Part II: Why Michael Gerber deserves to have a statue on Main Street
After insulting the backbone of America by saying there is no such thing as a “born businessman,” Michael Gerber concedes that it is nonetheless possible to be a successful businessman. It is his observation that a successful businessman is one who employs systems to get the work of his business accomplished, and much of the actual content of the E-Myth books is actually demonstrating this point. Indeed, Mr. Gerber’s consulting business essentially entails helping folks develop their own systems. While it is a shame that he had to take a nasty swing at entrepreneurs in general in order to get our attention, his focus on systems has been good for pretty much everyone.
Let’s face it: the business owner just might be a spectacular genius at doing whatever he does, and that of course means everything, passionately, every day, every week, every month…until he finally accepts reality and hires staff. Unfortunately, the staff generally has neither genius nor passion, and so requires training. This puts the business owner more or less at a loss. The business owner might know everything there is to know about his widget, but he probably knows next to nothing about training. Enter Michael Gerber.
And ditto for every other facet of the business from sales and accounts receivable to marketing to logistics to payroll. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel! There’s probably an established system out there that you can borrow and customize.
By carefully examining each and every detail of the operation, systems can be developed and then taught. After all, aren’t systems the essence of dog training, construction, and the symphony? Don’t coaches teach systems in soccer, football, and chess? Simply put, extending the wonders of systemization to the everyday world of running a business was sheer genius on Mr. Gerber’s part. I only wish he hadn’t rationalized the need for systemization by insulting the passionate geniuses of the business world.