Reilly felt like the proverbial kid left alone in a sweet shop when the owner gets called out.

He was with his buddy, the SEO specialist and website designer, Michael MacGinty in his splendid home overlooking Lough Swilly and Letterkenny Golf Club. When Michael was beckoned by a call of nature Reilly found himself tout seul and immediately made a beeline for the extensive library of books to the rear of the room.

He was fascinated and intrigued to recognise many of his own favourite titles amongst the collection. There was ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill,’ ‘Eat that Frog’ by Brian Tracy, ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiwosaki. Reilly was chuffed to see his own two books ‘The Midas Power’ and ‘Rocking Horse Shit’ sitting pretty between Tony Robbins and Dale Carnegie. Michael had taste!

And then, on the top right hand corner there must have been a dozen copies of ‘The E-Myth’ by Michael Gerber.

‘What’s the story with the dozen ‘E-Myths’? he asked Michael on his return. Did they fall off a truck on the rocky road to Ramelton?

‘No Reilly. It’s simply the most incisive business message that I’ve heard in forty years of business. I give one to every one of my clients who visit me here and you wouldn’t believe the impact it has on people.’

Reilly had actually read the ‘E-Myth.’ And whilst he had once thought the message was powerful he had felt that it was a bit theoretical and maybe might work in America but not with hard nosed business people in Ireland.

He changed his tune however at a live gig with Michael Gerber in London some years ago. He’d arrived late for the session and ended up at the back of the room with three other likely looking lads. They could have been from Dunmore they were so like himself. Full of craic, divilment and diversion albeit with a different accent.

‘Have ye read the book? says Reilly striking up a conversation that he thought would create a biteen of rapport.

‘We actually applied the book,’ says one of the boyos. ‘And it changed our lives.

It transpired that the lads were three brothers in a fourth generation furniture business in Cornwall. They’d seen their father literally kill himself ‘working, working, working.’ And whilst he’d achieved a modicum of success and succeeded in keeping the business alive, he never got to enjoy either it or his family.

The brothers, having absorbed the message of the E-Myth resolved never to let it happen to them. Within three years they had transformed utterly the methods of running the business and in turn transformed its fortunes.

Reilly was all ears.

‘What are the key messages lads?’

  • ‘Most businesses don’t work. The people who own them do.’
  • ‘Most businesses start as an ‘entrepreneurial seizure.’ A gifted accountant, beautician, coach, dentist, electrician – (insert a specialty beginning with every letter of the alphabet) – is assailed by the fatal assumption that if they can do a job well they can equally run a business. Steady on! Be aware that this is the Entrepreneurial-Myth.’
  • ‘The typical small business owner is only 10 percent Entrepreneur, 20 percent Manager, and 70 percent Technician.’
  • ‘Most businesses are operated according to what the owner wants as opposed to what the business needs.’
  • ‘If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business—you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!’
  • ‘The purpose of going into business is to get free of a job so you can create jobs for other people.’
  • ‘There’s a critical moment in every business when the owner hires his very first employee to do the work he doesn’t know how to do himself or doesn’t want to do.’
  • ‘Your job is to prepare yourself and your business for growth.’
  • ‘A Mature company is founded on a broader perspective, an entrepreneurial perspective, a more intelligent point of view. About building a business that works not because of you but without you.’
  • ‘A Mature business knows how it got to be where it is, and what it must do to get where it wants to go.’
  • ‘The Entrepreneurial Model has less to do with what’s done in a business and more to do with how it’s done. The commodity isn’t what’s important—the way it’s delivered is.’
  • ‘Your business is not your life.’
  • ‘Once you recognise that the purpose of your life is not to serve your business, but that the primary purpose of your business is to serve your life, you can then go to work on your business, rather than in it, with a full understanding of why it is absolutely necessary for you to do so.’
  • ‘Pretend that the business you own—or want to own—is the prototype, or will be the prototype, for 5,000 more just like it – ie a franchise prototype.’
  • ‘Documentation says, ‘This is how we do it here.’
  • ‘Without documentation, all routinised work turns into exceptions.’
  • ‘Documentation provides your people with the structure they need and with a written account of how to ‘get the job done’ in the most efficient and effective way.’
  • ‘What you do in your model is not nearly as important as doing what you do the same way, each and every time.’
  • Think of your business as though it were the prototype for 5,000 more just like it.’
  • ‘Your Business Development Program is the vehicle through which you can create your Franchise Prototype.’


  • The Program is composed of seven distinct steps:
  • Your Primary Aim
  • Your Strategic Objective
  • Your Organisational Strategy
  • Your Management Strategy
  • Your People Strategy
  • Your Marketing Strategy
  • Your Systems Strategy.


If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business—you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!”

― Michael E. Gerber,The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It


1. How can I get my business to work, but without me?
2. How can I get my people to work, but without my constant interference?
3. How can I systematise my business in such a way that it could be replicated 5,000 times, so the 5,000th unit would run as smoothly as the first?

  1. How can I own my business, and still be free of it?
  2. How can I spend my time doing the work I love to do rather than the work I have to do?

(If the E-Myth resonated with you please email Pádraic on He’s recruiting new groups of people to work on developing franchise prototypes.)

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