Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work
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Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work

I admire Mal Emery, an Australian business entrepreneur who has the title the millionaire maker because of his extraordinary business acumen. He buys and sells small businesses and teaches people to achieve the same phenomenal success with their business development.

Mal Emery recommends that all business owners read ‘The E-Myth’ and the ‘E-Myth Revisited’ by Michael Gerber who has positioned himself as the World’s #1 Small Business Guru.

I bought and read the 'E-Myth Revisited' and it is this book I am reviewing in this article. When I publish this article I am going to read it again.

I have a small business. Nothing spectacular but it has grown slowly over five years. I maintain it through word of mouth. I aim to develop it further by going online.

I know this won’t happen without planning and guidance. I need to work on the business not in the business which I am currently doing. It isn't a failing business but it certainly isn't growing.

So if Mal Emery recommends a book I read it.

My question is: How can I grow my small business?

What does Gerber recommend?

To begin here are some thoughts based on his experience and observation of thousands of small businesses over a couple of decades or more.

He has observed:

  • Business people succeed not because of what they know but because they need to know more.
  • Businesses fail because the owner spends time defending what he thinks he knows.
  • Great businesses occur because the owner wants to get it right no matter the cost. Personal development not just business development is necessary.

A business owner who is driven by an ‘ethical certainty, a moral principle and a universal truth’ that involves getting it right is the one who will succeed.

Michael Gerber explains what this means for everyone: “…….the only way to reach something higher is to focus ……… attention on the multitude of seemingly insignificant, unimportant and boring things that make up every business. (And that make up every life, for that matter!)”

An astute business owner must see the development of a business as a spiritual journey. It is a life long journey.

Have you viewed your business this way?

“I believe that our business can provide us with a mirror to see ourselves as we are, to see what we truly know and what we don’t know, to see ourselves honestly, directly and immediately.”

Michael Gerber

'The E-Myth Revisited' is the book for anyone who has a small business or who wants to begin one.

He points out:

  • Small business owners tend to work too hard for small returns
  • The problem is business owners do the wrong work in the business
  • Businesses start up and fail at astounding rates. Forty percent fold within the first year. Within five years eighty percent have failed. Most of the remaining fail in the next five years after that.

Too few businesses survive!

There are FOUR profound ideas that business owners need to be aware of so they can create a successful business

  1. Small business start-ups are not begun by entrepreneurs risking start up capital.
  2. There is a revolution occurring regarding the development of small business especially in the US and around the world.
  3. There is a business development process available for all small business owners to follow.
  4. When the business development process is applied to a business it is a predictable way for the business to provide results.

‘The E-Myth Revisited’ explains the business development process. Gerber uses a case study to show how it works. He explains the difference between being a technician (for example a hairdresser) who starts a business and works hard in it and the person who learns how to make the business work.

Small business is the biggest employer in most countries. This needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

The world has changed. It is changing all the time. Geographical, political, social and emotional barriers are falling and being replaced because we all need boundaries to function within.

You and I are the problem according to Michael Gerber. The world reflects our inner turmoil.

To change the world we have to change.

Our small business can help towards making a more stable world.


  • Because it responds instantly to any action we take change can happen quickly
  • Ideas that change lives can be implemented
  • It is where we can test our assumptions
  • It is generalization’s give way to specifics
  • It demands our attention
  • A place where rules must be followed and order preferred
  • It is practical not an idealistic place
  • It is manageable
  • Small enough to be responsive but big enough to test everything we have.

The world can be changed intelligently, reasonably, intentionally, systematically and compassionately by small business.

Surely this is inspirational.

Street Talk

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