The E-Myth Enterprise
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The E-Myth Enterprise

Michael E. Gerber

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  1. 224 pages
  2. English
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eBook - ePub

The E-Myth Enterprise

Michael E. Gerber

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About This Book

"This excellent book is a must-read for current and aspiring entrepreneurs."
— Booklist

Discover how to turn a great idea into a thriving business with The E-Myth Enterprise, using the proven methods that bestselling author MichaelE. Gerber has developed over the course of his more than forty years as an entrepreneur and coach. MichaelE.Gerber is THE #1 name in small business and his company, E-Myth Worldwide, boasts more than 52, 000 business clients in 145 countries. The E-Myth Enterprise shows readers how to get started—because simply coming up with a brilliant business idea is the easy part.

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In too many situations we automatically experience people as “them”—not “us.” These jungle-type habits of mind are dangerous to our species.
—Ken Keyes Jr.
This book is meant to be a prescription for building a successful business in a free market system. As you will find out, it probably serves as well—if not better—as a polemic against such prescriptions.
Please excuse the apparent contradiction. I know that if you’re patient, somewhere in the middle resides a truth worth digging for. But to get there, you’re going to have to do some of the work. You’re going to have to stretch where I stretch and let go where I let go.
In other words, you’re going to have to be willing to play an always frustrating, but sometimes enlightening, game, a game I call how do you provide an answer to a question that you know has no answer?
In a free market system, that’s the game called business.
To anyone with even a passing interest in the comings and goings of the free market system in the United States, it should be apparent that the life of a business here is a precarious thing. If the business is a good idea—that is, if it does all the right things in the right way and at the right time, and is lucky—it succeeds.
If it’s a bad idea, it doesn’t.
Even worse, it could appear to be a good idea, but shifts—more like earthquakes—in the economy can sink it. Wasn’t Washington Mutual a good idea? Wasn’t Fannie Mae? Wasn’t Lehman Brothers? Wasn’t AIG?
Unfortunately, the truth is that for the people who invest in other people’s businesses, for those who start a business of their own, or for those who work for either of the other two, most businesses turn out to be bad ideas; most businesses fail. Even the so-called giants.
More frustrating is that, in a free market system, even the good ideas—the businesses that succeed—turn into the bad ideas in time.
The weather changes. A new company moves in across the street. People stop having babies. Somebody comes up with a better idea. The economy experiences a so-called correction. Or—and this happens—someone comes up with a worse idea but implements it better.
In short, a free market system provides all of us with significantly more opportunity to fail than to succeed.
What worked yesterday will most likely not work today, and the fact that something works today is insufficient justification for planning to do it the same way tomorrow.
How can we minimize the risk?
If an estimated six out of ten companies funded by professional venture capitalists go under (some estimates run as high as 90 percent*), how can anyone else expect to do better? Shouldn’t we be able to expect better in a world with so much information at hand, with so much technical and technological know-how at our disposal, and with so many well-trained managers available? *
For years, clients have been asking me those very questions.
Is there a common denominator we can use to take a more accurate measure of a business idea?
Is there a pattern—a template—we can use to evaluate a business and its likelihood of achieving significant success?
Is there something all great businesses do that can be replicated by other businesses wishing to become great?
Is there a way to clone greatness?
I believe the answer to each of these questions is yes.
This book is my answer to those thousands of clients and businesspeople who have asked me these questions over the years, as well as to the millions of entrepreneurs, would-be entrepreneurs, and managers I have never met to whom these questions are just as important.
In a deceptively thin book, I have organized the fundamental principles that I believe form the foundation of every lasting great business into a template or model of greatness, the presence of which in any business would indicate with a great degree of certainty what I call the success-proneness of that business, and the absence of which would indicate that a business is not likely to pass the test of time.
The value of this template is that it is timeless. It will work for any enterprise, any time, at any place in the world.
It transcends epochs, technology, industry, markets, economies, and geography.
It could have been implemented as effectively in the nineteenth century as it is now.
It could be put to good work just as effectively in the emerging Eastern European free market experiment, as it could in the United States free market’s attempt to recapture its own lost glory.
It could just as well be applied to a corner grocery store as to a semiconductor plant in Chandler, Arizona, or an iPod factory in China.
The reason it is so timeless and so transferable is because it is founded upon the one sacrosanct requirement upon which the existence of every business in a free market system always has depended, and always will depend.
That is, to succeed, every business in a free market system must learn how to satisfy, better than its competitors, the essential needs, unconscious expectations, and perceived preferences of the four most important groups of people in its universe: (1) the people who work for it; (2) the people who buy from it; (3) the people who sell to it; and (4) the people who lend to it: its employees, customers, suppliers, and financial institutions.
It is the combined judgment of all these people, these four primary influencers, upon which the ultimate success or failure—yes, the life or death—of every business enterprise ultimately depends.
Which brings us to our first rule of thumb.
And that is, in a free market system…
Businesses Exist Only Because People Want Them To.
I hope that statement doesn’t come as a big surprise to you.
It surprises me that most businesses seem to operate as though exactly the opposite were true.
As though people exist because of businesses.
As though God created businesses first, and only when the businesses were seen not to work did He create people to go to work in them, to buy from them, to sell to them, and to lend to them.
I know that’s a dumb thing to say—I know it.
But it’s an even dumber thing to do. Yet for many businesses it’s standard operating procedure.
Which brings us to our second rule of thumb. And that is, in a free market system…
People Are Regarded as a Problem to Most Businesses.
Yes, to most businesses in a free market system, people are regarded as a problem—not only the people who work in the business, but the people who sell to the business, the people who buy from the business, and the people who lend to the business. All people are regarded as a problem. And they’re a problem because they’re so unmanageable. When people are manageable, they’re not a problem anymore. They’re invisible.
That’s what most businesses I have seen would like people to be. Invisible. Not a problem. Not needing attention. Pliable. Easy.
That’s why there are systems in the world other than the free market system.
Other systems were created to eliminate the problem of people. In other systems, people aren’t a problem because it doesn’t matter what they want.
In a free market system, you can’t get away with that mind-set for very long, and that’s what drives everybody nuts trying to run a business in this system.
In a free market system, we have to come to grips with the fact that there are all these people—needing, needing, needing.
Unfortunately, in a free market system, all of them are needing the same damn thing—MORE!
More of what?
More of everything!
But don’t people know that there’s only so much a business can give?
Why aren’t they understanding, like us?
Like who?
Like businesspeople.
Like the people who run the business.
Like the people here in the business at the top.
Like the people who own the business.
Like the people who manage the business.
Like the people who would like other people to be more reasonable.
Like the people very much like us, who want…what?
Who want MORE.
Who want more of what?
Of everything!
But a business can only give so much!
Who said?
In a free market system, businesses are invented by people for a very special reason.
But despite what most of us believe, businesses are not invented only by those people who go into business—the so-called entrepreneurs among us.
In a free market system, businesses are invented by all of us—by each and ev...

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