The E Myth Revisited

Gerber, M

Probably better to just read the whole thing to ensure you understand it.

- People who are exceptionally good in business have an insatiable need to know more
- Problem with most failing businesses is not that their owners don’t know enough about finance, marketing, operations – they don’t, but they can learn – but they spend their time and energy defending what they think they know. The greatest business people are determined to get it right no matter the cost.
- there is something uplifting, some vision, some higher end in sight that “getting it right” would serve
- extraordinarily grounded people, compulsive about detail, pragmatic, down to earth, in touch with seamy reality of ordinary life. They know a business doesn’t miss the mark by failing to achieve greatness in some lofty, principled way, but in the stuff that goes on in every nook and cranny of the business – on the phone, between the customer and a salesperson, on the shipping dock, at the cash register
- possess an intuitive understanding that the only way to reach something higher is to focus their attention on the multitude of seemingly insignificant, unimportant, and boring things that make up every business.
- a genuine fascination for the truly astonishing impact little things done exactly right can have on the world
- small businesses simply do not work; the people who own them do
o they’re doing the wrong work
Fatal Assumption:
if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does that technical work

- “I wonder what that business would be?” is the truly entrepreneurial question.
- How could I do this differently; how could I totally change my experience of this business?
- with growth, comes change
- most businesses are operated according to what the owner wants as opposed to what the business needs
- the owner and the business are one and the same thing; if you removed the owner from an infancy business, there would be no business left
- if you have a good business it is inevitable you will get to a point where there’s more work than you can possibly get done
- you realize your business has become your boss
- the technician turned business owner has a focus upside down; they see the world from the bottom up rather than from the top down; they have a tactical view instead of a strategic view; you only see the work that has to get done, and (wrongly) immediately jump in to do it.
- if you want to work in a business, get a job in someone else’s, instead of your own, because while you’re doing all the work, there’s something much more important that isn’t getting done. It’s the work you’re not doing, the strategic work. The entrepreneurial work, that will lead the business forward.
- The technician avoids the challenge of learning how to grow a business. To be a great technician is insufficient to the task of building a great small business. Being consumed by the tactical work of the firm leads only to a complicated, frustrating and demeaning job.
- In a business like that what your customers are buying is not your business’s ability to give them what they want but your ability to give them what they want – that’s what’s wrong with it
- If a business depends on you, you don’t own a business – you have a job. And that’s not the purpose of going into business
- the purpose of going into business is to get free of a job so you can create jobs for other people.
o To expand beyond your existing horizons. So you can invent something that satisfies a need in the marketplace that has never been satisfied before.
- You can’t have it both ways; You can’t ignore the financial accountabilities, the marketing accountabilities, the sales and administrative accountabilities; your future employees’ need for leadership, for purpose, for responsible management, for effective communication, for something more than just a job in which their sole purpose is to support you doing your job. Let alone what your business needs from you if it’s to thrive: that you understand the dynamics of a business – cash flows, growth, customer sensitivity, competitive sensitivity, etc.
- If all you want from a business of your own is the opportunity to do what you did before you started your business, get paid more for it, and have more freedom to come and go, your greed – self indulgence will eventually consume both you and your business.
- When you have a business & it’s going so well that it seems you don’t have time to do everything and you’re going crazy; that no one I swilling to work as hard as you work. That no one has your judgement, or your ability, or your desire, or your interest. That if it’s going to get done right, you’r ethe one who’s going to have to do it. That you are the master juggler of everything so it gets done. That the boss always changes his mind about what needs to be done, and how. It’s that you simply don’t know how to do it any other way.
- the job of the owner: to prepare yourself and your business for growth
- to educate your self sufficiently so that, as your business grows, the business’s foundation and structure can carry the additional weight.
- There is no other choice if your business is to thrive
- It’s up to you to dictate your rate of growth as best you can by understanding the key processes that need to be performed, the key objectives that need to be achieved, the key position you are aiming your business to hold in the marketplace.
- Ask the right questions: Where do I wish to be? When do I wish to be there? How much capital will that take? How many people, doing what work, and how? What technology will be required? How large a space will be needed, at benchmark 1, 2 & 3? What are your contingency plans when you make mistakes?
- plan, envision and articulate what you see in the future for yourself & employees; write it down, clearly, so others can understand it; otherwise you don’t own it. Concretely committed to paper
Technicians perspective Entrepreneurial perspective
What work has to be done How must the business work
Sees the business as a place in which people work to produce inside results for the technician, producing income See the business as a system for producing outside results for the customer, resulting in profits
Starts with the present, then looks forward to an uncertain future with the hope of keeping it much like the present Starts with a well defined future, coming back to the present with the intention of changing it to match the vision
Envisions the business in parts, from which is constructed the whole Envisions the business in its entirety, from which is derived its parts
A fragmented vision of the world An integrated vision of the world
Future is modeled after the present day world Present day world is modeled after his vision

p 108
- Why People Buy. Louis Cheskin. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 1959
- Marketing for Business Growth. Theodore Levitt. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974

If everybody’s doing everything, then who’s accountable for anything?
- you have to find other people to do the tactical work to free yourself up to do the strategic work
- instead of working IN your business, you need to focus on developing a business that works.
- Regarding employees, how can you give the person responsible for the work the best possible experience.
- only when the (sales) operations manual is complete is an ad for a salesperson run.
- In other words, have the process down before bringing someone in to do it, and hire someone who lacks experience in that area so they learn your method instead of installing that of a competitors.
- it’s critical if you are to begin your business all over again that you’re able to separate yourself from the roles you need to play. To become independent of them, rather than these roles becoming dependent on you.
- the system will become your solution to the problems because of the unpredictability of your people
- the ___ attractively prepared, the service attentive yet unobtrusive.
- to sign and not have done the work is grounds for instant dismissal
- How do you get employees to do what you want?
- create an environment in which ‘doing it’ is more important to your people than not doing it. Where ‘doing it’ well becomes a way of life for them.
- their first day should be unforgettable
- He seemed to be saying that what we were going to talk about was the most important thing on his agenda that day, that discussing my job was more important to him than doing the work that was going on at the time.
- He was hiring me to do something much more important than just work
- The work we do is a reflection of who we are
- There is no such thing as undesirable work; there are only people who see certain kinds of work as undesirable. People who use every excuse in the world to justify why they have to do work they hate to do. People who look upon their work as a punishment for who they are and where they stand in the world, rather than as an opportunity to see themselves as they really are.
- We give everyone who comes to work at the hotel an opportunity to make a choice. Not after they’ve done the work, but before.
- make sure they understand the idea behind the work they’re being asked to do.
- There was an idea behind the work that was more important than the work itself.
- The customer is not always right, but whether he is or not, it is our job to make him feel that way.
- Everyone who works here is expected to work toward being the best he can possibly at the tasks he’s accountable for. If he’s unwilling to act like it, he should leave.
- Business is a place where everything we know how to do is tested by what we don’t know how to do, and that the conflict between the 2 is what creates growth, what creates meaning.
- The true combat in a practice hall is between the people within ourselves.
- the degree to which they buy into your game doesn’t depend on them but on how well you communicate the game to them – at the outset of your relationship, not after.
The Rules of the Game
- most people today are not getting what they want. Not from their jobs, not from their families, not from their religion, not from their government, and, most important, not from themselves.
- the hiring process
- You don’t need professional managers to manage to your standards; all you need are people who wish to learn how to manage to them; people who are as personally committed to those standards as you are.
- Managers manage the system by which your business achieves its objectives; the system produces the results; your people manage the system
- The Hierarchy of systems in your business:
1) How We Do It Here
2) How We Recruit, Hire, and Train People to Do It Here
3) How We Manage It Here
4) How We Change It Here
- if is the system, not only the people, that will differentiate your business from everyone else’s.
- when it comes to marketing, what you want is unimportant;
- it’s what your customer wants that matters
- Demographics & psychographics – 2 pillars of a successful marketing program
- Construct a Prototype to satisfy his unconscious needs
- shade of ____ has an extraordinarily high appeal and preference to ____’s Central Demographic Model
- the colour _____’s Central Demographic Model consumer know it can depend on
- ‘find a need and fill it is’ inaccurate; it should say “Find a perceived need and fill it”
- because if your customer doesn’t perceive he needs something, he doesn’t, even if he actually does.
- If you know his demographics, you can understand what those perceptions are, and then figure out what you must do to satisfy them & the expectations they produce
- there isn’t a function or position within the company that is free of asking marketing questions: “What must our business be in the mind of our customers in order for them to choose us over everyone else?”
- it is how well integrated that process is, how totally and completely connected each part of the process appears in relation to the rest of the process, that will determine how successful you are at getting them to come back for more.
- the customer you’ve got is one hell of a lot less expensive to sell to than the customer you don’t have yet.
- the purpose of a system: to free you to do the things you want to do
- structure is what you do. Substance is how you do it
- every written or verbal communication with anyone who comes into contact with your business is a soft system.
- Keep the curtain up
- The curtain is your comfort zone;
- Your comfort zone has been the false mask you put on because it was safe when your spirit was not.
- The curtain you have placed in front of your face and through which you view the world.
- The tight little cozy planet on which you have lived, knowing all the places to hide
- Your comfort zone has seized you before, and it can seize you again, when you’re least prepared for it, because it knows what it means to you. Because it know how much you want to be comfortable
- Comfort overtakes us all when we’re least prepared for it. Comfort makes cowards of us all