Book Review: The E-Myth and The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

Posted in News & Press  ·  26th January 2024

Michael E. Gerber’s books, “The E-Myth” and its follow-up “The E-Myth Revisited,” have become seminal works in the world of entrepreneurship and small business management. These books dissect common myths about running a business and provide a framework for building a successful and sustainable enterprise. Here’s a detailed review and critique of these books, examining their relevance in today’s fast-paced business environment.

An overview of the E-myth and the E-myth revisited

“The E-Myth” (short for Entrepreneurial Myth) challenges the notion that most small businesses are started by entrepreneurs seeking freedom and control. Instead, Gerber argues that many businesses are started by “technicians” who have an entrepreneurial seizure and believe their technical skills alone are enough to run a business.

“The E-Myth Revisited” expands on these ideas, offering a comprehensive guide to building a business that can thrive without the constant involvement of its owner. Gerber introduces the concept of working “on” your business, not just “in” it, and provides practical steps for creating systems that enable scalability and efficiency.

Key principles of the E-myth

  1. The Entrepreneurial Myth: The mistaken belief that a person who excels at a technical skill will naturally succeed in running a business based on that skill.
  2. The Turn-Key Revolution: Drawing inspiration from franchises, Gerber advocates for creating business systems that can operate independently of the owner’s direct involvement.
  3. Working on Your Business: Emphasises the importance of strategic planning, systematisation, and process development to ensure the business can run smoothly without constant owner intervention.

Relevance in today’s world

Despite being written decades ago, “The E-Myth” and “The E-Myth Revisited” remain highly relevant for modern entrepreneurs:

  1. Systematisation and Scalability: In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, creating scalable systems is more important than ever. The principles of systematisation help businesses adapt and grow efficiently.
  2. Balance of Roles: Gerber’s identification of the roles of Entrepreneur, Manager, and Technician is crucial for understanding the dynamics of running a business. Modern businesses benefit from recognising and balancing these roles.
  3. Sustainable Growth: The focus on creating a business that can operate without constant oversight is aligned with current trends in remote work and automation, making these concepts particularly pertinent today.

Critique of the E-myth books

While the E-Myth books offer valuable insights, they are not without their criticisms:

  1. Over-simplification: Some readers may find Gerber’s approach overly simplistic. The notion that systematisation alone can solve all business problems may overlook the complexities of modern businesses, especially in creative or highly specialised industries.
  2. Franchise Focus: Gerber’s heavy emphasis on the franchise model may not be suitable for all types of businesses. Startups and businesses in rapidly changing industries may require more flexible and innovative approaches.
  3. Dated examples: Some of the examples and anecdotes in the books feel dated. While the core principles remain valid, contemporary readers might benefit from more current case studies and examples.

Practical applications

Despite these critiques, the E-Myth books offer practical advice that can be applied effectively:

  1. Developing systems: Focus on creating and documenting processes for every aspect of your business. This can enhance efficiency, consistency, and scalability.
  2. Balancing roles: Ensure that you and your team members are aware of the different roles required in a business. Balance your time between strategic planning (Entrepreneur), managing operations (Manager), and performing technical tasks (Technician).
  3. Strategic growth: Plan for growth by envisioning your business operating without your daily involvement. Implement systems and processes that allow for this independence.

Recommended reading and resources

To complement your understanding of the E-Myth principles, here are some additional books and resources:

  • “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras: Explores the principles behind companies that have stood the test of time.
  • “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses” by Eric Ries: Offers a modern approach to building and scaling startups efficiently.
  • “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business” by Gino Wickman: Provides practical advice on running a successful business using the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).


“The E-Myth” and “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber continue to offer valuable insights for entrepreneurs and small business owners. While some concepts may feel dated or overly simplistic, the core principles of systematisation, balancing roles, and strategic growth remain highly relevant. By applying these principles, modern businesses can enhance their efficiency, scalability, and long-term success.

At Bright Futures Experience, we believe in the power of continuous improvement and practical business strategies. For more insights on entrepreneurship and effective business practices, visit our website today!

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