©1955, 2001, 2003, 2004 Michael E. Gerber; (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
"Gerber loves to exhort people to develop powerful visions for their companies." (Fortune)
I had heard about this book for years, but Gerber's writing style, with its endless dependent clauses, bothered me. However, when I got the audio book, and heard him reading it, and got the way it was meant to be taken in, I got it.
This book has radically helped me in the past month and a half since I read it, and dramatically changed how I look at my (*CURRENTLY*) one-person business. I cannot recommend this book enough to those of you who started a small business without any entrepreneurial training or experience.
The audiobook is a bit too long. The stories about Sara's problems are a bit too long and too emotional at the first sight. However, when you look closer, you realize the story is about someone like you. If you try to think like Sara, the main character, it is about life and meaning of life. Then, you understand the real substance of what the author is transmiting using an emotional story. There is knowledge inside: how to start a business; how to not be consumed by your business; how to balance business with life; how to grow; how to be successful etc.
It is the true substance of the book that made me to upgrade from 3 to 4 stars.
This book is helping me understand how a clear vision for my life and new business will help me accommodate changing markets, staff roll over, and evolving partnerships. E-Myth has changd my perspective and goal -- to develop an enterprise with a clear mission, and to plan this business to thrive without me.
I am a small business owner just like the woman he describes in the book. After listening for 20 minutes I felt hope for my business, by the end of the book I had a plan in action to turn that hope into prosperity. This book saved my business and my sanity.
I cannot understand why there are negative comments for this book - it is one of the better foundational books for any small business person who wants their life back. I highly recommend it.
Excellent read and recommend listening to it once a year. Challenges small business owners to work yourself out of your job and to delegate. In order to build a self sufficient company with total freedom, one must develop systems that the "least" qualified employee in your organization can follow. It's all about the SYSTEMS in your company.
Say something about yourself!
I was going into this book with apprehension, a fear that this was yet another "I'll show you how it is done and you will live a great life forever". But I decided to buck the critic on audible who said it was awful and got it. Well I was surprised. It gives you the basics on running a business, a department, or anything...really. It shows you some of the obvious things that you never think about and then allows you to expand on them for yourself. It's a book that I have read a number of times...well listened to, but the first that I took notes on. E-Myth Mastery is next.
This book was *very* good. It's perfect for people who want to start a business. The author's narration was easy to listen to and really made the listening experience enjoyable.
I couldn't believe this book. It seemed like the author had a hidden camera into my life and my business. He knew everything about me! As he went through the stages of a new business, it was like as if he were telling my life story. His suggestions were timely and relevant. His methods were clear and easy to follow. I found this book to be particularly exciting and motivational. He reawakened the vitality in me that I had when I initially started my business. And most importantly, this book made me realize that my business ups and downs were not unique, and gave me hope that there was a way out. This is a perfect read for someone in the small, then big, then small again place in their business. However, I imagine it is relevant at any point in the growth of a small business. Hopefully you will read this book early so you can avoid some of the pitfalls he describes and I have already experienced. This is a MUST READ for any small business owner.
Absolutely not. My conclusion is Gerber is a talented used car salesman. If you are selling used cars then this might be the book for you.
The book drags on and the stories and unnecessary detail are very forced. He also goes to great lengths to make himself appear like some kind of super hero. At one point in the book he is telling a "story" of a "man." The man is amazingly talented at everything but also easily distracted. BUT, let's not forget he's amazingly talented and in the end, everyone is in awe of him, even if they think he will fail they are in awe. I'm not kidding. He actually says something similar to this. Well, that person Gerber is talking about is himself. He even milks the big reveal of who the "man" is at one point. Yes, at times in this passage he makes it sound like he's being self deprecating which he is very deliberate about but the real message is how amazing he is.What I found particularly grating about this part was 1) Wait, how amazingly talented at EVERYTHING are you? I didn't get it the first 100 times.2) The guy has had three wives and 5 children amongst the three wives. Awesome dude. 3) The guy introduced his third wife as "much bigger than the others." That was the first thing he said about her. Again, it's directly aimed at winning points for Gerber to show how mature he has become and grown up. How about, still very shallow?
I don't know what it is about these guys that write self help and business books but they all come across as slimy. If he was your neighbor, you wouldn't want your kids around him type of slimy. Sorry, just my opinion. Luckily, I listened to the book on 2x speed and had no problems with understanding the audio (thank you audible). On 1x, Gerber is laborious. His tone gets really annoying. At one point he was narrating a list of bullet points and each line was read with the same, forced enthusiasm/creepiness to exact replication. It was like listening to a goofy robot on a broken record.Also, in the scenes where he is talking to the pie shop owner, I just got this creepy feeling about the whole presentation.
There is a scene where Gerber goes into a inordinate amount of detail about the listener viewing their own coffin. I get what he was trying to do but it was just a little too odd and forced. He could have skipped that part and just gotten straight to "what do you want people to remember about you?" Yes, I know, visualization but it was used incorrectly. It made pursuing that particular exercise much less desirable.
If you are a "no questions asked, I can sell anything" type of person, this might be for you, especially if you need some really basic guidance.If you have any degree of skepticism, you will have a hard time getting through this. It's not that there isn't value here, it's that you might come to the conclusion that although some of the content is helpful, the messenger is a charlatan. At first I gave this an overall score of 2 stars but I stopped listening to it after Gerber told the passage where he turned water into wine. If I can't complete a book, it shouldn't get more than a star.
"Small business owners - you must listen to this!"
We all get bogged down in the doing. This book explains why and what to do about it.
No, because you need to ponder the ideas being suggested. It's better to listen to a chapter, think and then move on. But you also want to go back and listen to it again.
"3rd time of reading, 1st time of listening."
A super business book.
If you run a small business as I do, read this book as it'll give you a reality check.
This audible version is easily the best format for this very worthwhile book.
Very sound advice for anyone running their own business.
"Insightful. The ideas behind the success of a small business. Your business."
A must read for all small businesses starting out and for those small businesses that have become all consuming and overwhelming. This book will give you the ideas needed to enable you to set up your business in the best possible way. Working on your business not in your business. Setting up the systems at the outset so that your business does not become another job, but once set up, allows you the freedom to live the life of your choosing.
"Every small business owner should listen"
This is a great book for small business owners. I run a number of businesses and advise many others (not as part of Emyth Worldwide, I should add!) and the themes covered in this book, the systems and processes it introduces are excellent. The only reason it isn't 5* is because the story is a little too sickly at times and the narration is too slow (like so many narrators). I listened on 1.25x to make it sound normal!
Possibly the best book on business I've ever read or listened too. This book has become my bible.
"It's all about Franchising!"
Just in case you hadn't worked it out from the cryptic title of the book it is actually a book about franchising a small business. I know nothing about the origins of the book, whether it was a trailblazer when it was released or indeed how respected Michael Gerber is in the business community. What I can say though is that this book is a thoroughly engaging introduction to franchising.
It is well written and takes the reader logically through the philosophy of franchising and why it may be a good idea for your business. Along the way it gives a lot of practical information without necessarily being an instruction manual. What it does is give you the framework to go research the implications for your business.
One thing to be aware of is that there is a lot of referencing his 'E-Myth' company and how it has helped thousands of small businesses to implement what's in the book. The book is therefore in small part a sales pitch to get you to go look for one of their 'consultants' (I'm sort of assuming these are e-myth 'Franchisees'...but i may be wrong!). You'll also notice that they use a lot off their own in-house jargon (like using the term 'turn key' business to describe franchises) but I'm sure there are more generic terms for these. Just go with the flow and take out what you need!
One last thing....You may need to hold back a laugh (I failed) when listening to the melodramatic interview sections which link the theory parts. For the record I don't think 'Sarah' and her pie company actually exists!
"Love the principals in this book"
The principals in this book are great!
If I'm being picky, the 'story of Sarah' within the book dragged on a little, however I did enjoy the book overall!
"Excellent book, given me a new perspective "
Has given me a new perspective on my business with the 'franchise' concept included within
"Systems to Small Business Freedom"
Fantastic listen, helping to switch your thinking as to why you're in business, and what your end goal is.
Great (audio) book. Plenty of take home messages.
Some stories less useful/meaningful, but some are superb.
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