“If you’re better than the competition, you have a responsibility to get noticed.”
It’s hard not to be entertained by Mike Michalowicz as he speaks. He is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and critically acclaimed author of many entrepreneurial books such as Clockwork, Profit First, Fix This Next, Surge, The Pumpkin Plan, and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.
We talk about his new book “Get Different: Marketing that Can’t Be Ignored” where he reveals the secret to leveraging established behavioral marketing techniques so you can stand out amongst your competition. Get Different makes marketing simpler and more effective than ever before. Today, Mike is leading two new multi-million dollar ventures while testing his latest business research for his books.
The profit first concept
“We’re told profit comes last. It’s the bottom line… Behavioral sense is human nature. When something comes last, it’s not important.”
The path to becoming permanently profitable is actually simple: flip the formula and take your profit first. In his book, Mike recommends setting up separate bank accounts and allocating a certain percentage of all the money you make into those accounts as it comes in.
Profit must be baked into the business. Mike believes that “Sales is a good thing when it’s in equilibrium or balance with profitability.” Profit should not be seen as an afterthought to the hard work put forth by a business owner and the employees, but rather integral when planning for future success. Now, if profit is baked into every transaction, sales can fuel a very healthy and sustainable organization.
Of course, there are many more steps that must be completed in order for a business owner’s finances to become as stable and running smoothly as possible; but even with these simple first steps – taking profits before deposits – you will find yourself on solid ground financially forever. You may not get rich overnight this way, but you will surely get a wealth of confidence.
Steps to market effectively
Many people think that “better” is better. It’s actually not. It only means working in a saturated market, convinced that you can do anything and be successful because your competition is also doing it “well”.
When it comes to getting ahead in marketing, Mike’s new book, Get Different, is filled with witty anecdotes and actionable insights drawn from stories of real-life entrepreneurs. He offers a proven method to position your business, attract the best prospects, and convert those opportunities into sales. This system is based on three critical questions that every entrepreneur must ask themselves: Does it differentiate? Does it attract? Does it direct?
Mike calls this the DAD method. You can’t afford to just do a decent job of marketing, you need something that will stand out and get your company noticed. The key is to differentiate yourself from the competition. “It has to be noticeable, but noticeable just gets attention for milliseconds,” he said. Next, ensure that your approach will appeal to the people you want to serve. “It must be attractive. Meaning it must speak to the interest of the target. It must compel them. It must engage them or entertain them, but there’s gotta be a reason.” Finally, direct your ideal prospects to take a specific and explicit action you desire. With this key caveat, it must be reasonable.
Publishing a children’s book
With the popularity of Mike Michalowicz’s book Profit First, it has been turned into a children’s version for parents who want their kids to learn fiscal responsibility in an engaging way. Capturing the innovative cash management system in his best-selling book, it teaches kids about the importance of personal finance and managing money correctly for the long term.
This was Mike’s first time writing a children’s book. He shared, “I’ve never done that before. I had enough readers of Profit First say, ‘My gosh, I wish my kid had this. I wish my child was experiencing this or a child in my life.’ And it’s always been a little intriguing for me to do it.”
We all want to leave the world better than we found it, and one way for us as individuals is by teaching our kids about money. Mike hopes that this book serves them so their generation doesn’t face any financial insecurity, and that they grow up into successful adults who will fulfill their dreams, all while being able to serve others around themselves as well.
Listen to the full episode on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Transcript from Podcast
[00:00:00] Mike Michalowicz: There’s so many great books that will never go noticed because they’re not marketed. There’s great songs. We never heard cause not marketed. There’s great businesses that will never be discovered because it’s not marketed. So this book is the essence of how a small business without any budget necessary can market.
And out-market the alternative. The inferior alternatives.
[00:00:20] Natasha Miller: Welcome to fascinating entrepreneurs. How do people end up becoming an entrepreneur? How do they scale and grow their businesses? How do they plan for profit? Are they in it for life? Are they building to exit? these and a myriad of other topics will be discussed to pull back the veil on the wizardry of successful and FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.
Hey, can you do me a favor while you’re listening to this podcast? Can you open a web browser and type in OfficialNatashaMiller.com. This is my brand new website that I built for you, entrepreneurs that want to scale and grow their businesses.
It’s packed full of information articles, blog posts, podcasts, and also you can download the free profit finder guide that helps you find more profit in your current business. You can get on the wait list for my digital course and be the first to know when my book Relentless is up for pre-sale. Mike Mike Michalowicz is the blockbuster bestselling author of books like Profit First, The Pumpkin Plan in his latest book Get Different.
We talk about how he comes up with the ideas for his books, his biggest challenge, and how much sleep he gets now let’s get right into it.
[00:01:43] Mike Michalowicz: So I did the Oprah vision board. I don’t think she’s the creator of the vision board, but somehow I think it has slipped through magazines. There was Oprah saying, like create a board of all these things that you intend for your life.
I’m like, oh, that’s really smart. Make it pictorial. And what I’ve been doing prior to that is I built some businesses. I’ve been very fortunate to sell them and got full of myself as a bit, a lot, a bit cocky and find new everything about entrepreneurship. I started another business and I was a calamity.
It was just a pure disaster. And I lost almost everything in my life, except for my family. I lost my house, everything. And I remember just one form of therapy. It’s the cheapest form of therapy, by the way, he’s like a journal or diary, pick down, write down your emotions and feelings and start writing down all these things.
I didn’t understand about entrepreneurship and start studying. Well, what is the solution to these things I don’t understand? He’s like, gosh, this is a book. And then, so then Oprah is like, oh, what’s your vision board? I’m like, I will make this into a book. And sure enough, I made into a book and then it’s, then it became a career.
I fell in love with curating ideas, assembling them and then honestly, serving me ideas in some businesses, my businesses and serving others.
[00:02:58] Natasha Miller: I wondered if that was the trajectory of what happened. One of the first questions I typically ask entrepreneurs on the show is what was your first business? And everyone loves to start with the candy selling and school and eliminate the mowing, the lawns.
What was the very first professional you’re an adult business that you started?
[00:03:18] Mike Michalowicz: Computer guy. I thought I was and get one job out of college after I graduated. Now, can I career for life? Cause that’s what father experienced. And that’s what I was kind of programmed. That’s probably that’s my choice words, but that’s what I was expecting.
I couldn’t get the job. I remember going for the second interview for the dream job and getting walked out saying you’re really not Ernst and young material is with Ernst and young. And I came home and got a job at a local small computer store slash integrator. They said, And when I went out for drinks with one of the guys that worked there and I said, I’m better than this.
And I should be the person in the back room, counting money. That’s what I thought the boss did, which the boss didn’t do that because I started my own business. I realized, oh my gosh, in the backroom is pure panic for many customers. How many pay bills? It is worse back there than on the floor, but that’s how I started.
And I started a small computer business, Sam Computers for people for small businesses. And that ended up being a shorter experience because I started when I was 24, it was a very fear-driven experience at the beginning. I got married, also had my first son already and I was like, I got to feed three miles.
I don’t know what I’m doing, but man, I’m not gonna stop doing whatever. And so I worked relentlessly fear, ultimately became confidence. Like he’s like, oh, I can see a pattern here. Then I became a lover of entrepreneurship. I fell in love with it over the years and just thirsty to do it ever since.
[00:04:43] Natasha Miller: It can be an addiction.
I think I may be addicted to the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
[00:04:49] Mike Michalowicz: Yeah and the addiction part is problem too. So I went through the addiction. I never expect for it. I went through a period where it was like, oh, it was all about, do more, do more work more. I was boastful at times, like we were talking about, I was on the phone with this one guy and he said, oh man, I worked so hard last night.
I was up till three o’clock in the morning. And I went. I was up to four. I thought that was the wind. And I’m like, I have such a tool. I am such a freaking tool. I just don’t get it. And I don’t know if I fully get it yet. I think I’m closer. I don’t think addiction of any sort is healthy . But I think there is a propensity or thirst to do something in that channel and balanced, right.
It can be very productive.
[00:05:29] Natasha Miller: I’m addicted to the ideation and the creation and the,
[00:05:33] Mike Michalowicz: To so much fun.
[00:05:33] Natasha Miller: To have an idea and then have it come to life. I’m not addicted. And let’s talk about sleep. Because you just mentioned this on some Clubhouses that I was listening to. I was hearing entrepreneurs saying, yeah, I only need four hours of sleep.
Well, I only need one and I got down there and I’m like, people that is not sustainable. That is not healthy. That actually isn’t cool. Like I have a profitable, somewhat duty you might dollar business. Eight hours, at least sleep and always have
[00:06:06] Mike Michalowicz: You are my peeps. I gotta pull up my, my sleep
[00:06:10] Natasha Miller: Stop it with the boasting of not needing sleep.
It’s not true. Anyway,
[00:06:14] Mike Michalowicz: Like a 100% last night last night,
[00:06:18] Natasha Miller: I don’t even need a tracker.
[00:06:21] Mike Michalowicz: I believe in sleep so much. Now that it’s, perhaps the last year has been. As a side project, my biggest curiosity. So I’ve been researching and me researching is a bit strong phrase awards. I’ve been listening to podcasts. I’ve been reading books on the subject.
There’s a masterclass program. I’ve studied that and testing. So that’s why compiles research and my sleep has improved. It’s a couple of key factors. One is alcohol, even a glass of wine. F’s on my sleep. So. No booze during the week. It’s just not worth it on the weekend. On a Friday or Saturday, I’ll have a drink or two.
And I also realize it’s going to compromise my sleep, but by not drink during the week, it’s been a game changer. The second thing is room temperature is a big deal and cooling. I have this thing called Ooler. It cools from below your bed. Oh. It’s awesome in the sleep quality is amazing
[00:07:12] Natasha Miller: I can sleep with my window open. Does that count?
[00:07:15] Mike Michalowicz: Well in San Francisco? No, but New Jersey? Yeah.
[00:07:19] Natasha Miller: In the winter.
[00:07:19] Mike Michalowicz: In the winter, in the winter, New Jersey.
Yeah. So every morning my wife and I wake up and I’m like, what was your rating? It’s almost like a friendly competition. Oh my goodness. Wow. She’s crushing me. She’s crushes me. She’s like four hours of deep sleep. I’m like, that’s not even Hugh. I think you died last night.
[00:07:39] Natasha Miller: It’s the best, okay. I wasn’t gonna bring this up, but I’m going to do it now about 2015, 2014 in my business, we had a lot of revenue, a couple million dollars in revenue.
I paid myself a salary, very little salary and my source of compensation. And what filled me up was doing the work, having the business, hiring other people to work for me, employing artists and musicians to perform at big events like that filled my cup. And I didn’t care, didn’t notice, didn’t look at my P and L didn’t know, we weren’t having any profit to me.
We were profitable. And when I realized that we weren’t, I scrambled and somehow got led to Profit First, I’m the kind of person that when I’m presented with an option, for solving. I read it from cover to cover. I take notes. Not only I do that, I summarize them. I kind of chunk them down and then I just take action immediately.
[00:08:42] Mike Michalowicz: Oh my gosh. You’re the exception to the rule. I love that. I love it.
[00:08:45] Natasha Miller: I’m a little bit of a weirdo, but it was only then after reading your book and then never in my life up until then. And again, I was a couple of million dollars in, on revenue. Did I consider? I didn’t, I, I can’t believe I’m saying this out loud, but whatever I’ve grown, but ever since putting into practice what I learned in Profit First, and I loved the Pumpkin Plan, which I read after I have been profitable.
So thank you, Mike.
[00:09:13] Mike Michalowicz: Welcome, there’s a label for that, by the way, doing millions and not being profitable. It’s called being human. That is like, that’s the normal trajectory. There’s this belief, I had it until I implemented profit first for myself. I consider myself a ground zero. I did it for myself now 15 years ago, 14 years ago, but there’s this belief that I had the perhaps you had and money entrepreneurs.
That one day a switch will flip. Like if I just keep growing this I’ll be profitable. I’m this close. I’m one big client way, one opportunity way. And everything’s going to fix itself. And it never happens. In fact, the reverse happens. We start trying to sell our way through this. So we put more burden on our company.
Sales is burden because sales is obligation. Every time you sell something you’re obligated to deliver on it. The more we sell, the more obligated the small business owner has more weight than on our shoulder. So you see these businesses growing, but very unhealthy. Because the owner has to work harder and longer and more put more of themselves out there.
So it’s exhausting and there’s no profitability. So now there’s more expense. So a bad month can be really devastating. We didn’t land in clients. It’s like, holy cow, I refinanced my house to cover the payroll.
[00:10:22] Natasha Miller: Right.
[00:10:23] Mike Michalowicz: So more sales is more burden. Sales is a good thing when it’s in equilibrium or balance with profitability.
So if profit is baked into every transaction, now sales can fuel a very healthy, sustainable organization. And the nice thing is I really feel proud first is not just a long-term fix. It’s an immediate impact when you implement it within a day, you’re like, oh, you feel it. And within-
[00:10:45] Natasha Miller: My accountant looked at me and she was like, you want me to open all these accounts?
I’m like, Right. Yes. Taxes one for profit. Yeah. I mean, why not? Why not do it if we haven’t been successful?
[00:10:57] Mike Michalowicz: Some traditional accounts are kind of the bane of private first. Not because they’re bad people, they just don’t get it. They’ve been trained historically
[00:11:05] Natasha Miller: They do what they’re supposed to do.
[00:11:06] Mike Michalowicz: Yeah. They listened. They went to college for this. They’ve been trained on this. We’re told profit comes last. It’s the bottom line. It’s the year end. All these terms that say don’t worry about it until later, which while that makes logical sense in a formula, it is horrible. Behavioral sense is human nature. When thing comes last, it’s not important.
So for most entrepreneurs, it’s something that’s going to happen later later. And it never happens. What we do is we flip the formula and by taking our Profit First, it’s baked into every transaction. I send these multiple accounts. You see what the money’s intended use is before you spend it, it’s a major behavioral shift, but for traditional.
Yeah, the sparks of the worlds you will, right? That’s not logical. It’s not logical. It’s behavioral. It happens to fulfill the logic of how to get the profit, but you have to flip your script. Yeah. Addresses human behavior.
[00:11:52] Natasha Miller: So you might see this I’ve been on the Inc 5,000, three times in a row in a year.
Not one person ever has ever said, wow, congratulations. But are you profitable? Oh, I would love to know of the 5,000 that are on this list.
[00:12:09] Mike Michalowicz: Two. I’ll give two of the profit. Here’s the thing, it’s a wonderful recognition for business growth, but –
[00:12:18] Natasha Miller: It’s a great tool for marketing and –
[00:12:21] Mike Michalowicz: It’s a great marketing tool for the company’s backing end. It is rewarding and also its growth. There’s growth that can become deadly. And sadly showing that my revenue five years ago, compared today has increased by a magnitude. Sounds wonderful until you realize this is a disease that the businesses become so unhealthy it’s the sales itself is eating the health of the organization.
I wish they had a new Inc 5,000 instead said the profitable Inc. 5,000. I have suggested it to them. Listen, I understand their motive. And I think that it’s a great organization and a great. But they’re looking for companies to look in the market to companies so they can represent them and serve them and so forth.
It’s a great way of filtering and getting these applications of not 5,000, but 50,000 for companies that you can now solicit, genius. But if they did the profitable in 5,000, first of all, they’d be soliciting clients that they can’t serve because these clients already got to figure it out. Yeah. Secondly, there’s gummies will be radically different.
You won’t see companies with hyper sales growth. You’ll see them with consistent, healthy organizational growth. You may not see these numbers on the sales line quadrupling or a hundred times bigger, but you will see the bottom line growing and growing. And you’ll see comfort from the owner is living the lifestyle they define for themselves,
[00:13:32] Natasha Miller: And they might be getting great sleep.
[00:13:34] Mike Michalowicz: And you probably don’t need to open the window in San Francisco.
[00:13:38] Natasha Miller: Okay. When did you decide, or how did this happen? That you had a profit first accounting method, and now there are approved?
[00:13:46] Mike Michalowicz: Oh, like certified folks?
[00:13:48] Natasha Miller: How the heck did that happen? Was that just a brilliant entrepreneurial mind thing that happened? Or did someone say, “Hey Mike, this is a good idea.”
[00:13:57] Mike Michalowicz: I think option two for a thousand dollars, please. It was someone going, “Dude, do you realize what you’re sitting on?” Looking back at it, it looks like a strike of genius. Like, oh my God, this guy could foresee this demand, but no, here’s what happened. I struggled with profitability. I lived a such a stressful life of how am I going to pay the bills month to month and to the point of depression, I mean, serious depression. And I was like, okay, I got to fix this permanently because sales and financial stress results to personal stress, there is an exact equation or equilibrium. So I said, I got fixed my financial stress and that will alleviate at least a lot of stress that I’m experiencing.
What’s the system. Then I looked at all the historical systems that existed and curated the best elements. So mom’s envelope system where you divide money up to pay yourself. First principle that was taught in the richest man in Babylon thinking grow rich of how to allocate and manage funds. So you know where it’s going before you spend it.
I think all these different elements and it package it instead of. This is all great. And it applies to personal finance. Now let me do one more twist the Rubik’s cube and apply it to business. That’s when I was like, “holy shamanoli”. That’s the exact words. I use exact words “Holy shamanoli” I got something here and I started to do it for my business.
And then. I started profitable and listen, my business was struggling at the time on the sales side and I was still profitable. I was like, wow. Then I started to write it. I wrote for the wall street journal. The time I wrote an article, I wrote other articles that I thought were impactful and of service.
And I’d hear a little dribble- drabble I write an article on Profit First. And my inbox starts blowing up. That was my TEDx speech equivalent. Like what the heck’s going on here. People are like, dude, this works my gosh, I’m deploying. And, uh, that’s when I said I read a book, I wrote a book. I distributed the manuscript out to people before publishing it to get feedback.
And the first feedback was, I love this and “Who’s the accountant?”, “Who supports it?” And I was like, what? The second one. I love this. “Who’s the bookkeeper supports us?” And then the third one I’m like “holy shamanoli” part do I got some in here? So I started an organization, right? When the book released called Prosperous Professionals.
Today we have over 600 certified members globally that implement profit first with businesses, there is over 600,000 readers of Profit First or implementations. I should say there’s over a million distributed copies for 600,000 businesses that we estimate that implemented profit first, most do it on their own.
The book allows you to do it on your own, but certain portions say, I want to make sure I’m doing it right. And I want that trainer at the gym equivalent. I want someone to walk me through the exercises and they hire Profit First professionals.
[00:16:33] Natasha Miller: And this is one of your current businesses?
[00:16:36] Mike Michalowicz: Yes. I have six companies that I’m a shareholder in.
I own, I’m a shareholder in Profit First professionals. And then I have other businesses too.
[00:16:46] Natasha Miller: Okay, well,
congratulations and really cool. And that’s a, that’s a great lesson to entrepreneurs is you can come up with a lot of great, amazing things, but also you can take what people are telling you, what your team is telling you, what your clients are telling you.
And turn that into a new line of business, a new division, a new something, or
Oh men, my observation
[00:17:09] Mike Michalowicz: is I don’t consider myself. As a good visionary for the future. I’m not a futurist. I don’t consider myself particularly smart, but I do observe trends and I listened to people and I look for, I call them common threads by hear the same pattern over and over again, a certain point it clicks and then our rewind is, oh my gosh, this is a pattern.
How do I apply my business or whatever I’m looking to achieve. It’s that pattern chances are going to catch that momentum. And that seems to consistently worked for
[00:17:38] Natasha Miller: Okay. I thought you had two multi-million dollar businesses. You’re just telling me you have a few as shareholder. Talk about your current businesses and what role you have in them.
[00:17:48] Mike Michalowicz: Sure. So profit first professionals, I’m a shareholder and I used to call myself an entrepreneur or business owner. I just think that’s equated to hustle and grind. I actually have those words. There’s this belief that entrepreneurship is about sacrifice everything in your life for this business does not
the goal of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is having a vision for a business and organize resources, choreograph, the elements, people, technologies that work to make that vision a reality. Do you take a risk by trying to do this, but it doesn’t mean you should be doing the work. In fact, I believe our biggest job is to be providers of jobs, not to do the job.
So, I determined shareholder cause shareholder implies that I give strategic influence and decision in the business. And I read three awards for having the vision and taking the risks. So I’ve probably first professionals. I’m a shareholder. I have another business, it has a shell name. It’s called Obsidian, but it’s my author platform.
There’s eight employees. We have a president for our company. There’s a managing director for proffers professionals. And then I’ve four more companies that have what we call it, licensees, licensees, or someone that has taken the intellectual property that I’ve developed. They’ve deployed it in their business and we have a Phantom position, therefore mitigating any downside, but we receive a percentage of
revenue, actually not even profitability a revenue top line because that’s easy. And so we have Get Different. That’s my newest book you have Justin Wise is leading that company and it’s off to an amazing start. A Clockwork is our most successful company of all of them. It just is the owner of the business.
Adrian is just the master in applying the Clockwork concept to our own business and scaled. So I was licensed there and then we have one for the Pumpkin Plan. We have another one for a new book. I haven’t even written yet. That’s, it’s going to be released in about two years, but where already started the company about corporate culture and so forth, small business culture.
So that’s my business.
[00:19:40] Natasha Miller: Giving me all these great ideas for what I already have in the back of my mind plan for the book that I’m releasing in March. And I love it. And then one of my questions for you that I was really curious about is in business. Are you an author first? Are you a speaker first? What is it that you kind of today have your eye on?
[00:20:01] Mike Michalowicz: Author and only, its been that way ever since I wrote my first book, I woke up one morning and said, oh my gosh, I’m an author. And to me with that is a curator of ideas. I don’t consider myself a creator or inventor. I consider myself that I synthesize all this external information and can package it in a way that really simplifies it. I believe actually that’s my mission is to simplify the entreprenurial journey.
[00:20:21] Natasha Miller: Thank you for that.
[00:20:22] Mike Michalowicz: Yeah, you’re welcome. And then put it out there. So synthesize, simplify, and then produce. I happen to also speak because I’m an author. I happen to also be an entrepreneur, which I love, but I’m an author and it is interesting. I call it the Uber. When I’m in an Uber is fantastic to see the response from when I used to take a ride and something like, what are you doing?
Oh, I’m a business owner. I got, let’s go, let’s go. You know, oh, I’m a speaker. Then when you say you’re an author is like, they double pump the brakes. You must hate your –
[00:20:50] Natasha Miller: Everyone liens in, right?
[00:20:51] Mike Michalowicz: They’re like, yeah. They’re like, you’re in author. Like who are you?
[00:20:54] Natasha Miller: You’re magical and mystical.
[00:20:56] Mike Michalowicz: Yeah. Because anyone can write a book and a lot of people choose.
I think few commit their lives, that vocation, every morning I wake up, I am writing every morning, wake up. I am trying to distribute or be a spokesperson for the books because I believe dollar for dollar. Like your book. dollar for dollar. There’s no greater value. I could interview you for five hours, but I won’t be able to disseminate all that knowledge that you’ve extracted from your own brain on your own accord and packaged into a book for 25 bucks I think there’s nothing greater in my opinion than authorship and the ability to educate, to entertain, to engage. And that’s why I’m very proud to be author.
[00:21:35] Natasha Miller: I hear the passion and I feel like I don’t have to ask the question, but I’m going to, because there could be authors and people out there that do that daily work.
But it’s not filling them up. It’s not the burning fire in the belly. Do you love it? Do you have a passion for it? Are you, is it the ideas or is it the language coming? For you what it fills you up?
[00:21:58] Mike Michalowicz: Yeah. So what feels good about being an author and everyday I’m writing like this morning, 6:00 to 7:00 AM. I have it as part of my routine is right time.
And that’s why I call off season writing on season when I have a book deadline. And then it’s like four hours a day. And in between that is research and promotion. So like what we’re doing now, I consider promotion for me, selfishly, hopefully always a service, great service. And then the other part is research, like testing and playing with ideas.
And some of the research actually get paid for it. As you do what you serve a company, doing something, they pay you to give them the knowledge, but you’re also observing their feedbacks. But for me, what I enjoy the most there’s certain moments is when I find an idea out there in the wild and see that common thread, that’s a trend, I’d have to look for a pattern and then able to translate that into text.
I actually just came upon when the last couple of months, and now we’ve been testing. I was like, oh, this is a big deal. And I put it in a future book, I inserted that. The other thing is when I’m going through the editing process and the majority of writing is actually not writing is rewriting. There’s a book called on writing.
Well, and it says the essence of writing is rewriting and that’s the God’s truth. We first we do verbal vomit and then we got to kind of call it down to what the goal is. And sometimes when I get in the final editing phase and I’m reading through my own book, there’s moments that I laugh out loud. Cause I’m like, “oh, that’s funny”.
And that feels really good that even though I read my own words, like for the hundredth time that it still kind of triggers, entertainment for me. And I hope it does the same for others. I believe my mission is not just to educate, but to keep people engaged through entertainment and that, that blend of storytelling and humor.
My sense of humor at least and education when done, right. I’m really proud of the impact. It has.
[00:23:39] Natasha Miller: Great. Thank you for explaining that. One other explanation I need from you is when you’re writing. What tools are using keyboard, Mac, writing with a pencil iPad. What is your –
[00:23:51] Mike Michalowicz: so, um,
[00:23:53] Natasha Miller: so where’s the flow coming from?
[00:23:54] Mike Michalowicz: I like Google docs actually because of its portability.
I work on a PC at home. I’ve three offices. I have a home office where I write most time. I have an office, office where I broadcast story are now, I have another office, which is just kind of a, more of a managerial space. And I’ll do a lot of riding on an airplane. So I actually have a flight later this afternoon for four hours.
I will crank this afternoon because I want to talk to anyone, put my music on, which means at home, I want a PC and work, but I like the iPad. So I’m on Mac and the Google docs is portable. The problem is my publisher, which is like a mainstream publishing and –
[00:24:32] Natasha Miller: I know they all want it in
word, what is off?
[00:24:34] Mike Michalowicz: Grabbin and friggin word-
[00:24:35] Natasha Miller: We need to change with a times.
[00:24:38] Mike Michalowicz: Track changes for everything which is overwhelming.
[00:24:41] Natasha Miller: You can track changes on a Google doc.
[00:24:43] Mike Michalowicz: I know, but they track changes through the entire lineage of writing. So there’s like one sentence has been mauled over 10 times with the freaking thing. It’s like the word, the number red line and purple the purple. Like what the hell is going on here? And it’s not word as great as the tool is.
I think it’s a great tool. Once you try to port it from PC to Mac, it just goes to the crapper, the crapper .Tonight, I’m actually doing editing starting at 3:30 today. I’m going to editing for four hours on this. And I’m looking forward to it. Cause it’s fun. I don’t afford to detract change, nightmare.
[00:25:17] Natasha Miller: Yup, me either. Hate it. Okay. Let’s talk about the book, Get Different. What is it about, what do you love about it? What should I love about it?
[00:25:28] Mike Michalowicz: You should love that it’s the best book ever
[00:25:30] Natasha Miller: Better than Profit first.
[00:25:31] Mike Michalowicz: Better than Profit first, to me it’s like a band, you know, some bands think their best song is XYZ, but there’s also a hit. And damn it, you better show up and play it hit for me so far.
The big hit my hotel California is probably first. I’m still trying to write, you know, take it easy or something and maybe Get Different as to Take It Easy. Here’s what I think is important about it is I did a survey of audiences. I continue to do this, but I started about seven years ago asking people. Are you better than the competition?
And inevitably everyone raises their hand. Affirmatively, of course, I’m bearing the competition and I agree. It’s true because small business the business owners installed in the business themselves were integrated in some capacity, which means we’re providing the service or doing the sales. And if we’re engaged like that, chances are it’s better service, more responsive in some facet or better than the big boxes for sure.
And the Jiffy jobs of the world and the franchises are better in some capacity. I would argue when the owners actually involved. And these businesses, even if they competed, they’re probably better in different ways. And so my argument was, or my realization was if you’re better than the competition, we have a responsibility to get noticed.
In fact, if you don’t get noticed, that’s a disservice because the client’s gonna hire someone else that’s inferior to you. That’s their problem. That’s our faults marketing is the ultimate act of kindness. And with that belief, that thesis, I was like, well then how do we market effectively? And so what I established was there’s three elements.
We have to differentiate our message. Meaning it cannot be the white noise that’s out there. You won’t say it has to be noticeable, but noticeable just gets attention for milliseconds. Then it must be attractive. Meaning it must speak to the interest of the target. It must compel them. It must engage them or entertain them, but there’s gotta be a reason.
They feel a desire to stay and then it must direct them to do something with this. So don’t just say, Hey, this is amazing. And then walk away, get them, say, this is amazing. And then here’s what you can do as the next. That’s the essence of it. It’s called the Dad Framework – Differentiate, Attract, and Direct.
And I think for all businesses, but particularly authors, I work at these authors every morning. I do a sprint from 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM. There’s 10 or 15 authors on there, and I’ve read some of their books and they are freaking amazing. I mean, these people have devoted time to perfecting the sentence. It’s not books pros.
I mean, it’s just unbelievably good. And then they don’t get noticed. Because they don’t market and they don’t use this process.
[00:27:56] Natasha Miller: You know its that the different brain frame, right. That creative artist, a sales and marketer,
[00:28:02] Mike Michalowicz: There’s so many great books that will never go notice because they’re not marketed. There’s great songs. Well, there’ll be heard because marketed there’s great businesses that will never be discovered because it’s not marketed. So this book is the essence of how a small business without any budget necessary can market and out-market the alternative.
[00:28:21] Natasha Miller: That gave me some goosebumps. Thank you. So what is your biggest challenge now?
I’d say in business, but really your business is writing and then the marketing of that writing. So what is a big challenge today for you?
[00:28:37] Mike Michalowicz: The challenges that’s happening imminently is I written my first children’s book competition behind me right there. I’ve never done that before. I had enough readers of Profit First say, my gosh, I wish my kid had this.
I wish my child was experiencing this or a child in my life. You know, my grand child river. It’s always been a little intrigued for me to do it. And so last year I devoted to writing children’s booklets. It’s a whole different experience. Illustrations are very important. The way you write is very important, has to be digestible and relatable.
We tested it with teachers and we’re releasing it literally in three or four days. So entering a new genre.
[00:29:14] Natasha Miller: Oh scary.
[00:29:16] Mike Michalowicz: Yeah,
[00:29:16] Natasha Miller: Exciting and terrifying.
[00:29:18] Mike Michalowicz: Yeah. And every book I write at the very end, it’s always the same thing leading up to it. I’m like I put everything I got into. This is the best of me. And then a day later, I’m like, this is shit.
It’s the best of me. And it’s pure shit. I wrote garbage and I feel every book I’m like, if a single person reads this, it’s actually a disservice. And I feel that way about get different when I released it. And I feel that way right now about my money bunnies. I am a piece of garbage. Why do I even exist?
And then I get through that phase and then I find her just release it and say, it is the best of me. As at that moment, the world can make a decision how they feel and we’ll see.
And the marketing of that is completely different. You’re stepping off a cliff into unknown territory, which with all the rest of your books with the success you’ve had, you’ve got a little bit of ego bubble happening and it’s about ready to get tested.
Right. I remember when I released my third book was called Surge. The ego is there. I had really toilet paper entrepreneurs. My first book, I sold a hundred thousand copies. I’ll just hustle and grind. My second book was the Pumpkin Plan and it was this little engine that could cut the marketing and going and going.
I got a publishing deal from it and all that stuff. And then I’m like, I have arrived. I am the author of others. I at least surge to deadly silence because my big fat ego got in the way I thought I was all that. I’m picking some of my favorite authors, Malcolm Gladwell, ain’t all that JK Rowling. Ain’t all that.
It’s the next book that determines who you are. There’s no question. There’s a baked in community that loves those authors and will buy regardless. But my gosh, your next song better be a hit. Like once you release Hotel California, you better even bring in, Take It On. I Take It Easy on next, because if you put a bummer out there, you can lose a community quickly.
The children’s space is new to me. I have a baked in community that may buy the book because they’ve read my work and give it to a child, but it definitely is a whole new space. And hopefully Hotel California for kids is coming out. We’ll see.
[00:31:14] Natasha Miller: Great, and the last thing is within all this writing, you have something going for your next book.
Do you have something going for the book after that? On the book, after that I’m wanting to see what the pattern for growth in your mind is?
[00:31:27] Mike Michalowicz: Oh yeah. So I do so the My Money Bunnies are coming out in four days, I have my next book that I’m editing on this next flight. That’s coming out in summer 2022. I have my next next book, which is about employee culture, company culture, which is scheduled for 2023.
I don’t have even a publishing deal for it yet. It’s going to happen regardless of my publisher. I strongly suspect my publisher will go for it. If they choose not to, I already have another way I’m going to publish it. So that’s not a concern. And then 2020 or an hour, I don’t know the books I’ll be writing at those times, but I’m accumulating about 23 other book concepts right now where some of our very far along in research, and I’m going to cherry pick say, this is the right one for me in the writing process and the right one for my community.
When I get that match. I have these to pick out of, I have a hint, a gas where I think it is, but we’ll make that determination in 2022, what the 2024, 2025 book list.
[00:32:22] Natasha Miller: Mike, give us a very spirited account of his life as an author, and also gave us a spoiler alert for his new children’s book and what he’s planning all the way through the year to 2025.
For more information on Mike, go to the show notes where you’re listening to this podcast.
Want to know more about me, go to my website, OfficialNatashaMiller.com. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you loved the show. If you did, please subscribe also, if you haven’t done so yet, please leave a review where you’re listening to this podcast now, I’m Natasha Miller and you’ve been listening to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.