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

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

In this first new and totally revised edition of the 150,000-copy underground bestseller, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. He walks you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains,...

Title:The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0887307280
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:269 pages

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

  • Christopher
    Dec 02, 2007

    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.

  • Wellington
    Jan 28, 2008

    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.

  • Nicholas
    Jan 19, 2009

    The general stuff was good. A lot of the specifics are born out of an older era of thinking. Just think of those few innovative companies that did away with the organizational charts. Think of those companies that laugh at it because it doesn't reflect reality. But is that because the idea of the chart is wrong or people just don't know how to make them properly. Perhaps the chart should be cut into a big jumble of different tasks all of which can be passed around like little bracelets. Your job

    The general stuff was good. A lot of the specifics are born out of an older era of thinking. Just think of those few innovative companies that did away with the organizational charts. Think of those companies that laugh at it because it doesn't reflect reality. But is that because the idea of the chart is wrong or people just don't know how to make them properly. Perhaps the chart should be cut into a big jumble of different tasks all of which can be passed around like little bracelets. Your job is just whatever little "jobs" you have taken on. This could create a lot more freedom.

    Your business should be something you work on and not something you work in.

    Don't let it become just a miserable job.

    Have an end game, even if it is only a Tim Ferriss esque stasis.

    Quantify everything.

    Break your job down into every different "job"

    Hire unskilled people who want to learn because you can't hire good experts and if you did you wouldn't know what to do with them.

    Sex and cash: don't sell what you love.

    don't expect your business to be able to satisfy your need to paint/hack/write... (I think that this would be the summary)

    I think that the reason I see Seth Godin everywhere is because he says what every marketer knows. Except that he does it perfectly.

    He expressed what is an important idea. You cannot hire experts unless you are one. So don't try. Hire inexperienced people who are willing to work hard and learn. You'll get them on the cheap anyways.

    Quotes:

    "People who are exceptionally good in business aren't so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more."

    "The work that was born out of love becomes a chore, among a welter of other less familiar and less pleasant chores."

    "No one is willing to work as hard as you work. No one has your judgment, or your ability, or your desire, or your interest. That if it's going to get done right, you're the one who's gong to have to do it."

    "each day, we asked ourselves how well we did, discovered the disparity between where we were and where we had committed ourselves to be, and, at the start of the following day, set out to make up for the difference."

    "Go to work on your business rather than in it. Go to work on your business as if it were the preproduction prototype of a mass-produceable product. Think of your business as something apart from yourself, as a world of its own, as a product of your efforts, as a machine designed to fulfill a very specific need, as a mechanism for giving you more life, as a system of interconnecting parts...as a solution to somebody else's problem."

    "The entire process by which the business does business is a marketing tool."

    "The how doesn't have to be expensive to be effective. In fact, some of the most powerful Innovations have required little more than the change of a few words, a gesture, the color of clothing."

    "Their lives are spent living out the decision they have of their future, in the present. They compare what they've done with what they intended to do. And where there's a disparity between the two, they don't wait very long to make up the difference."

    "The curtain, the curtain. Keep the curtain up at all cost. Because it is the curtain that kept him shrouded in darkness. And it's the darkness that holds out the light. It is the light, the openness, the clearing of all the obstacles to knowing that had become his true purpose: to be open. To be awake, to be available to what's really going on, to give up false beliefs...What truths is your curtain hiding from you? What misunderstanding keeps you where you are, in the past, in the dark, shrouded in you limited beliefs, shrinking from the world, from the light on the other side of the curtain? Until you lift the curtain, until you dare to pull the mask off the world's face, until you move beyond your Comfort Zone, you will never know what it is you were missing out there."

    "Does the business I have in mind alleviate a frustration experienced by a large enough group of consumers to make it worth my while?"

    "The truth is, nobody's interested in the commodity. People buy feelings."

    "It wasn't the match, the mint, the cup of coffee, or the newspaper that did it. It was that somebody had heard me. And they heard me every single time."

    "The work we do is a reflection of who we are."

    "Find a perceived need and fill it."

    Your Comfort Zone has been the curtain you have placed in front of your face and through which you view the world. Your Comfort Zone has been the tight little cozy planet on which you have lived, knowing all the places to hide because it's so small. Your Comfort Zone has seized you before and it can seize you again, when you're least prepared for it, because it knows what it means to you. Because it knows how much you want to be comfortable. Because it knows what price you are willing to pay for the comfort of being in control. The ultimate price, your life...Comfort overtakes us all when we're least prepared for it. Comfort makes cowards of us all."

  • Meg
    Feb 04, 2009

    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!

  • Chad Warner
    Apr 04, 2010

    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
    Jun 19, 2010

    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

    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.

  • Travis
    Jul 10, 2011

    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.

  • Filipe Lemos
    Jul 15, 2013

    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.


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