The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber is the next book on our list. I cheated a little bit in that I read this book some time ago. But it is a great book, and is usually one of the first that I recommend to small business owners. It is a great intro into thinking about business and business systems, and should be read early on, before we get into the more detailed areas.
The only downfall to Michael Gerber’s books (I have read almost all of them, this downfall is why only one of this books is on my list) is his emotional story telling form of writing. I am all for breaking down complex ideas into a story. But I got really tired of hearing about how “Sarah” is feeling. I also get really tired of the paternalistic way that Mr. Gerber talks her out of her hyper emotional states, it was a little creepy. Just get to the business!
That being said, the ideas are awesome and the guide to planning is pretty useful. The book is broken into three major sections. The E-Myth, the Turn-Key Revolution, Business Planning.
Part One is, in my opinion, the best section. It talks about the three different “people” or mind-sets that are needed in a small business: the Entrepreneur, the Technician, and the Manager. It is really helpful to understand how these different mind-sets operate and why they are all critical. The progression is especially telling. Most small businesses are “life-style” businesses because they never progress past the Technician phase. The most successful small businesses get to the manager phase, and can grow beyond the original owner. A very small number make it to the Entrepreneur stage and have replicable, scalable, and sellable businesses.
Part Two focuses on what to do to get your business to the Entrepreneur phase. If you want to have a replicable, scalable, and sellable business, there are certain systems and processes that it needs to have. Part Two goes through how to think about your business as a series of systems so that you can replicate it.
Part Three is based on planning for your business. Expanding on Part Two, this section goes through some good steps to start actually planning for your own E-Myth business. It starts with your “Primary Aim” (commonly known as your Vision) and moves down to specific strategies for people, marketing, operations, etc.
In my mind, the most valuable take away from this book is highlighting the choice you have to make as a business owner. Do you want a life-style business, or do you want business- business? This book explains the work involved in creating a scalable business. How a well run business will have systems and strategies. If you want to sell your business and retire early, this book does a great job of illustrating the very HARD work that you will have to do to get there. There is nothing wrong with deciding not to do it. You can still make a good living, never growing your business to multi-million dollar levels.
The important part is to make a choice. If you are want to do it, then do it!