The E Myth Revisited, Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It, by Michael E. Gerber is a business classic that was published in 1995. I wanted to know if it has stood up to the test of time.

The book follows Sarah, who had started a business baking pies. The point is made that so many business owners make the mistake of taking their job skills into their own business and basically creating a new job for themselves. I can completely understand this approach and have seen many new business owners doing exactly this.

“The fatal assumption is if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does that technical work.”


Are you a technician, a manager or an entrepreneur?

In fact you need to a mix of all 3 to be a successful business owner.

The Entrepreneur is the visionary that exists in each of us.

The Manager is the planner.

The Technician is the doer.

We need to be all of these people within our business and yet these three personalities are in conflict with each other so it’s important that we each find a way to give them equal space.

“The Entrepreneur dreams, the Manager frets and the Technician ruminates.”


Work on your business not in it

One of the most important points that the author makes is that:

 “Your business is not your life.”

Your business is there to serve your life, your life’s purpose is not to serve your business no matter how important your business is to you. Once you fully understand this point then you can make sure you are constantly working on your business rather than in it.


The why of you and your business

The author writes about making sure you know what your primary aim. Note that’s your primary aim not your business’. To know your aim you need to be honest with yourself about what is important to you; what you value, what kind of life you want and who do you wish to be.

Once you know your primary aim it’s time to develop your strategic objective. This objective is a clear statement of what your business has to ultimately do for you to achieve your primary aim.

For Sarah the why of her business wasn’t baking pies. It was all about caring.

I think that a lot of business owners skip the first step as it’s too hard to think about and so many people have lost a true sense of what who they are. It’s simpler to skip straight to the strategic objective and focus on making money.


Business development

There are many parts to a business and you need to make sure that all of them have been thought through. The author discussed strategies for different parts of your business; organisation, management, people, marketing and systems.

On the whole I would say that this book is well worth a read for any new or aspiring business owners.


Have you read this book? Did you find it useful? Did any parts of this review resonate with you?


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