Book Review

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What To Do About It

Michael E. Gerber
Harper Business, A Division of HarperCollinsPublishers

These books are must reads for every pharmacy owner who cares about his or her business!

E-Myth Worldwide is one of the world’s most successful small-business coaching firms. The E-Myth, explained by entrepreneur Michael Gerber, E-Myth Worldwide chairman and founder, is that “Once you recognize that the purpose of your life is not to serve your business…you can go to work on your business rather than in it.” Another quote that hits close to home in the pharmacy is that “Most businesses fail to fulfill their potential because business owners are not entrepreneurs (as most people think them to be) but technicians suffering from an entrepreneurial seizure.” Just like physicians, pharmacist owners have many other responsibilities besides being owners, like consulting, compounding, filling prescriptions and managing employees. We wear many hats and often feel like no one can do it the same as we do. According to Gerber, that is what is holding us all back. Every time I meet another pharmacy owner, we share the same stories: I can’t get away because of this, that, and the other; there is a pharmacist shortage; I’m working 60+ hours a week; finances are tight; and so on. Everyone is doing what he or she loves, but many of us aren’t loving how we are doing it. This is why I read these two books—because I wanted to change that. The E-Myth explains that “Every enterprise in the world that really matters is organized into three distinct levels of work: (1) the work of the entrepreneur, (2) the work of the manager, and (3) the work of the technician.” Most pharmacies are jobs for the pharmacist owners. Does this sound familiar? In the pharmacy, the pharmacist is “...the technician, the doer, the producer. Not necessarily the only technician but the primary technician.” Without the pharmacist, the pharmacy couldn’t do what it’s supposed to do. If the pharmacy is to flourish, the pharmacist “...must also fill the roles of manager and entrepreneur. A technician-dependent practice is an accident waiting to happen.” The pharmacist, “...overcome by an entrepreneurial seizure, has started his or her own pharmacy practice, become his or her own boss, and now works for a lunatic!” This is why independent pharmacy is failing today, and this is why I recommend reading these books.

Reviewed By:  Dana Reed-Kane, PharmD, FIACP, FACA, FCP, NFPPhC
In:  Jan/Feb 2004