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From the CEO Bookshelf: “The E-Myth Revisted”

By: Mark Kleinschmidt


Many people consider “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber as one of the most influential books for small business owners. Since it was first published in 1986, over 5 million copies have been sold. If you have not read this book, you should check it out, it will help you along the road to becoming the CEO of your business. 

In the book, Gerber explores the myth that most businesses are started by people who have a solid set of business skills. He explains that this is not true, but rather most businesses are started by “technicians” who know nothing about running a business but have outstanding skills or knowledge to provide a particular service or produce a certain product.

More About the E-Myth

The book emphasizes the importance of working on your business and not in your business and viewing your business from a strategic and systemic perspective, not just day-to-day operations. The book outlines several tools and concepts to help business owners shift their perspective and achieve success. The main messages of the “The E-Myth” point out that a business should not just provide a job for its owner, but it should also offer a rewarding life and a successful business owner will work on the business and not in the business. 

There are many outstanding insights and tips in the book about running a small business, it provides a framework for creating a successful business that works without depending on the owner.  If it is not on your bookshelf, we highly recommend it.  Here are a few key takeaways:

  1. The E-Myth, or entrepreneurial myth, is a fundamental misunderstanding in American business. It’s the notion that skillful technical work and a good idea form a sufficient basis for business success. People often start their own business merely because they excel at work in a certain field. In fact, technical work and the work required to run a business are two completely different things.


  1. Most businesses go through infant, adolescent and mature stages, just like we do. The difference is that most businesses won’t survive adolescence. During the adolescent stage, the owner is pulled passed their comfort zone, where they control everything in the business themself. This business will fail unless it can grow beyond the owner’s ability to do and control everything themselves.

  2. The E-Myth, identifies three main personality types that exist in every business owner: the Entrepreneur, the Manager, and the Technician. One moment the business owner is creating a new product or service and the next they are the technician, frustrated with the implementation of their new idea. Although the three personalities seem to be totally at odds with each other, we must utilize the strengths of each to run a successful business. That’s why the average small business owner is approximately 10 percent entrepreneur, 20 percent manager and 70 percent technician.  To grow your business, you need spend more time as the entrepreneur.

  3. Think of your business as a franchise. Highly successful businesses create a model that works perfectly, provides a predictable product to the customer with every purchase and can be replicated without the    Think about the success of McDonalds over the years.  The success rate for franchises is amazing. Whereas 80% of small businesses fail in the first five years, 75% of franchise businesses succeed.  The success rate for a franchise is so high because they follow a well-documented system to operate the business.
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