This week, I finally got the library notification that The E myth Revisited was ready for pickup. I blogged about this book here and here , other times when I felt a desperate need to become a better yoga-teacher-business-woman. I submitted that book request a long time ago, but it’s now, at this very moment when I’m again contemplating my yoga teaching life, both present and future, that this book traveled to my library shelf with my name on it. I checked the book out. Last night I started reading it. Admittedly, I didn’t get very far. Night reading generally happens in 5-page bursts. But I felt like Mr. Gerber was talking to me and I made it through a whopping 46 pages before I nodded off and began to drool. I’m going to do my best to recount what I remember, but this isn’t going to be highly referenced so don’t quote me.
In these first chapters, Mr. Gerber presents his argument. He says we people have 3 main personalities that arise when we go into business for ourselves and they are often in conflict. There’s the entrepreneur, the visionary who can look into the future and see that today’s little business is destined to change the way that we do things in the world. There’s the pragmatic manager who likes things organized and labeled and predictable. This one isn’t eager for change and because of this, the manager is often a little stuck in the past. And then there’s the technician. This is the personality that just wants to do the job and do it well. The technician likes to be in the body, working with hands and very much in the present. For us yoga teachers, this is the fascination, love and passion that we have for practicing and teaching yoga.
Well, it occurred to me that my yoga teacher, Chase Bossart, talks about the same thing…sort of. He says that it is really helpful to recognize that we have a variety of identities and we behave differently depending on which one we identify with at any given time. And I’d like to add, my identities aren’t always in agreement either. If I’m talking to my sister, I have a certain way of talking, being, and making decisions. And when I’m “Mom,” hanging out with my kids, it’s a really different me. Same goes for time with a friend, being a teacher with a new student, or being a teacher of a long time student. With this in mind, I wondered…what if we gave Michael Gerber’s identities a yogi-spin? How would we relate to these three personalities or ways of identifying if we called the entrepreneur the spirit, the manager the mind, and the technician the body.
Let’s try it out:
The fact of the matter is that we all have a spirit, mind, and body, inside us. And if they were equally balanced, we’d be describing an incredibly competent individual.
The spirit would be free to forge ahead into new areas of interest; the mind would be solidifying the base of operations; and the body would be doing the technical work.
Each would derive satisfaction from the work he does best, serving the whole in the most productive way.
Unfortunately, our experience shows us that few people who go into business/life are blessed with such a balance. Instead, the typical small business owner/person is only 10% spirit, 20% mind, and 70% body. *
Wow. I kind of love this. And it makes we wonder what would happen if I gave my spirit the job of being the visionary, free to forge ahead. Seems like Mr. Gerber has that right. When my spirit has been free to imagine and think big, my mind and body did feel open, courageous and capable. If I don’t get anything else out of this book, I’m glad I got this nugget: Let spirit be the visionary.
My initial dip into this book has reminded me that I have aspects of my personality that I could cultivate to become a more balanced person and business owner. Developing a vision of where I want my teaching and my business to be would be so helpful and I love the idea of offering the task, that creative freedom, to my spirit. Listening closely to what I desire, seek and dream for myself might help me to tap into my inner-entreprenuer. If I continue to develop my ability to focus my attention, then my mind will continue to be better suited to carry out the necessary steps to go in the direction of that vision. And if my body stays grounded, rooted, healthy, connected and open, then this beautiful container that moves around in the world will allow me to continue to connect with my Self and with my students in meaningful ways.
*This comes from from page 28 of the book, The E Myth Revisited; Why most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What do Do About It,
by the self-proclaimed “World’s #1 Small Business Guru,” Michael E. Gerber. I think it’s kind of funny that he calls himself a guru.