E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

December 2016

E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

I had recently read Derek Siver’s Anything You Want book.  At the end of it he says to feel free to get in touch.  So I did, said a few words and he responded with this book recommendation.

And it was pretty awesome and relevant. For me, where I’m at now, I knew I had to do many of the things it mentioned, though I didn’t feel clear on how or why.  I feel now I have more clarity on what I need to do. Ibetter understand the work I need to do over the coming months.

I feel now there is light at the end of the tunnel. A way forward through the  struggles I have with my business.  It doesn’t mean it will be easy, it’s just a bit of relief to have more clarity on where I should be heading.

I look forward to less chaos and more kick ass organisational awesomeness.

So, it probably sounds like gobble-di-gook if you haven’t read the book, here are some key points.

Understanding The Entreprenuer, The Manager and The Technician and the idea around the Business Franchise Format really captured me, even if I hate the term franchise.  The idea is to not franchise, but to build a business as if you are so that all the processes are in place.

Highlights from my Kindle

  • I think that maybe inside any business, there is someone slowly going crazy. Joseph Heller Something Happened
  • And what makes people work is an idea worth working for, along with a clear understanding of what needs to be done.
  • This book is about such an idea—an idea that says your business is nothing more than a distinct reflection of who you are.
Chapter 1
  • That Fatal Assumption is: if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does that technical work.
  • First, exhilaration; second, terror; third, exhaustion; and, finally, despair. A terrible sense of loss—not only the loss of what was closest to them, their special relationship with their work, but the loss of purpose, the loss of self.
Chapter 2
  • And the problem is compounded by the fact that while each of these personalities wants to be the boss, none of them wants to have a boss.
  • avant-garde. In business, The Entrepreneur is the innovator, the grand strategist, the creator of new methods for penetrating or creating new markets, the world-bending giant—like Sears Roebuck, Henry Ford, Tom Watson of IBM, and Ray Kroc of McDonald’s. The Entrepreneur is our creative personality—always at its best dealing with the unknown, prodding the future, creating probabilities out of possibilities, engineering chaos into harmony.
  • “I wonder what that business would be?” I said to Sarah, “is the truly entrepreneurial question. The dreaming question, I call it. It’s the question that is at the heart of the work of an Entrepreneur. I wonder. I wonder. I wonder.
  • I call it Future Work. ‘I wonder’ is the true work of the entrepreneurial personality.”
Chapter 3
  • It is self-evident that businesses, like people, are supposed to grow; and with growth, comes change. Unfortunately, most businesses are not run according to this principle. Instead most businesses are operated according to what the owner wants as opposed to what the business needs.
  • During Infancy, you’re a Master Juggler, keeping all the balls in the air. It’s easy to spot a business in Infancy—the owner and the business are one and the same thing.
  • In a flash, you realize that your business has become The Boss you thought you left behind. There’s no getting rid of the Boss!
  • “The purpose of going into business is to get free of a job so you can create jobs for other people.
  • “The purpose of going into business is to expand beyond your existing horizons. So you can invent something that satisfies a need in the marketplace that has never been satisfied before. So you can live an expanded, stimulating new life.”
Chapter 5
  • Trust alone can set us up to repeat those same disappointing experiences.
  • Because true trust comes from knowing, not from blind faith.
  • “The true question is not how small a business should be but how big. How big can your business naturally become, with the operative word being naturally?
  • “Because, whatever that size is, any limitation you place on its growth is unnatural, shaped not by the market or by your lack of capital (even though that may play a part) but by your own personal limitations. Your lack of skill, knowledge, and experience, and, most of all, passion, for growing a healthy, functionally dynamic, extraordinary business.
  • “In short, businesses that ‘get small again’ die. They literally implode upon themselves.
  • “Simply put, your job is to prepare yourself and your business for growth.
  • “To educate yourself sufficiently so that, as your business grows, the business’s foundation and structure can carry the additional weight. “And as awesome a responsibility as that may seem to you, you have no other choice—if your business is to thrive, that is.
  • “Because in the process of defining the future, the plan begins to shape itself to reality, both the reality of the world out there and the reality you are able to create in here.
  • “And as those two realities merge, they form a new reality—call it your reality, call it the unique invention that is uniquely yours, the reality of your mind and your heart uniting with all the elements of your business, and your business with the world, shaping, designing, collaborating, to form something that never existed before in exactly that way.
  • “And that is the sign of a Mature company. A Mature company is started differently than all the rest. 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.
Chapter 6
  • That most people who go into business don’t have a model of a business that works, but of work itself, a Technician’s Perspective, which differs from the Entrepreneurial Perspective in the following ways: The Entrepreneurial Perspective asks the question: “How must the business work?” The Technician’s Perspective asks: “What work has to be done?” The Entrepreneurial Perspective sees the business as a system for producing outside results—for the customer—resulting in profits. The Technician’s Perspective sees the business as a place in which people work to produce inside results—for The Technician—producing income. The Entrepreneurial Perspective starts with a picture of a well-defined future, 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 Entrepreneurial Perspective envisions the business in its entirety, from which is derived its parts. The Technician’s Perspective envisions the business in parts, from which is constructed the whole. The Entrepreneurial Perspective is an integrated vision of the world. The Technician’s Perspective is a fragmented vision of the world. To The Entrepreneur, the present-day world is modeled after his vision. To The Technician, the future is modeled after the present-day world. Is it any wonder that the Entrepreneurial Perspective is absolutely necessary for the creation of a great business, while The Technician’s produces its exact opposite?
  • the Entrepreneurial Model has less to do with what’s done in a business and more to do with how it’s done.
  • 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.
  • It understands that without a clear picture of that customer, no business can succeed.
  • The Technician, on the other hand, looks inwardly, to define his skills, and only looks outwardly afterward to ask, “How can I sell them?” The resulting business almost inevitably focuses on the thing it sells rather than the way the business goes about it or the customer to whom it’s to be sold.
Chapter 7
  • Because the Business Format Franchise is built on the belief that the true product of a business is not what it sells but how it sells it.
  • The true product of a business is the business itself.
  • Armed with that realization, he set about the task of creating a foolproof, predictable business. A systems-dependent business, not a people-dependent business.
  • A business that could work without him.
  • “And to me, that’s what integrity is all about. It’s about doing what you say you will do, and, if you can’t, learning how.
  • “If that is the measure of an incredible business—and I believe it is—then there is no more incredible business than McDonald’s. Who among us small business owners can say we do things as well?
  • And work it does. The system runs the business. The people run the system.
  • The system integrates all the elements required to make a business work. It transforms a business into a machine, or more accurately, because it is so alive, into an organism, driven by the integrity of its parts, all working in concert toward a realized objective. And, with its Prototype as its progenitor, it works like nothing else before it.
Chapter 9
  • Your business and your life are two totally separate things.
  • At its best, your business is something apart from you, rather than a part of you, with its own rules and its own purposes. An organism, you might say, that will live or die according to how well it performs its sole function: to find and keep customers.
  • Once you recognize that the purpose of your life is not to serve your business, but that the primary purpose of your business is to serve your life, you can then go to work on your business, rather than in it, with a full understanding of why it is absolutely necessary for you to do so.
  • words, pretend that you are going to franchise your business.
  • How can I create a business whose results are systems-dependent rather than people-dependent? Systems-dependent rather than expert-dependent.
  • It’s your job—more accurately, the job of your business—to develop those tools and to teach your people how to use them.
  • There was absolutely no consistency to the experience.
  • Go to work on your business rather than in it, and ask yourself the following questions: How can I get my business to work, but without me? How can I get my people to work, but without my constant interference? How can I systematize my business in such a way that it could be replicated 5,000 times, so the 5,000th unit would run as smoothly as the first? How can I own my business, and still be free of it? How can I spend my time doing the work I love to do rather than the work I have to do? If you ask yourself these questions, you’ll eventually come face-to-face with the real problem: that you don’t know the answers!
  • “What you’re saying is that I’m too identified with my business. That I need to separate myself from it: first in the way I think about it, second in the way I feel about it, and third in the way I work in it.
Chapter 10
  • Says Professor Levitt, “Creativity thinks up new things. Innovation does new things.”1
  • To the franchisor, the entire process by which the business does business is a marketing tool, a mechanism for finding and keeping customers.
  • Innovation continually poses the question: What is standing in the way of my customer getting what he wants from my business?
  • For the Innovation to be meaningful it must always take the customer’s point of view. At the same time, Innovation simplifies your business to its critical essentials. It should make things easier for you and your people in the operation of your business; otherwise it’s not Innovation but complication.
  • “What is the best way to do this?”
  • To be at all effective, all Innovations need to be quantified.
  • As Theodore Levitt says in his stunning book, Marketing for Business Growth, “Discretion is the enemy of order, standardization, and quality.”
  • Because every founder of every great Business Format Franchise company, whether it is franchised or not, knows one thing to be true: if you haven’t orchestrated it, you don’t own it!
  • Because that’s all that Orchestration really is, Sarah: a habit. A way of doing something habitually.
  • “The problem is you can’t understand the value of an entire process by separating it from its parts, or its parts from the process.
  • You might say that, while going to work on the business, people begin to realize that it is a powerful metaphor for going to work on their lives.
  • “And that, I believe, is the heart of the process: not efficiency, not effectiveness, not more money, not to ‘downsize’ or ‘get lean,’ but to simply and finally create more life for everyone who comes into contact with the business, but most of all, for you, the person who owns it.
  • “Quality is just a word, and an empty word at that, if it doesn’t include harmony, balance, passion, intention, attention. “Continuous improvement for its own sake is a waste of time. “Life is what a business is about, and life is what this work is about. Coming to grips with oneself, in the face of an incredibly complex world that can teach us if we’re open to learn.
  • the Business Development Process can be thought of as a metaphor for personal transformation, for coming to grips with real life. “For developing real skills within a structure of your own design.
Chapter 11
  • Your Primary Aim Your Strategic Objective Your Organizational Strategy Your Management Strategy Your People Strategy Your Marketing Strategy Your Systems Strategy Let’s get started.
Chapter 12
  • What would you like to be able to say about your life after it’s too late to do anything about it? That’s your Primary Aim.
  • With no clear picture of how you wish your life to be, how on earth can you begin to live it?
  • They go to work on their lives, not just in their lives.
  • The difference between the two is living intentionally and living by accident.
  • So before you start your business, or before you return to it tomorrow, ask yourself the following questions: What do I wish my life to look like? How do I wish my life to be on a day-to-day basis? What would I like to be able to say I truly know in my life, about my life? How would I like to be with other people in my life—my family, my friends, my business associates, my customers, my employees, my community? How would I like people to think about me? What would I like to be doing two years from now? Ten years from now? Twenty years from now? When my life comes to a close? What specifically would I like to learn during my life—spiritually, physically, financially, technically, intellectually? About relationships? How much money will I need to do the things I wish to do? By when will I need it?
  • “It’s not your business you have to fear losing. It’s something much bigger than that. It’s your Self.
Chapter 13
  • In this context, your business is a means rather than an end, a vehicle to enrich your life rather than one that drains the life you have.
  • What he feels about your business, not what he feels about the commodity.
  • The truth is, nobody’s interested in the commodity. People buy feelings.
  • There is no specific number of standards in your Strategic Objective. There are only specific questions that need to be answered. When is your Prototype going to be completed? In two years? Three? Ten? Where are you going to be in business? Locally? Regionally? Nationally? Internationally? How are you going to be in business? Retail? Wholesale? A combination of the two? What standards are you going to insist upon regarding reporting, cleanliness, clothing, management, hiring, firing, training, and so forth? You can begin to see that the standards you create for your business will shape both your business and the experience you have of your business.
Chapter 14
  • “What you’re saying is that I need to create an Organization Chart for All About Pies as it will look when it’s done, seven years from now, rather than the way it is now?”
  • 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.
  • “Remember we talked earlier about the crazy-making nature of all your different personalities, and that the only way to eliminate that craziness is to organize yourself and the world around you as clearly as possible so you can function as clearly as possible?
Chapter 16
  • “It was as though the hotel was more than just a hotel to him. “It was like the hotel was an expression of who he was, a symbol of what he believed in.
  • “In the process, the work you do becomes you. And you become the force that breathes life into the idea behind the work.
  • “And we do that by making sure they understand the idea behind the work they’re being asked to do.
  • “The idea the Boss has about the business comes down to one essential notion. That a business is like a martial arts practice hall, a dojo, a place you go to practice being the best you can be. But the true combat in a dojo is not between one person and another as most people believe it to be. The true combat in a martial arts practice hall is between the people within ourselves.
  • What was important was how seriously I took to playing the game he had created here.
  • They want to work for people who have created a clearly defined structure for acting in the world. A structure through which they can test themselves and be tested. Such a structure is called a game.
  • That is what the very best businesses represent to the people who create them: a game to be played in which the rules symbolize the idea you, the owner, have about the world.
  • We’ve fast become a world of things. And most people are being buried in the profusion. What most people need, then, is a place of community that has purpose, order, and meaning. A place in which being human is a prerequisite, but acting human is essential. A place
  • short, you need people who want to play your game, Sarah. Not people who believe they have a better one.
  • “This Hierarchy is composed of four distinct components: “The first is, How We Do It Here. “The second is, How We Recruit, Hire, and Train People to Do It Here. “The Third is, How We Manage It Here. “The Fourth is, How We Change It Here.
Chapter 17
  • Your Marketing Strategy starts, ends, lives, and dies with your customer.
  • they share one common purpose—to make a promise their customer wants to hear, and to deliver on that promise better than anyone else on the block!
  • deliver the promise no one else in your industry dares to make!
  • “That’s what marketing is, Sarah. That’s what your business must be. Alive, growing, committed to keeping a promise no competitor would dare to make.
Chapter 18
  • The Structure of the System is all of the predetermined elements of the Process, and includes exactly what you say, the materials you use when you say it, and what you wear.
  • The Substance of the System is what you—the salesperson—bring to the Process, and includes how you say it, how you use it when you say it, and how you are when you say it. Structure and Substance merge in the selling process to produce a far more extraordinary result than any single salesperson could if left to his own devices.
Epilogue
  • If it is so difficult for us to do anything about our businesses, how in the world are we going to do anything about the world?
  • The world’s not the problem; you and I are. The world’s not in chaos; we are.
  • The world’s apparent chaos is only a reflection of our own inner turmoil.
  • So if the world is going to be changed, we must first change our lives!
  • can only change our lives and create a world of our own if we first understand how such a world is constructed, how it works, and the rules of the game. And that means we have to study the world and how we are in it. And in order to do that we need a world small enough in scope and complexity to study.
  • When you hear something, you will forget it. When you see something, you will remember it. But not until you do something, will you understand it.