Wellbeing / Work styles

“It’s absolutely the pits!” Michael Gerber’s take on soloism.

I was stoked to get the man behind the E-Myth into the video studio recently, but in this second interview Michael Gerber shows he’s not one of us. Poor guy.


The guru of small business has always had the opinion that if you work on your own, you haven’t got a business, you’ve got a job. I disagree and indeed heckled him on this at a presentation a few years ago. Quite a smart move, as it happens, as it got me noticed and led to a dialogue that’s continued ever since. But that’s another story.

In Gerber’s world, ‘90% of small businesses fail’, whereas in mine (and backed up by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Productivity Commission*), 70% of micro businesses do not.

In Gerber’s world, solo businesses are ‘in a living hell’ and eternally miserable. We know from our own Understanding Micro Business surveys that happiness is both a driver and a reality for eight out of ten soloists.

At the close of our interview I remark that once I watch the video I’ll doubtless think of many more things to say in the defence of the wondrous world of soloism.

In fact I’m left with the feeling that I should have been much tougher and made a more compelling case for enjoying success on your own. I adore working solo and I DO have a business.

"In Gerber’s world, solo businesses are ‘in a living hell’ and eternally miserable."

Want more articles like this? Check out the work styles section.

To view our way of working as a job is nuts.

He employs staff. I embrace partners and collaborators. Less hassle, better outcome.

He has foundation and structure.  So do I…along with greater flexibility and agility.

He sees fear of failure. I experience the excitement of opportunity.

There is one thing we agree on, though: he preaches the teachings of the E-Myth and so do I, it’s a masterpiece.

Please help me out by doing some virtual heckling of your own. Lay into me too if you like, I’m up for it. Either way, I’ll make sure the main man gets to see it all.

Robert Gerrish

is the founder of Flying Solo and helps soloists stay upbeat and energised. He’s recently published The 1-Minute Commute, is a presenter and facilitator and works one-on-one with those needing a refresh. Find out more about his skills and services and his Olympus Trip 35 camera side hustle or connect on LinkedIn.


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