E-Myth Revisited

February 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Book Reviews 

 

I had someone that I admire recommend reading this book and I picked it up without knowing exactly what to expect. I had heard it mentioned before, but beyond that had not understood what it was about.

After reading this book, I have quite a few ah ha’s — and this, along with going through a Goals Development Program by Darren Hardy and success.com, I am now looking at my business in a different way. This book is a must read for anyone going into their own business. The book was written michaelgerberby Michael E. Gerber, who is the founder of E-Myth Worldwide. E-Myth Worldwide was created in 1977 as a coaching, training and education company. It is now in its 32nd year (if that isn’t something amazing to anyone trying to start their own business then nothing is!) and has helped more than 65,000 businesses in over 145 countries. His program is used in 118 universities in the world. He has authored 13 business books and founded 11 new ventures in the last four years. I have ordered his most recent book; however this one was absolutely awesome.

The most impacting realization I took away from this book is that all Entrepreneurs have started a business due chaosto the chaotic world we are living in. They are looking for order. Our world is a place of constant change and our corporations and larger companies (and smaller companies) are doing their best to keep up with all the changes; however they are failing miserably (80% of new businesses fail within 5 years). Due to the chaos and never ending change, the individuals working in companies are feeling discomfort; they feel no order, no real reason for being and they feel they are working hard for companies without any real satisfaction. The realization that this book led me to is that the reason that these businesses are failing are because we are bringing the chaos from the world and our companies with us and opening up businesses that result being ran on the basis of chaos. What Michael Gerber is teaching in this book is that we need to change ourselves in order to not only run a successful business, but to also help the world start to run without the state of chaos we seem to be in constantly.

multiple personalitiesThe other thing that the book points out is that each of us is a person with multiple personalities. For instance, we all have a skinny personality and fat personality. The skinny person gets motivated to exercise and diet to get healthy; the fat person is comfortable hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep or opening the fridge for that second helping of ice cream. We also have three personalities that come into play when starting a business; a technician, a manager and an entrepreneur. The technician likes doing the work; they are good at the work and they like being left alone. The manager likes order and process and tries to minimize as much change as possible. The entrepreneur thrives on chaos and constant change. Each of these personalities needs a chance to survive and thrive. If any one of these personalities takes over, the business will die.

Most small businesses have been started by the technician in us. The person who knows they can start a business doing what they know best and they feel they can do it so much better than the company they are working for. The entrepreneur steps in momentarily (in what the book calls an “entrepreneur seizure”) and the person is off to start their business. The problem then becomes that the technician steps back in and neither the manager nor the entrepreneur steps back in to balance the business out.

The book discussed 3 stages: infancy, adolescence and maturity. Infancy is the technician stage – it isn’t looking for growth and change, it is a time for work, work, and more work. Infancy ends when the owner realizes a change is needed and it is at this point that many businesses fail. This is where the entrepreneur and manager must be allowed in to move the business into the next stage and if this doesn’t happen the technician decides to either close its doors, goes for broke (hires people but doesn’t manage) or succeed in spite of it all (and will work until they literally can’t any longer). Adolescence needs a manager. A small business will stay in adolescence until the owner can’t work the business any longer or if it had been planned correctly enters maturity. Every business reaches a point where it goes beyond the owners comfort zone. Mature companies typically start out as a mature company; it is the owner that goes through infancy and adolescence to enter maturity. It is important to prepare yourself and your business for growth; by continuing to educate yourself so that your business can grow.

mcdonaldsThe turnkey revolution is what we saw when companies began to be ran like McDonald’s is ran. It was the start of the franchise. A franchise is either a trade name franchise or a business format franchise. The business format franchise runs by a system, the product is the system not the actual consumable good. This is where the owner works ON the business not IN the business.

The rest of the book discusses how an owner needs to innovate, quantify and orchestrate. These three things dance together in order to create a successful business. The business development program includes contemplating your primary aim, the strategic objective and strategies for the organization, management, people, marketing and systems. The book discusses the process of prototyping each position that will be done, or could be done within the business. Management development is discussed and how the system becomes your solution. They go through people management and discuss how to get employees motivated – it makes a point on how the owner creates the environment where the employees WANT to work for the company. Lastly the systems strategy is discussed – how to bring the hard systems, soft systems and information systems together.

I loved this book for what it has done to the thoughts for my own business; however I am feeling a bit cheated. I am looking for more thorough details and examples of the business development process; however there is enough information included that with a bit of research and time the details should become accessible.  To spite feeling cheated, I highly recommend reading this book if you are looking to be in business for yourself or if you are in business for yourself!