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

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  68,611 ratings  ·  2,132 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
Paperback, 269 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Harper Business (first published September 1st 1985)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Chad Warner
Apr 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: entrepreneurs, business owners
Recommended to Chad by: Dean Whittaker, Entrepreneur Magazine, Seth Getz
This book tells how to get your business to run without you. It shows how to work on your business, not in it. It explains how to get your people to work without your interference. It tells how to systematize so the business could be replicated 5,000 times. It shows how to do the work you love rather than the work you have to do.

The E-Myth (Entrepreneurial Myth) is that businesses are started by entrepreneurs seeking profit. In actuality, businesses are started by technicians (employees) who dec
Dec 02, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: business
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.
Jul 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
The The E-Myth Revisited deals with two major misconceptions about running a business: that every small business owner is an entrepreneur and the assumption that working on your business is the same as working in your business. This book is an absolute must-read for business owners and while on occasion the writing is a little cheesy there are plenty of really important topics discussed in a clear, informative manner, which will help you grow your business in a productive and successful way. ...more
Farnoosh Brock
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business-spirit
It felt like overnight MBA school. Or better.

A 5-star through and through. I never got my MBA. I've build a 6-figure business after resigning from my long corporate career, and I'm never going to go for the MBA, but listening to Michael Gerber's E-Myth Revisited book, I feel like I just went to overnight MBA School.

I listened to the book at 1.5x the speed over several flights and learned SO MUCH and I feel that even if you are a pro small business owner, you'll get a lot out of this book.

This i
Filipe Lemos
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one, really
Shelves: audio, non-fiction
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
Jun 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 f
Feb 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Mario Tomic
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is an absolute MUST READ for anyone looking to start or manage a business. It's evergreen wisdom that will give you a nice foundation how to plan your business and the proper way to manage it. Even if you don't wanna start your own company this book will definitely help you understand more about business in general and how the structure of a stable company works. This is a really valuable book full of wisdom, don't miss out! ...more
May 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
I found this book poorly written and condescending. The formula Gerber prescribes for struggling small business owners could have been easily explained in a few bullet points without the endless anecdotes about "Sarah's Pie Shop" and annoying made-up terms. (Stop trying to make Turn-Key Revolution happen! It's not going to happen.) ...more
Elise Edmonds
Apr 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The principles in this book are very good, and I think Gerber nails the reasons why so many small businesses fail. The distinction between the roles of Entrepreneur, Technician and Manager are well thought out and reflect reality.

The systems Gerber recommends putting into place are stringent, and I feel it would be difficult to transfer them to certain types of business - service businesses, and highly skilled technical businesses for example. It's very much geared to businesses that provide goo
Kellye Bojorquez
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Maybe I'm being unfair. Maybe, because I'm a writing teacher, this book bothered me more than it should have.

To be fair, there are some good (though not groundbreaking) business ideas here, mostly common sense concepts that are good to refresh and reemphasize.

But I found a few of Gerber's writing habits irksome. His needless repetition belittles his audience. His habit of belaboring a point by adding to it a litany of fragments that simply restate the concept was tiresome. His long, rambling,
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"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
Jan 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sher❤ The Fabulous BookLover
3.5 Stars

Very repetitive, but it has some good concepts to think about.
Melissa Jill
Oct 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
This book is one of the most highly acclaimed reads for small business owners. I started listening to it on CD a few years ago and then got distracted and just finished it recently. I got the gist of the message a few years back and it truly shaped my business and focus from that point forward.

The E-Myth (Entrepreneurial Myth) is that businesses are started by entrepreneurs seeking profit. In actuality, businesses are started by technicians (employees) who convince themselves that they could be
Patrick Sherriff
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I am a small business owner, or at least I thought I was before I read this book, but now I realise I'm not. Yes, I'm a self-employed English language teacher in Japan, but what I have isn't a business so much as a job. The crucial difference being what happens if you stop pedalling. If I did, the bike would quickly grind to a halt and topple over. That means I have a job. A business on the other hand is an institution (even a small one) that could be run by someone else. The real difference, as ...more
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
Alex Stevenson
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Hands down the best book on business I've read yet. You often hear the same generic motivational narrative and watered down advice over and over. This book was the complete opposite - it shows you the core of what a business really is and gives you practical advice on starting a successful one. A must read for anyone into entrepreneurship, and even if you aren't it'll give you invaluable advice on how to use systems to achieve results in your every day life. ...more
Chris Mower
Aug 06, 2011 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Jan 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book definitely had a handful of REALLY good ideas. Unfortunately, they were buried by a couple hundred pages of horribly written gibberish. The E-Myth easily could have been condensed into maybe 50 pages, and it wouldn't have been so painful to get through. Gerber's stories of his conversations with "Sarah" are so over-the-top dramatic that I couldn't believe a word of it.

Find a summary online, study the main points, and skip the book.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
That was a painful read and a waste of time. The tone was condescending. I'd be more upset but the book was only 99¢. It was one giant advertisement for their consulting services. No actual answers or evidence to back up their claims. ...more
Aug 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Couldn't get past the repetition and corny dialogue. ...more
Omar Halabieh
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The book revolves around a central idea, that there exists a myth ("E-Myth") which states: "Small businesses are started by entrepreneurs risking capital to make a profit. This is simply not so. The real reasons people start businesses have little to do with entrepreneurship. In fact, this belief in the Entrepreneurial Myth is the most important factor in the devastating rate of small business failure today. Understanding the E-Myth, and applying that understanding to creation and development of ...more
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
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
Nov 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010-book-list
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
Bartosz Majewski
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Must read for every enterpreneur. Instant classic
Nathan Rose
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is probably the fourth or fifth time I have sat down to try to read "The E-Myth". My past attempts have always ended in abandonment, but this book is so highly regarded as a business classic that I decided to grit my teeth and to power all the way through to the end this time, no matter what.

Having done so, I am confirmed in my belief that this book does not deserve all the praise it has been showered with. I remember now why it was so hard to finish - the book has a single point which it k
Louai Al Roumani
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am usually very skeptical about business books; there seems to be an endless stream of new books underlying 'revolutionary' theories on what to do and what not to do in business. Some say you should plan more, others insist the way to go is not to plan; and so on. In spite of this skeptical mindset, I gave this book a chance as recommended by a friend.

Little did I know that I was destined to the best business book I have ever read.

The language is so simple and practical, yet so engaging and
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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.” 34 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.” 34 likes
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