The E-Myth Revisited

🚀 The Book in 3 Sentences

Most businesses are not started by entrepreneurs. A successful business requires that you be able to remove yourself as the bottleneck to growth. And that you systemize every aspect of your business.

🎨 Impressions

This is an eye-opening and inspirational read for everyone in business. But it’s just that. While the information and insight is top-notch, it doesn’t provide any details on implementation. So if you’re already sold on the need to systemize your business or need help building the systems, this book isn’t for you.

Who Should Read It?

Anyone in business who wants to plan a path to growth. This book isn’t for people who want to continue as solo business owners doing all—or most—of the tasks required to run their business.

đź“’ Summary + Notes

1—The Entrepreneurial Myth

The E-myth is the myth of the entrepreneur. That businesses are started by entrepreneurs. When in reality they aren’t.

Or, only temporarily.

The entrepreneur quickly dies. The excitement that came with starting the new business. The possibilities. Quicly drown in the frustrations and realities of running the business.

The problem is that most people that start businesses are technicians. They’re people doing technical work. They assume that a person who knows how to do the technical work knows how to run the business that does that work.

But they don’t.

The business that does the technical work and the technical work itself are two completely different things. So—when he starts a business—the technician turns a job he knows how to do into one job he knows how to do and a dozen jobs he doesn’t know how to do.

He ends up overworked, stressed, and most likely fails.

2—The Entrepreneur, Manager, Technician

Everyone has multiple parts of themselves that they call “I.” They’re multiple personailities that we mistakenly think are the same person.

When they’re out of balance the different personalities conflict with each other. Like the personality that wants to get in shape and be healty. He gets sabotaged by the personality that wants to lay on the couch all day and eat sandwiches.

The same holds true between the entrepreneur, the manager, and the technician. They’re different parts of ourselves that, when out of balance, sabotage our business.

The entrepreneur is the dreamer. The one who lives in the future. Always thinking of new ideas. New adventures. His favorite question is what if?

The manager wants everything to be in order. Everything in it’s place. The manager wants to organize and categorize everything. The manger lives in the past.

The technician is the one who gets things done. The individualist. The technician lives in the present. Doing the work.

We have all of these different parts in us. And when they’re out of balance, it reflects in our business. It becomes lopsided.

3—Infancy: The Technician’s Phase

A business is naturally intended to grow and change. But when the technician does all of the work—including running the business—it can’t.

When everything the business can do depends on the technician doing it, the business is in trouble.

When you’re the one doing everything in the business and fulfilling all of the customers needs, you don’t have a business.

When your customers needs are fulfilled specifically by you and not your business, you don’t have a business.

You have a job.

If all you wanted out of your business was to be free of the constraints of a job, your greed will eventually consume you and your business.

A business can only grow past the infancy stage when the technician is willing to let go of doing everything in the business.

4—Adolescence: Getting Some Help

Once the technician gets some help, things seem to go well for a while. For the first time, he’s not the one stuck doing everything.

He gets used to leaving the work to his employee(s), and everything goes well for a while. Then he starts noticing problems. Things never seem to be done to the technicians satisfaction.

So eventually he ends up doing it all himself again.

If only he could awaken the entrepreneur and the manager within himself. But he’s reached the limits of his comfort zone.

The only way for him to go further is to grow past his current comfort zone.

5—Beyond The Comfort Zone

As most businesses grow into adolescence a couple things normally happen.

  1. The technician gets overwhelmed with everything happening, is too uncomfortable with the feeling of loss of control, and decides to get small again. They fire everyone, and constrain the business back to what they can do themselves.
  2. They allow the business to grow rapidly and uncontrollably. Until it eventually explodes due to the uncontrolled growth.

In both cases the business eventually dies. Either slowly, and quietly due to burn out, overwhelm, and loss of passion. Or fantastically and catastrophically.

And in both cases it’s due to the owners lack of skill, preparation, and willingness to learn and grow past their comfort zone.

Your job as the entrepreneur is to prepare yourself and your business for growth. To learn what you need to learn to continue giving the business the foundation it needs to sustain that growth.

6—Maturity And The Entrepreneurial Perspective

Successful businesses got to where they are—not by moving through the phases of business growth and eventually becoming that way—but because they started out that way.

They defined up front what the business would look like when it was finished, how it would act when it was finished, and they started acting that way from the very beginning.

This type of vision has to come from the entrepreneur. He has to be able to see the business at a larger perspective than the technician sees it.

He has to view it from the top down, rather than from the bottom up. In terms of what the business offers the customer rather than looking at the business as strictly the work that’s done in it.

Then he has to find a way to make the business work for everyone involved. The entrepreneur, the technician, and the manager.

This leads to the Turn-Key Revolution.

7—The Turn-Key Revolution

The true product of a business is the business itself. Not the product it sells.

The Turn-Key revolution is about creating business systems that produce a predictable result—a business—over and over again. No matter who’s in charge of them.

8—The Franchise Prototype

The franchice prototype is basically the blueprint for running the business in a predictable, repeatable, trainable way. It can be followed by anyone who has been trained to use it and will produce the exact same thing every time.

A business that works.

It frees the technician to do the work the loves to do. It gives the manager the order he craves.

It gives the business owner a way to be the entrepreneur, the technician, and the manager in a balanced way.

9—Working on Your Business, Not in it

Realize that the purpose of your life is not to serve your business. The purpose of your business is to serve your life.

When you realize this, along with the realization of the importance of the franchise prototype, you can begin working on your business, not in it.

If the prototype is to be the model of your business that could be used to make any number of exact copies; it has to follow a few rules.

  1. The model will provide consistent value to your customers, employees, suppliers, and lenders, beyond what they expect.
  2. The model will be operated by people with the lowest possible level of skill.
  3. The model will stand out as a place of impeccable order.
  4. All work in the model will be documented in operations manuals.
  5. The model will provide a uniformly predictable service to the customer.
  6. The model will use a uniform color, dress, and facilities code.

10—The Business Development Process

For a franchisee, where the business is the product, innovation is focused on how the business provides it’s service. The changes don’t have to be dramatic. They can be very simple, such as a color change or a change in messaging.

Innovation constantly asks the question: what is standing in the way of our customer getting what they want?

You have to quanitfy everything in your business to know if your innovations are working. How many sales calls, how many sales, how many conversations you have each day, etc.

Your business must be predictable to give your customer what he expects every single time. Orchestration is the enemy of discretion, of doing things differently every time. It’s how you create order in your business, so you have a repeatable way of doing things. If you don’t have that, you don’t have a business that works. And likely soon won’t have a business at all.

Have clear business procesess, and do them for as long as they work. When they stop working, change them.

11—Your Business Development Program

Your business development program is how you create your franchise protype. It consists of:

  1. Your primary aim
  2. Your strategic objective
  3. Your organizational strategy
  4. Your management strategy
  5. Your people strategy
  6. Your marketing strategy
  7. Your systems strategy

12—Your Primary Aim

What do you want the story of your life to have been after it’s too late for you to do anything about it?

That’s your primary aim.

Your business might have a part in it. But your business is not your life. It’s part of your life.

13—Your Strategic Objective

Your strategic objective is what your business will actually need to do to make your primary aim a reality.

It needs to be reduced to a set of simple standards.

The First Standard: Money

The Second Standard: An Opportunity Worth Pursuing

What is my product?

Nobody cares about the commodity; perfume, cosmetics, websites, etc. People buy feelings. What feeling will your customer walk away with?

Who is my customer?

14—Your Organizational Strategy

Create an organizational chart with clearly defined positions and accountability.

The organizational chart becomes the blueprint for your franchise prototype.

You have to document every function of every position in the business and follow the processes yourself.

That way, when the time comes, you can give someone else the manual for that position and replace yourself.

16—Your People Strategy

This chapter has to be read to be experienced. It’s far too deep and spiritual for me to summarize.

It basically comes down to the fact that you can’t make the people in your business do what you want. That’s impossible.

You have to make doing what you want them to do more important to them than not doing it.

You have to gamify the business. And you have to create, maintain, and vary the life of that game to keep it interesting so your people will want to continue to play it.

It has to be a game you’re willing to play. You have to really believe in it. It can’t be a trick to persuade people into working. And it can’t be coercive.

People will see right through that. And it won’t work.