“If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business—you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!”

 – Michael E. Gerber, Author 


Book Data

Publication Date: March 17, 2009

Print Length: 292 pages 

Best Sellers Rank in Amazon:

#1 in Entrepreneurship Management 

 #8 in Startups 

 #26 in Business Leadership   

Sales: Over one million copies worldwide   

The Topic

“The E-Myth Revisited” focuses on the challenges and pitfalls of running a small business. The book argues that many small businesses fail because their owners are good at the technical aspects of their work but lack the business acumen to grow and sustain the company.

Michael E. Gerber proposes a model that emphasizes systematization and the development of scalable processes, much like a franchise, to help business owners work “on” their business rather than just “in” it. The goal is to create a business that can operate successfully without being entirely dependent on the owner’s direct involvement.

The Ideal Reader

The ideal reader for “The E-Myth Revisited” is a small business owner or aspiring entrepreneur who may be technically skilled but lacks the necessary business knowledge to sustain and grow a company.

The book is particularly beneficial for those who find themselves bogged down in daily operations, unable to focus on strategic growth. The book helps readers transition from a “technician” mindset to that of a true business owner or manager.

By emphasizing the importance of systematization and working “on” rather than “in” the business, the book provides a roadmap for creating a scalable, less owner-dependent enterprise. Readers who feel overwhelmed or stuck can gain tools to break the cycle and drive business success.

Aspiring Entrepreneurs: Those planning to start a business can benefit from understanding common pitfalls and how to avoid them. The book’s focus on systematization and scalability provides a foundational strategy before they even launch.

Small Business Owners: Especially those who are experts in their field (like a skilled baker or talented mechanic) but find themselves overwhelmed with the managerial and operational aspects of running a business. Gerber’s framework helps them transition from being a “technician” to a business owner.

Family Business Operators: Often, family businesses are steeped in tradition and may lack formalized systems. The book’s emphasis on systematization can help such businesses modernize and operate more efficiently.

Franchise Owners: While franchises often provide operational systems, the principles of working “on” the business can help franchisees understand how to maximize efficiency and grow beyond a single location.

Managers in Larger Organizations: Though the book focuses on small business, its principles of systematization and managerial focus can benefit managers in larger organizations who are responsible for specific departments or teams.

The Promise

The author’s promise to the reader is that by understanding and applying the principles outlined in “The E-Myth Revisited,” they will gain the tools and perspective needed to transform their small business from a struggling, owner-dependent operation into a scalable, sustainable enterprise.

Gerber offers a roadmap for creating systems and processes that allow the business to operate successfully without being entirely reliant on the owner’s constant involvement. The ultimate aim is to achieve both business success and personal freedom.

The Title

The title “The E-Myth Revisited” works because it alludes to a commonly held but flawed belief or myth about entrepreneurship—the “E-Myth,” or Entrepreneurial Myth, which is the mistaken belief that understanding the technical work of a business is enough to build a successful business that does that technical work.

The subtitle, “Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It,” is effective because it directly addresses a critical pain point for the target audience. It not only identifies a problem that is both urgent and relevant to small business owners but also promises a solution.

The subtitle clearly outlines what readers can expect to learn, making it compelling for anyone who is struggling with or interested in small business management. Together, the title and subtitle encapsulate the core issues and solutions presented in the book.

The Methodology

Gerber’s methodology centers around the Business Development Process, which involves creating a “turn-key” business similar to a franchise. The key components include:

Business Prototype: Creating a model business that works independently of the owner and can be replicated.

Systems: Standardizing procedures for everything from customer service to internal operations, which can then be documented and scaled.

Roles, Not People: Designing the business around functions and roles rather than tailoring it to the skills of existing employees.

Working “On” vs. “In” the Business: Encouraging owners to step back from daily operations to focus on strategy, systematization, and growth.

Innovation, Quantification, and Orchestration: Continuously updating and improving systems, measuring their effectiveness, and coordinating the elements to work seamlessly together.

The Structure

“The E-Myth Revisited” is structured into several key sections that explore different aspects of business management and entrepreneurship. While the exact arrangement may vary depending on the edition, the core structure typically includes:


Overview of the Entrepreneurial Myth (“E-Myth”) and its impact on small businesses.

Part I: The E-Myth and American Small Business

The Entrepreneurial Myth: Introduction to the concept that technical expertise does not equate to business success.

The Entrepreneur, the Manager, and the Technician: Breaks down the three personas that a small business owner must balance.

Part II: The Turn-Key Revolution: A New View of Business

The Turn-Key Revolution: Introduction to the concept of a “turn-key” business, like a franchise, that can run without the owner.

The Business Format Franchise: Discusses the franchise model and its applicability to independent businesses.

Part III: Building a Small Business That Works!

The Business Development Process: Overview of the stages of developing a scalable business.

Your Business and Your Life: Discusses the relationship between personal goals and the business.

Steps and Strategies

This section generally includes various steps and strategies for:

      1. Business systematization
      2. Implementing standardized procedures
      3. Management strategy


Summary of the book’s core concepts and a call to action for business owners to work “on” their business rather than “in” it.

Throughout the book, Gerber also includes anecdotes and case studies to illustrate his points, making the abstract concepts more relatable and easier to apply in real-world scenarios.

What Made The E-Myth Revisited a Best Seller?

“The E-Myth Revisited” became a bestseller for several reasons:

Addresses a Universal Pain Point: The book targets the core challenges that many small business owners face—namely, the struggle to transition from being a skilled worker to a successful business owner. This universality made it widely applicable and relatable.

Simple, Actionable Advice: Michael E. Gerber breaks down complex business concepts into actionable steps, making it easy for readers to implement his strategies.

Turn-Key Concept: The idea of systematizing a business to make it operable by anyone (much like a franchise) was a fresh approach that resonated with many business owners looking for sustainable growth.

Case Studies and Anecdotes: The book includes real-life examples that add credibility and allow readers to see the principles in action.

Timely Relevance: Small businesses have always been a significant part of the economy, but the book tapped into a growing interest in entrepreneurship and provided practical guidance at a time when many were seeking to break free from traditional 9-5 jobs.

Word of Mouth and Professional Endorsement: The book has been widely recommended by business coaches, consultants, and successful entrepreneurs, adding to its credibility and reach.

Accessible Writing Style: Gerber’s conversational tone and clear writing make complex ideas easily digestible, further enhancing its appeal.

Holistic Approach: Beyond just business operations, the book also addresses the lifestyle and personal freedom that come from successfully applying its principles, broadening its appeal.

Longevity: Since its publication, the principles have stood the test of time, keeping the book relevant and making it a go-to resource for new generations of entrepreneurs.

For these reasons, “The E-Myth Revisited” has enjoyed sustained popularity and has become a staple read for both aspiring and established entrepreneurs.

The Write the Right Book Series

The “Write the Right Book” breakdown series shows you how the best selling business books you love follow the five foundationas of writing a must read book. Think of your book as a house. The strength of your home is in its foundation. Nail down a crystal-clear topic, know your ideal reader like they’re your best friend, give them a promise they can’t resist, and choose a title and subtitle that will grab their attention from across a crowded room. And don’t forget the blueprint—your structure. When you invest your time in getting clarity on these five  elements first, not only will writing your book be a lot easier and enjoyable, but you’ll also end up with a read that’s a genuine page-turner. 

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