Symptoms You're Suffering from the E-Myth and What You Can do About it

3 August 2021

E myth symptoms

Running a business takes more than technical work skills. To grow something productive and long-lasting, you must understand the inner workings of how to run a successful operation. Other components, like knowing how to design systems, organise tasks, lead people, manage finances and deliver value shouldn’t be ignored if you want success.

Estimated reading time: 5.5 minutes.

What is the E-Myth?

The Entrepreneurial Myth is the assumption that business owners start with tangible business skills.

But that’s not the case.

Most businesses are started by people with technical expertise - and no experience in running a business or managing people.

It’s like baking a cake with only half of the ingredients. It’s not going to work.


Symptoms of the E-Myth include:

  • Customer satisfaction has dropped

  • Business systems aren’t working ie: you’re wasting time with manual handling

  • Essential tasks are pilling up

  • You’re experiencing burnout or resentment for the job

  • Staff are unhappy and unmotivated

  • You feel like you can never be away or take a holiday

  • Your business has stopped working for you

Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid the E-Myth trap. The best businesses are built on smart and reliable systems - here’s what you should focus on:

Use Tools to Simplify the Job

Automating business tools is no longer a luxury, but a necessity in today’s environment.

Reserve your time, energy and resources for balancing top duties. Use tools to streamline how you do business and automate whatever tasks you can.

Start with monotonous jobs that are chewing into time, which will allow employees to do more productive tasks that need critical thinking or human touch.

Look at Your Business as a Whole

The most important thing is for a business to do what it’s intended to do.

Look at your business in its entirety to gain a big-picture perspective. This enables you to treat the business as the product, and review what work must be done to make it work.

Make sure you:

  • Focus on meeting your customer’s need

  • Plan with established goals and workable timelines

  • Streamline communications

  • Market your product (your business) and compete for the customer’s attention

  • Prioritise the purpose of your business

Balance Your Business Personalities

According to the idea behind E-Myth, there are three personas every business needs. A healthy business is a balance between all three.

  1. Entrepreneur - the creative personality, craves control (creates the vision and business goals)

  2. Manager - organiser and planner, craves order (maintains structure)

  3. Technician - lives in the present and tinkers, craves to be working on one thing at a time (has the expertise to get the job done)

Identify the three personalities in your business and delegate the right person for each role. While it’s normal for there to be some overlap, an owner or manager shouldn’t be wearing all the hats. You must have an effective management component in place to free you from the business to have a life outside of it.

Document and Delegate

Learn to document and delegate all the technical and managerial work.

Keeping track of processes and outlining the specific steps for each task keeps your business scalable. Even if there’s only one way of doing something, documenting what you do, why you do it and how you do it makes it easier to train employees down the track for replicable procedures.

Create Systems

How organised are your processes?

Effective systems are integral to business survival because they allow for continuous improvement. Systems support the big picture and help achieve goals like increasing your audience, growing profits or decreasing waste.

These systems are split into three categories - hard, soft and information.

  1. Hard systems - focus on unliving things like computer systems or the appearance of your office

  2. Soft systems - are flexible and useful for ideas, branding, business processes and training systems for hiring people

  3. Information systems - include tracking and managing data, cash flow reporting, inventory control and forecasting


Udio creates software systems for class and session-based businesses. Get in touch if you’re looking to instruct, analyse and improve every part of yours.