It has been almost 30 years since Michael Gerber published The E-Myth (1986) and 20 years since The E-Myth Revisited (1995) and since then E-Myth Worldwide has produced dozens of support documents and educational programmes. Indeed amongst small business owners, consultants and coaches The E-Myth has earned an almost cult-like following – if you can use such emotive terms when exploring the fundamentals of business practice. It has been 12 years since the Director of The Hospitality Company flew, with youthful enthusiasm, to Australia to attend Gerber’s direct address and excitedly secure his own signed copy of Revisited.
Gerber has become so entrenched in the canon of small business that not having read The E-Myth Revisited at least, is a bit like an English Literature Professor not having ever read Shakespeare or Dickens. All this from a once dope smoking, thrice married ex-encyclopedia salesman. It just goes to show you that a pair of fresh eyes can be revolutionary. For Gerber it was experiencing Silicon Valley for the first time at 40 years-old and not understanding a thing about the technology, but instinctively witnessing the IP and product focused businesses flail about and fail; one after the other.
The crux of The E-Myth is essentially that most small business owners work ‘in’ their business and not ‘on’ their business, so essentially they own a job that is their life – not a business that supports their life. Gerber argues that technicians experience some kind of ‘entrepreneurial seizure’ and throw themselves out into the small business frontier without prioritising the actual business as their product. Therefore, most business owners do not begin by building a business that will not need them for it to be; consistent, easily operated, ordered, self-teaching, uniformly predictable and marketed.
Owner and product focused businesses cannot grow to 10,000 times their size, they cannot be sold, and they do not allow the owners to have a mid-life crisis in the form of ultra alpine running or walking the Camino. Gerber argues that a successful small business must have a very clear understanding of what it is trying to achieve when it is fully developed, and it must begin by acting like that fully mature company from the beginning – the owner must build and develop the right systems from the beginning or the demands of ‘the job’ will take over.
So here are some questions for you. Are you feeling tired? Too busy? Tapped and lacking innovation? Are you able to take a month out from your business over Christmas without feeling concerned about falling standards? If you have read The E-Myth Revisited – have you profoundly understood that it is the quality of your systems that will determine the success of your business? If you do understand, have you managed to achieve it?
If you have had some successes, we would love to hear from you, because we love happy Christmas stories. If you know you can improve and you want some help – then explore some of the supportive options that The Hospitality Company offers. Make your New Year’s resolution to have an enormous holiday next Christmas.
17/12/2015 Mrs Hospitality