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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
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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
The totally revised edition of a groundbreaking bestseller, first published in 1986, provides information and guidance in starting and maintaining a small business or franchise in the 1990s.See all Product description
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The E-Myth Revisited is an accessible and thought-provoking read - definitely a book I will be returning to.
ps. Make sure you read past the Acknowledgements at the end of the book too as there are a couple more chapters to go.
Gerber's method is basically saying the same thing. You need to plan out how your business is going to work, document it and make sure everyone in your organisation follows the plan. This is a fine idea and one that small and fledgeling companies need to be reminded of. The problem is that the book surrounding the idea sounds like an evangelical speech made at a conference, complete with overly schmaltzy anecdotes and a large dollop of opinion.
The primary opinion raised frequently in the book is one that I wholeheartedly disagree with and judging by internet opinion I'm not alone, with reports and articles calling Gerber out for the same point. He states that you need to organise your business around employing unskilled staff willing to follow a system to the letter. This ONLY works if you come to the conclusion that 'The E-myth Revisited' is an instruction manual in how to design and sell a turnkey franchise business. Gabe Newell, boss of the successful software company Valve, professed the opposite, stating that you should only hire people who are better than you at the task you're hiring them for. A sensible point of view for those wishing to improve the performance and quality of their company, services and goods, but not a good point for those wishing to sell a business plan to franchisees.
With that point in mind, the rest of the book takes on more of the tone of a snake oil salesman, making it difficult to accept some of the points because the cynicism shield has been well and truly erected. The clumsy anecdotal story scattered throughout the book feels like the shill offering to buy the professor's marvellous tonic. This is unfortunate, since the latter sections of the book is where the really helpful information is.
Basically, Gerber has tried to take the 'How to Sell a Franchise' training courses and seminars his company creates and tried to distil them into a single volume. However, he then wraps it all up in inappropriate advice for the general business owners the book purports to be for. A shame.
The author uses a wonderful blend of storytelling and management techniques to captivate you and get his ideas across. It's easy to read and understand and at the end of it you won't be left with the idea "this does not apply to me".
I found it to be a real eye opener and I even applied some of the ideas presented here and, to my surprise, saw immediate results.
The book does not tell you how to run your business; it does much better it tell you how NOT to do it.
E-Myth is a book that prescribes a single business model to it's readers that, let's face it, doesn't work for most small businesses. However, it does teach lessons to the business owners that do want to grow to be more than a mom-and-pop shop.
I work in big-business IT as a Solution Architect which means that I do a lot of technology and business consulting and, despite the fact that I read this book over a decade ago, I still refer managers and business developers to this book saying, "Read it. Learn it. Love it."
Because this book, while prescribing a single business model, contains the fundamentals concepts for developing a good operational architecture - fundamentals that so many managers simply don't know or think they don't have time to implement because "they are spending too much time in the business and not enough time on the business".
Read it. Learn it. Love it.
If you only get one point it is this--- Work ON your business and not IN your business. IE Pay other people to do the labour and focus yourself on the things that will bring you customers such as sales, marketing and customer care. Put systems in place for your staff to follow that will ensure and maintain quality and get feedback at every stage from your customers so you know what is working and where to improve.
I have read dozens upon dozens of books in my spare time to learn from the people that have gone before me in business. Many have the occasional nugget or are the same as other books but in a different tone, I tend to throw these away or donate them.
This book is still on my shelf as it one of the best books on business I have read.