Review of “The Emyth Revisited”

There comes a time in nearly everyone’s life that they will write at the very least a book report..

This is not a report.  It will be a review and it will be based loosely on the Purdue Online Writing Lab’s guidance.

At the risk of being abrasive, let’s begin!

The book: The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber – Copyright 1995 – ISBN-10: 9780887307287 ISBN-13: 978-0887307287

Before we begin the review I want to alert you to the mental state at which this book was approached.

I had just read a number of books that had been written with passion about growth mindset, growth in general and sales aspects.  I had also been looking for someone to read *strikeout* this * strikeout* not only A book with, but also the entire average of 20 per year.  I had found someone was willing and this was their selection.  I was pumped, we were going to charge at this, we were going to do a point/counterpoint style blog, podcast & video!  We were going to change the world!  At the very least ours.   Prior to start night my cohort backed out and I had already committed to reading the book and read it I did.  Admittedly with a little less enthusiasm than I had initially harbored.

OK, so you now know a couple things here.

  1. I read the book
  2. I was not enthusiastic about it
  3. I am still looking for someone to read these books with me, please reach out if you are interested in the above scenario in some fashion!

Moving onto the book itself.

This book is based primarily on a dialogue between the author and a small business owner named Sarah.  Sarah has been running her business for quite sometime and is finding that she is burning out.. she is running out of the love and passion she had which started the business and is beginning to wonder if there is any reason to carry on.

As she is telling her tale of woe to our author, he introduces us to the three archetypes of the small business owner:

  1. The Technician
    1. is the doer
    2. is a tinkerer
    3. lives in the present
    4. the technician is “producing today’s bread to eat at tonight’s dinner”
  2. The Manager
    1. this personality is pragmatic
    2. this personality establish order, requires planning
    3. without this personality there would be no predictability
  3. The Entrepreneur
    1. this is the personality that is able to visualize trivial conditions into exceptional opportunities
    2. the visionary
    3. the dreamer
    4. the energy behind every human activity


Michael goes through these personalities in greater depth, and in my opinion spent the most time on the Technician.  I feel that he did this in order to really drive home the primary principle of the book.

We’re not there yet.

He goes through the relationships that those personalities have with each other within each small business owner. He then digs through some stats on average live of most small business’s, their failure rate and their general stages:

  1. Infancy
  2. Adolescence
  3. Maturity

There is some meat within those stages, but I am going to classify that section as more of a side dish.  Its a tasty one, but seemed more like an accompaniment more than anything else. I like food.

The next section brings us to the main course (sticking with food here).  In section two, “The Turnkey Revolution”, Michael introduces us to the story of McDonald’s and Ray Kroc.  Ray was able to look at the first McDonald’s stand and was able to visualize it as a Franchise.  Most of you are reading this and saying, yep.. franchise.. check… I know all about em.. Dairy Queen.. I like ice cream.. continue.. slow down there.. OK, I know that was my thought when the term franchise was mentioned, but Michael gives us a some background on just how revolutionary Ray Kroc’s idea of looking at this is.  Ray as you will find is able transform the each job in the restaurant into an orderly system, that when followed does not allow for failure.  He then takes these systems packs them up in brick and mortar and sells the system, the business.

Ray worked on his business, not in it.


Ray may as well have just dropped the mic..

The rest of the book goes into details about how you can go about setting up a business that is works for you.  Sure there is a lot of work that goes into that, and the work doesn’t stop once you get the business started.  But the overall take away is that the small business doesn’t really want to do all of the work in the business themselves, and this book can help guide someone through the process.

We are close to wrapping this up;  even though I was no longer charged with the anticipation of what was to follow reading this book, I did find myself charged while reading it.  I was able to relate very closely to the author’s background in chapter 12 which gave me the momentum to read the other 120 or so pages (whose counting!).

The author’s style was fairly direct and I found myself, more than once but no more than ten times, losing interest in what I was reading as it read a little bit like a text book from school.

In terms of overall content, if you are of any mind to start your own business I recommend reading this. Even if you are not planning to start your own business there are many principles and ideas that I know would be beneficial if applied in my current role.  I believe there is a good deal of worthwhile information and it is presented in an easy to read style.

On a would I read it again for enjoyment versus turn to it for reference rating.  I would put it in the turn to it for reference rating.

I hope this helps some of you out there.  Please let me know if you are planning to read it, or if you have read it, perhaps some of your own insights!



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