Beyond The E-Myth: The Evolution of an Enterprise: From a Company of One to a Company of 1,000! Kindle Edition
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For those familiar with 'The E-Myth Revisited", be aware that you will miss the literary device of the author's conversations with Sarah about her pie shop. This is a much more straight-forward book, but you will still find Michael's characteristic 'splitting' of our personhood into distinct selves. This time he's not examining our entire personhood as small business owners -- splitting them into the 'entrepreneur', the 'manager', and the 'technician' -- but instead he drills deeply on ONLY the 'entrepreneur'. This book is a mashup between his 2008 work, "Awakening the Entrepreneur Within" and his live 3-day vision-casting workshops he calls "Dreaming Rooms". I participated in one of those Dreaming Rooms in 2013.
One of his primary contentions is that most people who appear to have succeeded in launching and growing small businesses have not, in fact, built 'businesses' or 'enterprises' but rather simply 'jobs' for themselves. Having followed the advice in his earlier works to work both ON as well as IN their businesses, he finds that they are still working IN their businesses years and years later. If they were to quit working, their businesses would die. They are still directly tied to their businesses -- they ARE their businesses; their businesses ARE them. Even if they are systematized and well-run, they are still 'jobs'. There's no escaping them. Ever.
That kind of small business is what Gerber refers to as "a company of one", and the subtitle of this new book communicates (metaphorically if not literally) the radical conversion he hopes to bring: "The evolution of an enterprise from a company of one to a company of 1,000." He intends to expand the role of the 'entrepreneur' within each small business owner to such a degree that he or she develops a business that no longer needs them -- it's been built to scale, and with that scaling comes the potential for selling it.
Just as in "The E-Myth Revisited" Gerber urged readers to adopt a mindset of building their small businesses as if they were going to franchise them (whether or not they actually desired to do so) because that would force them to systematize to such a degree that they would run efficiently, in "Beyond the E-Myth" he urges readers to adopt a mindset of growing those businesses as if they were going to sell them (whether or not they actually desire to do so) because that will force them to create something that doesn't require them at all in order to run efficiently.
The key, he argues, is focusing on our 'entrepreneur' self and splitting it into four distinct parts -- the Dreamer, the Thinker, the Story-Teller, and the Leader -- doing deep work on the primary tasks of each of those roles. As with various portions of Gerber's other writings, I find myself having to go back and re-read sections again and again to grasp the magnitude as well as the import of what he has written, but I do resonate with his message. Having built four successful businesses and two successful 501c3 non-profits, I can claim some small degree of mastery of parts of "The E-Myth Revisited", but I am a far cry from mastering the challenge of scaling something to the point that it no longer needs me.
If you have beaten the odds of small business failure by creating a successful venture but find yourself still tied to its day-to-day operations, this book is for you. Prepare to be challenged, prepare to be confused, prepare for more than one reading, but also prepare to scale. As Michael Gerber says, "No scale, no sale." Join me in working ourselves out of the jobs we've created for ourselves.