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

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  21,539 ratings  ·  781 reviews
E-Myth \ 'e-,'mith\ n 1: the entrepreneurial myth: the myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs 2: the fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical work

Voted #1 business book by Inc. 500 CEOs.

An instant classic, this revised and updated edition of the
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Paperback, 269 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by HarperBusiness (first published September 1st 1985)
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How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnegieThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. CoveyThink and Grow Rich by Napoleon HillGood to Great by James C. CollinsGetting Things Done by David Allen
Best Business Books
12th out of 458 books — 774 voters
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. KiyosakiThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. CoveyThink and Grow Rich by Napoleon HillHow to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnegieThe Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
Best Books For Beginning Entrepreneurs
8th out of 191 books — 259 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Chad Warner
Sep 23, 2012 Chad Warner rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: entrepreneurs, business owners
Recommended to Chad by: Dean Whittaker, Entrepreneur Magazine
When I told a business owner at a local event that I had started my own technology services business, he recommended that I read this and learn how to "work on my business, not in it." I had heard the phrase and other mentions of Michael Gerber and The E-Myth in Entrepreneur Magazine and elsewhere, but after this personal recommendation I had to read it. This book is an eye-opening read for any small business owner.

The E-Myth (Entrepreneurial Myth) is that businesses are started by entrepreneurs
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Christopher
About half a dozen important ideas buried in a mass of cloying, poorly written prose.

The 268 pages dedicated to this text could have been cut to 60 and the book would have been better for it. As it is, prepare to skim.

The author's habit of inventing characters that compliment him on his own ideas is a recurring and increasingly annoying technique. He also compliments his invented characters for their eloquence and drops repeated advertisements for his own company in the text. Classy.
Travis
If it weren't for the condescending, overly-simplistic, overly-drawn out, incessantly repetitive tone of this book, it would be good--it does have meaningful concepts, it just should have been twenty pages long. I've spent years working in consulting where process works when people don't. This book took sixty pages to suggest that the poor overworked technician hire help. Another fifty pages to explain that you need good processes so that you can hire low-skilled people. That you define a role a ...more
Wellington
This is a fine book showing some of the flaws of small businesses and why so many fail. The author uses a fictional small business owner who started a pie shop and running herself ragged. She has a great gift in making pies but is burning herself out. She was thinking about how she her job was making and selling pies when her business could and should be so much more.

Successful companies don’t actually sell the products that they make. They fulfill an emotional need of their clients. For instanc
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Britany
Nov 16, 2014 Britany rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Britany by: Todd
Shelves: non-fiction
I was handed this book by a colleague and appreciated the layout. Gerber introduces concepts in a way that anybody can understand and interpret. He does this alongside coaching Sarah- a baker who is looking to start up her business "All About Pies" so in addition to giving the reader concepts, he implements them, using Sarah's case study throughout the book.

My reason for giving this 2 stars is because at one point, I set this book down and really had to force myself to pick it back up again. Jus
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Meg
I read this a few years ago. It was the text for one of my husband's business classes. He said it was a good book... and I said, "WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?" (qualifies as one of the most rare phrases to escape his gorgeous lips) So I had to read it, see.

It's actually pretty amazing. I'm betting I'll never start my own business, because the things I do tend to be less-marketable services and commodities. Reading, doing laundry, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer... Don't think you get paid for any of
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Robert
"A life laking in comprehensive structure is an aimless wreck. The absence of structure breads breakdown" - Quote from The Third Wave, Alvin Toffler. So Mr. Gerber makes the point that in a broken world our businesses need to be the shelter from the chaos with what Mr. Gerber calls "Impeccable order".

“The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them
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Chris
I skimmed this book five years ago after hearing about it from some North Point staff members. I thought I understood the basic ideas, so for the last five years the book sat on my shelf. Until this week. I had a chance to listen to the book this week, and will likely add it as required reading for all our new staff members.

Great lessons:

1) Most people get into business (ministry?) because they like doing something and wish they could do it for themselves. Naively, they think they'll have more
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Filipe Lemos
Dec 14, 2013 Filipe Lemos rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one, really
This book is appears in all must-read-business-books-lists.
Well, not on mine.

While I agree that standardization of processes can go long way, the McDonald's of the world already exist. Trying to create another one, is as likely as to aiming to be the next Facebook.

The way I work in the corporate world, and the way I see myself working in an enterprise of my own, isn't factory work, follow the manual and nothing but the manual, don't think just execute bogus.

We're human working for humans, everyo
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Jim
One of the worst titles for one of the best business books I've read in a long time. The "E Myth" stands for the "Entrepreneur myth" which, in Gerber's opinion, has caused many small American businesses to fail. Gerber believes that the notion that people of a certain type drive success in business, is pretty much dangerous bunkum. Systems drive business, and if you construct the right systems, the business will run itself. Of course, it's a bit more complex than that. In fact, it's a lot more c ...more
Nicholas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Taylor
Self-employment does not make you an entrepreneur.

In this classic, Gerber highlights the three functions in a business: the Entrepreneur, the Manager, and the Technician. Self-employed people stay on the Technician-level and thus limit themselves.

He then moves onto the three stages of business growth, Infancy, Adolescence, and Maturity and shows how the role of the functions change as you grow.

Finally he outlines a Business Development Program, a practical Turn-Key system for putting his ideas i
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Cameron
The most well-written, comprehensive, clear business book I've read so far. Gerber both manages to make this book really entertaining (I listened to the audio version) and super informative and eye-opening. I think different business books resonate with different people; this one really resonated with me. Most other books about this subject that I've read all say pretty much the same thing, and fail to give many concrete steps to take. This is the exact opposite of those books. He lays out a uni ...more
Brandon Allen
The E-Myth is an important read for inspiring entrepreneurs if for no other reason than to keep you on track with doing what’s important for your business. Specifically making sure that you are always working on your business.

The overall message of this book is for small business owners to have systems and processes in place for their business. The main model that Michael Gerber uses is the franchise model that ensures that companies like McDonald’s can operate anywhere in the country and still
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Payam
What you do not know that you do not know, can and will hurt you. In this case, if you are in a small business, and are unexperienced, you probably do not know that you could be far more efficient and happy at your small business. This book explains how.

"The E-Myth Revisited" starts by debunking the idea that a specialist, a technician in a field, cannot simply and successfully become independent. The common mistake of the technician is the false belief that a business only needs a technician to
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Amit
Recommended reading for entrepreneurs.

Notes:

Work on your business, not in it.

A company is supposed to grow and it will not grow if you only care about the technical work
Build the company as a set of systems that could be copied for repeatable success.
Clearly define and document every role and have an insight in every one
Your customers perceived need is more important than their actual need.
Experiment to make your systems better.
Measure everything so you know if what you are doing is working
Your
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Jeff
Outstanding. Second time I've read it, better this time around. If you are starting a new business or organization, this is a must-read.

Some takeaways:

The Entrepreneur, the Technician, the Manager.

The true product of a business isn't what it sells but how it sells it.

The Entrepreneur asks, "Where is the opportunity?"

Tom Watson, IBM: "Every day is devoted to business development, not doing business."

Mr. Watson had a clear picture of what IBM would look like in the future and began to act like it
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Mike Ogilvie
This was a terrific book! I can easily say that every small business owner and entrepreneur should read it!

The first half especially was terrific. It helped me to conceptualize how much effort I was putting into my three business owner "characters": the technician, the manager, and the entrepreneur.

The second half was also good and gave me lots of great ideas for creating processes for my business. But it may be a little over the top for some - if you take him literally you'd be planning out a p
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James Carroll
Summary
Many small business owners go into business to get away from the “boss,” thinking that proficiency with the technical aspects of a business is sufficient to successfully run a business, and that self-employment will give them freedom. In truth, business requires three skillsets: Entrepreneurial, Managerial, and Technical, and that self-employment is not business ownership. Many small businesses balloon in size during early success and then reflexively collapse, and finally fizzle out, as
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SK
Not every book can be earth-shaking, and this one isn't, except that the ideas presented, if practiced, could help anybody gain control over some of the chaos of life. Gerber makes logical and convincing arguments that build a ladder out of the "box" of thinking we all get into. I especially appreciate his theory that we all have inside us different people speaking different roles and that we naturally get stuck in the role at which we are naturally adept. Recognizing the choice we have to expan ...more
Chris Mower
I've read this book 3 times now over the past 5 years... well, I read it once very thoroughly and marked it up with highlights and notes... then read/skimmed it the second and third times... truth is it drives me nuts when people invent characters/dialogue in these types of books, and it's even more annoying when the dialogue is unnatural. Grudges aside, it teaches excellent business principles and ideas and thus comes highly recommended for the ideas, just not for the writing style.
Roxanne Russell
As a new small business owner, I asked a trusted colleague what books I should read on running a small business or being an entrepreneur. He stepped out of this realm to suggest that Getting Things Done was the best book he'd read and then suggested The E-Myth Revisited as a classic entrepreneurship book that was "pretty good, having you step out of your business and view it as an overall entity."

I agree- pretty good. Belabored metaphors or framing narratives, like the one used here and in Who
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Brian
The E-Myth Revisited maintains that most small business owners aren’t really entrepreneurs. Most entrepreneurs are interested in making money and moving on, while most small business owners have very different goals for their businesses, such as enjoying a certain amount of freedom and autonomy.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting a business is to assume that because they know how to do what their business does – web design, accounting, real estate, etc. – they also know how to
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Colleen
Repetitive and ridiculously simplistic writing, but the content is great-- he lays out the challenges and solutions for all entrepreneurs. It had a huge impact on how I do business.
David Richards
I didn't read this, I have the audiobook version which is read by the author. He reads it with such personality and flair that I can't help but think that the experience of the book must be very different. He has a pleasantly resonant and calming voice and a unique personality really flows through it. His delivery is well timed and calmly paced. I really enjoyed the audiobook and return to it once in a while for inspiration. It's not the one and only business book you'll ever want to read but it ...more
Greg
I read "E-Myth Revisited" after being directed to it by a leader at work, and I am so glad I did! As I prepare to start my own small business in the coming months, I feel this book was and will continue to be invaluable. Breaking a part the technician, entrepreneur, and manager inside of me and working on my business and not IN my business are all things that make sense and that I had not considered at all.

Another big part of the book focuses on systems, not talent, as the key to creating a bus
...more
Andreas Källman
Must read for any small business owner. The book describes how to change your mindset into that of an entrepeneur from that of being self employed.
Mona Temchin
This is a better book than "The Most Successful Small Business in the World", but not by much. It's badly written, repetitive, wordy, and self-congratulating. The same ideas could have been communicated better in one fourth the words. I also have trouble taking a writer seriously when he calls Revlon, Fedex, and McDonald's "great companies".

It's too bad, because he does have some ideas that are worth reading about. I was especially intrigued by the hotel which had an excellent system for taking
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J. Pablo
If you are an entrepreneur or you find yourself having to run a company, read this book. I highly recommend it.
Kimberly
This book will open your eyes to the possibilities and danger blocks of the big B. Great book and very inspiring.
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How do we add books from Audible 2 83 Nov 06, 2013 07:41PM  
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  • Lucky or Smart?: Secrets to an Entrepreneurial Life
E-Myth Mastery: The Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World Class Company The E-Myth Revisted/ The E-Myth Mastery Awakening the Entrepreneur Within: How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies The E-Myth Enterprise: How to Turn A Great Idea Into a Thriving Business The E-Myth Manager: Why Most Managers Don't Work and What to Do About It

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“Contrary to popular belief, my experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren't so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.” 16 likes
“The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is living fully and just existing.” 9 likes
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