The Elevator Pitch
Having just turned 80, Michael Gerber is more motivated than ever to transform the state of small business around the world.
In this very special episode of the WP Elevation podcast, I had the good fortune to speak with the godfather of small business systems and growth about his new mission.
Michael Gerber wrote his first book “The E-Myth” in 1986, however it was “The E-Myth Revisited” released in 1995 that went on to become one of the top selling small-business books of all time. In fact, Tim Ferriss includes it as one of only four books in his required reading list.
Watch the Video
Michael Gerber’s work has had a profound impact on my business and my life over the last 10 years, so I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to interview him on the podcast.
I was curious as to what makes Michael tick and why he is so passionate about helping small business. Throughout the course of the 45 minutes we spent together, I discovered that he believes small business is the vehicle through which the individual can take responsibility for their own financial future and in fact if more small businesses were successful the economy might be in better shape.
In his words (and I’m paraphrasing) “expecting the government to improve things from the top down is asking stupid to get smart and that ain’t gonna happen regardless of who wins the election tomorrow.”
If you are familiar with Michael Gerber’s work, he describes most small businesses as being “a technician suffering an entrepreneurial seizure.” What he means is that most small businesses are started by people working in the business who think they have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, but unfortunately they never stop working in the business and give themselves an opportunity to work on the business.
Michael explains that this is because they stay in their comfort zone and the traditional education has failed to teach us the five things we need to truly progress:
- implementation, and
- continuous improvement
I asked Michael why growth is important and he said (and I’m paraphrasing again) “because if you’re not growing you’re dying, if your business is not growing it is stagnant.”
Michael Gerber’s Eight Stages for a Successful Business
Michael Gerber’s new book is due for release December 7, 2016 and is called “Beyond the E-Myth. The Evolution of an Enterprise: From a Company of One To a Company of 1000.” In his new book, Michael outlines the eight stages to turn a business into a successful enterprise. The eight stages are:
- The Dream
- The Vision
- The Purpose
- The Mission
- The Job
- The Practice
- The Business
- The Enterprise
You can click the image at the end of this post to download this checklist and keep it nearby.
You can get preview copies of the book and get notified about its release by visiting the Beyond E-Myth website.
My favourite quote from this entire interview is this:
How we can live in the world and look out into space understanding that in our galaxy alone there are a billion suns, a billion freaking sons in our galaxy alone, and they tell us our galaxy is only one of 1 billion galaxies, how one can live not in awe of the impossibility of this is beyond me, you just have to be sucking wind big-time, and I’m saying “wake-up Jerry!”
Michael references Walt Disney quite a bit in this interview, particularly how he built the Disney empire based on processes and systems that people could be trained to drive to produce repeatable and predictable outcomes. On a side note, if you’ve never read about Walt Disney’s creative process before, you should check it out.