Pumpkin Plan Your Business, with Mike Michalowicz
Want to grow and scale a profitable business? It’s just like growing a giant pumpkin! Back on the show after discussing Profit First, we have multi-best-selling author Mike Michalowicz to discuss some of newest books: The Pumpkin Plan, and Get Different.
I promise, a few minutes with this guy and you’ll have a whole new perspective on your business.
So if you want to transform your business, find out how to hit your sweet spot where you’re serving clients you love, profitably, and marketing in a way that always gets results… tune in now!
Table of contents
Welcoming Back Mike Michalowicz
For the second time, we’re excited to welcome Mike Michalowicz of Profit First back to The Money Advantage. You can read more from his first interview here. We’re fans of Mike because he helps entreprreneurs bring profit into their business FIRST, so that they can help more people.
It’s like putting on your own oxygen mask first, so that you can help others—you’ll do more good for more people when you take care of yourself and your business.
Stand Out from the Crowd
Mike recently asked his clients, “What is your biggest struggle right now?” And for most, their pain point was that they weren’t getting consistent quality in lead flow. This prompted Mike to consider what the root of the problem was.
He determined that industry “best practices,” after some time, become a prime example of what NOT to do. That’s because once they’re adopted throughout the whole industry, everyone’s the same. And prospects are seeking someone who stands out—someone who they perceive as uniquely positioned to help them with their problems.
[3:23] “Do you vaguely remember getting that first email that was like, ‘Hey friend’?”
In Mike’s example, he recalls how excited he was to receive his first “hey friend” email. The initial feeling was one of excitement and belonging, until he opened it and realized that it was just marketing. The second time he got an email with that subject line, he was more cautious. And by the third, he stopped opening emails with that subject line altogether.
We’re sure you can relate.
[3:57] “That points to the power of habituation. Meaning when we, the prospect, see something, we very quickly learn to qualify it as relevant or irrelevant. And ‘hey friend’ is irrelevant. What I researched was how to break through the habituation. Best practices are the ‘hey friend’s’ of the world.”
Why You Should Profit First
[5:30] “Every time you…sell something, you have a responsibility to deliver up what you sold–that product or service. So the more we sell, the more responsibility we have. And as small business owners, that’s more and more weight on our shoulders. It starts to show the cracks in the foundation. We don’t have the deliverable systems in place, the sales aren’t profitable. So we’re putting more burden on the organization, without extracting health.”
So instead of placing all focus on sales, new businesses should actually be focusing on profit (first). Once profits are in place, sales and efficiency can come next. Otherwise, having attention too divided can be dangerous.
The Mindset Shift
[7:37] “Most entrepreneurs and business owners, like us, call ourselves entrepreneurs and business owners. I believe hose words have become bastardized. An entrepreneur is about hustle and grind, how bad do you want it, workaholism. And I think that’s a horrible thing to put out into the market. I think what we are about is, we’re a creator of jobs. Our job is to create a business that actually provides for people who want jobs. The way to make this mindset shift is to frame it with a different word. I suggest the word shareholder.”
Mike’s recommendation is, instead of saying you own a small business, say you’re a shareholder of a small business. It might be awkward, but here’s the reasoning: shareholders take the investing risk and get the profit, and get to vote in future strategies.
The Pumpkin Plan
Mike says that growing a business is like growing a giant pumpkin. So what does that mean?
It starts with an idea called “biomimicry,” which means emulating things that are naturally occurring. After all, Mother Nature spent centuries perfecting certain things, so what can we learn from her?
In Mike’s research, he learned that some plants, with human intervention, can have explosive growth that is both safe and healthy. Three words: colossal pumpkin farming.
Growing a colossal pumpkin doesn’t happen by accident—it happens with intentional cultivation. And here are some of those lessons:
1. Match the seed to the soil.
Certain seeds will thrive in certain soil. In the same way, certain businesses will thrive in certain communities. So you don’t want to waste any time planting your pumpkin seed in the wrong soil if you’re after colossal growth.
If you try to make the business fit into the wrong community, you’ll be unhappy.
As a pumpkin begins to grow rapidly, the pumpkin farmers are meticulous about removing any other pumpkins from the vine. Otherwise, the plant has to expend a little energy to each pumpkin. Pruning allows one pumpkin to get all the plant’s energy.
When you’re growing a business, it’s easy to get sidetracked by other opportunities. But then your energy and resources are diluted, and nothing will grow colossally. You have to choose mastery in one thing.
What continues to stick with us from our conversation with Mike is the idea of being a shareholder. There are millions of people who are willing to work, and who are good at many things. There are far fewer people who are masters in one thing, and who use their mastery to create jobs.
The “shareholder” mindset can really help you transform the way you operate your business, because you lift the busy work off of your shoulders and focus on job creation and systematizing.
A Special Offer
In his book, Get Different, one point Mike makes is the power of mnemonic devices. They happen to be one of the most powerful memorization tools, which is why he housed his special offer under the website Mike Motorbike.
His book is about what he calls “millisecond marketing,” which is based on the principle that the outcome of your relationship with a prospect happens in the first few seconds. So you have to make an impact in those few seconds, be direct, and be be reasonable.
About Mike Michalowicz
Confident that he had the formula to success, he became a small business angel investor… and proceeded to lose his entire fortune. Then he started all over again, driven to find better ways to grow healthy, strong companies. Mike has devoted his life to the research and delivery of innovative, impactful entrepreneurial strategies to you.
Mike is the creator of Profit First, which is used by hundreds of thousands of companies across the globe to drive profit. He is the creator of Clockwork, a powerful method to make any business run on automatic. In his 2020 release Fix This Next, Mike details the strategy businesses can use to determine what to do, in what order, to ensure healthy, fast, permanent growth (and avoid debilitating distractions). His latest book Get Different (released September 21, 2021) will give you the tools to stand out in any market.
Today, Mike leads two new multi-million-dollar ventures, as he tests his latest business research for his books. He is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal and business makeover specialist on MSNBC. Mike is a popular main stage keynote speaker on innovative entrepreneurial topics; and is the author of Get Different, Fix This Next, Clockwork, Profit First, Surge, The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.
Fabled author Simon Sinek deemed Mike Michalowicz “… the top contender for the patron saint of entrepreneurs.”
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