Mustard Book of the Week: The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E Gerber

  • 07 Mar 2016
  • By Alan Jones
  • Read in 4 Minutes

Mustard Book of the Week: The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E Gerber

The E-Myth Revisited is sub-tilted Why Most Small Business Don’t Work and What to do About It, and was one of the the first business books to be targeted and the owner managed businesses.

The E-Myth stands for the Entrepreneurial Myth. Gerber ascertains that there are three competing roles for the business owner; the Entrepreneur, The Manager and the Technician.  The Business Owner would have had an Entrepreneurial Seizure to start their business. They were most likely doing technical work previously. What business would they start? Most likely the business that they were technically proficient in. The engineer would set up an engineering business, the electrician an electrical business, the accountant or solicitor an accountancy/solicitor practice, and so on. But just because the business owner is technically able to do the work of the business, doesn’t mean that they are technically able to run a business that does the technical work. Indeed, it can be an advantage not to know the technical part of the business, because then the business owner has to figure out how the work gets done, rather than how to do the work!

Gerber takes us through the stages of business growth from infancy, through adolescence to maturity and tells the story of someone who set up a pie shop. He talks about how to set up a turnkey business and is credited with coining the phrase “working on your business” rather than working in your business.

The sub-title of the book doesn’t resonate with us. It is a very lonely job being a business owner, and there is a lot of heavy responsibility on their shoulders. We should know as we are business owners ourselves. Anyone that has been in business for five or more years, has an office/building with ten plus staff has done the hard yards. They have been successful. They just need a little bit of help to get to the next level.

The book does come with a couple of reservations. First, it is very American. Second, there is a lot of repetition so it could be half the size. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended for any business owner seeking to grow their business.

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