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The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It Paperback – 29 Mar 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 303 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; 3rd Revised edition edition (29 Mar. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887307280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887307287
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (303 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Amazon Review

Michael Gerber's The E-Myth Revisited should be required reading for anyone thinking about starting a business or for those who have already taken that fateful step. The title refers to the author's belief that entrepreneurs--typically brimming with good but distracting ideas--make poor businesspeople. He establishes an incredibly organised and regimented plan, so that daily details are scripted, freeing the entrepreneur's mind to build the long-term success or failure of the business. You don't need an MBA to understand or follow its directives; Gerber takes time to explain buzzwords and complex theories. Written in a clear and well-paced manner, The E-Myth Revisited is like receiving advice from an old friend. --Sharon Griggins

About the Author

Michael E. Gerber is a true legend of entrepreneurship. INC. magazine called him "the World's #1 Small Business Guru." He is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Michael E. Gerber Companies—a group of highly unique enterprises dedicated to creating world-class start-ups and entrepreneurs in every industry and economy—a company that transforms the way small business owners grow their companies and which has evolved into an empire over its history of nearly three decades.


Customer Reviews

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Essential Reading for anyone running a small business. The author owns a leading business consultancy that specialises in reengineering small businesses to make them work properly.

I've always avoided the idea of running my own business simply because of the pain I've seen almost everyone I know go through when they started one. Every time things get tough, they have only one solution: work harder and put in more hours. Many of those that survive do so only because the owners simply refuse to give up. As a result they, and their families suffer. So many people seem to get swallowed by their business, as if Jaws had come out of the sea and pulled them from their inflatible. Those of us standing at the edge of the water tut tut and think "no way I'm going in there". This book has changed my thinking about all that.

As Mr Gerber says, the problem is very few people have been properly trained in how to run a business. Most small business people start out as technicians who got hit by an entrepreneurial seizure. As a result of their technical background, they have a tragic tendancy to retreat back into the one thing they feel certain they know how to do well: the technical work. This is known as the comfort zone. To be a real business owner, you must move beyond your comfort zone and learn how to think strategically about your business rather than working in it.

The author poses the question: if you were to expand your business to 4 different locations, could you continue to run the 4 the way you do the one you have now? What if you expanded to 1000 locations? If you are doing the usual thing and running around performing every critical function in your business yourself then the answer is obvious: you can't.
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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 May 2004
Format: Paperback
This book deserves 7 stars for pointing out the fallacies of how most entrepreneurs operate. The book deserves 1 star for proposing a standard that most people cannot hope to meet and then pushing to sell you consulting services. Pay attention to the former, and go light on the latter.
Gerber is correct that most entrepreneurs are limited by a comfort zone of wanting to remain in control as either strong technicians or managers, which limits the potential of the business. As soon as they exceed what they can handle, the business either fails in a break-out attempt or shrinks back to a simpler state. The new businesses that succeed the most are the ones that have a business model that is easy to replicate with ordinary people.
Where Gerber goes wrong is in suggesting that many people can develop such business models. I regularly study the top 100 CEOs in the country for stock-price growth, and few of them think they can develop a new business model. Why should someone starting up a new company be likely to do better than that? They won't. In fact, I have a friend who attempted to start a new business following Gerber's principles and almost failed before he adjusted to normal operating approaches. He spent so much time developing his business model that he never got around to operating it well.
Gerber's three favorite examples are McDonald's, Disney, and Fed Ex. Notice that two of the three got most of their ideas from someone else for the business model (Ray Kroc from the McDonald brothers in San Bernardino, California and Fred Smith from an Indian air freight operation).
I think there is another fallacy here: You can get ordinary people to do simple things (deliver packages, cook and deliver cheap hamburgers, and smile at people on automated rides).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Michael Gerber, a saxophone playing, poetry and pulp-fiction writing, dope smoking, mystic drifter and successful encyclopaedia salesman (according to the apparently autobiographical section), wrote the original "E-Myth" in 1986, and revisited the ideas in this book in 1995, having by that stage established E-Myth Worldwide (see []) as a major force in what has come to be known as life and business coaching. He has a rather better claim, I suspect, to having originated "business coaching" than Brad Sugars (see "The Business Coach") although he does not use that term and is quite free in acknowledging his antecedents via a quotation at the start of each chapter.

Gerber's aim was (and presumably still is) to "bring the dream back to American small business" and the book is written in a very American, perhaps even specifically Californian, style, which may grate slightly on British readers, especially where his "spiritual" side shines through. The central theme of the book is an extended conversation between the author and "Sarah", proprietor of a struggling one-woman business in the form of a pie shop (apple rather than steak and kidney, although that doesn't really matter).

There can be no doubt that Gerber's own success suggests that his methods have worked for many small businesses. He suggests that there is an "Entrepreneurial-Myth" that all small businesses are created by Entrepreneurs, while the reality is that that are created by frustrated Technicians after a moment of "entrepreneurial seizure". Technicians enjoy doing the work but are neither interested in nor equipped to develop businesses and find that they don't so much own a company as a job - and that the demands are punishing.
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