The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

Author: Michael E. Gerber

Rating: 7/10

An updated edition of a timeless bestseller about the importance of working on your business instead of working in your business.
Gerber believes that entrepreneurs – typically brimming with good but distracting ideas – make poor businesspeople. He argues that everybody who goes into business is actually three-people-in-one: The Entrepreneur, The Manager, and The Technician, and each of them gets in the way of two others.

It was recommended to me by a friend who, after reading this book, was finally able to break free from working 12 hours a day in his business, and who now travels all the time while the business continues to grow.

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Highlights

“If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business — you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!”

“Once you recognize that the purpose of your life is not to serve your business, but that the primary purpose of your business is to serve your life, you can then go to work on your business, rather than in it, with a full understanding of why it is absolutely necessary for you to do so.”

“The Entrepreneur lives in the future, never in the past, rarely in the present. He’s happiest when left free to construct images of ‘what-if’ and ‘if-when.'”

“If The Entrepreneur lives in the future, The Manager lives in the past.”

“The Manager is the one who runs after The Entrepreneur to clean up the mess.”

“It is the tension between The Entrepreneur’s vision and The Manager’s pragmatism that creates the synthesis from which all great works are born.”

“If The Entrepreneur lives in the future and The Manager lives in the past, The Technician lives in the present. He loves the feel of things and the fact that things can get done.”

“As long as The Technician is working, he is happy, but only on one thing at a time. He knows that two things can’t get done simultaneously; only a fool would try. So he works steadily and is happiest when he is in control of the workflow.”

“While The Entrepreneur dreams, The Manager frets, and The Technician ruminates.”

“The typical small business owner is only 10 percent Entrepreneur, 20 percent Manager, and 70 percent Technician.”

“Most businesses are operated according to what the owner wants as opposed to what the business needs.”

“If you are unwilling to change, your business will never be capable of giving you what you want.”

“Once you’ve innovated, quantified, and orchestrated something in your business, you must continue to innovate, quantify, and orchestrate it.”

“The difference between a warrior and an ordinary man is that a warrior sees everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man sees everything as either a blessing or a curse.”

“Before you start your business, or before you return to it tomorrow, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I wish my life to look like?
  • How do I wish my life to be on a day-to-day basis?
  • What would I like to be able to say I truly know in my life, about my life?
  • How would I like to be with other people in my life—my family, my friends, my business associates, my customers, my employees, my community?
  • How would I like people to think about me?
  • What would I like to be doing two years from now? Ten years from now? Twenty years from now? When my life comes to a close?
  • What specifically would I like to learn during my life—spiritually, physically, financially, technically, intellectually? About relationships?
  • How much money will I need to do the things I wish to do? By when will I need it?”

“When asked what kind of business they’re in, most business owners respond with the name of the commodity they sell. Always the commodity, never the product.

The difference is the commodity is the thing your customers actually get in their hands. The product is what your customers feel after dealing with your business. What they feel about your business, not what they feel about the commodity.

Understanding the difference between the commodity and the product is what creating a great business is all about.”

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