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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
A mentor told me to read this book. The E-Myth was the driving factor that took my small business which had been controlling my life and transformed it into a business I could run remotely. Before I read this book I was working on site 9 hours a day 6 days a week. Less than a year after reading this I was able to take a six-month vacation around the world while my business ran itself. If you own a small business you need to read this book as soon as possible.
The sobering fact is that an overwhelming majority of businesses fail in the first five years of operation, and these failures tend to follow a pattern. Gerber illustrates that successful businesses excel not by happenstance but by following a particular model that has proven to work—franchises, with overwhelmingly high success rates at five years, are given as a prime example. The E Myth Revisited explains, in often broad and sometimes specific terms, the approach that is required for a business to not only persevere, but to prosper.
The book is divided into three parts. Part I exposes many of the myths that delude people into starting their own business. Here the author clarifies the three different personalities in business: the “technician,” the “manager,” and the “entrepreneur.” Gerber explains that new ventures are often started by “technicians” who make the mistake of thinking that being able to do some type of work (e.g. hairstylist) equates to an understanding of how that business is done (beauty salon). Part II takes a broad approach to explain the “Turn-Key Revolution” and the general tenets one needs in order to lay the foundation for a successful business prototype. Part III comprises the bulk of the book and provides the most detail. It has step-by-step systematic guides to cultivate and nurture success.
I think this book’s greatest value is establishing a universal blueprint that any person from any type of business can follow in order to steer their team and organization toward new heights. With this advice are some very valuable life lessons and pearls of wisdom. On a negative note, as with any other book that secondarily serves as propaganda, there are frequent references and “plugs” to the author’s own website and business services. Moreover, the author often diverts and has a conversation with “Sarah,” a fictional failed business owner who is guided toward the light. These sections are lacking in substance and are so full of fluff that I wanted to send Sarah away on a permanent vacation.
As a non-businessperson, this book is extremely easy to read, and the fact that it has no technical language whatsoever makes it accessible and worthwhile to anyone who either wants to launch a new venture or reboot an old one. Despite the fact that it’s 260+ pages, The E Myth Revisited is also a surprisingly quick read.
I am sure there are many paths to success in business, but Gerber makes a persuasive case for his prescriptions in this book.