(Business) Book Review: The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

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Victor Antonio, Sales Influence

Book Review: The E-Myth Revisited

By Victor Antonio, Sales Influence

For more than a few years now people have recommended that I read the E-Myth by Michael Gerber.   Based on title, I thought the book was another over-hyped manifesto on how to make a million dollars on the Internet in 24 hours or less.   Reading the first few pages I quickly learned that the ‘E’ in E-Myth doesn’t stand for E-commerce but for Entrepreneur.  The book was originally written in 1980.  The book I read was “The E-Myth Revisited” published in 1995.

The first 70 plus pages are the preamble leading up to what Gerber defines as “The Turn-Key Revolution”; the heart of this new way of thinking.  Gerber’s model for this new revolution is Ray Kroc’s franchise model for the restaurant chain McDonalds.   Citing statistics from the U.S. Commerce Department he draws an inversely proportional correlation between small business start-ups and franchise companies.  Almo st 80 percent of all new businesses fail within the first 5 years compared to 75 percent of all franchise companies that survive during that same time period.   Using a proven system,  Gerber argues that this new business model, “…provides the franchisee with an entire system of doing business.

In a nutshell, Gerber’s book is about how to apply the philosophy behind what’s made the most successful franchises successful to one’s own business.  Gerber brings to mind a movie I saw many years ago called ‘Multiplicity‘ featuring Michael Keaton.  In the movie the overworked Keaton decides to take advantage of a new cloning breakthrough that allowed him to create ‘multiples’ of himself to do his job and chores so he could have time to relax and enjoy life.  To some extent Gerber is suggesting the same but with more ‘predictable’ success, less the unforeseen and unintended consequences Keaton failed to consider.

Gerber constantly reminds the reader that you shouldn’t work ‘in’ your business but rather ‘on’ your business.  The entrepreneur must see himself as something that stands apart from the actually daily grind of running a business with the end purpose of creating a model that can be duplicated and repeated model that anyone should be able to run, regardless of their level of experience.

Gerber lays out the tenets for a successful franchise model:

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 utilize a uniform color, dress and facilities code.

Now let me take a step back and make one point absolutely clear; the E-Myth is not just for future franchise owners.  The book provides an interesting point of view in how to setup a business based on client-centric consistency using proven methodologies.  He also allows for change by admitting that everything, even a well planned out business model, like a franchise, still requires to some degree, a ‘kaizen’ (i.e., continuous improvement) mindset.

For anyone interested in starting a business I highly recommend this book.  Again, it’s not about building a franchise, but about a paradigm shift for how you should view your business before you decide to build it.   Even if you’re a business owner already, this book offers an objective, self-removed analysis that will allow you to rethink how you spend your time and efforts in running the business.  Gerber’s goal is to get you to think about how you can build (or run) a business that requires minimal intervention allowing you to enjoy more of your business.

Victor Antonio, Sales Influence

“Finding the Why in (How People) Buy”

Copyright © 2010 by Victor Antonio.   All rights reserved.  Author, speaker and sales trainer Victor Antonio has a BSEE, MBA and over 20 years of executive sales experience and has shared the stage with top national speakers like Zig Ziglar, Dr. Robert Schuller, Rudy Giuliani and other top business experts.  This post MAY be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, as long as the author’s name, website and email address are included as part of


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