E-Myth Mastery: The Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World Class Company
Michael E. Gerber / Author HarperBusiness $24.95 (423p) ISBN 9
Small business guru and best-selling author Gerber is an enthusiastic champion of small business owners, and his constant cheering underlies this latest attempt to provide a comprehensive plan for entrepreneurial success. The key messages here are similar to those of his previous books (The E-Myth Revisited, etc.): that ""knowing how to do the work of a business has nothing to do with building a business that works""; that entrepreneurs learn their skills through practice, practice, practice; and that anyone willing to adopt that same kind of discipline can be successful too. These principles are sound and practical, but Gerber's articulation of them is often cloying. His book relies heavily on Platonic dialogues with his 'student' Sarah, the ever misty-eyed owner of a business called All About Pies. But the quasi-romantic tenor of their conversations is irritating. Equally distracting is Gerber's impassioned mid-book confession detailing how even as he was succeeding as a small business guru, he was being sued for fraud, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and seriously not in control of his own far-from-excellent small company. While this confession lends credibility to his knowledge-he has personally been to the brink of small business failure and back-it may plant seeds of doubt within skeptical readers. But, ultimately, those who overlook this skepticism and plow through the soul-searching assignments that make up the first 66 pages of the book will be rewarded. For Gerber's volume provides a wealth of practical guidelines, charts, forms (available online) and instructions on how to run, improve and manage a business of any size. And, by the end, readers will feel as though they've been given a full course of one-on-one coaching sessions with Gerber. For all its flaws, this is a book with a business plan that anyone could implement...and should want to.
Reviewed on: 01/01/2005