©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)
The author clearly wanted to write a novel. The book is complete with descriptions of thoughts, fantasies and even detailed descriptions of smiles and sighs of the pie lady. It takes an eternity for the author to make a point. The whole book can be summed up by saying: If you start a business because you are good at and enjoy something; in order to be successful you will need to hire someone else to do that something so you can focus on management and growing the business. The goal is to make a business that runs so well that it can run without you and be franchised like McDonalds.
This book illustrates business ideas through a story between a teacher and a student, much like that of The Goal. But the author put too much effort into developing the characters and too little into teaching the business. There were lots on how Sarah smiles, and grins, and have the looks of someone on the verge of enlightenment, and on and on. There were lots on describing the pitfalls of the average business owner. But there were very little on solutions to solve these problems and almost no examples given to demonstrate how to apply the solutions in practical situation in day to day business.
The idea is to set up your business in a way you can put everything about the business in an operations manual. You need to do it in a way such that if someone else was given the manual, he/she will be able to run the exact same business. This way, your business will have repeatable and predictable results. If you were on vacation, someone else will be able to run the business with same results. The author spent may be 20 minutes on illustrating these ideas, and the rest of the 8 hours describing how excited Sarah became hearing these.
If you'd like to read about the touchy feelys, pick up a real novel. If you want to have practical ideas about how to run a business, pick up a real business book. If you'd like to spend 8 hours learning the ideas I've already outlined above, get this book.
Book nerd for life!
Yes, I think it should be revisited (no pun intended) at least annually to keep you on your toes.
When the author started telling his own story.
He had true passion in what he wrote and it showed in his performance
Yes! I listened to it in 2 sittings, but if I had time, I would've listened in one
It's not every book that offers a good story...combined with good information... and the author gives a great performance as well. Gerber's voice is so warm and comfortable... like watching Christmas Story about Ralph and his quest for a BB gun only without the other characters... only the narrator. Through this method of story telling, he was able to apply principles of entrepreneurship used by large corporations such as McDonalds and Disney to a small start up, Sarah's All About Pies. I have a small start-up myself and over the last 6 months have listened to lots of audible books on business and personal development. While the concept of working "on" the business rather than "in" the business is not new, this book was able to show me, in detail, how that sort of thinking would apply directly to my own venture. My own personal story is exactly what Gerber describes in this book... the "technician" who thinks he can use his skill to start a business and ends up simply creating another job for himself. After listening to this book, I am changing my approach.... and I feel good about it.
Great book... well done.
Some interesting ideas but author's long-winded style gets tedious. As someone who was once self-employed, I found this book's message was dead on. People start a business to get away from bosses, when what any business really needs is a boss, even if that's just being a boss of yourself.
This book is about standardizing the processes of your business. If you know enough about that, you'll find the book underwhelming.
This book is for beginners. If you're an advanced business person, look else where.
This is good, basic information that many new business owners probably miss. I purchased the book after listening to the ebook. That being written, it seems the author is taken with his own writing. The story weaved throughout seemed like he was trying to drop a novel in this business book. I could have done without that part. Overall, good information and I recommend it to business owners I work with.
I really enjoyed this book. One or two of the examples about sales are a bit cliched and it is clearly promoting the consultants' interest - that's all that keeps it from being a 5-star book. What got me first was the absolutely bang-on description of what a start-up company is like and how owners treat their first staff members. What kept me hooked were the concrete suggestions for improving. Some books point out problems. Some describe new solutions. Few combine the two as effectively as this one. With a few exceptions, it is also refreshingly free of business jargon. If you're a manager in a large company, it might not be that helpful. If you've started your own company or organization this should be on your must-read list.
This is one of those books that will get you excited and you’ll start to dream again.
This is a must have for any owner of a business, whether you've been in business for a long time or just starting out.
I will be able to read and re-read this many times and still learn from it.
Maybe I just hit this one at just the right time, but this has been the BEST marketing book that I have "read", EVER. Yep, the pace is a bit slow but It takes some time to soak up ideas as big as the ones in this book. Any quicker and things might get missed. Just one simple idea in this book is worth what I have paid for my entire Audible membership!
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