10 Helpful Lessons Learned from Michael Gerber E myth Revisited

Some of the greatest ideas to develop your business today

This blog post is for business owners who want to grow their business to a level where they may be able to franchise or sell it. This blog post is also for business owners who want to understand the stages of their business and how to keep moving forward in impact and income.

This is one of the best business books in my opinion. Michael Gerber E myth Revisited is a book about how to strategically be an entrepreneur.

It has a great story and it’s easy to grasp the concepts. We must grow if we want our business to be everything we dream of and not get stick in the technician role.

Here are 10 things to get from the book:

1. The Reality of Business

  • 20% of new businesses fold by just one year in
  • 50% fail by the four-year mark
  • 80% fail within the first twenty years

I honestly do not believe these statistics. Does it include how many people give up? Or how many people get stuck in the squat? And if it survives, that doesn’t mean it’s a business with these stats it could be an over-glorified job with little pay and long hours. So you didn’t fail but every day doesn’t feel like a success.

2. Start with the Customer

The Entrepreneurial Model does not start with a picture of the business to be created but of the customer for whom the business is to be created. It understands that without a clear picture of that customer, no business can succeed.

Heavily consider who you want to serve and why. What are the characteristics of this person, interests, and such? The more you know about them, the easier it will be to create something for them that will be helpful and amazing.

The entrepreneurial model is the model for mature businesses. This is the model of fulfilling the needs of a specific segment of consumers in an innovative way. This is a business that looks and acts in a way that the consumer needs for it to act, not in the way the entrepreneur needs it to act.

3. Entrepreneur, Manager, & Technician

There are three personalities/positions in constant competition for your attention as a business owner.

michael-gerber-e-myth
E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

The Entrepreneur is the visionary and creative personality in us. The entrepreneurial perspective is a world made up of both an overabundance of opportunities and dragging feet. This personality desires control.

The Manager is the pragmatic personality where planning, order, and predictability are the foundation. The manager cleans up the mess the entrepreneur creates from being a visionary. This personality desires order.

The Technician is the “doer.” The Technician desires to tinker and get things done by occupying time. Things are to be taken apart and put back together again.

The Technician does not like the Entrepreneur because they are always trying to change things and dream up new big projects for the technician to do which will change the nature of their day-to-day work. The Technician dislikes the manager because no one likes to be micro-managed and the reason you started your business was probably to get rid of the boss to some extent.

While these three personalities are in each businessperson, they are not always present in equal proportions. One personality might dominate to the detriment of the others.

Most people do not spend much time as their entrepreneur. Do not make the same mistake. Understand which role(s) you are playing and which you are neglecting.

For the technician in all of us, our business isn’t a business at all it’s a place to go to work.

4. Understand the Stages of Business & Where You Are

Infancy: This is the start-up phase of your business when you act as a Technician doing all the work of the business by yourself. In this phase, you devote everything to your business regardless of the toll it takes on you personally. When you’re in infancy, you are dealing with a lot of common business problems and creating your system to resolve them.

As your initial hard work pays off and your business begins to build some momentum, you realize that you might not be able to do it all by yourself. You decide it’s time to get help; and that’s when you enter the next stage: adolescence.

Adolescence: In this stage of your business, you begin to experience growth. You hire employees to take over some of the tasks that used to overwhelm you. But soon you find that things aren’t getting done the way you want them to be done. Your employees lack the motivation and drive that you put into your business.

At this point, many business owners will push employees out of the way and insert themselves right back into the role of the Technician believing that no one will do the job as well as they can.

Maturity: At this stage, the business owner has evolved like a butterfly. Not only are their business systems well-developed but they have also grown tremendously as a person (likely committed to lifelong learning).

This owner approaches their business with a clearly defined vision, with accountability standards and direction that drives the business to success.

“A Mature company is founded on a broader perspective, an entrepreneurial perspective, a more intelligent point of view. About building a business that works not because of you but without you.” — Michael Gerber

Take a look at this graphic from Lean East, the left portion shows the three business stages:

Lean East, Highlights of The Emyth Revisited

“Most businesses are operated according to what the owner wants as opposed to what the business needs.”

The book revolves around Michael (the narrator) and Sarah the owner of a pie bakery shop. She tackles her self-doubt and gets uncomfortable to grow her business to where it needs to be.

She has to unlearn what she knows and what she believes to be right about business. She has to do things differently to turn her business into the one she always dreamed of.

How many businesses actually survive stats?

5. The “Black” Binder: This is How We Do Things Here

The purpose of the binder is to document everything done in your business to produce the results. Your binder will also include hierarchy as well as standing operating procedures for every task performed in your business.

The book talks about creating a game for your employees to play and give others the opportunity to find themselves and be impactful in a business that will evolve to become even better.

Inclusive of Operations Manuals and This will eventually be a UBS, Expert System combination.

Document everything related to your business. Document the processes and inputs necessary to produce consistent output. So that a 6-year-old can read your documentation and understand what it is they need to do to produce the results your business does.

6. Great Businesses Start Off Great

It is not magical that they become Fortune 500 companies because they started with a Fortune 500 mindset and plan.

“Thus, the Entrepreneurial Model does not start with a picture of the business to be created but of the customer for whom the business is to be created.”

A business or an over-glorified job. Where you are working much harder and your boss is crazy… because you are your own boss.

7. The Turn-Key Revolution

There is a revolution going on in small businesses which Gerber calls the Turn-key revolution. This not only changes the way we do business but also who goes into business and HOW THEY DO IT and the likelihood of their survival.

Understanding the turnkey franchise and why McDonald’s is one of the best businesses around even though some people debate the quality of their food. Their ability to produce the same result no matter where you leave them as one of the most successful businesses.

Hamburgers were produced in a way he’d never seen before—quickly, efficiently, inexpensively, and identically.

At Ray Kroc’s McDonald’s, every possible detail of the business system was first tested in the Prototype. Then the system was controlled to a degree never before seen in a people-intensive business.

Some of the “rules” for his system were: –

  • The model will be operated by people with the lowest possible level of skill.
  • All work in the model will be documented in Operations Manuals.
  • The model will utilize a uniform color, dress, and facilities code.

The documentation says, “This is how we do it here.” and creating a franchise even when you only have one company at first.

The franchise approach makes sure you build a business based on systems, not people.

Imagine your business as a nationwide franchise from day one, then build the first store. What are franchisee investors interested in? Safety of principle, to be able to say they own (social credit), to earn money and be confident in the systems if they hire the right people.

8. Create Detailed Position Contracts

“If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business — you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!”

Documenting the roles and responsibilities for every position in your company is a must-do step. Having this information in print as well as digitally will serve your company well.

At first, you will sign all of the position contracts because you are likely the one doing all the different roles. As you grow your business and improve your system, and delegate work, you will have new people signing those position contracts you created beforehand.

We need a plan to succeed; a workable, replicable plan. A plan with systems to follow that will ensure a consistent result is produced.

9. Get Uncomfortable

The book is about being successful outside of your comfort zone. Your journey will require growth and more books to read, you cannot stop here.

Read the book if you have not already. It is most useful for business owners and aspiring business owners who have maybe hit a plateau or need to understand the deeper mechanics to grow their business. Take personal growth, guts, confidence to step into the role of the real entrepreneur you need to become to fulfill your grand vision for your business, your life, and the lives your business will impact.

10. Do Something with This Knowledge

After reading a book like this it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the work you have to start doing. There is much much more work, especially in thinking and documentation needed to execute this book. The vision is so inspiring though.

How to apply it today? The book provides the plan so without the book you are out of the know. But I did find this neat Reddit post that covers all the major highlights. You can read that here.

Thanks for reading! Keep developing yourself and your business. Let me know what you think about this message with a Response.

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