Friers Book Club
Article Date: 2020-02-19
Aritcle extracted from issue 1 of the Fish Friers Review
Hi, I’m Pete Fraser owner of the Harbour Lights in Falmouth, Cornwall and Frasers Fish and Chips in Penzance. I found our wonderfully friendly industry by accident twenty years ago, joining from an earlier career chasing Russian submarines around the North Atlantic in the Royal Navy. I had the “advantage” of knowing absolutely nothing, I was like a sponge, all I wanted to do was learn, that desire continues today. Part of my education of running a business for the first time was to read books, since day one, I would estimate I have read over two hundred of them and extracted lots of amazing ideas. I approached Robert at the NFFF and offered to write a series of reviews of some books that I think might help shop owners and managers in the Fish and Chip industry to get their own “light bulb moments” from reading.
The E Myth Revisited
Written by Michael Gerber
I promise this one is very easy to read, the majority of it is written in parable form, a story that has plenty of opportunities for you the reader to think, hey this story is about me.
The basis for the book in our context is: just because you are a top-notch fish and chip frier, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a top-notch businessperson, the two have totally different skill sets. Everybody that goes into business is actually 3 persons rolled up in one: an entrepreneur, a manager and a technician.
The entrepreneur is the innovator that lives in the future, always enjoying dealing with the unknown, good at creating probabilities out of possibilities. The manager provides the planning, order and predictability. He or she runs after the entrepreneur cleaning up the mess. The technician is the doer, the expert in their particular craft, be it filleting fish, frying the perfect chip or up front serving with a smile.
Early in your business, you try to wear all three hats equally, but you want to keep staff costs down and the technician inside you is screaming out no one does things as well as me, so I am going to be responsible for everything. That’s fine and initially totally understandable but it also puts a major block on you developing your business and starting to develop a healthy work/life balance. In the words of the author: “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 are working for a lunatic!”
If you have heard anyone using the expression that great business owners should find the time to “work on” their business more than “working in” their business, they got the inspiration from this book and it is oh so true.
All is not lost, Gerber doesn’t just help you identify the problem, he provides the solution. I went up to London to hear him speak ten years or so ago and I sat there and despite there being a few hundred in the room, I felt he was just talking about me and my business. A very clever man with lots of wisdom to share.
If I hit any nerves then please buy this book, last time I looked it was only £9.90 on Amazon. Next book review is going to be about that gorgeous word: “Profit”. Life isn’t much fun without it.
P.S. would love to hear from you if you have any questions or thoughts after reading the E-Myth, or if there any business topics that you would like me to recommend books for:firstname.lastname@example.org