The Power of Systems and Delegation: The E-Myth Review

Leadership can be a challenging job. And when you add it to something that you pour your heart and soul into, which you would like to build and succeed in, you can have a recipe for disappointment and frustration. 

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber is an excellent handbook if you’re looking to start a small business, or, as a matter of fact, any organization with more than one person in it. Believe it or not, the person who recommended this book to me wasn’t a small business owner, but rather the founder of a group of faith-based organizations spread across the world. 

Why E-myth? It’s a reference to what the author believes is the entrepreneurial myth, where everyone thinks that starting your own business is the way to earn an income while also enjoying time freedom. But that’s hardly the case, as most small businesses flop within the first year, and not because the founders are incompetent—on the contrary, they can actually be the best in their field! So what went wrong? 

        When we end up doing everything ourselves, we can get bogged down in the teeny tiny details and not being able to act the role of the visionary, which the entrepreneur should be.
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5 Key Learnings from Multipliers:

With that premise, I started the book with a little curiosity for leadership principles, but also to learn about how to setup a small business that, unlike the title, WILL work. Here are some of the main points I got (and hopefully, applied!) from the book:

1. The entrepreneur is not the same as the technician 

Indeed, many of us go into small businesses doing what we love to do, and that which we are experts at doing. Perhaps it’s a craft business, a construction business, a pastry business. After all, isn’t that what everyone keeps telling us: do what you love best, and you won’t feel like you’re working a day in your life? It’s true to some extent, but apparently, passion is not enough to make a small business work. 

And in this book, the author shows us that our expertise can actually be the main hindrance in building our business. Why? Because we end up doing everything ourselves, getting bogged down in the teeny tiny details and not being able to act the role of the visionary, which the entrepreneur should be. If we keep doing things this way, we end up as working professionals more than as businesspersons. 

2. There’s a difference between working on your business and working in it 

Most business owners think that working on their business means them manning the fort. The truth is, there’s a major difference between working on your business and working in it. When you work in it, you’re basically doing the role of any average employee, be it opening the shop, or cleaning the counters, or running the register. 

Granted, these things are important. But working on your business is something that only you, as the entrepreneur, can do. And when you know how to work on your business, to develop reproducible systems, to think up ways to make it grow and thrive, that’s when you can start to see results beyond what you and your two hands can do. 

3. The Franchise Prototype encourages reproducibility. 

Franchising is not some mere fad; it’s actually a business model you can pursue to help you develop your business in such a way that it’s not wholly dependent on your presence. After all, your goal when you started the business most likely included time freedom, right? And you won’t have time freedom if your business requires you to be there every opening hour. 

The author encourages you, even as you start a small business, to view it as a potential large corporation, with franchise shops open everywhere. That way, you’re forced to think about the systems that need to be in place for the concept, products, and services to be reproducible over several “branches.” Whether or not you do franchise out someday is not the question; the challenge is to think big even when you’re still small. 

Being an Entrepreneur Can Be Rewarding 

Creating something from what seems to be nothing is the essence of entrepreneurship, and it can be a rewarding experience. But it can also be a real challenge, especially if you’re not used to delegating and assigning roles and tasks to other people. 

Hopefully, this book can help shift your mindset and prepare you for your most important role in your business: of overseeing and propelling your business forward as a true entrepreneur! 

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