The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

Author: Michael E. Gerber
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by journey_man34   2021-12-10

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It https://www.amazon.com/dp/0887307280/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_3tMADbCN4D5Y0

The book focuses more on regular local small businesses and explains that if an owner is working IN the business (doing the work) instead of ON the business (improving the business) then the owner just owns a job and not a business. In order to truly have a business and a quality of life as an owner, all the day to day responsibilities need to be handled by employees so that the owner can focus on growing and improving the business. This isn’t realistic for some owners, which is why they only own a job and may never have a quality of life that makes owning a business “worth it”.

by wildpixelmarketing   2021-12-10

Former virtual assistant here wanting to put in my two cents from the internal side.

>Think of a task you need to do for your business, but you don’t have the time, or the knowledge on how to properly execute it.

Yes and no. You should have a general idea of how the task should be done.

For example, if you have no idea how to write a blog post, you should make an attempt to learn the basics of how to write a blog post before hiring someone to do it for you.

That way, you know the type of voice you're going for, what type of content your business puts out (authority/expert type? gathering info and presenting it? opinion piece?), the format, and relay that information to your contractor.

You can't delegate it if you don't know what you're looking for. You also won't know if the end product will be effective.

You don't need to know how to do it exactly or even how to execute it, but you should know the basics of what you're asking for.

> I have seen many freelancers in the Philippines charging up to US$50 per hour to manage an Instagram account. That’s a lot of money for such a task. Try to figure out what is the hourly rate in the country where you are hiring... This will help you to estimate the budget you can allocate on a task.

I don't get out of bed for less than $45/hour as a virtual assistant and a lot of people will balk at that price.

Here's what my former clients got at $45/hour:

  • Text me. I'll respond within 15 minutes during my office hours.
  • Keeping up with industry trends, obsessively go through your analytics, refine your strategies, and reinvest what you're paying me into courses/books/knowledge to expand how I can help you (for example, instead of just scheduling your posts, I may pick up graphic design, photography, copywriting, ads, etc. to expand my skill sets).
  • Minimal management. You don't even need to ask me to update you monthly on your social media progress. I'll have a small powerpoint presentation with analytics, charts, and screenshots, detailing where you are, where you're projected to go, and how it aligns with your marketing goals. I'll also explain it in plain English instead of industry jargon. This will be pre-recorded so you can watch it at your leisure.
  • Note - this isn't specific to me. I speak for a lot of USA based VA's I've known who charge a similar rate.

Or, you can pay someone in India $10/hour to schedule your Instagram account, but good luck getting that VA to go above and beyond at that rate.

>Use a "hidden word"

On my end, when applications have these "hidden word" things, it screams inefficiency to me. You are REALLY going to base my ability to perform my tasks on whether I can I spy with my little eye a single word in your wall of text?

Here's a more accurate way to do it:

  • List the task and ask the VA for their process.
  • Tell the VA a problem that you've faced (and solved) in your business and ask them to solve the problem in their cover letter.

Here's an example: I recently hired a project manager/assistant to keep me on task with my clients. My clients text/email/call/etc. and I needed someone to organize and schedule my tasks out through Asana (a project management type of app) in an organized fashion because it's so tedious to do it myself.

I asked the following two questions:

  1. When would you use "Boards" in Asana and when would you use "Lists" in Asana? (Their response shows me their ability to think on their own, without needing me to hold their hand through how to do everything. People who are intimidated by the need for self-thinking will not answer this question and just not bother applying).
  2. I need you to export my Toggl timesheet in PDF format so I know how much time I'm spending on each client. You log in, try to export the PDF file, but every time you try to open it, it says the file is corrupted. What do you do? (At this point, MOST entry-level virtual assistants give up and just say "hey the file is corrupted, what do I do?" which I do NOT want. I want someone who has the ability to GOOGLE and problem solve).

That being said, this advice will not work for everyone.

Your ability to teach, delegate, or pay, will impact your relationship with your virtual assistant. If you have money but no time, go high-end and hire an expert VA at $35/hour or higher.

If you have time but no money, hire an entry-level/foreign assistant and take the time to train them.

I'm currently transitioning out of being a VA to start a digital marketing agency. I am now hiring my own team of virtual assistants to help me. Here's what I've learned from the hiring end:

  • Be prepared to train if you're not prepared to pay. Read The E-Myth (not an affiliate link).
    A lot of businesses fail in hiring because they want to hire someone to solve a problem they can't solve themselves. $10/hour virtual assistants are ENTRY LEVEL and will need a lot of hand-holding and training. You can absolutely go this route if your budget is low or you have a lot of time to train (or have processes at the ready) but in my experience, few business owners have been organized or patient enough to train someone entry-level.
    Within 6 months, they usually fire the entry-level assistant in favor of a more high-end one.
    The other thing is... if you got a "good one" who can handle their own at the lower rate, get ready to have people try to snatch your assistant for $12/hour or $15/hour or be forced to match a competitor's rate.
  • Hire for culture over ability.
    However, what isn't replaceable and what is difficult to teach is culture and work ethic.
    I personally work with entry-level VA's due to lack of budget (I have more time than money) - but I hire VA's whose visions and lifestyles align with mine.
    For example, I am starting a digital marketing agency. I DO NOT want to hire entry-level virtual assistants who are digital marketer wannabes because they'll just work for me for a few months, gut me for all my knowledge, and take what they learned from me to compete with me.
    Fuck that.
    Instead, I hire people who have a full-time job, or children, or family obligations, and are seeking "side income" NOT full-time hours. They are happy with entry-level $15-$25/hour pay and they have no intentions to eventually compete. I've noticed they're usually easier to work with because they're not constantly looking for more/higher-paying clients and they aren't burnt out from the industry.
    Ultimately, I am working with a niche group of people (spiritualists, cannabis entrepreneurs, sexual empowerment coaches, zero waste/environmental coaches, etc.) so the people I hire MUST have a current interest in those subjects. I can freakin pay for a $29 Instagram course in Udemy or give them my Skillshare login to teach them Instagram but I can't teach them to care about our clients.

(Note: I'm not saying hire people who are absolute newbies with no experience. You can hire a mom who has a huge Instagram following to manage your Instagram account for $15/hour and then send her to take a Udemy course to refine her marketing skills in Instagram. You can hire a college student who wants to be a scientist but codes websites on the side, to help you manage your clients' Wordpress websites).

I know this was super long-winded... Just wanted to give a perspective from a former virtual assistant who now works with virtual assistants.

by unoti   2020-09-29
A great resource to get you thinking along the right lines: the book Spin Selling[1]. This book is about doing selling involving long sales cycles, where it could take you a good amount of time to close the deal. This is often the case with enterprise software.

An example of a great concept from this book that has shaped the way I approach things: You've heard of the concept of closing, where you ask the customer to buy the product. Spin selling extends that concept in the realm of a longer sales cycle that involves many steps such as demos, consulting sessions and so on. Every interaction you have with the customer has some desired outcome that eventually leads to the final sale. For example, your initial contacts with the prospect, the goal of those initial interactions is to get the demo scheduled. Or perhaps it's to introduce you to someone closer to the decision maker. In each interaction, you keep a goal in mind and close towards that goal.

Three other books that were amazing and formative for me are below. These aren't about sales in particular but about making your own business in general, which includes sales in various degrees: 2. Good to Great 3. Crossing the Chasm 4. The E Myth

Also an honorable mention goes to this book, which is more about marketing than sales: Winning Through Intimidation. The book isn't actually about intimidating people, but it's about branding, image, and approach. Despite the evil sounding title, it's an amazing resource.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Spin-Selling-Neil-Rackham/dp/05660768... [2] https://www.amazon.com/Good-Great-Some-Companies-Others/dp/0... [3] https://www.amazon.com/Crossing-Chasm-3rd-Disruptive-Mainstr... [4] https://www.amazon.com/Myth-Revisited-Small-Businesses-About... [5] https://www.amazon.com/Winning-through-Intimidation-Victor-B...

by dade_   2020-09-12
E-Myth \ 'e-,'mith\ n 1: the entrepreneurial myth: the myth that most people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs 2: the fatal assumption that an individual who understands the technical work of a business can successfully run a business that does that technical work

Voted #1 business book by Inc. 500 CEOs.

https://www.amazon.ca/Myth-Revisited-Small-Businesses-About/...

by ledniv   2019-08-24

Check out The E-Myth revisited: The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It https://www.amazon.com/dp/0887307280/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_uqS0CbAT7R6NE

He literally uses a Bakery as an example.

Also applicable to startups.

by taint_odour   2019-08-24

Not an affiliate link btw

E-myth Revisited

by MyDogFanny   2019-07-21

Another chance to mention the book E Myth Revisited

And another chance to mention SCORE

Thank you.

I had many years in sales and marketing at big companies, but starting a business required many totally new skills. These two resources were absolutely awesome for me. My mentor from SCORE was a successful retired businessman. He had run a similar type business as mine.

by Jra805   2019-07-21

Don’t know, but it’s a popular book. Amazon Link They also have an audiobook version

by Fewshot   2019-07-21

It should really be: here's what happens when you focus too much _in_ your business, not _on_ your business.

The E-Myth is required reading to combat this.

by shaun-m   2018-11-10

Bounce

Excellent book in my opinion. Based on variations of the 10,000 hour rule with plenty of examples. Also touches on how the unknown habits and circumstance of someone can lead to outstanding abilities. Shows how much effort goes into making something work.

Zero To One

The first book that I couldn't put down until I completed it. Picked a fair few things up from it as well as a bunch of things I hope to move forward with in the future with startups.

The 33 Strategies of War

Not a business book but definitely my style if you take the examples and strategies and turn them into business. This is the second book I have not been able to put down once picking it up.

The E-Myth Revisited

Although I had a decent understanding of how to allocate duties to people depending on their job role this helped me better understand it as well as the importance of doing it.

ReWork

Another book I loved, just introduced me to a bunch of new concepts with a fair few I hope to use in the future.

Black Box Thinking

Coming from and engineering background I was already used to being ok with my failures provided I was learning from them but this book is based around how different industries treat failure and how it is important to accept it and grow from it.

I update this post with all of the books I have read with a rating.

by shaun-m   2018-11-10

Bounce

Excellent book in my opinion. Based on variations of the 10,000-hour rule with plenty of examples. Also touches on how the unknown habits and circumstance of someone can lead to outstanding abilities.

Zero To One

The first book that I couldn't put down until I completed it. Picked a fair few things up from it as well as a bunch of things I hope to move forward within the future with startups.

The 33 Strategies of War

Not a business book but definitely my style if you take the examples and strategies and turn them into business. This is the second book I have not been able to put down once picking it up.

The E-Myth Revisited

Although I had a decent understanding of how to allocate duties to people depending on their job role this helped me better understand it as well as the importance of doing it.

ReWork

Another book I loved, just introduced me to a bunch of new concepts with a fair few I hope to use in the future.

Black Box Thinking

Coming from and engineering background I was already used to being ok with my failures provided I was learning from them but this book is based around how different industries treat failure and how it is important to accept it and grow from it.

Millionaire Fastlane

I feel this is an excellent book for reality checks and getting people into a better mindset of what to expect and the amount of work required. It also explains a few common misconceptions of the get rich slow style methods where you may end up rich but you will be 60 years old or more.

by RobertRoberts   2018-08-07
I got a business coach, and took a small business course which connected me with other small businesses in my area. It was an invaluable lesson.

I was forced to read the book "E-Myth Revisited"[0] as my course material. It gave me incredible insight into delegating and many of the fundamental issues with running a small business.

Without my accountant and a few key, incredibly supportive clients, my business would have gone under a long time ago.

My business coach had started and sold a number of businesses, and was able to advise me on things that I would never have done on my own. Look for someone like this in your life, even if only temporarily.

My wife started helping with some aspects of the business as well, and I couldn't do it without her. You need help, period. I've trained 2 of my kids to build websites, one has moved on to college in some other industry and the other is interning at a bigger company (building websites). And I plan to teach my other kids as well, and have them help where possible.

What this taught me was that I can't do everything myself, and I don't want to anymore, it just sucks to do it on your own.

The best thing that happened recently is making friends with another local business owner, who also builds websites, but our business interests don't conflict, and we respect the others perspective a lot, so we get to hang out from time to time just to talk and have coffee. We understand the world in a way most others cannot. The struggle, the freedom and preasure, etc..

Keep looking for answers to your specific problems before giving up on your business.

[0] https://www.amazon.com/-Myth-Revisited-Small-Businesses-Abou...

by napoleond   2017-08-20
For anyone who's interested in more advice like this, your friend's trick almost certainly originates from Michael Gerber's book The E-Myth [Re-visited]. Highly recommended reading for anyone starting a small business.

On GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/81948.The_E_Myth_Revisite...

On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0887307280

by smoyer   2017-08-20
Read the E-Myth Revisited: https://www.amazon.com/Myth-Revisited-Small-Businesses-About...
by seibelj   2017-08-19
This is the "E-Myth Revisited" route, which to summarize is about decoupling the business from yourself and enabling other people to take "critical" work off your plate (because it really isn't that critical).[0]

[0] https://www.amazon.com/E-Myth-Revisited-Small-Businesses-Abo...

by sp3n   2017-08-19
i have recently read 'the e myth' which i would definitely recommend especially for the business/finance/planning side of things

http://www.amazon.com/The-E-Myth-Revisited-Small-Businesses/...

by ci5er   2017-08-19
This is the 2nd (or later, somewhat re-written) edition of the book referenced: - https://www.amazon.com/E-Myth-Revisited-Small-Businesses-Abo...