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The E-Myth Revisited

© November 2008 Anthony Lawrence

I've seen this book recommended all over the web. The Amazon reviews are mostly gushing and glowing. I'll give you the link just in case you want it, but I'd suggest saving your money. This is really bad.

First of all, it's mostly fluff. Something that you or I might say in three sentences turns into a long chapter here. I could sum up everything he has to say in a couple of pages. I could almost do it in a few sentence fragments: you need business skills to run a business, as your business grows you can't be a perfectionist, franchising is the path to your success. There, now you don't need to read page after page of annoying conversations between Michael Gerber and the Sad Sarah Pie Maker.

This is one of those books where I'd snort "Wrong!" and "Sez you!" every few pages. Not that there's nothing of value here, but there sure as hell is nothing of value that you can't get elsewhere far more concisely and without having to listen to Sarah fawn over Michael's supposed wisdom.

And when he's wrong, he's oh so very wrong. His most amazing assertion is that sole proprietor businesses can't survive. Really? I know a lot that have, including my own. As to his love affair with franchising (that is, turning your business into a franchise), well, that's his opinion, but not every business can or even should be a franchise.

So why is E-Myth Revisited so popular? Well, you know the answer: most people are idiots. We went to the movies last night and both my wife and I commented later on how the crowd had laughed uproariously at parts that really weren't that funny. Broad and crude slapstick elicited waves of belly laughs and guffaws. Stupid people, plain and simple. That's the major explanation. Oh, them and the few people who imagine themselves pontificating to Sarah or perhaps see themselves as Sarah, soaking up wisdom from the Great Master. Add to that the folks who should franchise their ideas: if they can put up with Sarah, I suppose they'd have reason to read this.

The rest of us can safely ignore it.

Worst book I've read this year. Period.

Tony Lawrence 2008-11-25 Rating: 1.0

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-> I did not enjoy the E-Myth


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Tue Nov 25 20:29:40 2008: 4815   BrettLegree

Mob mentality seems to rule, doesn't it.

A good friend of mine took some kind of sociology course at university, and his prof used an episode of Cheers which had no "laugh track". It was the typical opening scene when Norm enters the bar and everyone shouts "Norm!"

No one laughed - why? Because unless there's a laugh track telling you to laugh when everyone shouts at the fat guy entering the bar, it just isn't that funny.

Tue Nov 25 21:02:21 2008: 4816   TonyLawrence

What's that famous experiment where everyone in the room is in on the deal except one and they all give obviously wrong answers - most people will agree with them even though they surely know it's wrong.

It's so sad to watch that. But once enough people say E-Myth is fantastic, everybody has to agree - even when they know damn well that it isn't!

Or maybe it is for them. Maybe they haven't read two hundred other books and articles preaching the same advice far less wordily. Maybe they just don't know any better..

Tue Nov 25 23:01:17 2008: 4817   BrettLegree

I know what you mean about that experiment - we were pranked like that in first year engineering.

Everyone was to report to the largest lecture hall on site, before the first class started, for a math test - just to see where you "fit in".

Of course, it was Ph.D. level engineering math and none of us had a clue what to do, but we feverishly tried for about 30 minutes to do the test.

Several people got up in the middle of the test and ran screaming and cursing from the room (they were, of course, in on the joke).

We all then had to hand in our tests at the end (with nary a right answer), and return to our seats.

The "professor" then started laughing and called us a bunch of dumb freshmen, and invited us out to the pub for beers...

I loved it!

Tue Nov 25 23:45:26 2008: 4818   TonyLawrence

This is what I was trying to think of:


Wed Nov 26 00:41:17 2008: 4819   BrettLegree

Ah yes, I remember now - I've seen that too, a long time ago, but I couldn't remember it either.

It is rather sad to watch that kind of thing happen.

(though a bit different, it also reminds me of those experiments that were done when the test subjects were instructed to give what they thought were electric shocks to other people, and a lot of them went ahead and did it)


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