Full Review - E-Myth, Michael Gerber

Learn why most small businesses fail and how to fix it with “E-Myth” by Michael Gerber.

“E-Myth”, subtitled “Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It,” is a groundbreaking book that has changed the way millions of entrepreneurs view and manage their businesses. Written by business development expert Michael Gerber, this book discusses the critical mistakes that most small entrepreneurs make and offers a radical model for avoiding them.

The central themes covered include:

  1. The myth of the entrepreneur : the difference between working in your company and working on your business.
  2. The three roles of the entrepreneur : the Technician, the Manager and the Entrepreneur. Understanding and balancing these roles is crucial.
  3. The Tournez-Clé Franchise Model : how to systematize your business as if you were going to franchise it.
  4. The growth stages of a business : from Childhood to Adolescence and Maturity, each stage has its challenges.

Critical analysis

“E-Myth” is one of those rare books that have the power to trigger a complete shift in the way entrepreneurship is perceived. It's required reading for anyone who runs or is considering starting a small business.

The highlights of the book:

  • Demystifying the role of the entrepreneur : Gerber shatters the myth that being good at your job is enough to succeed in business. It shows convincingly that entrepreneurship is a skill in its own right.
  • The three-role model : the distinction between Technician, Manager and Entrepreneur is a revelation. It explains why so many entrepreneurs feel torn and overworked, and offers a way out of this trap.
  • The importance of systems : the “Tournez-Clé Franchise” concept is powerful. It encourages people to think about every aspect of their business in terms of repeatable processes, a key to growth and personal freedom.
  • Illustrative stories and dialogues : The book is full of engaging stories, including that of Sarah the pie maker, that make abstract concepts tangible and memorable.

The only caveat that could be raised is that the franchise model may seem a bit rigid or impersonal for certain types of businesses that are very focused on human relationships. But the underlying principles of systematization and independence remain valid.

In the end, “E-Myth” is a transformative book, which has the potential to take any entrepreneur from an intuitive and reactive approach to a proactive and systematic approach. It is the user manual that every entrepreneur would like to have received when starting their business.

Key Points to Remember

  1. Working in your business and working on your business are two very different things. Entrepreneurs need to learn to do both.
  2. Each entrepreneur plays three roles: the Technician (who does the work), the Manager (who supervises), and the Entrepreneur (who innovates and plans). Neglecting any of these roles can lead to disaster.
  3. The ultimate goal should be to create a business that operates without depending on yourself — like a well-oiled franchise.
  4. Systematizing every aspect of your business is the key to gaining efficiency, consistency and personal freedom.
  5. Businesses go through predictable growth phases, each with its own challenges. Anticipating these transitions is crucial.

Similar books

  • “Built to Sell” by John Warrillow
  • “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss

Author profile

Michael Gerber is a world-renowned entrepreneur, coach, and author, best known for his pioneering work on small business development.

Gerber has significant experience as an entrepreneur and consultant:

  • He founded his own management consulting business in the 1970s after working in the insurance industry.
  • He has directly coached and trained thousands of small business owners around the world.
  • Her company, E-Myth Worldwide, has become a major player in business coaching.

A prolific author, Gerber has written numerous influential books on entrepreneurship:

  • “The E-Myth Revisited,” an updated version of her first best-seller, has become a must-read for entrepreneurs.
  • His other books, like “E-Myth Mastery” and “Awakening the Entrepreneur Within,” deepen the concepts of E-Myth.
  • His books have been translated into 29 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide.

A sought-after speaker and trainer, Gerber has shared his E-Myth philosophy at countless events and seminars around the world, inspiring generations of entrepreneurs.

Gerber's impact on the world of entrepreneurship is immense. His ideas changed the way millions of small business owners see their role and manage their businesses.

With “E-Myth,” Gerber offered much more than a book: it's a comprehensive system of thinking and acting for success as an entrepreneur. Its message is both universal and timeless: success comes from systematization and balance between the different roles of the entrepreneur.

The book reflects Gerber's unique approach, combining management principles, entrepreneurial psychology, and practical wisdom drawn from decades of experience in the field.

With this book, Michael Gerber has established himself as the ultimate mentor for small business owners. “E-Myth” isn't just a book, it's a wake-up call for any entrepreneur who feels overwhelmed in their business. It's an invitation to work ON your business, not just IN your business.


Do you have to own a business to benefit from “E-Myth”?

No, the lessons of “E-Myth” are valuable for anyone who is considering starting a business or is in the early stages of development. The book helps to take the right entrepreneurial approach from the start.

Do the principles of “E-Myth” apply to solo or freelance businesses?

Absolutely. Even if you are alone, it is crucial to distinguish the roles of Technician, Manager and Entrepreneur, and to start systematizing your activity. This is the key to avoid burn-out and to be able to develop.

Is the Franchise model suitable for all types of businesses?

The goal is not necessarily to become a franchise, but to act and organize your business as if you were going to franchise it. The principles of standardization, process documentation, and independence are valid for most businesses.

Where do you start to apply the “E-Myth” lessons?

Start by identifying which role (s) you spend the most time in: Technician, Manager, Entrepreneur. Then, think about how to better balance these roles. Finally, choose an aspect of your business to start systematizing and documenting, as if you were going to delegate it to someone else.


In conclusion, Michael Gerber's “E-Myth” is a seminal book that has the power to profoundly transform the way entrepreneurs view and manage their businesses. With its powerful three-role model, its Tournez-Clé Franchise concept and its illustrative stories, it is an indispensable roadmap for moving from a chaotic and reactive mode of operation to a systematic and proactive approach.

Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, an overwhelmed freelancer or the owner of an established small business, “E-Myth” will give you the keys to working ON your business, not just IN your business, and thus realize your full entrepreneurial potential.

A must-have classic that has a place in the library of any serious entrepreneur. A book to read, reread, and apply to build a business that works, with or without you. The bible of the modern entrepreneur.