Revisiting the E-Myth

By Rosalind Resnick

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

emyth.jpgThe problem with most small-business owners, Michael Gerber famously wrote in his book, The E-Myth, is that they're technicians, not managers. In other words, they can bake a great cake but couldn't run a bakery if their lives depended on it.

Turns out that cake-baking (or plumbing, hair styling or bookkeeping) is a good skill to have these days.

With most small businesses stuck in neutral because of sluggish salesand scant access to credit, many business owners are rolling up theirsleeves and doing the jobs they paid other people to do before therecession hit two years ago. Not only does this drive more dollars tothe bottom line, but it also reduces the burden of payroll taxes,health insurance and worker's comp and lets the owners deal directlywith the customers who hired them for their technical skills in thefirst place.

While I haven't seen any statistics to back thisup, I can tell you from what I'm seeing at my own small-businessconsulting firm that most of my clients with technical skills are usingthem to keep their businesses afloat. Whether it's the softwaredeveloper who's writing his own code, the chocolatier who's filling herown gift baskets or the landscaper who's mowing his own lawns, thesebusiness owners aren't hiring employees to do the job. Instead, they'repicking up the slack themselves and banking the money they earn untilthey're convinced that the economy is headed in the right directionagain.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that youabandon the American Dream of starting a business, hiring someone toreplace you, and spending the rest of your life relaxing on a beachwith a mojito, What I am saying is that a small business run by a guywho knows how to bake his own cakes has a better chance of survivalthan a company run by a CEO who wouldn't know a croissant if he bitinto one.

Rosalind Resnick is a New York-based freelance writer, entrepreneur, investor and author of The Vest Pocket Consultant's Secrets of Small Business Success.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

Costco Is Now Offering an Additional Exclusive Perk to Members in All 50 States

Members can now access discounted outpatient medical care through a partnership with healthcare startup Sesame.

Business News

8 People Hospitalized on JetBlue Flight Headed to Florida Due to Turbulence

The turbulent conditions occurred near Jamaica on a flight coming from Ecuador.

Business News

This Founder Walked-On to a Top College Basketball Team in the '90s. Today, He and Drew Brees Are Bringing the 'Walk-On Mentality' to Franchising.

Brandon Landry was so determined to play college basketball that he walked-on — tried out with no scholarship and made the team — at a major program. He's brought that same determination to the franchise business with Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux.


You Don't Need a College Degree for These 10 In-Demand Jobs That Can Pay More Than 6 Figures

Americans are rethinking the traditional college route as major companies like Apple and IBM drop degree requirements.

Business News

People Are Eager to Go to Europe. But a 'Strange and Humiliating' Requirement Is Derailing Travel Plans.

There aren't enough resources to keep up with the demand — and it's causing major problems.