This book, more than others in the "how to do business" genre, is both:

  1. legitimately valuable, and probably scores the highest of any such book in terms of "opened my mind and convinced me to change the way I do business"
  2. very neatly divisible into "parts that are very good and parts that are bad."

The parts that are bad:

  1. Much like with The Phoenix Project and The Goal, the backing narrative and prose is stilted to say the least.
  2. A lot of the specific tactical advice (care about how you dress! focus on your store's color coordination!) is very nineties-based in a way that does not perfectly translate to SaaS.
  3. There's a lot of lead-funneling you into the E-Myth consulting services landscape.

These things are minor compared to the three main takeaways I got from the book, which were delivered at exactly the right time for where I am as a founder:

  1. Almost all ICs-turned-founders overweight their role as a "technician" and underweight their role as an "entrepreneur" and "manager", and it's important to explicitly assign yourself those two roles (and many others) in order to give them weight and significance.
  2. A very common failure case for adolescent companies is "management by abdication", where the founder tries to scale out by hiring generalists which works as a short-term band-aid but not a long-term cure.
  3. A very useful mental exercise for reifying tactic knowledge is to adopt the hypothetical of "what if I was franchising this business?", so as to document everything required to scale and run the business. This process will make it easier to source and train new employees, identify chokepoints in your business, and achieve balance.

All of which is to say: if you were scared off by the hackneyed phrasing of "E-Myth", plunge in. You'll find things worth reading.



Baking pies is not about being done, her grandmother taught her; it's about baking pies.

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