Book review: ‘The E-Myth Revisited’

The E Myth revisited book cover and author for book review

Book review: ‘The E-Myth Revisited’

This month I reviewed one of the dog-eared tomes from my extensive library – The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber.

E-Myth \ ‘e-,’mith\ n 1: the entrepreneurial myth: the myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs 2: the fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical work.

Michael Gerber is credited with popularising the important distinction between working ‘on’ and working ‘in’ your business – something we go on about a lot at Beyond Business Groups!

If you are struggling to work out the distinction grab a copy of this enduring bestseller and find out (you’re bound to find one at an op shop or book sale). The book walks through the steps in the life of a business. From idea infancy, through to the troubling pains of business adolescence and the sweet stage of business maturity.

For me the focus on ‘earning money while you sleep’ ideas are a must-have. It tells how to systematise so the business could be replicated. It shows how to do the work you love rather than the work you have to do. It’s almost like franchising without the franchise.

Key points from E-Myth

  • Many people go into business because they like doing something and want to make money from it. Just because you are good at something doesn’t mean you are good at business.
  • Systems and processes allow your business to scale.
  • Find ways to automate and refine aspects of your business that you can’t use people for.
  • Bring people into your business who can add value and do things better than you – start with the people who can support your systems or marketing.
  • Measure everything, analyse your internal and external data and make changes based on numbers not emotions.
  • Script/document everything in order to achieve consistent outputs and results.
  • Develop checklists for everything you plan on doing more than once.

While the text can be a little repetitive and over-simplistic (and the invented character and business examples annoying), the basic premise of the book is sound. (BTW I skimmed past all the examples using Sarah).

Getting some of these areas right before your business grows – what I would call creating the ‘dummies guide’ to your business – will help you grow efficiently and reduce potential mistakes as you do. Ensuring you do your research, before you start and as you grow, is also important.

While The E-Myth is great, it’s not the one-size-fits-all business solution either. While you need systems and processes and standard approaches, you also need to be unique! Combining your ‘why’ and your USP with a consistent and effective product or service delivery makes for a sustainable and interesting business.