Project Practitioners > The People Within: Part 1 of 3

The People Within: Part 1 of 3

By Chris Cook, PMP

READ TIME: 5 minutes


As I begin my journey into the ownership of a small business, one book that was recommended to me was “The E Myth: Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber. The following is a description:

“An instant classic, this revised and updated edition of the phenomenal bestseller dispel the myths about starting your own business. Small business consultant and author Michael E. Gerber, with sharp insight gained from years of experience, points out how common assumptions, expectations, and even technical expertise can get in the way of running a successful business.

Gerber walks you through the steps in the life of a business—from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective: the guiding light of all businesses that succeed—and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether or not it is a franchise. Most importantly, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business.

The E-Myth Revisited will help you grow your business in a productive, assured way.”

In reading “The E Myth: Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber, he explains every small business owner has three people within them. The entrepreneur, the manager, and the technician make up the trinity of a small business owner.

This does not only apply to small business owners but also owners of a job. The trouble people who start a business have breaking free is the ownership of a job rather than a business. They fall too far into the technician side of the business and let the other areas take care of themselves.

In this three-part series, I want to take a deeper look into the three aspects of a small business owner and how it relates to a project manager within an organization.

Let’s discuss the areas of an entrepreneur:



The visionary/dreamer looks at the what-ifs and sees the big picture. Down the road, ideas are turning into realities. That vision the team has in the pre-construction meeting starts to shape itself in the eyes of an entrepreneur.

What could be…is how the vision starts. You have a picture in your mind of the perfect scenario. The crews and their locations are set. The equipment and deliveries are established. Everything will run smoothly. After this project, you may need to hire another team member. You will need more equipment for larger projects. Everything will scale once this project is complete.

Your entrepreneurial spirit runs wild. The dreams and visions are only limited to your imagination. Turn your three-person team into thirty, or three hundred. Who is counting? Take that one piece of equipment performing all of the work and quintuple it.

You can run your team like an organization. Start to tap into their entrepreneurial spirits. Everyone wants to dream. Let them share theirs and how it can help the team and organization.


Lives in the Future

Do not let the present or the past cloud the future. This portion of your personality is supposed to be wild-haired and bright-eyed. The future is limitless. No one knows until you create it. This starts with having the vision of what the future holds. Then, your other aspects make it happen.

Envisioning the future also helps to shape the present and any decisions moving forward. You know where you want to go. Now, it is all about how to get there. Put the pin on the map where your team is headed. Let everyone see how this project turns out. They will think you are a fortune teller with your ability to predict the future.

In reality, you are creating the future. Your dreams and visions are shaping the way your team interacts and performs. They start to see where this ship is headed and get excited. Share your visions with others. However, you must be about that action, boss. All the fancy graphs and pictures only go so far. Eventually, you have to back up these words. But leave that for your other facets of management within yourself.


Challenges are Opportunities

The obstacle becomes the way. Rather than something to run from, you run towards these challenges. You want to create solutions. You envision a solution to every problem. You dream of a better way of doing things. This rut is only temporary. Once the light bulb goes on, the project changes.

You start to use challenges as ways to uptick creativity amongst your team. The second a challenge is overcome, they start to see your vision and get on board. You are not just fanciful ideas. You are someone who envisions then executes.

The recognition and praise lie within the challenges. For every challenge you nullify, the more recognition you receive. People come to you with their challenges looking for advice. You are the challenge whisperer. These challenges are not to be shied away from but to attack. There lies the opportunity.



For some, this entrepreneurial outlook is exciting. They get a chance to dream and live in the future. The past and present may be dreary, but the future provides hope. The challenge of now is a future opportunity.

The child within is released in the entrepreneur's brain. You can let your imagination run wild. Limits are no longer. Anything is possible. You see it, therefore, it is. You dream it, therefore, it is. The constraints are gone. The shackles released.

You do not need to be a business owner to have an entrepreneurial outlook. A project manager has the opportunity to dream about what his or her team looks like and how it performs. The projects one accepts are a part of that vision. The location of the office and how many times you have to visit it plays a role. All of these aspects of project management can be dreamed about at the individual level to become reality eventually.

What are your project management dreams?

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