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Summary

The author of cult classics The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur offers a simple, counterintuitive cash management solution that will help small businesses break out of the doom spiral and achieve instant profitability.

Conventional accounting uses the logical (albeit, flawed) formula: sales - expenses = profit. The problem is, businesses are run by humans, and humans aren't always logical. Serial entrepreneur Mike Michalowicz has developed a behavioral approach to accounting to flip the formula: Sales - Profit = Expenses. Just as the most effective weight loss strategy is to limit portions by using smaller plates, Michalowicz shows that by taking profit first and apportioning only what remains for expenses, entrepreneurs will transform their businesses from cash-eating monsters to profitable cash cows. Using Michalowicz's Profit First system, listeners will learn that:

  • Following four simple principles can simplify accounting and make it easier to manage a profitable business by looking at bank account balances.
  • A small, profitable business can be worth much more than a large business surviving on its top line.
  • Businesses that attain early and sustained profitability have a better shot at achieving long-term growth.

With dozens of case studies, practical step-by-step advice, and his signature sense of humor, Michalowicz has the game-changing road map for any entrepreneur to make money they always dreamed of.

©2014, 2017 Mike Michalowitz (P)2017 Gildan Media LLC

What members say

Average customer ratings

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1 hour book stretched to 8 hours

was very excited for this and was still excited after making it through the initial few hours of padding until he finally tells us what the profit first system is.
Even before you start the book you know what concept is and the author acknowledges its well known. lt's no surprise, but it is a surprise how, knowing this, the author doesn't justify this book with content that is actually ground breaking.
Very little time and no serious answers are given for how to reduce your bills, or how to grow/re-invest and profit simultaneously, which is what the book should have been about. instead we got endless anecdotes of people who increased profit 1000% using the system, why you as an entrepreneur deserve to take profit, or another vaguely relevant story of people making do with reduced means which proves the system works.
Profit First should have taken its own medicine and prioritized what's important, but instead padded out a 1 hour book with 7 hours of useless hot air. what a shame and waste of valuable time.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • JK
  • 10-03-18

Cash is King

I have a busy pharmacy and have been struggling to get a grip of the financials. I know that cash flow is the most important thing. This book teaches you cash accounting to a new level. A level that is easy to understand and to put into practise. You dont have to have any accounting expertise to do this.
I will now go and put it into practise.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Very powerful and pragmatic book.

Perhaps you are considering buying this book because, like me, you are looking for a system or guide on how to manage your business cash and/or profits.

I have read a few books now on money management and cashflow but was always a little disappointed as there was never any real concrete systems to use or implement. This book has changed that!

This book is aimed at small and large businesses alike, either in the US or outside (I'm UK based). Mike Motorbike (read the book to find out why) has a casual and funny manner (even for a yank) which helps get the message across. However, don't be put off by the seeming informality as the book has a very underlying seriousness because, as Mike states - he is looking to 'eradicate entrepreneurial poverty' - a bold and very noble goal!

Since listening to this book I have followed the process and systems almost instantly and have change my entire mindset around profit, expense and taxes.

Just to end. In the book, Mike asks you to email your commitment to him. I did do this (I wouldn't normally do something like this) and he responded with a very kind and informative email which has raised his credibility in my eyes. I have since started reading his other book, 'Run Your Business like Clockwork' which is proving to be equally impressive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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amazing book. really

I don't usually review books but this one trullt deserve it. a must read for any entrepreneur

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Finally an accounting concept 'I get!

Great delivery, simple concept, genius.
Love the common-sense approach of using behaviour to drive profit.
True measurement of performance -good or otherwise.

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Life changing stuff!

I’m an audible addict, I’ve said it now and the first stage is admitting you are, however this is by the far the most effective book I’ve come across. Ps Mike even replies to your emails!!! #1

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Brilliant Buy this Book!

I found this book really helpful in sorting out my business finances and have recommended to loads of friends. Brilliant!

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So much waffle.

Takes long to get to the point. lots of personal stories that seem to just be for padding. ironically talks about tailoring it for people with short attention span then goes off on a tangent.

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An entrepreneurs crash course in cash management

I loved this book from start to finish. The logical flow delivered with good humour; easy to understand, practical steps I could impliment right away; and clear explanations that answered all my questions as I got to the end.
Now I've got my accounts set up, a spreadsheet to keep me right and an attitude adjustment to go along with my new money management practices...I can't wait to see how practicing the Profit First strategy takes shape in real life.

I highy recommend this book if you're serious about affecting change in your money management.

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Bloated book that should have been a blog

So disappointed with this book. I have no idea why it has so many positive reviews, the book revolves around a basic concept that has been bloated into a book. A search for podcasts or YouTube on the book should give you all you need in a much shorter time span.

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  • Digital Auto Gauges
  • 29-05-17

Changed the way I do business accounting

What did you love best about Profit First?

When I first listened to profit first, I really felt as though the author was talking about me. I have struggled over the past ten years as a small business owner and Profit First talked about all the issues that I was having and better yet, Profit First shows you how to remedy issues that plague all small business owners.

Who was your favorite character and why?

N/A

What does Mike Michalowicz bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Mike is a very good narrator. He keeps you entertained and you can tell he is passionate about eradicating entrepreneurial poverty

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No one moment. The entire book has changed the way I do my business accounting. I must say, the book is real, the message is real and if you own your own business you really need to read this one!

Any additional comments?

I never do reviews on anything, ever. I had to let other small business owners know about this one. I have never been the accountant type. I am good at what I do and my business shows it. We are up every year for 10 years but I never seem to take any more money home. That has all changed since I listened to Profit First (I also bought the paperback too). I have followed the processes in the book which are very simple and easy to follow and now I take my money first. No matter how much money the business has to pay for expenses we make it work. The book makes so much sense that you may get mad at yourself that you didn't think of this yourself. Do yourself a favor and listen to this one!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-05-17

Profit First

This book provides some good fundamental strategies to help small businesses manage money by transferring it to small accounts.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-05-17

Gotta listen to change your life

For 20 years I struggled from paycheck to paycheck. July 1st I will get my first profit check. Do what Mike says and you will win.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark Johnson
  • 24-04-17

Truthful and helpful

This book is very important. We need more entrepreneurs to read this and learn these business principles.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Cat Teacher
  • 04-03-17

Best business book I've ever read

I have been using the Profit First system for almost a year. Things aren't perfect by any means, but I am seeing that my business is getting healthier, little by little. I sometimes listen to this book just to get a lift from Mike's infectious enthusiasm. And I love the Profit First accountant Mike hooked me up with. Thanks, Mike, for figuring this all out. I am grateful.

By the way, I use Smarty Pig for all the separate accounts. It works well for me--but I do know it's more accessible and therefore more dangerous! I am so tired of being broke, however, that it's really not tempting to steal my own money.

Perfer et obdura, dolar hic tibi proderit olim.
Persist and endure; one day, this pain will be useful to you. --Ovid

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Joe
  • 19-05-17

GAME CHANGER

If you could sum up Profit First in three words, what would they be?

GAME CHANGER

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mike

What does Mike Michalowicz bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Mike reads the book in a very conversational way. Super fun to listen too.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

This book with change your business and change your life!

Any additional comments?

Profit First is a GAME CHANGER! Very practical and it will turn your business around! I am a new business owner and this book may have saved my life!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Shaneh Woods
  • 21-02-17

Update Version put Profit First on STEROIDS!

What did you love best about Profit First?

It's a real system that I can use to transform my life and my business!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Profit First?

Mike had me in tears when he shared his piggy bank moment with his daughter

What about Mike Michalowicz’s performance did you like?

He's hysterically funny guy and he made a rather boring subject (money and the accounting of said pennies) entertaining.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-10-18

Hard to get through

I am only in the first hour of the book but I am very disappointed. The first hour has not contained any useful information. The only thing it contains are stories about him. I am not a fan of the writing, I like a book that is straightforward and gives you the information. He spends too much time adding irrelevant information.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Asia
  • 04-09-18

Takes forever to get to the point

Listened for 2 hours and 15 minutes before the author gave any applicable info. Stories drag on too long in my opinion. Made it hard to follow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Roselee
  • 11-06-17

Keeping it real!

The author gives an honest picture of an entrepreneur's life and challenges, and how to overcome them with this detailed system, including keeping people accountable. Delivered in an entertaining way to keep you engaged. Great concept.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful