InTents June/July 2021 - 44

business | management
Books that improved me
and my business skills
Self-education comes in many forms.
by Chris Ritsema
E
Got your own books to suggest?
Email your recommendations
to smjones@ifai.com.
ducation is a valuable asset when it
comes to success in life and business.
Going to college is the standard road map
many people use to get an education that
helps them succeed, but I never really
enjoyed the classroom. I wanted to get
out and get busy. I did better with handson
learning, either by myself or having
a mentor working alongside me and
teaching me a process.
I worked in the marine canvas industry
as an employee for 18 years alongside
a great mentor. This style of learning
allowed me to pick up the trade very
quickly. It also helped me understand
the beneit of education from a different
angle. I realized that I could educate
myself outside of the classroom, and
I began to read articles in Marine
Fabricator magazine even though I wasn't
an IFAI member yet.
I already knew how valuable " selfeducation "
was, but I began to understand
that there were many paths that could
lead me to a better educated self. Books
became my road map to success. In this
article, I will share four of the books that
have helped me become a better human
and a better business owner.
The E Myth: Why Most
Businesses Don't Work and
What to Do About It
by Michael E. Gerber
After I spent 18 years working for one
company, that business changed hands
and spiraled downward quickly. This
42 intents june-july 2021
failure was my opportunity to start a
business of my own. I knew I needed
more education if I was going to transition
from employee to business owner. A good
friend and mentor with a lot of business
experience as a production loor manager
and an HR director encouraged me to
read The E Myth.
Before starting my own business, I
felt it was important to understand why
so many businesses fail. I had learned
many things from past employers, and
I had been keeping a mental list of what
not to do. However, this book discusses
many things that can't be seen from the
outside. The book begins by discussing
the fact that many employees think it
is simple to run a successful business.
They believe the boss is making all the
money. I had these same thoughts when
I was an employee.
The book describes a common experience
among many employees who
want to become business owners,
something the author calls the " entrepreneurial
seizure. " This is the moment
most people realize they have no
clue about what running a business is
truly about. The book gives a realistic
overview of how dificult it is to start
and grow a business. It talks about the
pros and cons and how to grow your
business in an appropriate manner. It
breaks down each stage of business
growth from the infant stage into the
adolescent stage on through the mature
entrepreneurial stage.

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