsoft Outlook is a good start, with Microsoft Business Contact Manager or Avidian’s Prophet to enable contact sharing in a midsize firm, or Salesforce for a larger, multi-office practice (see this LinkedIn Question & Answer Chat about the best contact manager for a small to mid-sized firm). Creating your LinkedIn presence can take less than an hour in this minimal approach, with cleaning up your contact database being the major task. However, the result is that people who know and appreciate you will find you more easily, not that new prospects will seek your counsel.
  • You want prospective clients that are evaluating your practice to find a solid web presence. Here, you’ll want to polish your professionals’ LinkedIn profiles to include a bio written in an approachable first person. Change the standard “Ms. Doe is a patent lawyer representing firms of all sizes…” to include specialties (“I have worked extensively with both manufacturing and non-manufacturing technology entities, such as universities and the NIH“) and benefits (“I… help clients execute on strategies to leverage the value of their IP“). Then, add at least 20 links/connections to clients and colleagues; a photo and a vanity LinkedIn URL with your name, and have several clients publish short testimonials for your work (which you can propose in draft form and have them revise). This may take a few hours but puts you into the realm of credible online presence, beyond your web site.
  • You want prospects you’ve met to keep you in mind. For this case, minimally consider a quarterly e-newsletter with updates on law in their industry, and your publicly-known cases. One effective approach is to orient your content by industry of your client, rather than by legal domain — which few lawyers seem to do. A pharmaceutical client, a telecommunications company and an e-commerce startup use different language to refer to their intellectual property needs — one speaks of protecting an new product pipeline, another defending its technology and the third seeing a competitor copy their online brand. For them, it’s insufficient to state on LinkedIn that “I serve all industries” and leave it at that, or to write about patent /trademark activity across multiple industries. Free or for-fee webinars, or local lunches work well, as does joint presentations with complimentary service providers, such as a local private equity fund or networking association.
  • You want to solicit new business interest through your online presence. This is where substantial time is needed, because so many lawyers are attempting the same thing. Only a few per domain of expertise can break through the clutter, so you’ll want to strive for the frequency and depth of content that only one or two other firms can match when you search Google. You can accomplish this by writing white papers that help clients, or being the most frequent and insightful blog on a particular topic such as food and drug law, as well as a public speaker. Also, consider creative and even bold offers, such as Clock Tower Law’s offer of a free trademark registration for a startup. And combine online initiatives with local business development, such soliciting speaking engagements. One of my clients and I are working with a cost-effective outsourced service to find and monitor industry events for speaking opportunities, and having an executive assistant at the law firm propose the practice leader as a speaker.

Finally, be aware of how others are writing about you on the web. ZoomInfo compiles career biographies of anyone who has had a professional profile published on the web. Two lawyers I tracked shared first and last names (their middle name differed), but very different track records and some information had been confused between them by the automated system. You can fix this by claiming ownership about your data and correcting it. A site such as Vault.com lets prospective employees write about their experience with your firm. One firm I was tracking had a strong presence on Google, ranking 5th when I searched for “NY intellectual property law firm.”  Yet on Vault, the first comment to appear was from a paralegal job candidate who wrote “If you [even] speak English, they will hire you,”  and another candidate said “the place is in shambles.” Not an attractive situation!

In sum, it takes little effort to get online and stay in touch with those who appreciate your reputation. Actually building your reputation online takes more time, but there are intermediate steps that allow you and your firm to match your business development goals with time availability.

For more thoughts, see the powerpoint I’ve posted below about how law firms can grow their revenues with Web 2.0 technologies. This is an update of a presentation I made a little while ago to the New York County Lawyers Association.

Lead Generation 2.0: How Entrepreneurs are Fueling the Next Wave of Innovation in Internet Marketing

Following are my notes on last night’s MIT Enterprise Forum event: “Lead Generation 2.0: How Entrepreneurs are Fueling the Next Wave of Innovation in Internet Marketing

Moderator: Brian Hirsch, Managing Director, Greenhill SAVP
Brian Hirsch is a Managing Director of Greenhill SAVP and a Co-Chairman of the Fund`s Investment Committee. Prior to joining SAVP in 2004, Mr. Hirsch was a Principal at Sterling Venture Partners and led the firm`s investments in technology-related companies. Mr. Hirsch is currently a board member of BDMetrics, BestContractors, FTRANS, iKobo, Pontiflex and Serious. Brian previously sat on the board of YellowJacket (acquired by the Intercontinental Exchange, NYSE:ICE) and KnowledgeStorm (acquired by TechTarget, NASDAQ:TTGT). Prior to joining Sterling Venture Partners, Mr. Hirsch was a vice president at ABN AMRO Private Equity (AAPE”), the U.S. venture capital group of ABN AMRO N.V., one of the world`s largest banks. Before joining AAPE, Mr. Hirsch worked as a senior consultant at KPMG in the Information, Communications & Entertainment (ICE) practice, where his clients included General Electric, CBS/Westinghouse and the Tribune Company.

Hirsch: We’re very excited about lead-gen. 2007 Sales : $1.3b. Twice growth rate of search or email marketing. $2b in 2008
Have backed 4 lead gen companies in the last space

Drew Patterson, VP of Marketing, Kayak.com
Drew Patterson is responsible for product marketing and lead generation through Kayak`s travel suppliers and distribution partners. Kayak is the world’s largest travel search engine and was co-founded by founders of Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity. Kayak.com’s investors include General Catalyst Partners, Sequoia Capital, America Online and London-based Accel Partners.
Prior to joining Kayak, Drew held a number of positions at Starwood Hotels. As Director Pricing for Starwood, Drew was responsible for Starwood`s Pricing group, which develops and executes Starwood`s pricing and revenue management strategies. This includes management of the Starwood rate structure, analysis to identify effective pricing strategies, observations on company revenue performance and trends, and training for the field revenue management organization.
As Director, Distribution Strategy, Drew was responsible for the development and implementation of Starwood`s distribution strategy, including leading Starwood`s Best Rate Guarantee in 2002 and developing TravelWeb, the hospitality industry`s response to the independent lodging discount websites. Drew joined Starwood in 1999 as Manager of Business Development, responsible for developing partnerships and new business opportunities. Drew graduated from Harvard and received his MBA from Columbia University`s Graduate School of Business. He resides in New York City.

Patterson: We’re both a vendor and a buyer of leads.

Suaad H. Sait, Chief Executive Officer, ReachForce.com
Suaad Sait is CEO of ReachForce. ReachForce, based in Austin, Texas, provides data and software solutions that enable B2B companies to laser target marketing and sales initiatives at the right person in the right company, every time. As an entrepreneur and high tech industry executive, Suaad has played leadership roles at start-up companies as well as large publicly traded firms. Mr. Sait is the driving force positioning the company as a leader in the emerging marketing and sales force automation segments of the CRM OnDemand market.
Prior to ReachForce, Suaad was the vice president and general manager of Products & Markets at Pervasive Software (PVSW) with world-wide P&L responsibility of the entire product line. Suaad served as the Chief Marketing Officer and COO of Liaison Technology (acquired by Forest Express) repositioning the company into a software platform for supplier catalog content management. Before Liaison, Suaad served as vice president of product marketing at Motive Communications (MOTV). He was on the founding team for Ventix Systems and served as the vice president and general manager of the enterprise business and vice president of marketing. Suaad has also held leadership positions at DAZEL Corporation (acquired by Hewlett Packard), InConcert Software (acquired by TIBCO), CAP Ventures and Xerox Corporation. Suaad earned his Master of Science in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Rochester and a Bachelor of Science in electrical and computer engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Suaad has served as a Mentor for the New Venture Creation program at the McCombs School of Business – The University of Texas at Austin since the Fall of 2005. He also currently serves as an Executive Advisory Board Member of the Austin Chapter of the American Marketing Association. In, addition Suaad serves as a board member of the Austin Technology Entrepreneurs’ eXchange (“Texchange”).

Sait: Our founding team was tired of ‘spray and pray’ marketing. We developed analytics around your sales funnel. We’ll custom-build leads databases for you.

Brad Powers, CEO Active Response Group
We’re getting 100,000 registrations/day. Strictly paid on performance.

Zephrin Lasker, Chief Executive Officer, Pontiflex.com
Zephrin Lasker is CEO of Pontiflex. Pontiflex, based in Brooklyn, NY, is the first open data transfer network connecting publishers, advertisers and agencies. The company allows advertisers and publishers to reach the entire lead generation market, find partners, make deals and transfer lead data through a single online platform.
Zephrin has been involved with online marketing since its inception more than a decade ago. Zephrin is also a serial entrepreneur, having successfully launched two start-ups prior to Pontiflex. Pontiflex is backed by New Atlantic Ventures and Greenhill SAVP.
In the course of his career, Zephrin has played a key role in shaping campaign successes for a variety of clients such as Sprint, Cendant, Earthlink, and eFax, helping them acquire over 8 million new customers. Prior to co-founding Pontiflex, Zephrin founded The North Road Group, an interactive agency. He has also worked as Vice President of Business Development at i33 Communications, where he managed sales and technical teams to help deliver new customers, launch state-of-the-art websites and deploy cutting edge marketing initiatives.
Prior to i33, Zephrin worked at Commerce One Global Services managing Sprint’s new web initiatives. He has also co-founded the e-commerce company Beautility, where he served as Chief Operating Officer.
Zephrin has a background in corporate finance. He has worked for Dresdner Kleinwort Benson in the areas of corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. Zephrin began his career as an Equity Analyst at Creditanstalt in Prague. He is an avid fly fisherman and is currently learning how to spray cast. He has a BA degree from Reed College.

Lasker: Central place to buy leads.

Discussion
Hirsch: Define lead generation
Powers: Permission-based expression of interest.
Zephrin: Any media that can be sold on a cost-per-lead basis
Sait: Identifying the right buyer is important.

Hirsch: Distinguish b2b and b2c.
Sait: In B2B, Target person is often hidden within the organization. In B2C, it’s much clearer who the buyer is.

Hirsch: Distinguish marketing leads vs. sales leads
Lasker: We’re focused on ‘ marketing leads’, which we think of as generic rather than specific. A marketing lead is brand-specific. A marketing lead usually has fewer fields (just name, zip), whereas a sales lead will often have more data (FICO score, etc.)

Hirsch: How should a marketer think about allocating his budget?
Powers: First think about your maximum permissible cost per sale/cost per lead.
Lasker: lead-gen is half the puzzle; email marketing is the other half. Have a good CRM program, good KPIs set up. Follow your open rate.
Lasker: How do you define success? Leads are the lifeblood of business. A lot of people look at conversion.
Sait: Do as much experimentation as possible. It’s cheap.
Powers: We came up with some guidelines for data transfer for the IAB.
Lasker: We started as the Paypal of lead-gen—an easy way to transfer leads between advertisers and publishers.

Hirsch: What legal issues should you be monitoring?
Powers: we have many consumer-facing sites, and are very diligent about making sure we’re compliant. We’re dealing with PII (personally identifiable information) so you have to encrypt everything. In the EU, anyone providing you leads must be Safe Harbor certified. I.e., you’re recognized as having secure data and procedures. Also, must be compliant with DNC (Do Not Call) list. Lead-gen can create an implied business relationship with end consumer, so you don’t have to check against the Do Not Call list.

Hirsch: Where will lead-gen grow? Which verticals?
Patterson: search engines don’t like lead-gen arbitrage sites (i.e., direct navigation). We prefer sites (like Kayak) which add value to the funnel.
Powers: one month our #1 offer was prepaid funerals. I almost fired my VP of Sales for signing them, and it paid for a chunk of my kid’s college education. A big area of growth is building on-demand hyperqualified lists.

Hirsch: Where does Google sit in the lead-gen universe?
Powers: There’s a finite amount of search ads available at a productive cost. It can get expensive very quickly.
Sait: For clients way out in the long tail, with very niche sites, Google is very good.

Question: How do you assign a value for a lead?
Answer: Depends on what you’re seeking

Question: Compare quality of leads from Microsoft, Yahoo, Google? And how does ROI compare on display vs. PPA?
Answer: Google has better conversion but higher prices. So on a net basis, the ROI is comparable to the competition.

We have not figured out how to measure the value of display ads.
Powers: tail end of social network inventory is almost unmonetizable.
Lasker: we just rolled out a lead-gen box in a banner, so you get both the branding and the lead-gen benefit.

Company Presentation
Vitals.com
Vitals was created to give consumers the tools — for the first time — to make intelligent, informed decisions about which doctor to choose. The Vitals.com web site offers consumers a variety of ways to help in their choice of the right doctor. And it allows physicians to keep track of what others are saying, gives them the opportunity to let consumers know about their work, and lets them make sure their profile is complete and accurate. Vitals’ business plan will be presented by Mitchel Rothschild, Founder and CEO.

30m people per month search doctors by name or by location/specialty.

3 big issues: location, specialty, and insurance network
Then other criteria are on the softer side: gender, languages, bedside manner, ethnicity

Background data:
30% increase in ‘excellent’ rating when people rate people of the same ethnic affinity.
What people want in a doctor: takes time; honest & direct; eye contact

First, we built a database of the 720K doctors in the US
We then mapped the healthweb. Found 20,000 sources of data about doctors: hospital websites, board certs, licenses, publications. We extracted all that and applied it to our database.

Three parts of wheel clients use in judging a doctor:
1. Quality: education, special expertise (22% of drs. are not board-certified.)
Current profile:
2. Add in consumer ratings from various sites (TripAdvisor as model)
3. Peer reviews: Partnered with Castle Connolly. Over 200K peer evaluations

Went live in January. We have millions of home pages which match up with the search that you’re making. We’ve spent $8K so far on lead gen. 1M visitors currently. Great search engine optimization.

Sources of Revenue

1. We’re a media property
2. Data leasing. We’ll reskin our site for various health plans and employers. Most health plans built their directory back in 1998, and haven’t updated since. We get 15-20 commercial users per day, usually hospitals, medical centers, etc.
3. Three basic human emotions: Greed, fear and ego. Because doctors have lots of ego, we’ll help doctors fill out the wall of fame in their offices. Doctors will also pay a lot for this.
4. Lead-gen: personalized search. Appointment-setting thru hospitals. Elective care procedures. Expected cost of visit. Patient advocate for reimbursement with health insurer. Choice of hospital for procedure. Purchase of needed equipment/services. Second opinion.

Online consults mainly used by younger patients with younger doctors, e.g., a pregnant teenager.

We don’t typically have a lot of repeat visitors, given the nature of our site.

Today, we focus on advertising / data leasing. Lead gen is the long term future for us. We’re currently pricing our advertising on a CPM basis. Some are PPA.

1m visitors per day, about 85% unique
5 page views/visitor

Q: How did you get consumers to review the doctors initially?
A: We bought them initially, and now about 3-4 % of visitors will do a review. That’s 50,000 per day. We do a little SEM to get reviews.

John Peters, Tripology
Tripology is a new website aimed at connecting consumers with travel agents that specialize in the type of trip they wish to take. Tripology.com aims to take the hassle out of finding a great travel agent. There are a lot of expert travel professionals out there with a great deal of useful knowledge and terrific prices, but consumers don’t have a good way of finding them. And they don’t have a good way of finding consumers. Tripology`s business plan will be presented by its President and CEO, John T. Peters.

$3.25m raised
8,000 registered travel specialists
45,000 leads since june 07

Agent buys 16 leads ($5 each).
Conversion rate: 6.5%
Avg. # leads before booking : 16
Avg. gross booking: $5,000
Agent commission (10%): $500

We tell them to spend $100 on us to do a real test.

Currently flat pricing ($5/lead), but this will change to variable pricing
This is a $581m market opportunity across US, UK Canada, Australia, other Anglophone countries

eMarketer just came out with first market research on this sector.

Competitors include:
Zicasso, Respond.com, 4TravelAgents, VacationCompare

We sell a lead up to 3 times.
We’re building tools on backend for agent.

We say, this is not just a lead, this is a customer for life.

We don’t need to do much database fixing, because agents have very strong incentive to be honest about their expertise.

Agents will often list a very long list of specialties. But they’ll pay more for leads they’re convinced they can win.

Building a business by leveraging the talents of autistic people

I recently learned about an entrepreneur with a very clever business model: Thorkil Sonne, founder of Danish software testing company Specialisterne.  The 55-person firm’s clients include CSC, Microsoft, and Oracle.

Specialisterne claims to be the world’s first company focused on leveraging the unique talents of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  Sonne started the company in large part to ensure that people with ASD—including his own son—would have employment opportunities.  ASD, the most common form of autism, affects close to 1% of the population, but only 10% of ASD adults obtain any form of employment.

Software testing is a repetitive role which requires high attention to detail, and is an excellent fit for the typical ASD personality. 75% of Specialisterne’s testers have Asperger syndrome or a form of ASD.  Sonne estimates that 1% of all the tasks executed in a given large company are suitable for autistic workers.

What I particularly like about this is that Sonne identified a community of talent almost unused by the labor market, and has built a successful firm on that insight.  From the point of view of both profit and of social welfare, he has built a powerful model. He is now expanding internationally.

How Law Firms Can Increase Their Billings with Web 2.0 Technologies

I finally had a chance to upload slides prepared by my partner Scott Lichtman on how law firms can use Web 2.0 technologies to increase their billings. Download.

When Internet Marketing Meets Web 2.0

What happens when the “old new world” of internet marketing (and by that, I don’t mean the general sense of marketing on the internet, but more specifically the world of affiliate marketing and information products) collides with the “new world” of Web 2.0?

Well, the result isn’t always pretty. It seems that all the internet marketing gurus are trying to get their head around (and their fingers in) Web 2.0, and sometimes, the fast-talking, hype-laden, list-building mentality just doesn’t jibe with the authenticity and relationship-driven approach of Web 2.0.

Case in point… I recently saw an ad for The Authority Black Book (note: this link does not constitute an endorsement – I’m providing it so you can see for yourself), promising “The Best Web 2.0 Resources for Generating Traffic and Winning Customers”.

See, here’s the thing. Web 2.0 isn’t just about technology. Web 2.0 is about technology enable authentic relationships — people connecting with other people over some common interest. So when the whole sales process for something like this completely violates that promise, it kind of makes you wonder just how much the people behind it really “get” Web 2.0.

You can read the first in what I plan to be a 3-part series reviewing this e-book and related programs on my new blog, Revenue River:

Pet Peeve: Web 2.0 Gurus Who Really Don’t Get Web 2.0

Be sure to leave a comment… when one of the people behind this thing finally discovers that blog post, I’d love to have a show of force there.

InfoWorld: Social Media: Overhyped or Under-executed? Strategies for Success.

I hope to see you at this upcoming event:

Sponsor: InfoWorld
Title: Social Media Breakfast: Overhyped or Under-executed? Strategies for Success.
Location: Roosevelt Hotel, New York City
Time: Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Register for this complimentary event by clicking here: http://www.infoworld.com/3909

Social Media is experiencing phenomenal growth. As a highly effective and efficient way to communicate with Information Technology professionals, IT Peer to Peer Communities are gaining ground quickly. Yet key questions remain on how to best market to this new media.

Topics includes:
* New proprietary research on Social Media trends and technologies
* Hear from expert panelists on Social Media implementation and ROI opportunities
* Testimonials from marketing and advertising executives using Social Communities today

Experts participating in panel discussions:
* Julien Blin, Research Analyst and Social Media Expert, IDC
* Allen Fear, Director of Online Content & Production, InfoWorld
* David Teten, Co-Managing Director, Nitron Circle of Experts; Author, The Virtual Handshake
* Mike Walsh, CEO, Leverage Software
* Additional speakers TBD

By attending the InfoWorld breakfast you will gain expertise in the following topics:
* Tips for developing ads that connect with your target audience
* Measurement techniques and how new tools/metrics are being used to determine ROI
* Ideas on building IT Community loyalty
* Evaluating communications potential and coverage
* Marketing vehicles used to best communicate in an IT Peer to Peer Community.

http://www.infoworld.com/3909

If you would like to invite a colleague to attend this event with you, please forward this email and have them register for a complimentary pass.

How to build comprehensive database of conference companies, events, and contacts?

On behalf of a friend, does anyone have ideas on the query below?

“I am launching an internal speaker’s bureau for a professional services firm. My role is to win speaking engagements (both unpaid and paid) for the senior executives at my firm, particularly in financial services. I would like to compile a comprehensive database of the major conferences worldwide and the speaker selection team at these conferences. My question is: What is the best way to track these events and the speaker selection team information? Should I use an open event platform such as www.Upcoming.org ? Does anyone have any other advice for me? I’m particularly interested in talking with people who work at major speaker bureaus, who could give me insight on these questions. I’ll share my results with Speakernetnews, in the compilations section: http://speakernetnews.com/post/index.html .

Please post your suggestions in the comments below or in a trackback. Thanks!

Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

An interview with Michael Gerber, Author of The E-Myth Revisited:

“If they don’t fail outright, most businesses fail to fully achieve their potential. That’s because the person who owns the business doesn’t truly know how to build a company that works without him or her.. which is the key.” – Michael Gerber

Michael Gerber is the founder and CEO of E-Myth Worldwide, and best selling author of The E-Myth Revisited, and E-Myth Mastery. He defines E-Myth as: 1: The entrepreneurial myth: the myth that most people who start a small business are entrepreneurs, 2: the fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does technical work.

Since its publication in 1995, this business classic has sold over one million copies, and is published in 16 languages. Michael observes that most small businesses are started by “technicians”, that is, people who are skilled at something and who enjoy doing that thing. When these technicians strike out on their own, they tend to continue doing the work they are skilled at, and ignore the overarching aspects of business. Without clear goals and quantification benchmarks, they soon find themselves overworked, understaffed, and eventually broke. They come to hate the work they do. Rather than owning a business, Gerber writes, “they own a job.”

Click here for the interview.