I intend on implementing this book in my life, just like the other business books I read in the past. As such, this book also deals with how to keep a business together.
This book is about the importance of understanding the mistakes people make when starting a small business. They either put too much work on their own part, or they do not have a consistent brand of management to keep everyone, including the owner themselves, accountable.
Michael E. Gerber
He is the founder of Michael E. Gerber Companies, whose business model involves helping entrepreneurs in any industry. He even included himself as a case study in the later half of the book.
How Does It Hold Up…?
Gerber’s main theme is about the archetypal triumvirate, which consists of the Entrepreneur, the Manager, and the Technician. He makes the point that an overemphasis on the Technician is the reason why most small businesses fail, since they focus on the technical work and end up getting overwhelmed by it. It is for that reason why these three archetypes within a business owner need to work in accordance to each other.
A way for a small business to succeed is if it is systems-intensive. In other words, there is functionality within the business itself when the entrepreneur is not around. A way to create such a systems-intensive business is to provide a manual concerning how to make it function. It also helps to view the business as a prototype, as being the subject of experimentation.
A good business with a system always has to have balance. It needs low-skill people so they do not cost more, and the customer can neither have a really positive experience nor really negative one, rather they need to have an experience they can expect the next time they come back. It is also for that reason why it is not important to hire management professionals, rather a management system–as mentioned before, the professionals might become too much to pay for.
Gerber provides Ray Kroc, the CEO of the McDonald’s franchise, as a primary example of a small business done right. Kroc understood that a business must operate as a system that can be easily implemented.
Gerber writes half of the book in narrative form as an interaction between him and Sarah, an owner of a bakery. He does this to provide an allegory for the e-myth. While the writing style of the book is easy to understand, it does take a while for Gerber to get to the point of what he is saying.
Gerber also juxtaposes the three archetypes in ways that make them easily distinguishable, in spite of being in the same person.
- The Entrepreneur
- The Manager
- The Technician
These are the main terms that Gerber uses to describe the archetypes inside every entrepreneur, because they become important in showcasing the e-myth.
The mindset behind every business owner is a major point in this book, since it emphasizes the notion of should. While a Technician type would think “What work needs to be done?” The Entrepreneur thinks “How should the business be?” This is the type of prioritization that needs to be done in order to develop a long-term plan to ensure the business’ success.
Gerber pointed out that creativity and innovation were different things, since creativity is focused on the mind, while innovation is focused on the product. Indeed, I always noticed the difference which was why I organized the review templates as such.
The best possible business is one that is adaptable and situationally aware. That was why the hotel that Gerber stayed at had an electronic system based on adjusting the lights, the water, and the heating depending on each seasonal changes. That is what I intend to think about when it comes to my business model.
This Book Adds…
…To World-Building Knowledge
Perhaps world-building could become a part of the system of prototypes, since it would help keep the consistency of a publishing house.
…To Other Authors
Just like plenty of business books, this book makes the point that the relegation of technical tasks to other workers is important for the Entrepreneur to focus more time innovating the business. Mike Michalowicz especially gets into detail about it. In fact, his story closely resembles that of the Michael’s friend Sarah, since he was also failing in his business.
As for the part about management, it can easily relate to Stephen Covey’s and Dale Carnegie’s books about management.
As for the concept of systems, there is definitely echoing back to Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s book about systems theory. At the time he wrote that book, the notion of electronics was becoming prevalent, which completely reoriented basic thought. It started to view things as systems with interacting parts.
…To Previous Author
As for William Drury’s biography of Emperor Norton, I can definitely see how Norton maintained a consistent brand as the Emperor of the United States of America. It was because of this that he left an impression upon San Francisco. He enjoyed the benefits of being an eccentric that attracted many people from all over the world.
…To My Own
In some ways, this site is like my prototype, since I have had it for six years back when it was a WordPress site. Although it’s still a WordPress-powered site, it is on a different host.
As for consistency, I have thought of how a book can be published every month if I have a small press. I already practice consistency on this site by publishing one post every day since New Years 2023.
I will definitely say that this is a very decent read, and I would always want to come back to it in spite of the fact that my copy is checked out by the library. Gerber’s book really does help provide the question: Do you really want to get into this? Informed decision-making that would require a book like this.
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- Michalowicz, Mike. “Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eatin Monster to a Money-Making Machine.” Penguin Random House. 2017.
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