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

4.7 out of 5 stars 300 customer reviews

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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 www.PumpkinPlan.com


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; 1st edition (July 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591844886
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591844884
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (300 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

By his 35th birthday MIKE MICHALOWICZ (pronounced mi-'kal-ō-wits) had founded and sold two multi-million dollar companies. Confident that he had the formula to success, he became an 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. Among other innovative strategies, Mike created the "Profit First" formula, a simple and extremely effective ways for businesses to ensure profitability from their very next deposit forward.

Mike is now running his third million dollar venture, Profit First Professionals (an organization that certifies accountants and bookkeepers in Profit First methods that drive profitability for their clients), is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal; is the former MSNBC business make-over expert; is a popular keynote speaker on innovative entrepreneurial topics; and is the author of Profit First, The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, which BusinessWeek deemed "the entrepreneur's cult classic."

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, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford University, and universities across the country. His books have been translated into over 10 languages.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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