E-Myth Exposed: There is no Tony Stark!


You’ve seen it in Marvel Comic’s “Iron Man”–the self-made man; the smartest man–the only man–in the company; does it all, and all by himself.

In his landmark work E-Myth, Michael Gerber exposed this myth about we entrepreneurs.  Most of us are folks who like what we do–are good at what we do–and we want to do it ourselves.  

In his 1997 book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki explains his CASHFLOW Quadrant.  It is important to understand that there is nothing wrong with being in any of the quadrants–except ignorance.


Most of us who leave the workforce to go out on their own end up in the Self-Employed quadrant.  We start-up our something in a spare room, print some cards and we are in business.  We set up a shop. We build a website.  We go out looking for customers.  We get customers…then more customers.  So we hire some help.  We train.  We work out payroll, invoicing, collections.  We market and sell.  We organize and manage.  We are the ‘chief cook and bottle washer’–the be-all, end-all for the business.  We work sixty to eighty hours a week in order to be able to work 30 or so on what we started out to do.  But we are our own boss and we love it!

The Business Owner is a different breed.  We are intent on NOT doing everything ourselves.  We are actually trying to work ourselves OUT of a job.  We are working to build a system that can operate without us.   We strive to focus on what we are good at and find others to do the rest.  We realize if we are the smartest person in the room, we’re in the wrong room.  This is the Henry Ford principal–surround yourself with people smarter than you in their field.  The business owners are working for time freedom.

The truth is, nearly all of the so called business “success stories” did not do it on their own as Tony Stark might lead us to believe.  They surround themselves with Team–they leverage.

The business owner thinks NOT about “How am I going to get this done?” but rather “Who am I going to get to do this for me?”  And that is the difference.