16 Lessons Learned from "ReWork"

"ReWork" is one of the most influential business books I ever read. In fact it was the first business book that I read when I joined Suitmedia in 2011. Although I don't agree with some points of views from the authors, this book gave me a lot of very good insights that are still relevant until now. This article is a collection of my favourite ideas from the book.

“What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.” ― Jason Fried, Rework

#1 - Learning from mistakes is overrated
What do you really learn from mistakes? You might learn what not to do again, but how valuable is that? You still don’t know what you should do next. Contrast that with learning from your successes. Success gives you real ammunition. When something succeeds, you know what worked—and you can do it again. And the next time, you’ll probably do it even better.

#2 - Scratch your own itch
The easiest, most straightforward way to create a great product or service is to make something you want to use. That lets you design what you know—and you’ll figure out immediately whether or not what you’re making is any good.

#3 - No time is no excuse
When you want something bad enough, you make the time—regardless of your other obligations. The truth is most people just don’t want it bad enough. Then they protect their ego with the excuse of time. Don’t let yourself off the hook with excuses. It’s entirely your responsibility to make your dreams come true.

#4 - Start a business, not a startup
A business without a path to profit isn’t a business, it’s a hobby. Actual businesses have to deal with actual things like bills and payroll. Actual businesses worry about profit from day one. Actual businesses don’t mask deep problems by saying, “It’s OK, we’re a startup.” Act like an actual business and you’ll have a much better shot at succeeding.

#5 - Building to flip is building to flop
You need a commitment strategy, not an exit strategy. You should be thinking about how to make your project grow and succeed, not how you’re going to jump ship. If your whole strategy is based on leaving, chances are you won’t get far in the first place.

Building a Small Business That Works

"The E-Myth" is a classic business book, originally written in 1986 by Michael Gerber. This book is about why most small businesses don't work and what to do about it. The author updated this book in 2004 as "The E-Myth Revisited". I read this book few years ago when I felt frustrated at work due to balancing my role as entrepreneur, manager, and technician. This book helped me figure out that frustration is common among business owners and how to overcome it.

My team at Suitmedia Jakarta

This blog post is my collection of favourite paragraphs from Michael Gerber's "The E-Myth" as my personal reminder. I will also add some other videos – not from The E-Myth – but still relevant to this concept.

The Entrepreneurial Myth
The myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs, while there is a fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical work. The fact is that most small business are run by Technicians and that technical work of a business and a business that does that technical work are two totally different things.

The Entrepreneur, the Manager, and the Technician
Everybody who goes into business is actually three-people-in-one: The Entrepreneur, The Manager, and The Technician.
  1. The Entrepreneur is our creative personality—always at its best dealing with the unknown, prodding the future, creating probabilities out of possibilities, engineering chaos into harmony.
  2. The managerial personality is pragmatic. Without The Manager there would be no planning, no order, no predictability.
  3. The Technician is the doer. “If you want it done right, do it yourself” is The Technician’s credo.