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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  ·  20,133 ratings  ·  757 reviews
In this first compact disc edition of the totally revised one million copy underground bestseller "The E-Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. He walks you through the steps in the life of a business -- from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent gro ...more
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Published December 1st 2003 by HarperAudio (first published September 1st 1985)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Chad Warner
Sep 23, 2012 Chad Warner rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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
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
Nov 16, 2014 Britany rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Recommended reading for entrepreneurs.


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
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
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
Todd Luallen
This book was a bit of a struggle to get through for me. The book was originally written back in the 70's, but has been re-written and updated since then. I listened to the majority of the book at 2x speed...and even 3x speed for bits here and there. The author is a slow reader, takes forever to get to the point sometimes, and also waxes eloquent with philosophical jargon throughout the book. The book is primarily directed at the individual who is considering starting a typical brick and mortar ...more
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
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
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.
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
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
Shorel Kleinert
Excellent read! Most small business fail, because the business depends on the owner to be there 24/7. And woe the week when the owner tries to take a vacation. Otherwise to stay alive the business needs to stunt the customer base so that it can't grow. But then, is it really a business, or just a sideline job?

The McDonald's illustration perhaps suffers a bit from perceived image nowadays, but the point was well given. Because of processes, anyone (from delinquent to doctor) can go in, start a fr
J. Pablo
If you are an entrepreneur or you find yourself having to run a company, read this book. I highly recommend it.
This book will open your eyes to the possibilities and danger blocks of the big B. Great book and very inspiring.
Wow. Had it not been for the emphatic suggestion of a very good friend, I never would have picked up this book. And I will spend the rest of my life being thankful that I did. I've never been so motivated, awakened, inspired and terrified all at the same time! This book gave me valuable insight into the inner workings of successful small businesses, and at the same time an in-depth look into myself. It created a want, a need, and a solution all in the same breath and may have set me on a path th ...more
Great book so far. Every business owner, future owner and employee should read this book.
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How do we add books from Audible 2 53 Nov 06, 2013 07:41PM  
  • Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You
  • Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm
  • Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business
  • Monk and the Riddle: The Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur
  • Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big
  • The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself
  • Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable
  • The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk
  • Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing
  • Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends
  • Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale
  • EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches
  • The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
  • Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur
  • Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness: How to Make Sales Forever
  • In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies
  • QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life
  • How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling
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.” 14 likes
“With no clear picture of how you wish your life to be, how on earth are you going to live it? What is your Primary Aim? Where is the script to make your dreams come true? what is the first step to take and how do you measure your progress? How far have you gone and how close are you to getting to your goals?” 8 likes
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