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Awakening the Entrepreneur Within by Michael Gerber

The full title of this book by Michael Gerber is

Awakening the Entrepreneur Within: How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Two Stars.

Here is my review.

Very disappointing. I expected far more from this small business guru

I am angry, disappointed and frustrated and it’s lucky to get the Two Star rating I’ve given it.

I am a big fan of Michael Gerber and his ideas about small business development. I have given the “E Myth Revisited” book a five star review and “E Myth Mastery” would have received another five star rating if it hadn’t been sabotaged by a sloppy, sentimental writing style.

Back in October 2006, I attended a Dreaming Room with Michael Gerber to Awaken The Entrepreneur Within me.

I didn’t know what to expect because this was quite early in Michael Gerber’s development of his new concept and while it wasn’t as structured a process as I was expecting, it was a fascinating experience.

The first full day was a struggle as Gerber worked with a number of people about their Dream (all derived from the simple question “What do you want?”) and there were a number of us who remained sceptical. One brave person stepped forward at the start of the second and final day and the next two hours were incredible as we wrestled with the emotional/logical conflict which stops many of us starting a revolutionary business.

Unfortunately little of this content made the book.

What we have is a man who has given his mature years to becoming rich and famous through the E Myth books and the business coaching company he founded, E Myth Worldwide and now seems lost in the wilderness.

The book starts with a painful conversation of a bewildered Michael Gerber seeking comfort from his mother “I don’t know who I am anymore, or where I am going. I feel disconnected from my company and disconnected from myself.” That’s not a good place to start.

Management guru, Brian Tracy has said on average we all have several ideas that could make us millionaires each year. Unfortunately this is where logic has a nasty habit of sticking its nose in and killing the idea stone dead before it’s developed into a proper concept. I wanted much more in the book about this issue and a method for bringing out the idea in a way that fends off the practical thinking and negativity. While the idea or dream is flimsy, the logical mind is saying “It will never work” and if you listen, you will never hear the “It just might work, let’s take a closer look.”

The author managed to insult just about everybody who attended a Dreaming Room before he wrote the book. We are stuck in a “narcissistic torpor.” Tired of ourselves and tired of life. “They we looking for something, even though many had stopped looking.”Looking for something yes, stopped looking no. How can we have stopped looking when we had dug deep in our pockets to listen to the words of this small business oracle?

The book drops further in my estimation as it becomes a blatant attempt to sell you on membership of a Dreaming Room and availing yourself of the turnkey business solutions created by Michael Gerber for every aspect of the business. The irony is that in my Dreaming Room, an accountant explained his idea for providing a complete service for small businesses so that they could get every non-trade-specific professional service they could possibly need from the one source. The accountant was harshly treated and told that no small business would ever be willing to become so reliant on one supplier. Now Michael Gerber is promoting MyGrowthResources and we even have all the website addresses listed in the book.

Later the book loses its grip as it talks about the fictitious company “Who Is Manny Espinosa?”, a business to teach young Latinos to be better members of the community and take up entry level positions in the restaurant, hospitality and construction industries.

As you read, you start believing that the company exists as Michael Gerber builds the importance of the idea (but it was talk back in October 2006 and still seems to be talk now). We go through the recruitment of a chief operating officer, and the word by word interview and the development of the idea and then taking it to joint venture partners. This is Michael Gerber writing his novel but I’ve said it before, his writing style isn’t strong enough to carry it.

It also seems to me to be totally unrealistic as an example of “how to develop the idea and story.” The Manny Espinosa story goes on from page 155 to 240 so you can see how long winded an example it is.

The book makes me angry, frustrated and disappointed. I expected a great book but this is lucky to walk away with a two star rating.



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