Writer’s Wednesday: The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz
The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field by Mike Michalowicz (author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur) is an excellent book about achieving success as an entrepreneur in any field.
*Full disclosure, I was given a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.*
Now, this book is definitely aimed primarily at entrepreneurs, secondarily at everyone else in charge of running a business. However, there’s still a lot of great points that are valuable to the rest of us.
The main idea behind The Pumpkin Plan, is that we ought to focus on our top clients – i.e., our giant pumpkin. The way a farmer grows a huge, prize-winning giant pumpkin, is by carefully selecting a premium seed (i.e., the idea for a business), then weeding everything else away (including all the small, diseased pumpkin and even “ordinary” pumpkins) focusing only on the pumpkin with the most potential, continuing with watering and tending to the pumpkin until it has grown to huge proportions – then reaping the benefits.
There is something extremely irresistible, something magnetic about being the extreme. Be it the strongest, or the fastest, or the most unique. The farmer with the most extraordinary pumpkin in the field wins. Ever. Single. Time.
The same is true for entrepreneurs. Yet most entrepreneurs work their tails off, only to end up with small, ordinary, unremarkable pumpkins. Compared to the giant pumpkin, the companies these struggling entrepreneurs grow are insignificant, so insignificant that customers often don’t see them, or squash them, or leave them to rot in the field without a second thought.
Too often we run ourselves ragged, trying to please everyone instead of playing to our strengths. By focusing on our strong suits – and on doing great work for the customers most suited to us, it is much easier to distinguish yourself from the competition and make your work easier and of a higher quality.
More is not better, people. Better is better.
You need to shift your mindset away from the quantity game. You need to stop killing yourself for scraps. I want you to kick your fears in the teeth and start focusing on the clients who, when you love them (and others just like them), will make your wildest revenue dreams possible.
This is a lesson I believe is incredibly valuable to all of us, to leverage our strengths rather than trying to please everyone (which is impossible anyway.
Even more so, the following quote is incredibly thought-provoking and useful in all areas of life:
The key here is that your brain goes to work on any question you ask it. Good, bad or indifferent… your brain keeps plugging away. You need to be very aware of the questions you ask yourself, because the quality of your question will directly influence the quality of your answer.
If you ask, “Why do I always struggle?” your brain will answer: “Because you suck.” Okay, usually your brain comes up with specific answers, like “Because you’re not well-educated,” or “Because you don’t have enough money,” or “Because you’re not good at sales.”
Conversely, if you ask, “How do I achieve success?” your brain will come back with an answer: “Try this, do that…” If you consistently ask enabling questions, your brain will find enabling answers – solutions toward progress. Pumpkin Planners consistently ask better questions, get better answers and, ultimately, get better results.
In conclusion, I greatly recommend this to everyone, but especially to those who are running – or thinking about running a business.