The E-Myth Revisited: Summary Review & Takeaways

This is a summary review of E-Myth Revisited containing key details about the book.

What is E-Myth Revisited About?

The E-Myth Revisited dispels the myths surrounding starting businesses and how assumptions can get in the way of running them. The book then provides a walkthrough of the steps in the life of the business. It also distinguishes between working on your business and working in your business.

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Who is the Author of E-Myth Revisited?

Michael E. Gerber is an American author and founder of Michael E. Gerber Companies, a business skills training company based in Carlsbad, California. Over the years, Michael E. Gerber's companies have helped hundreds of thousands of small business owner-clients to successfully transform their businesses into world-class operations.

What are key takeaways from The E-Myth Revisited?

Takeaway #1 Don't Fall For The E-Myth and Become a Statistic

80% of businesses started in the U.S fail in the first 5 years with 40% of them failing in the 1st year. The entrepreneurial myth aka the E-myth means that people believe that having a technical skill that they excel in at their day job, a good idea, and the desire to work for themselves and not someone else is enough to create a successful business of their own. As you might have guessed, it's not. Having a specific skill doesn't automatically give you the knowledge to run a business unless you also know how to hire staff, manage payroll, and promote your business.

Takeaway #2 Raising a Business from Infancy Through to Adulthood

In the same way that parents raise kids from infants through adolescence into adulthood, with the tantrums of toddlers and teenagers all to be expected, entrepreneurs must also raise a business by going through the same growth patterns. However, whilst parents usually know that they're raising their kid to be independent, business owners rarely think about this which is why failure happens.

At the start of entrepreneurship, the owner and the business are one, it's a romantic time when the owner gets to do all the things she or he enjoys doing, using their skill all day every day. But as the business grows more successful, the owner suddenly finds that they are overwhelmed and must hire people to help, no longer able to control every small detail.

This means that right from the start you need to know where your business is heading and what it will need down the line – You need an organizational strategy. You need to know who your ideal customer is, how large and successful you want the business to be (how many hours you want to work, how many days off you want, and how much money you want to make). You also need to have a growth strategy, knowing how many staff will be required and what each person will do in the company. Whilst you're sitting at your kitchen table doing all of the work yourself this might seem like overkill but if you want your business to flourish, it's essential.

Takeaway #3 The Turn-Key Revolution

A turn-key business means that once running successfully, anyone could take over and move the business forward. An easier way of thinking of it is to imagine a franchise business – McDonald's and Domino's Pizza are great examples of this.

For your business to grow and not become one of the failure statistics from above, you need to work on your business, not in it. You should follow a business format franchise to ensure the processes and systems in your business are well-oiled and could be replicated by anyone who joins the team but also by anyone wishing to follow in your footsteps and become a franchise.

Before a business can be replicated, first the prototype has to be perfect, this is where you get to work both on and in your business, growing it from infancy upwards, creating value for customers whether that's in your products, your customer service, or your core values.

Next you take a step back, working on your business, documenting how your business works, how people can make X, and also how to train people to make X, you have manuals for every aspect of the business so that both service and results are predictable ensuring customers are satisfied whether you're dealing with them personally, they're being dealt with by one of your team, or one of your franchisee's.

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Book details

  • Print length: 269 Pages
  • Audiobook: 8 hrs and 5 mins
  • Genre: Business, Nonfiction, Entrepreneurship, Self Help

What are the chapters in The E-Myth Revisited?

Chapter One - The Entrepreneurial Myth
Chapter Two - The Entrepreneur the Manager, and the Technician
Chapter Three - Infancy: The Technician's Phase
Chapter Four - Adolescence: Getting Some Help
Chapter Five - Beyond the Comfort Zone
Chapter Six - Maturity and the Entrepreneurial Perspective
Chapter Seven - The Turn-Key Revolution
Chapter Eight - The Turn-Key Revolution
Chapter Nine - The Franchise Prototype
Chapter Ten - Working On Your Business, Not In It
Chapter Eleven - The Business Development Process
Chapter Twelve - Your Business Development Program
Chapter Thirteen - Your Primary Aim
Chapter Fourteen - Your Strategic Objective
Chapter Fifteen - Your Organizational Strategy
Chapter Sixteen - Your Management Strategy
Chapter Seventeen - Your People Strategy
Chapter Eighteen - Your Marketing Strategy
Chapter Nineteen - Your Systems Strategy
Chapter Twenty - A Letter to Sarah

What are some of the main summary points from the book?

Here are some key summary points from the book:

  • The Entrepreneurial Myth: The book challenges the common belief that entrepreneurs are primarily motivated by their technical skills or expertise. Instead, Gerber argues that successful entrepreneurs need to possess three distinct personalities—the Entrepreneur, the Manager, and the Technician—and strike a balance between them.
  • The Fatal Assumption: Gerber introduces the "fatal assumption" that if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand how to run a business that does that technical work. Many small business owners fall into this trap and end up struggling because they neglect the managerial and entrepreneurial aspects of their business.
  • Working On vs. In the Business: Gerber emphasizes the importance of working on your business rather than just working in it. The distinction lies in taking the time to develop systems, processes, and strategies that enable the business to run smoothly and efficiently, rather than being solely focused on day-to-day tasks.
  • The Franchise Prototype: The author suggests that entrepreneurs should think of their business as a prototype for a franchise, even if they don't plan to franchise it. By developing a clear and replicable business model with well-documented processes, the business becomes scalable and less reliant on the owner's constant involvement.
  • Building Systems: Gerber emphasizes the need to develop systems that can be followed by anyone in the business. Clear processes and procedures help maintain consistency and efficiency, reduce dependency on individual employees, and enable the business to deliver high-quality results consistently.
  • The Turnkey Revolution: The book highlights the concept of the turnkey revolution, where the focus shifts from the product or service being offered to the entire customer experience. Businesses that excel in delivering a consistently outstanding experience build customer loyalty and differentiate themselves from competitors.
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Gerber encourages entrepreneurs to continually innovate and improve their businesses. By constantly questioning and refining their systems, processes, and customer experience, entrepreneurs can stay ahead of the competition and adapt to changing market conditions.
  • The Importance of Leadership: Successful entrepreneurs are not just technicians or managers but also effective leaders. Gerber stresses the significance of developing leadership skills to inspire and motivate the team, communicate a clear vision, and create a positive company culture.

What are good quotes from The E-Myth Revisited?

[Favorite Quote]: “If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business—you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!” (Meaning)

“The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is living fully and just existing.”

― Michael E. Gerber - The E-Myth Revisited Quotes

* The summary points above have been concluded from the book and other public sources. The editor of this summary review made every effort to maintain information accuracy, including any published quotes, chapters, or takeaways

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Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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