Back in early 2011 I started following the online exploits of one Mike Michalowicz, an author with an unconventional writing style, and an even more unconventional book about entrepreneurship titled The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, or TPE for short. That book contains a lot of amazing, straight forward business advice, and a bit of toilet bowl humor.
I'm sure it would rock your business thinking if you take the time to read it.
But don't just take my word for it... Even though no one can pronounce Mike's last name, his TPE book, along with his out of the box entrepreneurial thinking, gained him recognition from American Express Open as a contributor, and he frequently appears on MSNBC's weekly show Your Business.
Following the success of TPE (as well as the notoriety of a business book with the word toilet in the title), Mike followed up with a second book titled The Pumpkin Plan. This second book would surly make any retail jeweler's head spin!!! Yes, I'm using three exclamation points on that statement, because it's true.
I've already helped a few jewelers rethink how they operate their jewelry store based on the ginormous pumpkin growing methods Mike explains in his second book.
The jewelry industry is facing some interesting challenges over the last few years. Many retailers have closed and many are still suffering. Many who survived the recession had to figure out how to reinvent themselves as a retail jeweler. If you are still struggling to stay alive, then you really need to pumpkin plan your business.
Like Mike's TPE book, The Pumpkin Plan is fun to read, eye-opening, and he gives you immediately actionable ideas... This is similar to my own actionable writing style, which is probably why Mike and I hit it off so well when we met in the summer of 2011.
I'm always looking for the "Golden Nuggets" in everything I read. I've personally read both TPE and TPP more times than I can remember. Alright, truthfully I didn't actually "read" them all the way through. Even though I have the books right here in front of me (two copies of TPE in fact, one is autographed) I realized within the first few pages that I would need to read them several times to let Mike's brilliance really sink in.
Who has time to physically read the same book more than once in this nonstop crazy world we live in? Certainly not me! That's why I buy Amazon Kindle copies of books I like and I listen to them while working out. Check this FB post from May 2014 and you'll see Mike's 2 books in my top "listening list."
One of Mike's brilliant ideas from TPE eventually grew into The Pumpkin Plan, and now a second brilliant idea from TPE has evolved into his third book titled Profit First.
The cover of the book says "A simple system to transform any business from a cash-eating monster to a money-making machine," but that's just the beginning of what this book is about!!!
A few weeks ago Mike sent me an advanced soft cover version of the book. It's loaded with true stories, and a lot of fun references that literally made me laugh out loud. I actually read the book while vacationing in Disney World over the last two weeks, and I got a few strange looks from other people when I burst out laughing while riding the Disney Transportation bus, and waiting on line for an attraction. I didn't care if I seemed silly while reading what looked like a dry business book with a pig on the cover.
He shares his anecdotes in hopes that you will learn from those true stories, rather than just theory. Sound like anyone else you know? (Hint: the author of the Daily Golden Nuggets)
So this third book from Mike Michalowicz (try to say that 3 times fast) is all about teaching you how to rethink your finances. On page 17 he talks about living paycheck-to-paycheck. On page 19 he whacks you with how many business owners (and I know jewelers fall into this) will get trapped trying to do everything for everyone. In fact, I could tell you a story about a jeweler who is trying to fix a candelabra for a customer. A candelabra, like Lumière from Disney's Beauty and the Beast!
Unlike his first two books which I would classify as business development books, this one falls more into the accounting category. I know many retail jewelers who simply do not like numbers, and would rather let their bookkeeper or accountant manage their books. My own experience shows me that this is such a bad approach, and usually leads to financial disaster.
Luckily, if you take the time to read Profit First you will experience a "Rude Awakening" (actually on page 53) that should help you reevaluate how you run your jewelry store. That awakening happens after Mike explains how to assess your financial situation (on page 45).
I've been using many of Mike's techniques from TPE and TPP for the last 3 years to help my own company grow, and help my jewelry clients. He first introduced his Profit First Accounting method in TPE, which I applied in my own business. This new book expands the concept more than I can explain, and it's well worth the read. He hits you with some simple debt reduction techniques in chapter 6 too.
In this world of movie trilogies and sequels, I would consider this the 3rd episode in the Mike Michalowicz series. Considering my recent trip to Disney World, and Hollywood Studios, let me put this in terms of Star Wars...
The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur was the first of its kind, just like the original Star Wars: A New Hope. There was some back story in TPE, a lot of hints, and huge hope for your business at the end of the book.
Then Mike's master plan of pumpkin growth came along in The Pumpkin Plan where you can learn to grow a Death Star size business by blasting the bad parts of your business that are eating away at you... Much like mynocks would eat your ship.
Now in Profit First we truly find out the back story of our young Jedi Master, Mike Michalowicz. How did he face hardship, and which Yoda sized person in his life saved him when he thought all was lost? We can all learn something from Mike's personal "Return of the Jedi" experiences. I bet you could have your own personal Ewok celebration with fireworks after you implementing his method of taking profit first out of your business rather than taking expenses first.
Even though it seems like I'm a raving Michalowicz fanatic, or being paid to write this blog, everything I write about is based on firsthand experience, and unbiasedly written. I don't accept commissions for services I recommend, and I don't participate in affiliate marketing, and I don't get paid. You'll notice that all the links above are NOT affiliate links.
I share my opinions in the hopes that you will realize that they are not financially motivated, and therefore worth a little more of your consideration.
Although I've been using Mike's knowledge for the last three years, I've never publicly praised him, his entrepreneurial ideas, or for what he's willingly exposed about his experiences.
Today, July 8, 2014 is the public launch day for Profit First, by Mike Michalowicz, and I wanted to tell you about it. Again, I'm not getting compensated for the shout out, or for calling Mike an entrepreneurial Jedi Master, this is simply my usual sharing of something I think will make your life better.
As a teaser though, I have the first 90 pages of the book that you can download directly from THIS PAGE.
If you want to buy the full book you can get it here from Amazon.com or here from Mike's website.
I hope you will share my belief that his first 3 books are as good at the Star Wars trilogy, the original 3, not the prequel 3, and not whatever clusters of 3 movies Disney comes out with next!
Is the Entrepreneurial Force strong enough in you to be the next Michalowicz Padawan learner?