The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

E-Myth \ 'e-,'mith\ n 1: the entrepreneurial myth: the myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs 2: the fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical workVoted #1 business book by Inc. 500 CEOs.An instant classic, this revised and updated edition of the...

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Title:The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It
Author:Michael E. Gerber
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Edition Language:English

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It Reviews

  • Wellington

    This is a fine book showing some of the flaws of small businesses and why so many fail. The author uses a fictional small business owner who started a pie shop and running herself ragged. She has a great gift in making pies but is burning herself out. She was thinking about how she her job was making and selling pies when her business could and should be so much more.

    Successful companies don’t actually sell the products that they make. They fulfill an emotional need of their clients. For instanc

    This is a fine book showing some of the flaws of small businesses and why so many fail. The author uses a fictional small business owner who started a pie shop and running herself ragged. She has a great gift in making pies but is burning herself out. She was thinking about how she her job was making and selling pies when her business could and should be so much more.

    Successful companies don’t actually sell the products that they make. They fulfill an emotional need of their clients. For instance, Southwest Airlines is not selling airline tickets but a fun way to travel. Disney is not selling you a Mickey Mouse hat but to experience having the innocence of child again. Harley-Davidson is not selling you a motorcycle – but a membership to a rebellious, unbridled culture.

    My mind went racing while I thought of the four or five companies on my mind.

    This book finally made some sense about why someone would write a book telling the world their secrets. The author possibly has hit a ceiling on the amount of time he can invest – the amount of money he can make. The only way he could make more money is to leverage himself in making CD’s, doing lectures, and yes, writing books.

    The third major point this book made was about systems. I really dislike systems in the workplace because they dehumanize the person. However, the author made some of the best arguments against this notion. I’m forced to rethink my ideas on this subject.

    But if you are a small business owner or are looking to become one, you really have to read this.

  • Chad Warner

    This book tells how to get your business to run without you. It shows how to work

    your business, not

    it. It explains how to get your people to work without your interference. It tells how to systematize so the business could be replicated 5,000 times. It shows how to do the work you love rather than the work you have to do.

    The E-Myth (Entrepreneurial Myth) is that businesses are started by entrepreneurs seeking profit. In actuality, businesses are started by technicians (employees) who dec

    This book tells how to get your business to run without you. It shows how to work

    your business, not

    it. It explains how to get your people to work without your interference. It tells how to systematize so the business could be replicated 5,000 times. It shows how to do the work you love rather than the work you have to do.

    The E-Myth (Entrepreneurial Myth) is that businesses are started by entrepreneurs seeking profit. In actuality, businesses are started by technicians (employees) who decide to work for themselves. The problem is they understand the technical work, not the business itself.

    Gerber explains that we're all composed of 3 personalities. For your business to succeed, you must play each role:

    1. The Entrepreneur: a future-focused visionary who pursues opportunities

    2. The Manager: a past-focused worrier who plans and organizes

    3. The Technician: a present-focused worker who concentrates on the task at hand

    I had heard about The E-Myth and Michael Gerber in several places, and finally decided to read it when a successful business owner I respect recommended it so I could learn how to work

    my business, not

    it. I’ve worked towards this for

    .

    As I re-read this book, I recognized much of the guidance my business coach, Seth Getz, has used.

    .

    Gerber is at times long-winded and repetitive.

    Most businesses are operated according to what the owner wants (a place to work freely), not according to what the business needs (growth and change).

    If your business depends on you, you don't own a business, you own a job.

    Build your business as if it was the prototype for thousands of franchises. Attributes:

    • operated by people with the lowest possible skill (not necessarily unskilled, just lowest possible)

    • a place of impeccable order

    • all work documented in operations manuals

    • provides uniformly predictable service to the customer

    Give your customer the service he wants

    , not

    . Create a business whose results are system-dependent, rather than people-dependent. Create a system of experts instead of being the expert.

    Your product is the feeling of the consumer has when they buy from you, not the commodity you sell. How the business interacts with the consumer is more important than what it sells.

    Don’t “find a need and fill it.” Find a

    need and fill it. This requires knowing your ideal customer’s psychographics.

    1. Appointment Presentation: Set an appointment. Get the customer's emotional commitment by describing your product (feelings it gives customer) not the commodity (actual good or service).

    2. Needs Analysis Presentation: Show the customer their frustration and how you can relieve it.

    3. Solutions Presentation: Provide the rational armament to back up the customer's emotional commitment. Give the details of your product, and ask for the sale.

    Selling isn't about closing, it's about opening; opening the customer to feel their frustration, and see the solution you can provide.

  • Chris

    I skimmed this book five years ago after hearing about it from some North Point staff members. I thought I understood the basic ideas, so for the last five years the book sat on my shelf. Until this week. I had a chance to listen to the book this week, and will likely add it as required reading for all our new staff members.

    Great lessons:

    1) Most people get into business (ministry?) because they like doing something and wish they could do it for themselves. Naively, they think they'll have more f

    I skimmed this book five years ago after hearing about it from some North Point staff members. I thought I understood the basic ideas, so for the last five years the book sat on my shelf. Until this week. I had a chance to listen to the book this week, and will likely add it as required reading for all our new staff members.

    Great lessons:

    1) Most people get into business (ministry?) because they like doing something and wish they could do it for themselves. Naively, they think they'll have more flexibility or earn more of the profit. Seldom do they consider the start-up costs, the risk and the need for discipline or systems. These people, says the author, are technicians. They have a technical skill, e.g., baking pies (preaching) but lack either the management tools or the margin to initiate improvements and grow the business.

    2) As a result, most--up to 80%--of new business start-ups fail, and fail miserably.

    3) Enter systems. Systems allow one to scale and automate and refine in a way that a single individual often cannot. Imagine, says the author, designing a business model that can be replicated 5000 times! Engineer as much of the operations as possible to be fool-proof. Break down the components into small pieces that can be managed by someone with very little innate ability and/or training.

    4) Be cautious of talent. Too often, hiring "talented" managers can screw up the system because they begin to turn dials and make changes. It may seem counter-intuitive, but these self-starters can really cause big problems quickly. They have a role, but it's in the R&D department, not on the execution side.

    5) Turn training into a game. Make it fun for new staff to learn what is expected.

    6) Measure everything . . . so you can diagnose more efficiently.

    7) Script everything . . . so you can more easily achieve consistent/predictable results, and maintain the agreed-to standard.

    8) Check-lists are common-sense necessary for anything you plan to do at least twice. Get over the feeling these are for idiots; they ensure that they right things are done in the right order.

    9) There are sales techniques (scripts) that work. Period.

    10) This is a book I'll probably add to my "Every January" list for the next few years alongside Acts, The Effective Executive, Getting Things Done, The Art of War, etc.

  • Farnoosh Brock

    It felt like overnight MBA school. Or better.

    A 5-star through and through. I never got my MBA. I've build a 6-figure business after resigning from my long corporate career, and I'm never going to go for the MBA, but listening to Michael Gerber's E-Myth Revisited book, I feel like I just went to overnight MBA School.

    I listened to the book at 1.5x the speed over several flights and learned SO MUCH and I feel that even if you are a pro small business owner, you'll get a lot out of this book.

    This i

    It felt like overnight MBA school. Or better.

    A 5-star through and through. I never got my MBA. I've build a 6-figure business after resigning from my long corporate career, and I'm never going to go for the MBA, but listening to Michael Gerber's E-Myth Revisited book, I feel like I just went to overnight MBA School.

    I listened to the book at 1.5x the speed over several flights and learned SO MUCH and I feel that even if you are a pro small business owner, you'll get a lot out of this book.

    This is among my top 5 business books mainly because of the highlights below:

    1. A lot of story and entertaining especially with Michael's entertaining, brilliantly paced narration.

    2. The stories he tells are unforgettable - they make a great business point - and hilarious. i.e.) the fat guy vs the skinny guy in your head, the barber story, the technician, manager and entrepreneur battling it out, Sarah - the case study - hiring Harry and the downfall of that relationships and so on.

    3. You learn so much about creating fool proof systems that would work without depending on who bought the business (if it's a franchisee). Gerber argues that if you have a prototype, such as The Franchise Prototype, then you have a system that makes your business work!

    4. You get inspired, motivated, and learned how to run a small business in such a way that you can still love your life, love your work, make money and not be owned by it all.

    5. This book was not your typical dry, boring, stiff business book, thank God! It spoke from a place of passion, soul, and true enthusiasm and yet it had tons of pragmatism in it.

    6. Gerber's personal story, which he shares with openness and vulnerability. I loved it.

    7. And pay attention to where he shares the main reason we fail in small business: It's that we bring our chaos into the business, so that we end up creating the worst job in the world, because we refuse to change!!!!

    Some of my most favorite quotes from the book - and there were so many:

    "The purpose of going into business is to get free of a job so you can create jobs for other people. The purpose of going into business is to expand beyond your current horizons so you can satisfy a need in the marketplace that has never been satisfied before, so you can live an expanded stimulating new life."

    "Don't go working on the commodity, work on the business."

    "We must ask: How must the business work for it to be a great business, to match our vision, to give us the lifestyle we dream?"

    "In the business format franchise, the hamburger wasn't the product, McDonald's was!"

    "How do you build s business that works effortlessly and predictably so that you can build the life you love? How do you get free of your business to live a fuller life? Your business cannot control you. You control it."

    "Working ON your business, not IN it."

    "The primary purpose of your life is NOT to serve your business. The purpose of your business is to serve your life."

    "How can I run my business doing the work I Love to do rather than the work I Have to do?"

    "Business, even a small business such as yours, is both an art and a science. And you need a process, a practice, a method and a system that works. "

    "Practice the craft until the jewel appears one day. It is the work raised to near perfection that connects the crafts person to her art. Do it until the jewel appears when mastery is achieved."

    "Life is what this business is about! Let business be your personal transformation."

    "Great people create their lives actively while everyone else is waiting passively to see where their life takes them. Difference is living fully and intentionally or just existing."

    "Keep the curtain UP at all costs, to be open, to be awake, to give up false beliefs."

    "It's not your business you have to fear losing. It's yourself. It's you you're trying to find on the other side."

    "The product is what your customer feels about your business, the experience of doing business with you."

    "Selling is not closing. Selling is opening by going thru the questionnaire process and finding out what all you can offer him or her."

    My biggest takeaway: "The entrepreneurial dream is a yearning for structure, for form, for control, an escape from chaos, and for something else as well: a yearning for a relationship between ourselves and the world in a way that is impossible to experience in a job!" Now he speaks my language. Hope you found this review inspiring enough to go read the book NOW!

  • Meg

    I read this a few years ago. It was the text for one of my husband's business classes. He said it was a good book... and I said, "WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?" (qualifies as one of the most rare phrases to escape his gorgeous lips) So I had to read it, see.

    It's actually pretty amazing. I'm betting I'll never start my own business, because the things I do tend to be less-marketable services and commodities. Reading, doing laundry, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer... Don't think you get paid for any of

    I read this a few years ago. It was the text for one of my husband's business classes. He said it was a good book... and I said, "WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?" (qualifies as one of the most rare phrases to escape his gorgeous lips) So I had to read it, see.

    It's actually pretty amazing. I'm betting I'll never start my own business, because the things I do tend to be less-marketable services and commodities. Reading, doing laundry, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer... Don't think you get paid for any of those things. However, if I wanted to start my own business, hypothetically... I now feel entirely qualified to do so.

    Happy entrepreneuring!

  • Sophie

    The

    deals with two major misconceptions about running a business: that every small business owner is an entrepreneur and the assumption that working on your business is the same as working in your business. This book is an absolute must-read for business owners and while on occasion the writing is a little cheesy there are plenty of

    important topics discussed in a clear, informative manner, which will help you grow your business in a productive and successful way.

  • Elise Edmonds

    The principles in this book are very good, and I think Gerber nails the reasons why so many small businesses fail. The distinction between the roles of Entrepreneur, Technician and Manager are well thought out and reflect reality.

    The systems Gerber recommends putting into place are stringent, and I feel it would be difficult to transfer them to certain types of business - service businesses, and highly skilled technical businesses for example. It's very much geared to businesses that provide goo

    The principles in this book are very good, and I think Gerber nails the reasons why so many small businesses fail. The distinction between the roles of Entrepreneur, Technician and Manager are well thought out and reflect reality.

    The systems Gerber recommends putting into place are stringent, and I feel it would be difficult to transfer them to certain types of business - service businesses, and highly skilled technical businesses for example. It's very much geared to businesses that provide goods and could theoretically operate a franchise model. Nevertheless, some good points and ideas about business development, attitudes and systems are made.

    The downside to the book is that it's extremely wordy. Ideas are repeated in more than one way, in a roundabout style. The ideas are then reinforced in the semi-fictionalised example of a lady in a pie shop, and I didn't feel this added a lot, especially as it tended to regurgitate the chapter with no new ideas. If you can ignore the wordy bits, the underlying ideas are worth reading the book for.

  • Filipe Lemos

    This book is appears in all must-read-business-books-lists.

    Well, not on mine.

    While I agree that standardization of processes can go long way, the McDonald's of the world already exist. Trying to create another one, is as likely as to aiming to be the next Facebook.

    The way I work in the corporate world, and the way I see myself working in an enterprise of my own, isn't factory work, follow the manual and nothing but the manual, don't think just execute bogus.

    We're human working for humans, everyo

    This book is appears in all must-read-business-books-lists.

    Well, not on mine.

    While I agree that standardization of processes can go long way, the McDonald's of the world already exist. Trying to create another one, is as likely as to aiming to be the next Facebook.

    The way I work in the corporate world, and the way I see myself working in an enterprise of my own, isn't factory work, follow the manual and nothing but the manual, don't think just execute bogus.

    We're human working for humans, everyone is different, each need is unique, each problem as its solution. While the approach should at least to have standard set of principals, I don't see myself hiring other people to serve as automatons...

    Maybe I missed the purpose of the book.

    Or maybe I'm just nayve.

  • Christopher

    About half a dozen important ideas buried in a mass of cloying, poorly written prose.

    The 268 pages dedicated to this text could have been cut to 60 and the book would have been better for it. As it is, prepare to skim.

    The author's habit of inventing characters that compliment him on his own ideas is a recurring and increasingly annoying technique. He also compliments his invented characters for their eloquence and drops repeated advertisements for his own company in the text. Classy.

  • Travis

    If it weren't for the condescending, overly-simplistic, overly-drawn out, incessantly repetitive tone of this book, it would be good--it does have meaningful concepts, it just should have been twenty pages long. I've spent years working in consulting where process works when people don't. This book took sixty pages to suggest that the poor overworked technician hire help. Another fifty pages to explain that you need good processes so that you can hire low-skilled people. That you define a role a

    If it weren't for the condescending, overly-simplistic, overly-drawn out, incessantly repetitive tone of this book, it would be good--it does have meaningful concepts, it just should have been twenty pages long. I've spent years working in consulting where process works when people don't. This book took sixty pages to suggest that the poor overworked technician hire help. Another fifty pages to explain that you need good processes so that you can hire low-skilled people. That you define a role and work yourself out of it. Jeebus. These are bullet points, not multiple chapters. The worst offense is how he has a fictional conversation with a fictional business owner--and they lay massive complements on each other. I can just see the author writing these dialogues with a smitten sense of self satisfaction about how clever he was. Major turn-off and distraction from the content.

    Good book for people who think they have a skill that they can monetize but have little to no corporate experience. I would not recommend it to anyone who has already been through the corporate America big business grinder.

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