The E Myth Revisited by Michael E Gerber
Book Review – 5 Stars
I believe this book, “The E Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work And What To Do About It” is a must read for every business owner and entrepreneur.
I don’t think you’ll enjoy it but there are some key lessons.
What Is All The Fuss About With The E Myth Revisited?
Several people recommended this book by Michael Gerber to me and when I first read it I didn’t get it.
The style of writing didn’t suit me.
I couldn’t empathise with the story of Sarah and her business All About Pies.
I didn’t want to help turn a client’s business into the McDonald’s of their industry. And I don’t think they want that either.
The writing is soppy and sentimental when I prefer hard nosed, content rich, practical business books.
The E Myth Revisited didn’t tell me “how” to change a business for the better.
I Get It
I now totally get the E Myth Revisited.
I read the book about once every year or two.
I know it so well that I’m saying to clients “You need to read Chapter 12 in The E Myth Revisited about Your Primary Aim again. You must get this core idea that your business is there to serve your life and not the other way around.”
Give The E Myth Revisited A Try
Buy The E Myth Revisited, read it and if you are like I was and still don’t get it, then come back to the book after three months and read it again.
The lessons the E Myth book contains are that important.
Key Insights From The E Myth Revisited
The first insight is the entrepreneurial myth itself.
Just because you know how to do the technical work – an accountant, a printer, a hairdresser – does not mean that you also know how to build a business doing that work.
Nobody has taught you how to do it and you probably haven’t experienced all the different areas – sales and marketing, operations, finance, recruitment – that you must master if your business is going to succeed.
The second revelation in the E Myth concerns the three distinct roles that Michael Gerber has identified:
- The technician who does the work.
- The manager who monitors and organises the work.
- The entrepreneur who, led by a clear vision, builds the business and perhaps, in future, sells it.
Michael Gerber takes you through a typical life-cycle of a small business which is sure to ring a few bells in your mind. Working as a one-man-band may have been tough but problems can multiply when you start employing more people who do the wrong things and/or do the right things in the wrong way.
The solution recommended in The E Myth Revisited is to build a franchise prototype – to design and build systems that specify what people do.
You don’t have to want to franchise your business. The idea is to design the business to such a high standard that it could be franchised because through careful systematic and recorded design, the business can work without you.
With the right systems, processes, policies and procedures your business will run like a well-oiled machine. The aim is to build a business which depends on your systems and not your people.
You can’t allow yourself to be in the situation where your business depends on, for example, one excellent salesperson. Just imagine the negotiation power that person would have over you when it came to pay rises.
Instead you should have a proven selling system which other salespeople can pick up and use successfully without too much training and time lost.
I have mixed views on this building systems and creating a franchise prototype idea.
This isn’t a unique idea because big businesses have their quality systems audited with ISO9000
Second, I think Michael Gerber takes it too far. It is time consuming to record systems and it can stifle innovation when what you do is specified in detail.
You need to control your important systems and processes but you also need to have a process in place that looks at how they can be improved.
The Very Best Of The E Myth Revisited – Live Your Life Intentionally And Build Your Business To Support Your Life
Two of the chapters that I get people to go back and read again are Chapter 12 on Your Primary Aim (what is your life about) and Chapter 13 on Your Strategic Objective (what does the business have to do to play its part in your Primary Aim).
These two chapters very much start defining the issue of work/life balance.
The basic issue is…
Do you want to live to work or work to live?
These are ideas that I have incorporated into my own coaching and I’ll be writing separate blogs so click the highlighted links if you want to know more.
You Need To Read The E Myth Revisited
“The E Myth Revisited” is required reading for anyone who wants to advise small businesses.
Many will find the writing style to be extremely off-putting and it’s difficult to take some of the ideas seriously when they are wrapped up in syrup. Michael Gerber gets even worse in the E Myth Mastery book. You won’t come away with a huge list of things to do.
You might want to read the 1 star reviews at Amazon to prepare yourself for the worst and then notice over 400 five star reviews.
He is promoting the E Myth business coaching services but many authors push their services hard. Writing a book is considered to be a great marketing device.
Take note of the ideas on the technician, manager and entrepreneur. It is very easy to forget about building a business and working on it when you’re so busy working in it.
Most of all, decide that you will live intentionally. You are responsible for what happens in your life and business. You can make things happen.
Employees can afford to think like a victim, entrepreneurs and business owners can’t.
Even if the economy is bad, you can build a successful business although you may have to change your ideas about what you can and will do.
Follow Up Books by Michael Gerber
E Myth Mastery – in places superb, in others horrendous
Awakening The Entrepreneur Within – the result of Michael Gerber’s work in the Dreaming Rooms. Extremely disappointing.
Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck, get unstuck. If your business is based in the UK, you can have a free Business SOS consultation with me.
There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister. I’ve also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs.