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The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It Paperback – October 14, 2004
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Michael Gerber's The E-Myth Revisited should be required listening 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 organized 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 M.B.A. to understand or follow its directives; Gerber takes time to explain buzzwords and complex theories. Read in a clear and well-paced manner, listening to The-E Myth is like receiving advice from an old friend. --Sharon Griggins --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From Library Journal
Indicating that 40 percent of small businesses fail within their first year, Gerber, a small business expert, talks about how to be successful. In this revision of his 1986 book, he describes the "E-Myth," which basically states that a person with technical but few management skills can do well in business. Gerber describes developing a precise business system that produces consistent results because it has been tested and refined. He says that businesses thrive because of innovation, quantification, and orchestration. Visualize what is true success to you as a person, Gerber advises, and work from the ideal to the specific. While the author is a consumate salesman who reads his material in soothing tones, he offers too many abstract ideas and too few concrete plans. There is little useful content here. Not recommended.
Mark Guyer, Stark Cty. Dist. Lib., Canton, Ohio
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
One of Gerber's most striking observations is that most small businesses are started by "technicians", that is people who are skilled at something and who enjoy doing that thing. (A technician can be anything from a computer programmer to plumber to a dog groomer to a musician or lawyer.) When these technicians strike out on their own, they tend to continue doing the work they are skilled at, and ignore the overarching aspects of business. Without clear goals and quantification benchmarks, they soon find themselves overworked, understaffed, and eventually broke. Worst of all, they may come to hate the work they do. Rather than owning a business, they own a job, and they find themselves working for managers who are completely clueless about how to run a business- -themselves.
The solution, Gerber argues, is for every business owner, especially the technician-owners, to balance their business personalities. According to Gerber, every business owner needs to simultaneously be an entrepreneur and a manager as well as a technician. The technician is the worker-bee, the one who produces the product.Read more ›
First the good news: Gerber is exactly right. Most new businesses fail because of poor planning, a lack of organization and what I call "entrepreneurial disillusionment" -- in other words, the owner of the business discovers that running a business doing what he or she loves is not what they thought it would be. It's clear Gerber knows what he's talking about. He hits most (if not all) of the salient drawbacks to starting and running a business. It's an easy weekend read and it is an entertaining book.
Now the bad news: The way Gerber goes about conveying his message might turn people off to the book. He is overly verbose, some of his examples don't make sense and he takes too long to come to the point. In one passage, Gerber wrote for five pages describing "opportunity cost," (and never mentions that term) when a sentence or a paragraph would have sufficed. Seasoned businesspeople and grisled entrepreneurs will find this book repetitive, pedestrian and more than a little frustrating as they wait for Gerber to make his point. I think Gerber's editor failed him on this book.
Having written that, I plan to put this book on the suggested reading list for my Entrepreneurial Marketing classes. I think it might save more than a few new entrepreneurs from making big, hairy, expensive mistakes.
The "e"(for entrepreneur) myth is that hard work and perseverance -- plowing ahead against the odds -- will alter the statistical odds that doom most new businesses. Gerber uses as an example, a woman who had begun a small bakery business because of her legendary piemaking skills. Since she knew how to bake great pies, shouldn't it follow that that skill could be the basis for a successful business? Back in the real world, while the business hadn't exactly failed, it hadn't exactly succeeded, either. Gerber shows how the overwrought business owner can turn the idea into a successful venture.
The author advocates looking for guidance to the large franchise model (McDonald's is an example he cites frequently). The distinctive characteristic of the large franchise-based business is a detailed, finely tuned system that can be run successfully by non-experts. Gerber takes the reader through the steps to create a detailed small business model. Using this system, the business owner is transformed from a day to day operator to a sort of teacher whose success is achieved by training others in detail to use the very skills the owner brought to the business in the first place.
Few readers will have the time and discipline to adopt the entire soup-to-nuts program advocated in this book, but can still learn a great deal from it.
Gerber's E-Myth Revisited offers salient points with the most important being, "Work ON your business not IN it." We are introduced to three working personalities: 1) the entrepreneur who always has ideas, 2) the manager who keeps everything organized, and 3) the technician who knows that "If it's going to get done right, I'd better do it myself." Through the eyes of a business owner/client, Gerber unfolds the story that allows us to see the importance of each personality preference and the necessity for balance between them. We also see the different stages of business growth and come to appreciate the benefits of implementing systems at the beginning of developing a business.
Humor throughout the book makes this an enjoyable read, and as I tell my clients, savor your chuckles when you find Gerber describing you almost perfectly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book has absolutely changed the very trajectory of my entire personal and business life. I have found my true spirit again, thanks to Sarah's story in the book. Read morePublished 6 hours ago by Amazon Customer
This book really made me think about the way I run my small business. I am going to make some changes for the better with the information in this book. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Lorena Villegas
This is an excellent, well thought book that will completely revision the road map to your business. I highly recommend this.Published 12 days ago by Kat Walden
A must read for any entrepreneur, but this really is just a survey on the issue of systems. It's the foundation, the starting point, easily five stars. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Livinginthealohastate
Entrepreneurship -- it doesn't get any clearer than this! Thanks Mr. Gerber.Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book gives an outstanding perception of exactly why I started my first business. It goes beyond explaining why independent small businesses fail way more than franchises, it... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Jason Krause