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The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field Hardcover – July 5, 2012

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Frequently Bought Together

The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field + The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur: The tell-it-like-it-is guide to cleaning up in business, even if you are at the end of your roll. + Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover; 1st edition (July 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591844886
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591844884
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Every page, every chapter, as I read this book, I asked myself, ‘Michael E. Gerber, how come YOU didn’t think of that?’ Just remarkable! Just absolutely a remarkable book. A pumpkin! Who would have thought? Every one of you—entrepreneurs, business owners—read it! Do it now!”
—MICHAEL GERBER, author of The E-Myth and creator of The E-Myth Evolution™
“Another great read from Mike Michalowicz! Mike’s off-the-cuff sense of humor and business savvy ensure that The Pumpkin Plan is a book that entrepreneurs should read for years to come.”
—GUY KAWASAKI, author of Enchantment and The Art of the Start
“Hard-hitting advice aimed directly at the entrepreneur who is stuck being a wandering generality instead of a meaningful specific. Plenty of seeds worth planting.”
—SETH GODIN, author of We Are All Weird
“Michalowicz hits it out of the park, yet again. The Pumpkin Plan is chock-full of Mike’s wonderful humor and is an extraordinary step-by-step guide for entrepreneurs whose business growth has plateaued.”
—J. J. RAMBERG, host of MSNBC’s Your Business
“In his crazy-like-a-fox style, Mike Michalowicz reveals why channeling a pumpkin farmer brings you unparalleled success. Michalowicz is rapidly becoming one of the most innovative business authors of our time. The proof is in the pudding (or pumpkin, as it were).”
—RIEVA LESONSKY, CEO of GrowBiz Media, former editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine
“Mike makes turning your business from ordinary to extraordinary as easy as following a simple step-by-step recipe. This book reveals degrees of knowledge and wisdom I have rarely seen in writing before. If you read only one book this year, let it be The Pumpkin Plan.”
—BOB BURG, co-author of The Go-Giver and author of Endless Referrals
“He’s a very handsome young man.”

About the Author

Mike Michalowicz launched and sold two multimillion-dollar companies and currently operates his third, Obsidian Launch, a consulting firm that ignites explosive growth in companies that have plateaued. He is the author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and is a small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Visit

More About the Author

Mike Michalowicz (pronounced mi-KAL-o-wits) started his first business at the age of 24, moving his young family to the only safe place he could afford - a retirement building. With limited resources and no experience, he systematically bootstrapped a multi-million dollar technology business, sleeping in conference rooms to avoid hotel costs. After selling his first company, Mike launched a new business the very next day, and in less than three years, sold it to a Fortune 500. With his newest multi-million dollar venture, Provendus Group, he ignites explosive growth in businesses that have plateaued.

Mike is a graduate of Inc. & MIT's "Birthing of Giants" Entrepreneurial Program. He has received multiple entrepreneurship awards, including the SBA's Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Mike hosts the business makeover segments on MSNBC's Your Business with JJ Ramberg. He is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and now writes for Open Forum.

Mike is a frequent guest lecturer for business associations, entrepreneurial groups and professional business groups throughout the world. Mike is also a guest lecturer for collegiate entrepreneurial programs such as Babson, Boston College, Columbia, Copenhagen Business School, Emerson, Harvard, Penn State, Pepperdine and Princeton. His books are in the core curriculum for entrepreneur students at Pepperdine, Stanford University, and universities across the country, and have been translated into 7 languages.

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend anyone running or starting a business to read this book.
T. Blaskovich
Mike has a very easy writing style and combined with his great sense of humor, this book is an easy and enjoyable read.
Gerry Hartigan
In The Pumpkin Plan, Mike Michalowicz uses a simple but very powerful analogy to teach anyone how to grow any business.
John Chancellor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By "Doctor" Phil Bernstein on December 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The "pumpkin plan" of the title comes from author Mike Michalowicz's encounters with champion pumpkin farmers. The process, he writes, involves planting promising seeds, watering them, and then removing all diseased or damaged pumpkins. "When they grow larger, identify the stronger, faster growing pumpkins. Then, remove all the less promising pumpkins. Repeat until you have one pumpkin on each vine." The farmers then focus all of their attention on the big pumpkin.

It's an arresting image, and Michalowicz does a good job of relating it to a business context. His "pumpkin plan" for business involves getting rid of all of your "bad" clients and focusing the vast majority of your attention on the highest value customers and prospects.

Unfortunately, the book doesn't dig deep enough. The author has a breezy, entertaining style that probably goes over very well in a keynote address or short seminar. But Michalowicz spend so much time and effort trying to come off as a "regular guy" - there is a disconcerting amount of slang and profanity - that he forgets to give the reader enough detail on how the process works - or evidence that it really does. There are a few anecdotes, along with several chapters that end with hypotheticals: "Let's pretend you're in a rock band - playing sort of a throwback to old-school punk rock - with breakout potential," begins one of these scenarios. Instead of pretending, Michalowicz's case would've been better served with real-life examples of businesses who succeeded with this approach, along with some who failed by missing a step or two.

Overall, "The Pumpkin Plan" is a quick, entertaining read that will get a businessperson thinking. The author's premise definitely has merit - it's a shame that the premise is not backed up by a more rigorous book.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By KnotheadNed on July 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just read a new book that makes me realize that maybe I want to be a farmer after all! The Pumpkin Plan is another over-the-top book by best-selling author Michael Michalowicz set around the lessons from farmers that grow those gigantic, prize-winning pumpkins. After reading Michael's first book, his insightful Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, when he announced that he was writing a second book called The Pumpkin Plan I was on a mission to get my hands on a copy. I was fortunate enough to be able to obtain an advance copy of the book and devoured it in one sitting.
Once again, Michael has used his wit and business acumen to convey compelling business advice for any entrepreneur who desires to really take their business to the next level. This book is an interesting read for anyone, but it really strikes home for the serious entrepreneur that desires a plan to help focus their business on a few, easy to understand strategies aimed at taking their business to the next level.
Unlike many "business books" today, Michalowicz isn't using the book as a spring board to get you to purchase some great package where he will give you the "secrets" that you need to implement his strategies. This book is packed with the full details of a plan that you can begin to implement even before you finish reading the book. The details are there, along with helpful links to his website where there are additional materials that the reader will find instrumental in implementing his plan.
The entire book is based on the premise that many entrepreneurs end up after years of struggling in their business, almost broken physically and mentally, from the strain of wearing all the "hats" that entrepreneurs find themselves wearing.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By JaneR on July 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Pumpkin Plan is a well written and fun read. The content was extraordinary, reminiscent of Good to Great and Great by Choice (Jim Collins) without all of the empirical mumbo jumbo that can bog a reader down. The author has distilled entrepreneurial skills down to a simple to understand brew. My husband and I have started 5 businesses from scratch, not every one successful. "If only" we had The Pumpkin Plan BEFORE or during some of them, we'd be better off. C'est la vie!

You don't need a degree from Princeton to be an entrepreneur. Many others have gone before us and we have the opportunity to learn from them! Mike Michalowicz has definitely given a simple plan to help us out. Remember, just because it's simple doesn't necessarily mean it's easy. If it was easy, everybody would be able to do it. Learning from Mike can improve your advance toward success.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By TruePotential Coach on July 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are responsible in any way for growing a business, I strongly recommend you to read "The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow A Remarkable Business in Any Field," by Mike Michalowicz. I was lucky to be able to read an advance copy, and finished it very quickly. Not only is it full of results driven strategy, it's also irreverent and funny. When was the last time you laughed out loud while reading a business book?

But the real reason that I love this book so much is that it is genuine, from the heart, written with real passion. Mike Michalowicz never talks down to the reader. He never preaches. He tells us his own story, he reveals his own vulnerabilities and describes his own business ups and downs with pure candor. He holds nothing back (that we know of). Mike has a mission, to help entrepreneurs break out of the never ending "sell it, do it, sell it, do it" cycle that has them on a treadmill, unable to move their business forward. The same cycle that he himself experienced, before having his "aha moment," when he realized that pumpkin farmers, the kind that grow gigantic, record breaking pumpkins, hold the secret to entrepreneurial success.

If you're thinking that this sounds a little out there, just a bit strange or unbelievable, you will change your mind once you start reading. The analogy starts with your choice of seed. Only very special seeds can grow a giant pumpkin, and Mike wants you to figure out what your special seed is for your business. Once your seedlings start growing, you have to nurture and water the strong ones, but get rid of the weak ones. Why? Because the weak, struggling, smaller pumpkins will suck the life out of the strong, promising pumpkins!
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