Today, we continue our series of book reviews with a look at Beyond the E-Myth, the latest in a long line of great books by Michael Gerber (a marketing genius who has built a world-wide web of products and services to help small businesses grow). Beyond the E-Myth releases December 7, 2016, so make sure to grab your copy!
Our author today is one of our fabulous interns, one of our writers and a whiz at everything social media.
Read To Transform Your View Of Your Business
This is not Michael Gerber’s first rodeo. He wrote the original E-myth over two decades ago and it has since impacted millions of readers. Beyond The E-Myth just might be the book that transforms the way you view your business, or inspires you to start (or sell) your own business. It is a well written, heavy hitting book that will leave you better off than when it found you, regardless of how it did.
Gerber begins by laying out a few basic concepts that guide the rest of the book. He talks about how every successful company encompasses four main areas:
- The Dream
- The Vision
- The Purpose
- The Mission
The Dream is the great results that your company intends to produce. The Vision is the form your company must take in order to produce that result. The Purpose is the outcome you’re going to produce for your most important customer. The Mission is the core operating system you must invent for your company to succeed at what it’s setting out to do. Gerber thoroughly fleshes out each of these ideas individually. Essentially, this is a four-step process of how to not be the victim of your own company. Lay out right at the beginning who you are and what you’re going to do and don’t put effort into things that are not furthering the core purpose of your business. Another principle he addresses is the importance of building your business on the franchise model to create sustainability and replicability. McDonald’s is the main example and golden standard (pun most definitely intended) of why this principle is so important.
Gerber lays out right at the beginning that entrepreneurs need to work ON their companies, not IN their companies. The difference is this: working in your business means that you own your job. You show up when you want to, leave when you want to and don’t make money when you’re not working. Working on your business means managing and leveraging your resources to make your business work without you. See the difference? Working on, and not in, your business is far more scalable. There is no opportunity for exponential growth in a business if you are the sole power source. You need to create systems for growth, not dig ditches by yourself.
Interesting Book Insights
The most useful insight that I gleaned from the book is that a business should be built, from the very beginning, to be sold. You don’t just want to own a job. Scalability is the goal, and there is no way to sustain an income when you’re ready to not work every day. Instead, whether you actually plan on selling the company or not, you need to build it with this thought in mind: “Will this work without me?” You need to make it self-sustaining. There are two benefits to this:
First, only a self-sustaining company will be acquired. So, much like flipping houses, you will be able to keep trading up in your enterprise. Next, if you do not have an interest in selling your company, then odds are it’s because you are aspiring to the ranks of Musk, Zuckerberg, Gates and other industry leaders. And you better believe that Microsoft can run without Bill Gates.
Another main point of the book that I found fascinating was the concept of franchising and consistency. This really goes hand in hand with building your company with acquisition as the end goal. If you can find a way to track exactly what you do and how you do it and learn to replicate that over and over again with excellence, someone will want to acquire you. Look at McDonald’s: the company has one of the highest turnover rates for employees out there, and many of its employees are high-school aged, but somehow, McDonald’s has served billions of customers. What’s the secret? Repetition. A Big Mac is a Big Mac. Whether you get it in San Francisco or Dubai, or Nowhere, Oklahoma, it’s going to taste the same. The miracle here is not that no matter where you are in the world you are going to be disappointed with your dietary choices, the miracle is that at all 36,615 worldwide locations the service, training, and success is exactly the same. Each restaurant operates independently, yet exactly the same as all the others. Ray Kroc was not focused on his burger flipping skills when building McDonald’s.
Overall Summary & Conclusion
Overall, this is a very simple, straightforward, and cleanly written book. It is enjoyable and eye opening, and should be required reading for anyone who owns or one day hopes to own their own business or enterprise. Gerber is a time tested guru on business development and improving the “operating system” of a company. I experienced a bit of a paradigm shift while reading it, and will most likely be revisiting it for years to come.
Purchase Beyond the E-Myth here!