News Feature | August 4, 2015

The Top 3 Takeaways From Gerber's RetailNOW 2015 Presentation

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson

Michael Gerber at RSPA RetailNOW 2015

Michael Gerber was the featured speaker during the general session on Aug. 3 at the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) RetailNOW 2015. Gerber is the author of best-seller The E-Myth Revisited and five other E-Myth books on the topic of small business and entrepreneurship. Among the many insights Gerber shared at RetailNOW here are three that may challenge IT solutions providers.

  1. Understand The Definition Of An Entrepreneur

Gerber told the RetailNOW audience that if they see themselves as entrepreneurs, to consider companies like Disney, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Gerber said entrepreneurs have four distinct personas:

  • The dreamer: someone who asks, “What if?” and “Why do we do it this way?”
  • The thinker: someone who has a vision
  • The storyteller: someone with a purpose
  • The leader: someone with a mission
  1. Don’t Give In To The Status Quo

Gerber said that if you doubt the possibility that a creator lives inside you, “that’s status quo speaking.” He pointed out that true entrepreneurial spirt is often stifled early in our lives with the words, “You can’t do that.” Gerber added we often “can’t see the forest for the trees in our lives,” restricted by the comfort of our lives and our perceptions of reality. He said entrepreneurs, unlike most business owners are open to the “unrealistic.”

“Open yourself up to the possibility that there is another world than the one you live in,” Gerber said. “I’m here to inspire you to go where you aren’t.”

He pointed out, “Others can come to the conclusion this is all there is. Even though in their hearts they know this is not what they were meant to do. You have a calling. But you have to be open to hear the voice that there’s something more waiting for you.”

  1. Realize Growth Can Lead To A Step Backward

Gerber said there is a hierarchy of business growth. A business can begin with a person leaving a job to be self-employed. As the new business grows, that person creates a practice — which includes lead generation, lead conversion, and client fulfillment — and the business can grow to the point that the owner needs help. When you add employees, the business moves from its infancy to its adolescence, but a problem can arise: you need to teach your new employees to perform the job as well as you do. When employees become focused on just tasks at hand and not the big picture, however, the business owner may step back in — and take the business back to its infancy. “Gerber says growth stops because of the attitude ‘I can control what I do, but I can’t control what they do.’”

He commented that true entrepreneurs “need to be in the business of helping people become better at what they do.”

For more articles on RetailNOW 2015, August 2 to 5, 2015, at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, and the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA), go to