Running Your Practice: The Three Eyes

Three eyes

Running a business as a sole proprietor means that you need to wear many hats. Michael Gerber, in his book The E-Myth Revisited, calls this phenomenon the “Three Eyes (I’s) of the Entrepreneur.”  Here is a quick rundown brought to you by my good friend and former business coach David Blocker.

  • “I am The Entrepreneur.” This is my favorite. This is also probably the role you were in when you decided, “I am going to open my own practice.” As the entrepreneur you are a visionary, you are creative, and you are excited. This is the role in which you ask questions around growth, expansion, and profitable game changing ideas. This is the role you are in when you spend days picking out your logo, choosing fabric for your office pillows, and designing your homemade website. If only we could stay here forever!
  • “I am The Manager.” This is a role I have a love/hate relationship with. As the manager you are running your business and making sure things don’t break. Systems, procedures, bookkeeping, taxes and the like all fall into this role. Networking, marketing, and converting phone calls to clients also fall here.
  • “I am The “Technician.” This is the role we are in when we practice our trade. Most of us in counseling spent at least three years of school beyond our bachelor’s degree and three thousand hours interning to become the expert in our chosen field. As the technician you are sitting across from clients, counseling, and making money.

The problem? You have roles you love, roles you hate, roles where you excel, and roles where you stink. One role makes money (technician) so you tell yourself you must do more of this. The other roles either cost you time (entrepreneur), money (manager), or both so you tell yourself you don’t have time to do them yourself or hire them out to anyone else.

The result? You have a great month followed by a slow month because you market inconsistently. You pay your bills but you forget to budget for taxes. You want to add another stream of income but you don’t make time to lay the foundation and execute the plan.

This week take about thirty minutes (you can find thirty minutes) and analyze the time you are spending in each role.  You can use amazing free software like or go old school and use a daily diary. The idea is to record what you do every hour. Then, every evening, sit down and make an honest assessment of what role you were in most of the time that day.

While you can’t spend all of your time in any one of these roles, you ultimately need to spend some time in each. If it is a role in which you do not excel, seriously consider hiring it out or getting an intern to do some of the work for you.


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