+ Nate Chai reviews Micheal Gerber’s The E Myth revisited
Dense. Dense is really the only way to describe Michael Gerber’s The E Myth. In 268 pages he outlines many of the traps that small business owners fall into, how to avoid them, and how to make a small business run without the owner.
The book is divided into three sections that outline; the mindset that business owners need to internalise, how to create a business that works every time, and how to create strategies and systems that allow the owner to focus on the work that they want to do.
Again, I feel the need to restate how jammed pack this book is with useful, well explained information. For example, the first “section” deals primarily with the three philosophies that are required to run a business yet are always in conflict. The three philosophies are like Freud’s idea of the ego, ID, and super ego but related specifically for business, and will highlight sticking points that you have in your business (I’ve written a full run-down and explanation of those mindsets here).
A franchise prototype
The second section is all about creating a “franchise prototype”. Using the example of how McDonald’s is the same across the globe, Gerber persuades and demonstrates how you can create a business that will still run effectively even if the owner gets sick or wants to have a holiday. All explained in an eloquent and human way.
Finally, he goes into the minutiae of how to create plans to keep your business progressing and growing (again whilst you aren’t there).
Gerber’s writing style is fantastic, explaining his concepts and terminology clearly and cleanly. He makes the book feel like an actual book with a constant narrative of a woman called Sarah who takes the role of “everyday small business owner”. Despite initially writing “Sarah” off as gimmicky, I soon felt a warmth toward her plight of fixing her business.
There is a but…
If there is one criticism I need to make about the book it’s that Gerber’s ability to construct narratives tend to him being a tad verbose. Similarly, experienced business owners or those who have studied business may find that he over-explains some basic business terms.
Ultimately, the book is both a fantastic read AND an amazing source of knowledge.
Verdict: Buy it, read it, and read it again every couple of years.