Book Reviews

The E Myth Revisted by Michael E. Gerber

e myth


About the Book

As with all these reviews, the following is generally true:

The more quotes I pick out, the more I like the book.

And you’ll be pleased to here that with E-Myth Revisited, there’s a staggering amount!

If you’re looking to scale your business and/or systematise it, this book’s well worth checking out.

Here are some of its highlights…


Favourite Passages:

  • “The problem with most failing businesses I’ve encountered is… they spend their time and energy defending what they think they know. The greatest businesspeople I’ve met are determined to get it right no matter what the cost.” Foreword


  • “That fatal assumption is: if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does technical work.” Chapter 1: The Entrepreneurial Myth


  • “… most businesses are operated according to what the owner wants as opposed to what the business needs.” Chapter 3: Infancy – The Technician’s Phase


  • “The true question is not how small a business should be but how big. How big can your business naturally become, with the operative word being naturally? // Because, whatever that size is, any limitation you place on its growth is unnatural, shaped not by the market or by your lack of capital (even thought that may play a part) but by your own personal limitations.” Chapter 5: Beyond the Comfort Zone


  • “… companies like McDonald’s, Federal Express, and Disney didn’t end up as Mature companies. They started out that way!” Chapter 6: Maturity and Entrepreneurial Perspective


  • “At its best, your business is something apart from you, rather than a part of you, with its own rules and its own purposes. An organism, you might say, that will live or die according to how well it performs its sole function: to find and keep customers.” Chapter 9: Working On Your Business, Not In It


  • “… now that you know what the game is – the franchise game – understand that there are rules to follow if you are to win:
  1. The model will provide consistent value to your customers, employees, suppliers, and lenders, beyond what they expect.
  2. The model will be operated by people with the lowest possible level of skill.
  3. The model will stand out as a place of impeccable order.
  4. All work in the model will be documented in Operations Manuals.
  5. The model will provide a uniformly predictable service to the customer.
  6. The model will utilise a uniform colour, dress, and facilities code.

Chapter 9: Working On Your Business, Not In It


  • “In one test, Cheskin showed that a triangle produced far fewer sales than a circle, and a crest outproduced both by a significant margin!” Chapter 9: Working On Your Business, Not In It


  • “Go to work on your business rather than in it, and ask yourself the following questions:
  1. How can I get my business to work, but without me?
  2. How can I get my people to work, but without my constant interference?
  3. How can I systematize my business in such a way that it could be replicated 5,000 times, so the 5,000th unit would run as smoothly as the first?
  4. How can I own my business, and still be free of it?
  5. How can I spend my time doing the work I love to do rather than the work I have to do?

Chapter 9: Working On Your Business, Not In It


  • “But as Harvard Professor Theodore Levitt points out, the difference between creativity and Innovation is the difference between thinking about getting things done in the world and getting things done.” Chapter 10: The Business Development Process


  • “Where the business is the product, how the business interacts with the consumer is more important than what it sells.” Chapter 10: The Business Development Process


  • “THE INNOVATION The next time you want somebody to do something for you, touch him softly on the arm as you ask him to do it. You will be amazed to find that more people will respond positively when you touch them than when you don’t.” Chapter 10: The Business Development Process


  • “You can’t ask too many questions about the numbers. // Eventually, you and your people will think of your entire business in terms of the numbers. // You’ll quantify everything.” Chapter 10: The Business Development Process


  • “… if you haven’t orchestrated it, you don’t own it! // And if you don’t own it, you can’t depend on it. // And if you can’t depend on it, you haven’t got a franchise. // And without a franchise no business can hope to succeed.” Chapter 10: The Business Development Process


  • “Great people have a vision of their lives that they practice emulating each and every day. They go to work on their lives, not just in their lives.” Chapter 12: Your Primary Aim


  • “‘If you want it done,’ I tell them, ‘you’re going to have to create an environment in which doing it is more important to your people than not doing it. Where doing it well becomes a way of life for them.'” Chapter 16: Your People Strategy


  • “The idea the Boss has about the business comes down to one essential notion. That a business is like a martial arts practice hall, a dojo, a place you go to practice being the best you can be.” Chapter 16: Your People Strategy


  • “What the Manager was telling me… what that people – your people – do not simply want to work for exciting people. They want to work for people who have created a clearly defined structure for acting in the world. A structure through which they can test themselves and be tested. Such a structure is called a game.” Chapter 16: Your People Strategy


  • “… to degree to which they buy into your game doesn’t depend on them but on how well you communicate the game to them – at the outset of your relationship, not after it’s begun.” Chapter 16: Your People Strategy


Star Rating:


I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to read this one!

If you’re looking to start a business that doesn’t have you as the bottleneck, save yourself years of pain and check out E-Myth Revisited!




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