When I decided to go into business, I had no clue how many different skills sets would be needed to have any hope of succeeding in my efforts.
Too bad I didn’t have Michael E. Gerber’s excellent book, The E-Myth Revisited, voted #1 business book by Inc. 500 CEOs, as a guide to the realities facing me.
I was guilty of what Gerber calls The Fatal Assumption. So what is this Fatal Assumption? If you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does technical work. . . . (They) are two totally different things!
Using the story of a struggling entrepreneur, Gerber weaves specific examples of the three areas of expertise needed for creating a successful enterprise. These areas of expertise are embodied in 3 types of people:
- The Entrepreneur – the visionary, the dreamer who craves control. Gerber calls this the energy behind every human activity.
- The Manager – the pragmatist, the planner who craves order.
- The Technician – the doer, who craves control of the work flow. If you want it done right, do it yourself.
All three of these types want to be the boss of the other two; and when you’re starting out and tackling all three roles, the internal arguments can get pretty dicey.
Gerber also likens the stages of a business to the growth of a person, from infancy (where you are the business), through adolescent growing pains (any plan is better than no plan), to a mature business where you are working on the business, not in the business.
Not only is the book interesting to read in and of itself, but it is chock full of wisdom that can serve entrepreneurs, from beginning efforts to incredible levels of success.
Each level has its own dangers and challenges that are addressed in terms that provide answers and guidance to entrepreneurs at any stage of business.
If you are running your own business (or plan to do so), this is a book that is worth rereading at least once a year, because you will gain new insights appropriate to the level of your business’s growth at that time.
Read it, learn from it, and enjoy it! You will be glad you did, every page of the way.