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Book review of The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

Michael Gerber has written the roadmap for every small business in The E-Myth Revisited.  Plain and simple.  He lays out the guidelines for working on your business, not working in your business.

The full title of the book is The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, and pretty much sums it up.  Even though title says “why”, the “why” is only give context for him to explain the much more important “how”.

But how, do you ask?  If you are a business owner and you’re still doing all the work, have no free time, and don’t trust anyone to help you, then have trouble growing your business because there is only one of you.  That is when you are working in your business.

But if you have people working for you and have them doing the jobs that are easy, the jobs you don’t like, and the jobs that are repeatable, then you can grow your business and have some free time for yourself.  That is when you are working on your business.

Another way to say it is that people working in their business are doing all the work. People working on their business are able to be the leaders or the CEOs.  That allows you to make strategic plans to provide a better product or service and causing your business to grow.

Michael Gerber wrote the original e-myth book in 1990, simply titled The E-Myth with the same subtitle. He wore The E-Myth Revisited as an updated version of the original in 2004 because so much had changed due to the growth of online businesses.

Every business starts with the owner or founder.  In the beginning, you typically have no choice but to work in your business.  If you are bootstrapped, you have to do basically every job task. The exception is when something requires skills that you don’t have, and you can afford to outsource.

As you grow your business, or want to grow your business, you will eventually need to begin delegating tasks so that you can work on your business. But delegating is easier said than done. Michael Gerber doesn’t tell you where to go to find resources to delegate to, but rather how to put systems in place so that certain things can be delegated.

Following Michael Gerber’s roadmap, you can eventually get to the point to where your business is running without you even there.  And that’s a good thing.  That means that you can consider expanding your business.  Or it means that you have free time to spend away from your business.

Who is this book for?  It is ideal for someone who is working too hard in their business and needs guidance.  It is also good for someone who is just starting their business to learn how to put systems in place in the beginning so you don’t have to “play catch up” when it’s time to start delegating or growing.  It is also good for a business that is in a period of growth or expansion, helping to ensure that they have the right tools and processes in place to ensure their growth or expansion is successful.

The E-Myth Revisited is an extremely easy read.  Michael Gerber uses an example business throughout the book to illustrate his concepts, and it works very well.

I do, however, think that there is a lot of intentional fluff to make sure that the book is a certain length.  It reminded me of when I was in high school and didn’t have enough content to fill a 5 page long paper, so I would start increasing the font and reducing the margins to make sure it was long enough.  Michael Gerber does this by being repetitive in a few occasions. But the book is such a quick and easy read, that it’s not overwhelming.

I would suggest The E-Myth Revisited for anyone who has a small business or even thinking of starting a business.  The ROI from purchasing the book will be well worth it.