The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
Yorkshire Powerhouse Score 8/10
Essential reading for any budding entrepreneur. Painfully, unashamedly, American in style and approach but the underlying message is too good to be ignored – you just have to forgive the author his roots!
Who will gain the most from reading The E-Myth Revisited?
Anyone who’s interested in running a business that’s genuinely ‘a business’ rather than allowing the business to run their life, with the logical subsequent domination of the business ruling you! The E-Myth Revisited is especially essential reading for anyone who says, “we don’t need systems and procedures in this business” or anyone who genuinely thinks their business could become a franchise operation.
This is an old book – it was written in 1986! The ‘E’ stands for ‘Entrepreneur rather than anything electronic. The fact that this ‘old book’ is still a top selling, top rated, frequently cited business book should convince anyone who’s unfamiliar with the text to click the ‘buy now’ button urgently and push it to the front of the holiday reading list.
It’s also a pleasingly simple book to read. There’s little jargon or ‘corporate business talk’. Instead, Gerber uses a (seemingly made up) case study of Sarah and her ‘All About Pies’ American pie shop which will make Yorkshire readers cringe – but simply skip these elements and you’ve reduced your time commitment but maintained all the good bits.
In essence, the sub-title says it all … ‘The E-Myth Revisited – Why most small businesses don’t work and what to do about it’. The premise being that most small businesses get caught up in the classic trap of being good at doing what the business does but not being good at all the other elements of running a business. So, for Sarah and her sodding pie shop, she’s no longer enjoying the process of making pies because she’s having to do all the other jobs – cleaning, serving customers, cashing up, ordering stock, marketing, accounts, banking, etc, etc, etc.
Gerber describes and splits the various roles into ‘technical’ (i.e. the day-to-day production of pies), ‘managerial’ (the overseeing of the shop) and ‘entrepreneurial’ (the planning and procedurising Gerber encourages you to undertake, the dreaming the strategising, etc).
The E-Myth’s ultimate solution is based on the concept of procedurisation and the implementation of systems and written job descriptions that cover every aspect of the business – not based on today’s needs, but on the future imagined needs of your vision for growth. Obviously, once you have an idea of the destination for your business, you can easily work out the various jobs, roles and likely personnel requirements and start, today, to plan for these, write their job descriptions, create documented operational processes and allow your business to essentially expand on demand with everything it needs already understood and easy to delegate.
The obvious mirroring of successful franchising ‘operations manuals’ isn’t hidden from the book – indeed, it’s actively promoted as a vision of excellence, and an obvious destination of any business? But, more helpfully, the essence of the book is based on how easy it is to get it all wrong – which, to any good Yorkshire entrepreneur should be invaluable advice.
Could a Yorkshire perspective improve this book?
Definitely – change the case study to Alf, the award winning pork pie butcher and the E-Myth Revisited would be 10/10. Seriously, the book is dreadfully American but astonishingly at home in Yorkshire because of it’s blunt, straight talking and simple advice.
The E-Myth Revisited is essential reading … procedurise your business, document your systems and hand them over… save yourself the heart ache of not being able to delegate jobs. Stewart Leahy, Yorkshire Powerhouse
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