Is the E-Myth Revisited still relevant for businesses today?

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The E-Myth revisited book was written by Michael Gerber over 25 years ago. Twenty five years is a long time in the business cycle. However, it is a book that doesn't go out of style or decrease in relevancy. I continue to recommend it often. 

E-Myth Book cover by Michael E. GerberThe E-Myth book has always been something of an enigma. If you ask most people about it, they haven’t ever heard of it-- and yet it has been around the business bestseller list for 25 years.

When I recommend it to a non-business owner, they'll respond that it was interesting. However, when I give it to a business owner, their response is to gush over the content. Ask any really successful business owner and odds are that this book will be in the top 3 most influential business books they have read.
 
So, is the E-myth book still relevant?
One of the things I love so much about history is that as much as things change, one thing has remained the same: people. Technology changes, environment changes, political systems change, and ways of living change, but one thing hasn’t changed is people. As I read the Bible or Plutarch’s Lives, both written thousands of years ago, I come away realizing that their times were very different from mine, but that the people described very similar to me. They are fallen human beings who struggle with the same issues that I struggle with. They the have the same needs, wants, fears and paranoia that I have today.

This is what makes E-Myth relevant today-- It’s dealing with something deeper than a business model or a marketing strategy. It deals with the internal struggles of being an entrepreneur (E-Myth is short for “the Entrepreneurial myth”).


The central Myth is the idea that most businesses are started by people with business skills, when in fact most are started by “technicians” who know nothing about running a business. Therefore, most fail.

This was the case 25 years ago and is still the case today. I still see too many businesses started by someone with an idea or a proficient technician, neither of which have acquired the basic skills or knowledge of business development.
 
From my observations, I believe that most entrepreneurs today still work in the business (“Technician’s Perspective”), rather than on the business (“Entrepreneurs Perspective”). 

Here are some key ways these views differ:

The Entrepreneurial Perspective asks the question, “How must the business work?” This perspective looks at the business as the product, competing for the customer’s attention against a whole shelf of competitors. 
The Technician’s Perspective asks, “What work has to be done?” In this view, the product features, fulfillment logistics and costs are the key to success.

The Entrepreneurial Perspective sees the business as a system for producing value for the customer, resulting in profits. 
The Technician’s Perspective sees the business as a place in which people work to produce income.

The Entrepreneurial Perspective starts with a picture of what the business should be, and then comes back to the present with the intention of changing it to match the vision. 
 The Technician’s Perspective starts with the present, and then looks forward to an uncertain future with the hope of keeping it much like the present.

The Entrepreneur builds a business around the needs and wants of his target market, The Technician builds it around the Technician’s desires.

The Entrepreneurial Perspective is an integrated vision of the world, where the customer need is an opportunity to make meaning. 
The Technician’s Perspective is a fragmented vision of the world, where customer satisfaction represents a series of problems to solve, with price, features, availability, and support.

To the Entrepreneur, the present-day world is modeled after a vision of a better way, one that will stand out with customers from all the rest in the past, and give the joy and satisfaction of success. 
To the Technician, the future is modeled after the present-day world, the model of past experience, and the model of getting paid for effort or results.

The E-Myth principles will remain relevant while people remain people with all of their issues because the principles of the E-myth go deeper than the business level, they go to the heart and soul of the business owner.
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For more information about how to enhance your business, visit my page Who & Why or send me an email at sethgetz@gmail.com.

2 comments:

  1. I agree that The E-Myth Revisited is still relevant. It's become one of my favorite business books. I just re-read it. Here's my updated review, which mentions you, Seth. :)

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  2. Awesome Review of the book Chad, I agree about Michael Gerber at times being long winded, I would love to try to cut this book down by 1/3rd but then again I am not sure if I would want to because I have always felt there was a little strange magic around this book because of how perfectly it speaks to the emotional pain of business owners. None of Michael's other books have ever had that feel to them. His other books contain some good content but nothing like this book.

    You can see more of what Chad is doing with his business if you go to www.Optimwise.com

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