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The E-Myth Revisited – Book Highlights

In this post, I will be covering my kindle highlights for The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. Another one of my tier one rated books from my reading list.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It
  • HarperCollins
  • Michael E. Gerber
  • Edition no. Upd Sub (03/03/1995)
  • Paperback: 268 pages

“Every year, over a million people in this country start a business of some sort. Statistics tell us that by the end of the first year at least 40 percent of them will be out of business.”

“Within five years, more than 80 percent of them—800,000—will have failed.”

“Because more than 80 percent of the small businesses that survive the first five years fail in the second five.”

I have grouped these first three quotes togeather as they all serve the same sobering point. When starting a business, the odds are stacked against you. You see potential candidates for this statistic almost every day on the various online internet marketing related forums.

People with a bad attitude, people who expect something for nothing, people who are delusional and many more traits that increase your chances of failure in business.

The problem is that everybody who goes into business is actually three-people-in-one: The Entrepreneur, The Manager, and The Technician.”

The whole concept of the book is based around this concept, how the entrepreneur is the visionary, the manager is required to run the business and the technician is required to do the work. All three roles require a different mind set yet so many people place all three roles into one.

Personally, I have always tried to outsource the content generation jobs as I hate writing about topics I have no interest in. If things go to plan I also plan to outsource my keyword research process as well as the posting and editing of articles. If I can scale enough I may also take on a full time manager to ensure everything runs smoothly. In theory this would leave me to do the whole digital nomad thing while focusing on the entrepreneur role.

Until recently I was guilty of this, in all honesty, I would class myself as more of a link builder than an SEO or internet marketer. I know how to build massive amounts of links with ease but understood very little about other elements of the site. This past three months I have focused on developing my knowledge in these areas and have learned so much from it.

Moving forward I want to work towards becoming an internet marketer rather than an SEO as I plan to pull my traffic from many sources rather than putting so much faith in Google. If the past few month has taught me anything it is that Google can turn the tap off at the flick of a button.

“The Entrepreneur lives in the future, never in the past, rarely in the present. He’s happiest when left free to construct images of “what-if” and “if-when.””

“The managerial personality is pragmatic. Without The Manager there would be no planning, no order, no predictability.”

“The Technician loves to tinker. Things are to be taken apart and put back together again.”

I will leave these three quotes togeather as it is a breakdown of the three different roles according to the authors definitions. In my opinion, there is some crossover between all three roles but these provide you with a rough idea of the separation of roles.

“The typical small business owner is only 10 percent Entrepreneur, 20 percent Manager, and 70 percent Technician.”

I have no idea how the author came to reach this ratio but I would imagine the majority of small business owners are more technician than anything else and this is one of the reasons the number of business that fail are so high.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It
  • HarperCollins
  • Michael E. Gerber
  • Edition no. Upd Sub (03/03/1995)
  • Paperback: 268 pages

“Most businesses are operated according to what the owner wants as opposed to what the business needs.”

Another point that I would imagine leads to the large amount of failed businesses. The lack of self-discipline to put the business first could be catastrophic.

“Infancy ends when the owner realizes that the business cannot continue to run the way it has been; that, in order for it to survive, it will have to change.”

A point I highlighted as it hits home with me thanks to a wake-up call from Google. Until Penguin 4 was rolled out I was set in my ways, although I lost the majority of my sites I am actually happy that Google helped me realize I have to diversify.

“You just can’t play the role of The Technician and ignore the roles of The Entrepreneur and The Manager simply because you’re unprepared to play them.”

Another point that hit home as it effected me directly. Until the begining of this year I had been focusing on the work site of the taskings far too much rather than managing my projects and planning for the future.

“The sales-oriented owner goes out to find a production person. The production-oriented owner looks for a salesperson. And just about everybody tries to find someone to do the books!”

A nice point to hammer home the importance of hiring employees or freelancers that are strong in areas that you are weak. No one is good at everything, team work needs to be maximised for the greater good.

“It’s called Management by Abdication rather than by Delegation. In short, like every small business owner has done before you, you hand the books over to Harry…and run.”

This is from an example in the book where the business owner brought an accountant on and just abandoned him to work as he pleased. I see people on the various forums doing this time and time again with freelancers.

For example, they take a writer on and expect their output to be exactly how they want it without offering any training or even a basic template for the writer to follow. Freelancers are a godsend but they do require some training to get them how you like them.

“The Technician’s boundary is determined by how much he can do himself. The Manager’s is defined by how many technicians he can supervise effectively or how many subordinate managers he can organize into a productive effort. The Entrepreneur’s boundary is a function of how many managers he can engage in pursuit of his vision.”

Another highlight that offers a simple definition of the three roles as the author envisions them.

“If you can’t control the chaos, get rid of it.”

Although I don’t agree with this point totally as there will always be external factors that the user has no control over I still think it is worth including. Trying to meet this highlight is actually one of the reasons I have been focusing on my white hat case study as most of the chaos I have encountered recently was related to black hat practices.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It
  • HarperCollins
  • Michael E. Gerber
  • Edition no. Upd Sub (03/03/1995)
  • Paperback: 268 pages

“Will you be wrong at times? Will you make mistakes? Will you change your mind? Of course you will!”

One of my main rules for my internet marketing based projects is to fail more, in my experience it is by far the best way to learn.

“Out of the thousands upon thousands we’ve met, there have only been a few who had any plan at all! Nothing written, nothing committed to paper, nothing concrete at all.”

One that I was guilty of, so many people just jump into internet marketing and let the excitement take over them. Now I plan everything, try and come up with best/worst case scenarios and plan tests for future projects to make them stronger.

“Every day at IBM was a day devoted to business development, not doing business. We didn’t do business at IBM, we built one”

This is the mind set I am trying to adapt for my new projects, rather than thinking of how my actions can benefit me or my projects in the now I think of the possible future benefits and how best to work towards long-term growth.

“When The Entrepreneur creates the model, he surveys the world and asks: “Where is the opportunity?” Having identified it, he then goes back to the drawing board and constructs a solution to the frustrations he finds among a certain group of customers.”

My current thinking of to relate this to creating a model of long-term websites, finding the opportunity in low comp keywords with a solution of the websites content. In theory, it should work but nothing is ever set in stone.

“In less than forty years, Ray Kroc’s McDonald’s has become a $40-billion-a-year business”

“The true genius of Ray Kroc’s McDonald’s is the Business Format Franchise.”

What Ray Kroc understood at McDonald’s was that the hamburger wasn’t his product. McDonald’s was.”

Unlike the trade name franchise before it, Ray Kroc’s system left the franchisee with as little operating discretion as possible. This was accomplished by sending him through a rigorous training program before ever being allowed to operate the franchise.”

“Less than 5 percent of franchises have been terminated on an annual basis, or 25 percent in five years. Compare that statistic to the more than 80-percent failure rate of independently owned businesses”

“Forced to create a business that worked in order to sell it, he also created a business that would work once it was sold, no matter who bought it.”

This next group of highlights are all about Ray Krocs great vision. The story goes he was selling equipment for restaurants when he came across two brothers working a burger bar. He observed how smooth and quick the operation ran, from the customer making their order to their food being put in their hands. They system worked perfectly.

In this, he saw a great opportunity in being able to use that model to develop a highly efficient and scalable plan of how to run a restaurant.

“A systems-dependent business, not a people-dependent business.”

The end goal of his system, something I am trying to mimic in the internet marketing world. The freelancers can be swapped in and out as required, in theory, provided the keyword research methods, site structure, content structure, keyword density and such are the same there should be a fair chance of success.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It
  • HarperCollins
  • Michael E. Gerber
  • Edition no. Upd Sub (03/03/1995)
  • Paperback: 268 pages

“Where 80 percent of all businesses fail in the first five years, 75 percent of all Business Format Franchises succeed!”

Again, I have no idea where the author got this stat from, but if it is true then it would suggest the franchise business model offers a larger chance of success.

“Once having completed his Prototype, the franchisor then turns to the franchisee and says, “Let me show you how it works.””

This concept was the key to Ray Kroc’s success. Rather than letting people with different levels of experience in business rent his brand he forced them to complete his training package. This ensured that the person operating the franchise understood exactly what they were required to do to maximize their chance of success.

Additionally, there were also strict rules the operator was required to follow at all times to limit variation of the customers experience and minimizing the chance of the franchise operator changing something for the worse.

Although I don’t plan to sell or rent my methods out, a similar concept can be used in training virtual assistants, freelancers and project managers. In theory, this could help me scale quickly when the time comes.

“Go to work on your business rather than in it”

Again, another highlight towards working towards the future of your business rather than the current state of it.

“Let me describe in my own words what I heard you just say.”

I have touched on this before, time and time again when I first started taking on virtual assistants I would have problems getting them to deliver their work as I required it. It was no fault of theirs, it was mine. I had presumed my instructions were clear but I had failed to confirm their understanding.

Now, especially when working with a new assistant I ensure I get them to repeat my instructions in their own words as well as what they believe I require and expect from them. I have found it reduced problems massivle as it offers the opportunity to adjust the freelancers understanding before the work is begun rather than once it is complete.

“Think of your business as though it were the prototype for 5,000 more just like it.”

Pretty much exactly what I am doing for my new set of sites. Tweaking plans for future scaling.

“The difference between a warrior and an ordinary man is that a warrior sees everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man sees everything as either a blessing or a curse.”

A highlight about the differences in attitudes of different people. You see people like this guy all the time, rather than working on themselves they lash out blaming external factors they have no control over rather than adjusting their own efforts.

“There is ultimately only one reason to create a business of your own, and that is to sell it! To do it, to finish it, and then to get paid for it!”

An exit strategy is always important. This is one of the reasons I am trying to move more towards white hat based stuff as white hat domains are much easier to sell on to a potential investor to allow you to free up cash if required.

“If everybody’s doing everything, then who’s accountable for anything?”

Something that I learned while in the military. If a task comes from the chain of command without a specific person being made accountable for it then their is a high chance that either the task will not be completed and if it is it will be to a subpar standard. If someone is made directly responsible and know they will be held accountable for the results of the task then the task was usually completed to the required standard.

“Because if you won’t follow the rules, why should anyone else?”

Another one from my time in the military, when the chain of command operate with a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude where they do as they please but expect the junior ranks to do as expected everything takes a hit. Starting with morale and eventually hitting productivity and standards.

On the flip side, I have also worked in units where the chain of command held themselves to the same standards as their juniors and in my experience, the unit as a whole ran much better for it.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It
  • HarperCollins
  • Michael E. Gerber
  • Edition no. Upd Sub (03/03/1995)
  • Paperback: 268 pages

Last update on 2017-06-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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