Starting Or Running A Business? E-Myth Revisited Book Review

by Mike Holman

E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber came highly recommended from some fellow small business owners and I’m really glad I read it.

It’s an excellent book which explains how to set up and organize a business so that it is a business and not just a job.

What’s the difference you ask? A proper business is an entity that you run and can sell. A business that is just a job is one where you do all the work and the business can’t survive without you (and can’t be sold).

What is in the book

Gerber uses the example of an over-worked pie shop owner to introduce the idea that we all have a technician, manager and entrepreneur within us.

In order to run a business successfully, we have to let all of the three personalities have a say. In the case study of Sarah, the pie shop owner – she had made the common mistake of letting the technician run the show. She kept very busy baking pies and doing anything else that needed doing, but she wasn’t thinking about how to improve the business or how to hire employees or how to expand or how to set up the business so it could be sold.

Most of the book talks about different ideas and solutions for creating a business that doesn’t rely 100% on the owner doing all the work.

One of the most important themes is that the business is more important than the product. For example MacDonald’s sells hamburgers, but the success of that company is not because they have the best hamburgers – it’s because they have the best business process which they were able to market in the form of franchises.

Who should read this book

I think anyone who has a business or is thinking of starting one should read this book.

If you are serious about your business and hope that it will provide a full time income for you – this book is a must.

If you are just planning to do a bit of freelance dog walking on the side, the book won’t do as much for you, but I think it’s still worth a read.

What I liked

It’s very entertaining and easy to read. The author has decades of experience working with small business owners and knows what he is talking about. I really learned a lot.

What I didn’t like

His definition of a business is fairly rigid. Some people don’t want to create a business they can sell – they just want to make some money on the side in a flexible and fun manner.

He talks a lot about creating a franchise which is a way of thinking about your business so it can be sold. Some of his suggestions for documenting and measurement will apply to McJob employees, but can’t be applied as easily to a professional.

Conclusion

Great book, easy to read. Two thumbs up!

To order this book:

If you are from Canada then please use this link for Amazon.ca
From the United States then please use this link for Amazon.com
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Nick

Mike, I agree whole-heartedly with your take on the definition of a business. Sometimes you aren’t starting a business with any notion of ever selling it. Take for example the tutoring business I have been running for years and still making money. Yet the business consists of only me. Compare that to my sister’s website design business, where she has several other people working for her as well. She could easily replace herself and sell the business. There is room for many definitions of the word business.

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