Book Review: The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz, or How to Grow a Killer Business

The Pumpkin Plan book cover by Mike MichalowiczIt’s been awhile since I’ve written a book review on my blog. It’s not because I haven’t been reading. I have. It’s just that there have been so many other things calling for my attention, like writing my own Top Ranking eBook, preparing for the launch (September 5th) of a book I co-authored, and keeping up with client work, family life and other obligations.

So, when Mike Michaelowicz, a.k.a. The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, asked if I’d be willing to review his latest book, The Pumpkin Plan, I had to give it some serious thought before making the commitment.

In reading the book’s description though, I realized it was one I was going to want to read regardless, so may as well help with the launch! The book’s subtitle is “A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field.” It’s more than that though.

In this book, Mike explores the idea that many entrepreneurs are broke in every sense of the word, working 5 to 9, eight days a week, yet still living check to check. As much as I hate to say it, that sounds like me and many of the other entrepreneurs I know!

Every one I talk to has the same complaint. They want to work less and earn more. Whether it’s selling their service, product, book or speaking topics, it takes hard work. We keep thinking that we’re so close to “making it” that we keep plugging away at it, never realizing that we’re going about it all wrong…

That’s what drove me to read The Pumpkin Plan. I needed to find my own way out of the rut I was making and into the business I knew I could have.

Mike was inspired by the methods used by farmers to grow giant pumpkins and saw the applicability of those techniques for growing a wildly successful business that dominates the competition.

The plan is simple:

  • Plant a prizewinning seed.
  • Get rid of the losers.
  • Nurture the winners.

As I ate lunch with a friend the other day, a message came through on his phone, and he started talking about how he’s got this blood-sucking client who contacts him multiple times a day for support. After reading The Pumpkin Plan, my first thought was “Get rid of the loser!”

While this is a hard thing for any business owner to contemplate, blood-suckers keep our businesses from growing because they sap us of the time and energy we could be spending to blow the minds of our best customers with our innovation and unparalleled service.

This same principle applies whether you are an entrepreneur struggling to attain the riches of time and money you know are waiting for you, a speaker offering too many one-off topics to be appealing to as many event coordinators as possible, or an author looking to market your book to absolutely everyone.

Plant a prize-winning seed. What’s the core strength of what you have to offer? When other people talk about it, what do they say? If you don’t know, ask your best clients or customers. Here’s what one of mine had to say…

Top two things I love about Aleweb.
1. Actually knows what needs to be done.
2. And on the rare occasion that you don’t know, you know exactly who does. As result, I don’t have to pay for fiddle-around-trying-to-figure-it-out time.

Get rid of the losers. Rotten pumpkins stunt the growth of healthy ones. So, know your customers. Figure out which ones drive sustained growth and ditch the rest! (If you’re like me, ditching a customer sounds hard. But Mike gives 4 examples of simple ways to do just that, and they’re easy!)

Nurture the winners. This means more than just upselling to your best customers. It means finding out what their real needs are and then blowing their minds with innovation and unparalleled service, doing the things that you are already best at doing. Talk about aligning your business with your purpose! In this stage of the plan, you are working with the customers who already value you for what you are best at, and are giving you ideas as to how to give them more of it!

So, if you’re looking for inspiration, thoughts and practical ideas of how you can go from growing your everyday, garden variety business to growing an awesome, killer, cream-of-the-crop enterprise, you need to read this book and work the plan as you go along.

To learn more about The Pumpkin Plan, watch a video from Mike, and download the first chapter for free, check out his website and the related free resources.

Disclaimer: A free review copy of this book was provided to me by the author. No further compensation was made or promised. Additionally, no affiliate links were used in this post. Aleweb is based in a state where we can’t be Amazon affiliates. Darn!

 

Have you read The Pumpkin Plan yet? What action steps have you taken toward growing your own giant pumpkin?

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Tara R. Alemany

Award-winning author and speaker, and owner at Aleweb Social Marketing
Tara Alemany defies a simple definition. She is an award-winning and best-selling author and speaker, as well as a serial entrepreneur. Her publishing company, Emerald Lake Books, benefits experts and thought leaders as they grow their business by taking their words from manuscript to masterpiece. Her consulting company, Aleweb Social Marketing helps authors and speakers to get found online, on-stage and on-the-shelf. In addition to publishing, consulting, writing and speaking, Tara serves on the Boards of Directors for a Christian writers’ critique group, as well as acting as co-president and chaplain of the group. In her spare time, she is a novice winemaker, a martial artist, a juggler, a military Mom to 2 teenagers (one of each), step-Mom to 2 dogs (one of each) and is owned by a black cat.

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