Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About ItThe E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Years ago I attended a weekend seminar where various motivational and education material was for sale at a table at the back of the room. I spent my hard earned money on a set of cassette tapes of a live Emyth seminar by Michael Gerber. On those 6 (or was it 8?) cassette tapes I got most of the concepts around his "build a franchise prototype" philosophy.

Here I am years later and two business degrees later, and I finally decided that it was time to read the book and see if there was anything I missed. For the record, there really wasn't.

The seminar did a good job of laying the foundations in a quick, concise and interesting way. The book took a little longer to develop, and I found it to be overfilled with his own story, one that I didn't find appealing. He was basically a hippie-turned-sales-consultant. Those facts aside, I still really like his philosophy, although with more years of experience under my belt, I had a few reservations.

My chief reservation with the "franchise prototype" that he promotes is that in his model the owner still had to know how to fix everything in order to build the initial process manual. Even a well-meaning, hardworking business owner is not likely to do a good job of that. They question becomes how to hire and motivate professional managers to both create and maintain processes. A second and less important issue with the book: he spends a lot of time on mysticism. Get over it and focus on the content dude:)

What I love about this book: It make an impressive case that process-based solutions are the way to go. He delivers a focused plan to the often overlooked segment of small family or "cottage" businesses, rather than huge organizations, and it is a plan that anyone could apply if they wanted to.

If you own or run a small business, you should read this book. Ignore the personal mumbo jumbo, and the rest will be worth your time.

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