This book review series is beginning to become quite fun! It serves me well to go back through to pick out highlights to write about, and I hope they serve you all well as a snapshot of the book to help you determine whether it could be helpful in your business.
This week’s book review is on E-Myth: Revisited. This came highly recommended by multiple entrepreneurs. It seemed to be one of the titles that continuously resurfaced whenever someone asked for books recommendations. So I thought…it has to have something I can apply to my business. And it did, in fact, have plenty for me to apply to my business.
E-Myth: Revisited is a bit philosophical. At first, it felt dense and a little boring to me, but as I continued on, the author, Michael Gerber, incorporated many stories that portrayed the concepts he was explaining. Seeing the examples of the concepts made it much easier to understand them. I am going to dive into the three main takeaways I got from the book. With that being said, this review will not replace reading the book itself because it is a lot to digest!
The Technician, The Entrepreneur, and The Manager
Gerber posits that each business owner should have three facets to their business personality. The Technician is the worker bee, essentially. He is the one who really enjoys the craft and being involved on the ground level with his sleeves rolled up. Usually, a business owner starts out as a technician working for someone else and sees all the ways they could “do it better.”
The Entrepreneur is the inventor, the innovator, the one who has bigger goals for the product/company/business. When the Technician experiences an “entrepreneurial itch,” that is when he leaves his previous company to “do it better.”
But then that Entrepreneur gets forced back into the role of Technician, which feels very similar to what he was experiencing before at his old job. Eventually the business likely grows and the responsibilities become too much for one person, so the Technician hires someone to do the tasks that are slipping through the cracks. They then become the Manager.
The Manager is meant to ensure the success of the Technician while the Entrepreneur continues to grow the business. Well, the roles continuously get blurred or even ignored and that’s when the growth starts to hurt the business and its ability to function. The business owner is either forced to grow into a different role altogether or boil things back down to a one-man show.
The dynamics between these roles are interesting to me because I think at one point, each of us has felt the pull of this, even if it’s on a small level. No, I didn’t start as a photographer working for someone else, but I was unhappy in my previous job, causing me to leave and start something new. But as my business grew, I felt (and still do sometimes) that I am stuck in the role of Technician and cannot transition over to the role of Entrepreneur to grow my business sustainably. That is when Gerber introduces the Franchise Model.
The Franchise Model
So when I first read this, I almost skipped this section because I knew I was never going to franchise Ali Rae Haney Photography. But that’s not the point.
The point that Gerber makes is that no matter what type of business or whether you intend to franchise or not, you should be building your business as if it were going to be franchised. Why? Because in order to be franchise-able (is that a word? Probably not…), you have to run off of systems that allow for profit, and large profit at that. Throughout this section he uses the wildly successful franchise, McDonald’s, as an example. The point being—it doesn’t matter if you’re going to a McDonald’s in California, Montana, Florida—you’re going to get the same burger and fries everywhere. They have strategies that force that to happen. And consistency is what people want.
So that brings us to our next major takeaway…
The main strategies that Gerber encourages each business to have are:
- Organizational Strategy
- Management Strategy
- People Strategy
- Marketing Strategy
- Systems Strategy
Now, in order to come to these strategies, you must have a Primary Aim and Strategic Objective that guide the creation of each of the above strategies. But I found his explanation of each of these strategy types incredibly insightful. For those who don’t know, we are currently building a wedding venue in central Kentucky. In the 10-year plan, there are a lot of additional ways we would like to create revenue with a few different business ventures. All of these ventures, however, play off of one another and need to be set up correctly from the start.
After reading E-Myth: Revisited, I almost immediately sat down and revised our business plan(s) based off of the principles presented in this book. This book is all about growth; it doesn’t matter the scale. Even if you always plan on being a one-woman/man show with your photography business, you will still find ways to streamline your back-end stuff so that you can focus less on being a Technician and more on being an Entrepreneur!
Again, this book review was longer than I anticipated it would be, but it’s worth it. I hope this little insight into this book was enough to motivate you to go grab a copy for yourself and sit down with your business plan next to you, ready to make tweaks for the better! If you have already read E-Myth: Revisited, I would love to hear your biggest takeaway below!