The 3 Golden Lessons I Learned From The E-Myth Book By Michael Gerber

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber is one of the most influential business books. The book explains why most small businesses don’t work and what to do about it. It is a great book to read regardless of whether you are running your own business or not. I strongly encourage you to grab it today.

Last month while I was traveling oversea to Taiwan, I picked up an old book from my shelves, The E-Myth. I have read this book before, but something intrigued me to read it again.

So I brought the book along with me to Taiwan and I got the chance to read almost half of it.

To my surprise, I got to learn something new again.

You see, this is not the first time I reread a book. I have reread many books, from cover to cover. And every time I do this, I got new insights.

And this time, The E-Myth gave me new ideas and I thought I would like to share with you.

The book is related to business, but in here, I will relate the insights to life and success. Anyway, this blog is about personal development and not about business.

Let’s go straight to the point. Here are some of the inspirations I got from reading the book.

1. Why Most Small Businesses Fail And How You Can

If you have read the book, you know that the main reason most small businesses did not work out because the business owner treats the business like a job. They work IN the business instead of ON the business.

Meaning, most small businesses started out with only an employee, which is the owner. And guess what, the owner is the one that is responsible for everything in the business:

Managing the business, picking up calls, doing the delivery, performing day to day business tasks, product or service delivery, marketing, sales, etc, etc.

In other words, the owner becomes the technician, the manager and the entrepreneur all at the same time.

And because most people never have the knowledge and skills to strategize or think about how to work ON their business, they succumb to the day to day work and work IN the business. They become an employee by creating a “new” job for themselves.

This is why most small businesses find it hard to grow and to survive.

When you think about this in life and success, the same thing is happening to most people out there.

They want to grow, they want to improve, they want better results and to achieve greater success, but all they do is work IN their “outer world” rather than their “inner world”.

The key to achieving great success is simple, you just need to become the “right” person so that you will make decisions and take actions that will move you forward each day. And you will eventually get the amazing results you want.

Most people never notice about this and they thought that the problem is not within them.

Take money as an example. Most people want to be rich and they thought that as long as they can earn more, they will become rich and every problem will be gone.

If you have been working for more than 5 years, try to answer this question, did your income raise since you started your first work 5 years ago?

Most people will say yes. However, most of them are still having problems with money.

So can you see it now? The problem is not about earning or getting more money, the problem is within the person, which is you.

If you did not build the success habit, adopt the winner’s mindset, and develop yourself into the right person, you will never achieve the success you want.

The classic examples are those who got lucky and win the lottery. Studies have shown that as high as 70% of lottery winners went broke after just a few short years.

The winners did not learn how to manage the money and they did not have the millionaire mentality. As a result, they fail to manage or grow the huge amount of money they won, and they lose it all.

The same goes for success. When you achieve great success but if you don’t have the fundamental, you will fall back to where you are.

Therefore, grow yourself, improve yourself and work ON yourself and transform yourself into the person worthy of success.

Remember, the problem is not the results, the problem is always within you.

Sometimes, you need to ask, “Who do I want to be” rather than “What do I want to accomplish”.

When you become the person who is worthy of success, success will eventually come to you, period.

Shawn reading emyth
That’s me, reading The E-Myth in the airport. 🙂

2. The Golden Lesson From Tom Watson of IBM

I believe that everyone who read The E-Myth will agree with me that this quote from Thomas J. Watson is utmost inspiring and insightful:

IBM is what it is today for three special reasons. The first reason is that, at the very beginning, I had a very clear picture of what the company would look like when it was finally done. You might say I had a model in my mind of what it would look like when the dream — my vision — was in place.

The second reason was that once I had that picture, I then asked myself how a company which looked like that would have to act. I then created a picture of how IBM would act when it was finally done.

The third reason IBM has been so successful was that once I had a picture of how IBM would look when the dream was in place and how such a company would have to act, I then realized that, unless we began to act that way from the very beginning, we would never get there.

In other words, I realized that for IBM to become a great company it would have to act like a great company long before it ever became one.

From the very outset, IBM was fashioned after the template of my vision. And each and every day we attempted to model the company after that template. At the end of each day, we asked ourselves how well we did, discovered the disparity between where we were and where we had committed ourselves to be, and, at the start of the following day, set out to make up for the difference.

Every day at IBM was a day devoted to business development, not doing business.

We didn’t do business at IBM, we built one.

I was truly inspired when I read about this. And what Tom Watson said is so true.

First, you need to envision the future that you want. You must have a dream. You must know what you want to accomplish in the future.

Second, you find out how to connect your current situation to your future. In other words, find out what you have to do to get yourself to future you envision.

And finally, you have to act and take action from the very beginning, which is right now. You must work and act like you are already successful. You must feel the confidence right now, do as if you have accomplished the results and act like you cannot fail.


Envision the future you want. Figure how to get there and what you should do. And then act like you are already there.

Most small businesses (and people) don’t have the vision. They don’t see it far enough and they don’t dare to dream.

Thus, they fail to develop a plan to get there. And they wonder why they are not successful and it is hard for them to breakthrough.

And therefore, they don’t act confident enough and they don’t think that they are worthy of the great success they want.

Do you get it right now?

If you want to build a successful business or live a successful life, you must start from now. You must adopt the mindset of a successful person and make a decision and take action like someone who has succeeded.

3. Are Your Goals What You Truly Want?

Michael Gerber said in the book that your purpose in life is not to serve your business, but instead, the main purpose of your business is to serve your life.

And when it comes to personal development, you can think of what Michael Gerber said as the purpose of your life is not to serve your goals and dreams, but your goals and dreams should serve your life.

The difference is that you must make sure your goals and your dreams are what you truly want in your life. If they are not, you will be exchanging your life chasing for something that you don’t want deep down in your heart.

Why do you think so many people find it difficult to find the motivation and fail to commit to what they want to achieve?

It is because their goals and dreams and are not what they truly desire.

Most of us are influenced by the media and the society. We thought that money is the problem and so if we can have all the money, we can have all the happiness and live a successful life.

Is it real? Of course NOT.

Not every problem can be solved with money. No doubt that money is still one of the most important things we need to have in life, it is not the cure-all.

So don’t choose the wrong solution to your problem. Find out what you truly desire in your life.

Your goals, dreams, and success are meant to serve you as part of your life. And when this happens, you will be able to achieve more and produce better results because you know that your life is not limited or determined by your goals and dreams.


There are many lessons and insights you can learn from reading this book, The E-Myth Revisited.

The above are just the 3 golden lessons that hit me the most when I read the book for the second time.

If you are in business or a self-employed, this is a MUST READ book. I highly recommend you read it. It is suitable for anyone who wants to create a breakthrough in their business and career. Heck, even for someone who has nothing to do, it is worth reading!

You can get it from Amazon here.


Shawn Lim

Love what you read? Let's share it:

1 comment / Add your comment below

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.