Exactly Why Small Businesses Fail — Michael E. Gerber Interview

In this episode of Business Systems Explored, we speak to Michael E. Gerber, the author of The E-Myth and the father of business systems themselves. He lets us in on the business systems he’s used to grow his consultancy (and hundreds of thousands of other companies).


Small business expert, Michael E. Gerber, lets us in on the business systems he’s used to grow his consultancy (and hundreds of thousands of other companies). These are time-tested systems he’s honed over a period of 30 years. From The E-Myth’s first publication in 1987 to the present day, he’s written over 20 books on business processes. It’s safe to say, there are very few people who know more about business processes than Michael E. Gerber.

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“99.9% of businesses are broken, and there’s one major reason why…” A podcast interview with Michael E. Gerber (tweet this)

Show notes

  • The systems behind The E-Myth — and how it started out by asking “why do so many small businesses fail?”
  • How going door-to-door helped write The E-Myth
  • Why skilled knowledge workers make horrible entrepreneurs
  • Converting CEOs of broken businesses into true entreprenuers
  • Mistakes CEOs make that set their business up for fast failure
  • The importance of understanding 100% what your employees do
  • The kinds of disasters that happen when you don’t adopt a systems mindset
  • The one advantage that Starbucks and McDonalds had over other businesses at the start
  • Why 70% of businesses don’t even consider scaling
  • Why solopreneurs still need systems
  • Creating “the McDonalds of Small Business Consulting”
  • How Michael has applied The E-Myth to his own business solidly for 30 years
  • Asking extremely personal questions to further your business
  • Creating a foundation for the values and culture of your business
  • Why it’s bad when a business becomes just a way to monetize the things you like doing
  • Why having something bigger than your dream of making money is vital to scaling your business
  • Overcoming the constant barrage of problems to step back and contextualize your business
  • Addressing the question of ‘who am I’, and why that’s anything to do with your business
  • Not getting caught up in the overwhelming busyness of business
  • The 5 essential skills of an entrepreneur
  • The importance of a blank piece of paper, and a beginner’s mindset
  • How a good system trains other people to use it
  • The difference between New Co and Old Co
  • The ‘three-legged stool’ of business development
  • Why most businesses are ‘fricken stupid’ when it comes to lead generation
  • Preparing your company to be a legacy
  • Why most businesses are as bad as selling spoiled goods
  • Why you should build a business as though you’re going to sell it — your business is a product
  • Growing a truly spectacular enterprise

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Vinay Patankar

CEO and Co-Founder of Process Street. Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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