How to Grow a Small Business

Last Updated on July 8, 2020 by Owen McGab Enaohwo

Looking for actionable steps on how to grow a small business?

In this episode of the Process Breakdown Podcast Michael E. Gerber, a business thought-leader and best selling author reveals the steps to take to grow your small business so that it lasts longer, is successful, and easy to replicate.

He gives the example of how McDonald’s grew from a small business into a global empire, and how other small businesses can learn from their journey. He also talks about how he started down his own path, how he came about writing his first book, and his plans to impact economic development worldwide.

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Show Notes:

0:06 – Introduction

0:43 – Dr. Jeremy Weisz talks about past guests on the show.

0:53 – Dr. Weisz talks about the sponsor of the show, SweetProcess, and shares the best solution for documenting standard operating procedures, highlighting a 14-day free trial.

2:01 – The guest speaker, Michael E. Gerber, is introduced.

2:57 – Michael shares his opinion on why small businesses usually fail, and how most small businesses are a product of dissatisfaction, which is wrong.

4:24 – Michael talks about roles in a company, and also about how companies should understand what their goals are and work towards them.

8:05 – Michael talks about how our primary role as human beings is to create for good, and how we’re falling short of that.

9:05 – The guest speaker talks about steps the owner of a small business in the technician role in a company should take if they want to grow the company.

14:18 – Michael tells some of his favorite stories over the years of businesses, talking about books he’s written, the E-Myth library, and his goals and vision.

17:45 – He tells the story about Ken Goodrich, co-author of The E-Myth HVAC Contractor, how he took over and destroyed his father’s business, but after reading The E-Myth Revisited multiple times, rebuilt the company and sold it, and made career out of doing that. 

20:49 – Michael explains how McDonald’s became the most successful small business in the world by building and perfecting a prototype and replicating it until it was perfect.

24:10 – He tells a story about how his book, The E-Myth Attorney, came about.

27:25 – Gerber tells the number of Vertical books he has to get done, and how he goes about writing them, describing how each chapter in each book is exactly the same.

29:30 – He explains how people who complain that every Vertical book variant is exactly the same are missing the point. He also talks about the Eightfold Path.

31:59 – Michael talks about the first step in finding your dream, telling a story of how he started his company, and how their plan was to change the state of small businesses worldwide.

34:19 – Michael explains how he asks people who own small companies what their objective dreams for their companies are.

36:50 – The guest speaker talks about how he’s helping people overcome self-inflicted limitations.

37:19 – Michael talks about the second step, implementing the vision, making reference to McDonald’s and how it gives a pattern for people to utilize in growing their business.

38:46 – Gerber talks about the third step, knowing your purpose, explaining his own business purpose as an example.

41:20 – Michael describes and talks about some of the components of Radical U, talking about the first year when they study the core elements that they need to grow their company, and the number of sessions in the first year.

44:08 – He talks about year two, the job; the third year, the practice; the fourth year, the business; and the fifth year, the enterprise.

47:37 – Michael explains how every single human being alive is an economy of one, and how his goal is to transform that economy of one to an economy of many.

48:37 – Michael talks about the charities his company does for every ten dollars they receive, explaining how he wants to inspire every new student he accepts.

51:59 – Michael lists places where his books can be found and where people can enroll.

52:44 – Outro

Guest Profile:

Michael Gerber is an author, entrepreneur, and small business thought-leader who has impacted the lives of millions of small business owners and hundreds of thousands of companies over the past 40 years.

Michael E. Gerber is an author, entrepreneur, and small business thought-leader who has impacted the lives of millions of small business owners and hundreds of thousands of companies over the past 40 years.

His book, The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, has impacted many small businesses over time, and his goal is to change economic development worldwide.

Transcript of this Interview:

Announcer: Welcome to the Process Breakdown Podcast, where we talk about streamlining and scaling operations of your company, getting rid of bottlenecks and giving your employees all the information they need to be successful at their jobs. Now let’s get started with the show.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, host of the Process Breakdown Podcast, where we talk about streamlining and scaling operations of your company, getting rid of bottlenecks and giving your staff everything they need to be successful at their job. Past guests include David Allen of Getting Things Done, Joseph Grenny of VitalSmarts or Crucial Conversations. Today’s guest, I’m super excited to introduce Michael Gerber, I’m going to introduce in a second. Before that, a short sponsor message. This episode is brought to you by SweetProcess. Here’s the thing, Michael, if you’ve had team members ask you the same questions over and over and over again, the 10th time that you’ve spent explaining it, there is a better way. There is an actual solution. One of them is obviously by the E-Myth and join Radical U.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: The other that you could put at place in your business is SweetProcess, which is a software that makes it drop that easy to train and onboard new staff and save time with existing staff. I was talking to Owen who is the founder, and not only do universities, banks, hospitals, and software companies use it, but he told me that first responder government agencies use it in life and death situations to run their operation. So you can use SweetProcess to document all the repetitive tasks they eat up your precious time so you could focus on growing your team and empowering them. You could sign up for a 14-day trial, no credit card required., it’s sweet like candy,

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: I am super excited to introduce today’s guest. Inc Magazine calls him the world’s number one small business guru. He is an entrepreneurial and small business thought leader who has impacted the lives of millions and millions of small business owners and hundreds of thousands of companies over 40 years, even though he looks young. Michael E. Gerber, if you didn’t know who I was talking about, you should, is the author of the New York Times, mega bestseller for two consecutive decades, The E-Myth Revisited, nine other worldwide bestselling E-Myth books, concerning small business and entrepreneurship, leadership and management. His mission, I guess, Michael, you’d never say it’s accomplished, but it’s pretty darn good to transform the state of small businesses worldwide. Thank you for joining me, Michael.

Michael E. Gerber: I’m delighted. Thanks Jeremy.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: There are so many questions and the one that stands out, which you answer in many books, but I’m going to ask it anyways is, and people are always asking themselves this question, why do most small businesses fail?

Michael E. Gerber: Well, they fail because they don’t know what they’re doing.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Because they didn’t read the E-Myth.

Michael E. Gerber: No, they simply don’t know what they’re doing. They started for the wrong reason and they started to get rid of the pause. So most small businesses are a product of dissatisfaction, not a product of excitement, not a product of creation, not a product of imagination, but a product dissatisfaction. I hate working for this guy. I hate working for that guy. I hate working somebody else’s gig and on and on and on. I want to do it myself. I want to get off from my own, et cetera, and so forth. So they’re born out of dissatisfaction and they simply then go to do what they know how to do in the business of their own, and it’s just terribly not enough. Not only isn’t it enough, it’s wrong because it’s exactly the opposite of the way a new company needs to begin. That’s why.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: You talk about, in the book, roles. Everyone should check out E-Myth. I read it decades ago and I continue to read it at least once a year because it reminds me of, am I playing the role that I want to be playing at that time? So talk about some of the roles.

Michael E. Gerber: Well, there are many, many, many roles. We all play many, many roles. There was a great master of the psychological by the name of Gurdjieff. Gurdjieff talked about I, and he talked about all the little Is. I, I, I, I. But he essentially said, there is no big I, but we all believe we’re talking about the big I when we talk about this I and this I. And each of those Is are, I do this, I do this, I do this. I am that, I am that, et cetera, and so forth. So there is no I at the heart of all this. The question then becomes if there were, what would he be? Now, I don’t want to get people immersed in psychology and philosophy and mysticism and spirituality and any of the things that I could get everybody involved in because they’re all critical questions. But if there were an I, what would that I be?

Michael E. Gerber: That I would be the creator. The imagineer, as Walt Disney call them. Disney imagineering. The imagineer, the creator, the inventor, and that I is indeed the entrepreneur. So where an entrepreneur is absent from a company, the most essential character of that combined collective work is missing. There’s no heart to the matter. The heart of every small business is a technician suffering from an entrepreneurial seizure. They created a company to get rid of the boss and they became the boss and they’re working for a lunatic. Now I’ve been doing this over and over and over and over again. So people who’ve heard me before, "Oh yeah, I heard that. Yeah, I heard that. Yeah, I heard that. But hear me, you didn’t really hear it because if you’ve heard it, everything would have changed.

Michael E. Gerber: The roles in a company are simply the technician, the manager, the entrepreneur. The technician is the doer, the manager is the controller and the entrepreneur is the leader. The doer, the controller, the leader. Absent those three roles, and I mean each and every one of those three roles, functionally within every component part of that small company, the company is rootless and boundless. There is no there, there. There is no place we’re going. There is no nature about who we are and what we do and why we do it. All of the language that everybody, the why of it, the what of it, the how of it, the where of it, the when of it, et cetera, and so forth. All of that has to be addressed. The supreme role of that is the creator. It’s been said, Jeremy, we’re born in the image of God. You’ve heard that.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah.

Michael E. Gerber: We’re born in the image of God. Well, if we’re born in the image of God, then we’re going to create. And if we’re born to create, then the only question left is to create what? Well, a world fit for God. But we’re never taught that. We’re never taught that our primary role as human beings is to create and to create a world fit for God, to create a world that works in a harmonious, spiritually, conducive, propelling, absolutely fascinating manner purely under the word, good. So we’re here to do good and pretty much we do everything, but good.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: If you find yourself, if someone finds themselves in the technician role and they realize that, I would suspect most people don’t realize that and they keep doing the same thing over and over. If they realize that, what are some of the steps they should do if they want to break out of that and grow a bigger company? Let’s assume they’re not satisfied with where their company’s at and where they’re at.

Michael E. Gerber: Well, you’re talking about an owner of a small business?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yes.

Michael E. Gerber: Finds himself or herself in the technician role. You understand, they know they are in the technician role. They elected that role. Yes, they’re the owner. But you understand the owner of a small business, after all the thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of small business owners we’ve worked with over the years, you understand that they don’t think of themselves as a small business owner. They think of themselves as a carpenter, as a framer, as a photographer, as a massage therapist, whatever they do, that’s how they think of the business they’ve got. The only difference is now they’re doing it for themselves. So in short, they got rid of the boss, they opened their own door so they can take home all the money and then began to do the work of, I’m calling it technician, they call it whatever they call it. I’m an attorney, I’m a psychologist, I’m a teacher, whatever it might be. Whatever the work is, I’m a chiropractor.

Michael E. Gerber: They don’t say I’m a technician, they say I’m a chiropractor. But of course, I’m a chiropractor. That’s why I started my own chiropractic practice, to be a chiropractor. When I say to the chiropractor, yes, but you’re doing dumb job [inaudible 00:10:32], they look at me and they become insulted. I’m a great chiropractor. But everything else is falling apart. Yeah, but I don’t have time for that. I want to hire other people to do that. But then you’ve got to become a manager. But understand if you become a manager, the manager needs an entrepreneur, a leader, because the manager isn’t the leader. The manager is the controller, and on and on and on. And the story just is so eloquently, brilliantly, cohesively, congruently understandable. The only reason somebody has difficulty understanding it is because they’re so resistant understanding it. And it’s that resistance, Jeremy, you asked me, why do small businesses fail?

Michael E. Gerber: It’s that resistance that accounts for the 550, somewhat 1000 small businesses that shut their doors down last year. Understand there was no virus then. It was just a repeat of the year before and the year before and the year before and the year before. It’s tragic. It’s absolutely tragic. There’s something that has to be done about that, but it’s not done on the outside of the owner. It’s not by giving them a system, it’s not by giving them a tool, it’s not by giving them whatever her, whatever it might be that everybody’s just, buy this, do this, buy this, do this. This is going to make all the difference. It’s none of that. That has to happen on the inside of the founder, of the business owner, of the hope to become entrepreneur. And that inside really comprises the four very clear and distinct personalities of an entrepreneur.

Michael E. Gerber: I define those as the dreamer, the thinker, the storyteller and the leader. The dreamer has a dream, the thinker has a vision, the storyteller has a purpose and the leader has a mission. I have a dream. Dr. Martin Luther King jr said, "I Have a Dream." When he spoke to that, the thousands of people in Washington DC, to tell them about his dream, "Tell them about the dream, Martin. Tell them about the dream, Martin," this people said. You got to have a dream. Steve Jobs said, I have a dream. Oprah Winfrey said, I have a dream. Walt Disney said, I have a dream. Bill Gates said, I have a dream. Every extraordinary entrepreneur who’s ever done anything extraordinary, said, I have a dream. I have a dream. And then they would describe what their dream is. And their dream was to transform the state of something. Not just here, not just there, but everywhere.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Michael, would have been your favorite stories over the year. You have a bunch in the E-Myth, of these roles and how people have maybe broken out of, like you said, if you get these right, it can be boundless. What are some of your favorite stories over the years of businesses?

Michael E. Gerber: They’re legion, Jeremy. I hear from people who read my books, there are now close to 30 books that I’ve written and published. Great many of them are what we call vertical E-Myth books. Like the E-Myth Chiropractor, the E-Myth Attorney, the E-Myth duh, duh, duh.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah. Someone can go to, just for the notes,, and there’s a link. You can check out all their stuff. Also, the E-Myth Library shows you these verticals.

Michael E. Gerber: Yeah. And you’ve got to understand, this is really important, Jeremy. And thank you for saying that and doing that and sending them there. But they’ve got to understand we’re not here to sell them something. I don’t have a product to sell them. I have a paradigm to inspire them. And that paradigm has worked over 43 years of must massively focused scrutiny to literally realize our dream, our vision, our purpose, and our mission. The dream to transform the state of small business worldwide, the vision to invent the McDonald’s of small business consulting services. The purpose that every single small business owner who’s called to our paradigm can be as successful as a McDonald’s franchisee. And our mission to invent the business development system. It stands at the heart of the most successful small companies on the planet. Companies like 1-800-GOT-JUNK, companies like Infusionsoft, companies like BNI, they’re masterful companies, each of whom have applied my logic, our paradigm, as they went to work on their companies, their very, very small companies, to transcend their very, very small companies to become just massive leaders in their industries.

Michael E. Gerber: I’m saying everybody can do that. So every story that we have is about people who’ve done that. Like Clate Mask at Infusionsoft, like Brian Scudamore at 1-800-GOT-JUNK and so forth. All you need to do is you look at those companies and you say to yourself, "How in the world could a guy picking up junk create a worldwide phenomenon, a half a billion dollar a year enterprise picking up junk? He read a book, the E-Myth Revisited and then he did it. Hear me, he read it and he did it. A great story. Our co-author of The E-Myth HVAC Contractor, it’s one of our most recent books, Ken Goodrich, Ken Goodrich worked for his dad from the age of 10, holding the flashlight while his dad would install an air conditioner.

Michael E. Gerber: Ken went off to college to get a respectable career. And while he was going to college to get a respectable career, he worked part time fixing air conditioners. When it came time to graduate from college, the banks came to recruit young talent and Ken asked, "So what does that job pay?" The banker told him and Ken laughed. He said, "I make twice that working part time fixing air conditioners." So Ken realized he spent all that time going to college for nothing. He went back to his dad, took over his dad’s business and Ken said in 18 months he destroyed it. The dad taught him how to hold the flashlight. The dad taught him how to fix air conditioner. The dad taught him how to be a technician. Doing it, doing it, doing it, doing it. Ken was great at that. His dad didn’t tell him about the money, didn’t tell him about the taxes. He didn’t tell him about the IRS who came and shut them down.

Michael E. Gerber: The only thing he had left, Ken says, is a book he found in his father’s top drawer, and it was the E-Myth Revisited. He took the book home with him and he read it. Then he read it a second time and then he read it a third time. Then he went to his mother to apologize for destroying her retirement and told her that in three years, he was going to apply the E-Myth Revisited and he was going to sell the company for a million dollars. Well, he did that, but instead of a million, he sold it for three. Ken said to himself, "Wow, that was cool." He did that 24 more times. Hear me, we went to work back on a new business and build it and sold it and built it and sold it and built it and sold it. Today, that process is up to 200 million in annual revenue. All because he read the E-Myth Revisited 39 times and did it and did it and did it and did it. Hear me, this is not philosophy. This is pragmatics of the most brilliant kind.

Michael E. Gerber: There’s a way McDonald’s became so successful to become the most successful small business in the world. McDonald’s, the hamburger place. He built the prototype, perfected the prototype in Des Plaines Illinois, and then replicated it a second time and fixed what didn’t work and then replicated what was fixed the third time and fixed what didn’t work. And by the time he got to the fourth time, Ray Kroc, he had the absolutely perfectly replicable system that he could grow to the 37,000 McDonald’s hamburger stands all over the world. It’s math, it’s simple, but it requires dedication and it requires [inaudible 00:21:31].

Michael E. Gerber: So Jeremy, we love to say that small business owners who are struggling doing it, doing it, doing it, the smallest of the small, we don’t move up to the mid market and so forth because the small doesn’t have any money. We don’t move up to the more expensive and more profitable arenas. We’ve never done that. We never will do that. We’re focused on the smallest of the small, that’s where we’ve made our mark. It’s where our dream comes alive. It’s where we can truly transform the state of economic development worldwide. We’ve never been seduced to go anywhere else. The magic that you see when you actually see somebody read a book and do the book, they read chapter by chapter by chapter and sustained their passion for it. And the story they’re there to tell, isn’t nothing like it, Jeremy. It’s just absolutely staggering.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Thank you for sharing that. That’s pretty amazing. Michael, what’s been the most popular vertical book. I know you have Optometry, Attorney, Accountant, Chiropractor. What’s been the most popular out of them so far?

Michael E. Gerber: I don’t know.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: You don’t know? Oh, I’m curious. I want to see-

Michael E. Gerber: I could give you a quick and dirty answer, but it wouldn’t be right because I haven’t even checked.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: I’m just curious, if you take the Accountant, for example, how did you meet, it looks like the co-author is Darren Root, how did that come about?

Michael E. Gerber: In every single vertical book, every single co-author came to me because they’d seen a vertical book and they came to me and they said, "I want to be the one for, their particular vertical." So all we’d say is, well, tell us your story. They would tell us the story. By the time we got done with the conversation, they either were going to be, or they weren’t. So we’ve never gone out to find vertical co-authors. They find us.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: What was it about the Accountant one, if you remember that story that compelled you to do that one?

Michael E. Gerber: The Attorney one?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Accountant or Attorney.

Michael E. Gerber: I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you well.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Well, the Accountant or Attorney, whichever one you think.

Michael E. Gerber: Well, the Attorney was interesting. Because one of the partners, there were two guys in a law firm, their own firm. One of them took the book with him from Los Angeles to San Francisco on his way to an assignment. He started reading the book in the plane. He’s telling me this story. And he lands at the airport, San Francisco airport, immediately goes to a phone and he calls his partner. He said, "Get this book, read this book because when I’m done and I’ll be back down in three days, we have to sit down because we’re going to do this book." It was E-Myth Revisited, of course. And his partner did. He did sit down and they began to do the book.

Michael E. Gerber: They invited me to speak at one of their conferences. At the end of my speech, he came over to thank me, congratulate me, et cetera, and so forth. He said, "So Gerber, what’s next?" I said, "You’re never going to believe it." He said, "What?" I said, "We’re about to publish our first vertical book." And that has to be the E-Myth Physician which actually followed the E-Myth Contractor. I don’t know if you’ve seen this book, but this was the first one. This was, as you see a teeny book, there was no co-author. We’re just testing the market to see whether the thought I had was true. That an attorney doesn’t think of themselves as a small business owner. They’re an attorney. A contractor doesn’t think of himself as a small business owner, he thinks of himself as a framer, as a whatever. We tested the first one and then I had a ghost write the second one. That was the E-Myth Physician. What he essentially did, he copied the first one and just changed it from Contractor to Physician.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: So they just changed the cover? That’s what I was going to say. Can you just change the cover, it’s the same methodology?

Michael E. Gerber: Please, it’s the same thing. So we’re challenging ourselves to test how the market would respond to it. Anyway, I said, "We’re going to have our first co-author." He said, "Who’s your co-author?" I said, "We haven’t selected him yet." He said, "I’m the attorney." I said, "Well, not so fast." Then we began the conversation. But he wrote the check and we got started. That’s how the Attorney got published. And it was published by Harper and it went on from there. There are 312 books to be done.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: To be done.

Michael E. Gerber: 312 books, 312 vertical markets. Every single one of those books, I’m the generalist and the co-author is the specialist. So I read a chapter and then the co-author writes a chapter. I read a chapter on marketing, the co-author writes his chapter on marketing. I read a chapter on money, he writes a chapter on money, et cetera, and so forth. So it’s the generalist and the specialist, the generalist and the specialist. Every single one of my chapters, Jeremy, are exactly the same, in every one of the books. We now have 19 vertical books. The 19th is about to be published. Every one of my chapters are identical, are the same. As you would think people would say, but they don’t understand the reader is-

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: I’m different. Right, exactly.

Michael E. Gerber: The reader is different. So when an attorney is reading the legal book and accountant is reading the accountant book, a chiropractor is reading the, he doesn’t read the accountant book, he doesn’t read the legal book. You understand? He only gets my point of view once. So why would I change it? I wouldn’t. Of course, I wouldn’t.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Well, there’s foundational principles in recipes that don’t need to change necessarily.

Michael E. Gerber: You’ve got it.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah.

Michael E. Gerber: That’s critical, what you just said. That’s critical. We don’t live like that. We don’t live like there are substantive, absolutely crucial perspectives that live forever. So when people speak about the E-Myth and say, that’s an old book. That’s an old book. Look at all the new books, look at all the new books. Essentially what they’re missing, the point is all those new books are simply attempting to create something different out of those old books that covered the heart of the matter in a way that those new books never will.

Michael E. Gerber: So there’s still fundamental to the process that we call now, the eight fold path. A dream, a vision, a purpose, a mission, a job, a practice, a business and enterprise. A dream, a vision, a purpose, a mission, a job, a practice, a business and enterprise. The eight fold path, the evolution of an enterprise from a company of one to a company of 1000. Anybody within the sound of my voice got to understand, that process, that process, that rigorous process can build any kind of company on the planet doing any kind of work on the planet. Exactly the way the one preceding it did in some other completely different market and some other completely different product, service, whatever it might be. The minute you get that, and it’s so difficult for people to get that, especially because everybody is saying, it’s got to be unique, it’s got to be unique, it’s got to be original, it’s got to be-

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: They want a shiny object. Something that’s new and exciting. Even though it maybe based off the fundamental truths of, they stand on the shoulders of the people before them.

Michael E. Gerber: Yeah. There you go. That’s the story of the vertical books. The vertical books are going to turn into the vertical market, which essentially means we’ll be rolling out that business development system to every vertical market on the planet.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Love it. I was hoping you just changed the cover of all of them. You don’t even need the specialist.

Michael E. Gerber: Well, that’s embarrassing in a way. They all look the same, they’re different colors.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah, exactly. You mentioned something, it’s just now the eight fold, that’s in my notes. Definitely go over about your manifesto and how you came up with that. You mentioned the dream, the vision, the purpose and the mission. Step one is the dream. So can you talk a little bit about finding your dream.

Michael E. Gerber: But of course. It’s really much simpler than anybody would wish to make it. It’s one I’m most compelled to do. Years ago, 1977, when my then partner, Tom, and I sat down and started, opened the doors to the Michael Thomas Corporation. I was Michael, he was Tom, a business development firm. It was the very first small business coaching company in the world. When we started that company, we took time to ask the question, what is it we’re here to do? Tom is just one of the most brilliant men I’ve ever met and I’m the most imaginative. So we’re sitting there dueling, if you will, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And we did that for over almost three months, to come to the conclusion of what we’re there to do. And the conclusion was, we’ve said it, to transform the state of small business worldwide. Well, what does that mean? That means to enable every small business owner who is called to our message to be as successful as the most successful small businesses on the planet.

Michael E. Gerber: In the process of doing that, we would literally transform the state of small business worldwide. You wouldn’t have small businesses failing, failing, failing, failing, because they would be built on a methodology that effectively makes it impossible for them to fail unless they fail to have the discipline and the will needed to see it through. Because obviously it does require discipline and will. So the dream in substance, is the great result. So we ask, so what’s the great result you wish to produce? And they start, Well, I want to make enough money, well, I want to do this. That’s a personal dream. We’re not talking about a personal dream. We’re talking about an impersonal dream. By impersonal, I don’t mean subjective, I mean objectively. If you could say at the end of your life, I did this, that would this be?

Michael E. Gerber: Despite the fact that you don’t have the ability to do this, despite the fact that you have no idea how to do this, despite the fact that you probably never even thought of doing this before, what would it be? We’re just sitting here a couple of guys talking. If you could do it, to start magic, what would it be? So I said, "But I’m not going to leave you there trying to figure it out. I’m going to share mine with you. Then we’ll just take that and let’s put your words in it." Mine was to transform the state of small business worldwide. So you’re going to say, Jeremy, to transform the state of blank worldwide. And Jeremy might say, "Oh no, I don’t want to do worldwide. I just want to do Poughkeepsie." I say, "Yeah, I got it, Jeremy. But understand, if you learn how to do this in Poughkeepsie, you can do this in Saratoga. You learn to do this in Saratoga, you can learn how to do this at San Mateo. You learn how to do this in San Mateo, you can do this anywhere in the world. That’s what Ray Kroc did. That’s what everybody can do. Everybody can do. So what would it be? Then the conversation begins.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: What I love about that, Michael, is while you’re going through that process of dreaming, you are trying to counteract people’s self limiting beliefs by saying, okay, if you could wave a wand, because you’ve already experienced this probably hundreds of thousands or millions of times of people putting up objections to this. I love that part. I don’t know if people caught that, but in the process, you’re helping them overcome self limiting beliefs.

Michael E. Gerber: Well, overcome limitations, perceived limitations.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah, totally.

Michael E. Gerber: Yeah, but I don’t know. Yeah, but I couldn’t do that. Yeah, but I don’t want that. Yeah but, yeah but, yeah but, yeah but, yeah but, yeah but. It’s constant, it’s constant. If there’s anything that happens in the world, it’s yeah but. Yeah but, yeah but, yeah but, yeah but. That I’ve been hearing yeah but-

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: That’s your next book, yeah but? So the dream, the second is the vision, creating the vision.

Michael E. Gerber: It has to happen in the real world. We had [inaudible 00:37:21], we were going to invent the McDonald’s of small business consulting. So if that’s good enough for me, because it’s the world’s number one small business, that is good enough for everybody. So it becomes, I’m going to invent the McDonald’s of poodle clipping. I’m going to invent the McDonald’s of relationships. I’m going to create the McDonald’s of marriage counseling. I’m going to create the McDonald’s of, the McDonald’s of, the McDonald’s of. Then why not? Because McDonald’s gives you a pattern to utilize in order to fill it with what you intend to do. So just shows up. Of course, the value of that, it gives everybody something to lean on. They don’t have to come up with their own words. They simply have to stick in the word that matters. In our case, it was small business consulting, in his case it was parenting, in her case it was marriage. You follow me, whatever it is, whatever floats their boat.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: [crosstalk 00:38:36]. Now you have the dream, the vision. Now knowing your purpose.

Michael E. Gerber: Your purpose. So if our purpose is to transform the state of small business worldwide, if our dream rather is to transform the state of small business worldwide, our vision is to invent the McDonald’s of small business consulting. Our purpose then is to make it possible for every small business owner who’s called to us to apply that logic to the development of their company, their life, and to achieve a level of success unheard of, unparalleled in the small business community. That’s our purpose. Our mission is to invent the system upon which all of this is to work. That system is lead generation, lead conversion, client fulfillment. Lead generation, lead conversion, client fulfillment, the franchise prototype.

Michael E. Gerber: We’re essentially saying that every company on the planet must be designed, built, launched, and grown as though it’s going to franchise. Because whether they’re going to franchise it or not, it’s absolutely indelibly clear that it must be an operating system that they could depend upon. Because to the degree they fail to create an operating system they can depend upon in the hands of ordinary people to produce extraordinary results, and hear me, we’ve done that countless, countless, countless times. To the degree they fail to do that, Jeremy, they fail to create a business that works. To the degree they fail to create a business that works, it’s just doing it, doing it, doing it, doing it and finally they just run out of gas. They run out of money. They run out of time. They run out of energy and they run out of love.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: They’re burned out.

Michael E. Gerber: Yeah, they just get burned out.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Part of this, Michael, is you have a program, Radical U. I wonder if you could talk about, there’s different ways that people can engage with you and your company. They can get the E-Myth, they can get one of the verticals. Another one is Radical U. I wonder if you could just talk about some of the components of Radical U and, again, the methodology of Radical U.

Michael E. Gerber: Well, fine. Radical U is a school. It’s the only school of its kind on the planet. Literally, not virtually, it’s the only school of its kind on the planet. It’s a five year school. So hear me, you could enter that school while you’re going to high school and your freshman year, your sophomore year, your junior year and your senior year. And while you’re doing that, you would be going to work on your business, your company of one and growing it to a company of 1000. Literally step by step by step by step. You could be returning from the military and do identically the same thing. Now I understand when I say five years, you could say, five years? I don’t have five years, I don’t have five years, I don’t have five years. It’s such a stupid reaction. I don’t have five years. They expect to build a company of 1000 in a month, in a minute, in two weeks. What? Of course, it’s going to take time.

Michael E. Gerber: So year one, we call the dreaming room. In year one, they first study the core elements that are absolutely critical if you’re going to create a company to grow it. That’s the first 12 weeks of the first year, the first 12 sessions, weekly sessions that give you homework each week and they’re video sessions. [inaudible 00:43:02] provides those. She’s so much cuter than I am. Provides that content and then the student simply goes and does the work week after week after week. In the first year, there are 52 sessions like that, 52 weekly sessions. And during that time, you get to study how to create a dream, how to create a vision, how to greet a purpose and how to create a mission. How to discover your dream, how to discover your purpose, how to discover your vision, how to discover your mission. That’s what happens in year one. Year one is the foundation. Year one provides the place you’re going to set your feet on, your imagination, your heart on, your will on, your determination on.

Michael E. Gerber: Then you go to year two. What’s year two? Year two, we call the job. And the job is your client fulfillment system. Call it your product, call it your service. Again, 52 weeks. Session one, session two, session three. We provide every student with exactly what they need to do, learn, inspire, acquire, et cetera, to design, build, launch, and grow their client fulfillment system. That’s the product they’re going to sell.

Michael E. Gerber: The third year now, now get this, a dream, a vision, a purpose, a mission, a client fulfillment system. The third year, it’s the practice. And the practice is lead generation, lead conversion, plus the client fulfillment system you created in year two. That’s your franchise prototype. Get it. Now we’re going to go to work on your franchise prototype. You understand this is not just theoretical. It’s not just academic. Everything we’re doing here is being done on the street. They’re actually designing, building, launching, and growing a company of one. Their company of one, but they’re doing it in a way that will absolutely predictably assure them it will work because they’re testing it, verifying it, validating it step by step by step by step and getting stronger inside every step of the way. Now they’re ready for the fourth year.

Michael E. Gerber: The fourth year is the business. Now get this, what’s a business? A business is nothing other than up to seven turnkey practices. So let’s go back to the Chiropractor. Got to practice, lead generation, lead conversion, client fulfillment. Lead generation, lead conversion, client fulfillment. That’s what a practice is. That’s what his practice must do. Now, we’re going to replicate that practice seven times. We now have a business plus a turnkey management system. Suddenly we’re in business, but you’re hearing me, we’ve tested it and validated it and proven it every single step of the way and gotten deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper in our ability to tell the story of what we are and what we do and why we do it, and what difference it’s going to make in the world. I have a dream, I have a vision, I have a purpose, I have a mission. That’s what every single one of our students are going to be able to learn how to say and learn how to do.

Michael E. Gerber: Finally, in year five, it’s the enterprise. What’s an enterprise? An enterprise is nothing other than up to seven turnkey businesses, which is what? 49 turnkey practices plus a management system, plus a leadership system. We’re saying, every human being on the street is a company of one. Every single human being living in the world is an economy of one. Now we’re going to transform that economy of one into an economy of many. We’re going to suddenly transform the state of economic development worldwide because this isn’t madness, this isn’t silly, this isn’t stupid. This is absolutely replicable. As replicable as a Starbucks is, as replicable as name it. It’s proven itself, proven itself, proven itself, proven itself. And every human being can do it. Every human being can do it. If they got the will, we’ve got the way.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Thanks for sharing that methodology, Michael. There’s a mission behind the mission, that we were talking before we hit record, about even with the charities behind this. So could you talk about that for a second?

Michael E. Gerber: Well, yeah. I’m going to be 84 in June 20th this year. No spring chicken, as they say.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: 84 years young. I got you.

Michael E. Gerber: My wife and I, Luz Delia, who’s the president and chief executive officer of Mike E. Gerber Companies, have made a commitment to literally transform the state of economic development worldwide. That’s not maybe, not hopefully, but literally. To spur that forward, we’ve made the commitment to provide the first year of Radical U to every single human being that comes to us with a $10 bill in hand. One thin $10 bill and you’re in for a year. Not only are you in for a year, week one, week two, week three, week four, all the way through week 52, but I’m going to personally, in fact, this evening at six o’clock California time, I’m going to be personally be speaking with all of our new students to inspire them, to understand why the will and the way are so critical to what we’re setting out to do.

Michael E. Gerber: You don’t become a US Navy SEAL by wanting to. You become a US Navy SEAL by doing the work. And the work is absolutely critical, fundamental to creating a great result in the world. We know what that work is. We’ve mastered that work. We have taught more people how to do that work than any other organization on the planet. Now we’re going to give that away to people who will say, "Michael, I hear you. I hear you. I hear you. I’m with you, I’m with you. Help us do this, help us do this." We will do exactly that for one very narrow, very slender, $10 bill one time, and the rest of the year is on us.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: You were mentioning some of the charities.

Michael E. Gerber: Oh yes. Well, any profit that comes from the $10, our intent is to have a million students over this first year. Any profit that comes from the $10 is being given to charities. Those charities are unemployed mothers. Those charities are returning veterans who don’t know what to do. Those charities are folks who are just left out in the cold with this virus and are completely unprepared for it. So every single dollar left out of the 10 is going to be donated to one charity or another. And all of that’s in the works.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Michael, first of all, I want to be the first one to thank you. Everyone should check out, check out everything they have going on from the books to Radical U. Michael, are there any other places we should point people towards online or anywhere else or any other resources, or should they just go to

Michael E. Gerber: Well, they’d go to You can email me directly. Michael E. Gerber, You can go to, and you’ll find out more about that. Yeah, just do that and you’re in. We’ll get you enrolled in Radical U, begin to kick ass together, every single one of us.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Amen. Michael, thanks for all the work you do and have done over the years. Really appreciate it. Everyone, check it out. Thanks again.

Michael E. Gerber: Thank you, Jeremy. Take care. Bye bye.

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