Mike Michalowicz

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Mike Michalowicz
Mike Michalowicz2017.png
Michalowicz in March 2017
Michael Michalowicz

(1970-09-19) September 19, 1970 (age 50)
Alma materVirginia Tech
Spouse(s)Krista Michalowicz

Michael Michalowicz (/mɪˈkæləwɪts/ mick-AL-ə-wits[1]; born September 19, 1970) is an American author, entrepreneur, and lecturer.[2] [3][4] [5] He is the author of seven business books including Fix This Next (April 2020), Clockwork (August 2018), Profit First Revised & Expanded (February 2017), Surge (May 2016), Profit First (July 2014)[6] ,[7] The Pumpkin Plan (July 2012) and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (September 2008),[8][9][10][11] is an advocate of a business philosophy by the same name,[12][13][14][15] and is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal.[16][17] He is the "Business Rescue" segment host for MSNBC's Your Business.[18] He hosted the reality television program called Bailout!.[19]

He is a former monthly columnist for The Wall Street Journal's small-business section, and wrote the Small Business Shortcuts series.[20] He is a contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine and is a columnist for American Express's "Open Forum" series.[21] He is also host of The Entrepreneurship Elevated Podcast with a mission to eradicate entrepreneurship poverty. [22] He made over ten appearances on CNBC's The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.[23] Michalowicz has appeared on NBC, MSNBC, Fox News, ABC News Now, CNBC's On the Money and Pat Croce's Down To Business.[24][24][25][26] He has lecturered on entrepreneurship, sales, and behavioral marketing techniques[27] at universities, corporations and organizations.[28] [29]

His surname is pronounced as "mi-CAL-o-witz".[30]

Clockwork (Book)[edit]

Released on August 21, 2018. [31] [32] by Portfolio an imprint of Penguin Random House.[33]

In Clockwork, Michalowicz outlines a seven step strategy for a business owner to move from "doing work" to "designing a company for others to do the work." The author proposes a 4 week contiguous vacation, with a total digital disconnect, as the ultimate test of a business that can run itself. [34] [35] According to the author, the seven steps to a business that runs on automatic is: 1. Analyze the 4D mix, 2. Identify the QBR, 3. Protect & Serve the QBR, 4. Capture Systems, 5. Balance Resources, 6. Focus your strength on consumers who benefit the most, 7. Break the dependency on the owner.[36] [37] On Clockwork’s dustcover, Simon Sinek “nominates Michalowicz as the patron saint for entrepreneurs.” [38]

Surge (Book)[edit]

Released on June 20, 2016.

In the book, the author identifies the five steps for a business to take advantage of changing marketing conditions in order to grow dramatically[39] Michalowicz's book are all themed on a "common world" analogy. In Surge, Michalowicz, relates the process of surfing in the ocean to "surfing" waves of consumer demand.

Profit First (Book)[edit]

Originally released on July 4, 2014. Revised & Expanded edition release on February, 2017 by Portfolio an imprint of Penguin Group. Profit First is a perennial global Top 20 Book, in the category of Personal & Business Finance, according to the weekly ranking by Publishers Weekly."Category Bestsellers July 9 2017". Publishers Weekly.

In the book, the author identifies the four core methods to running a profitable business, and is derived from an article he published in The Wall Street Journal on December 10, 2010.[40] Profit First relates the application of Parkinson's Law to how we spend and/or conserve money.[41] The book further explains that with an understanding of our behavior, as defined by Parkinson's Law, we have the ability to bring significantly profitability to our business using four specific methods.[42] Profit First relates the application of Parkinson's Law to how we spend and/or conserve money.[41] [43]

The four core methods Michalowicz identifies in Profit First, and are derived from the healthy lifestyle habits are 1. Use Smaller Plates (the concept of having multiple "small" accounts to manage money intended for different purposes), 2. Eat Vegetables First (the concept of taking profit first, then owner's pay, then taxes, and lastly using the remainder for expenses), 3. Remove Temptation (make your accumulating profit, tax and under funds difficult to access and view and you will be less tempted to "steal" from yourself), 4. Use A Rhythm (manage the books twice a month, specifically on the 10th/25th to get a keen sense for cash flow).[44]

Michalowicz indicates that the natural tendency of entrepreneurs is to do "bank balance accounting", where they view their bank balance regularly and that they make financial decisions on the balance they see. The author argues that instead of trying to change this natural tendency in entrepreneurs, that is should be leveraged. By implementing the four core methods documented in Profit First, the entrepreneur can continue this natural habit to great effect, maximizing profit, controlling expenses and mastering cash flow management.[45]

The Pumpkin Plan (Book)[edit]

Released July 2012 by Portfolio an imprint of Penguin Group.

In the book, the author defines the seven significant milestones to growing a colossal pumpkin and how a colossal business is "grown" the same way.[46] In the book a colossal business is defined as a niche or category leader,[47] not necessarily on the size of revenue or number of employees. The author argues that many entrepreneurs fall into the "time for money trap" and need to change their actions from doing the work to designing how the work is done for it to grow. The entrepreneurs goal is for the business to serve them, not to have them serve the business.[48]

The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (Book)[edit]

In September 2008, Obsidian Launch released Michalowicz's book The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. The book has subsequently been translated into multiple foreign languages, such as Spanish, Korean, Czech, Japanese, Polish, Simplified Chinese and Russian. The irreverent[49] book is an entertaining hard-edged read mixed with valuable business lessons from an experienced entrepreneur.[50] [51]

The author argues a successful entrepreneur embodies the flexibility and vision many large companies lack. Michalowicz states that hard-line traditional business planning is ineffective and often detrimental; and that successful growth of a business requires a dynamic planning method, called a 3 Sheet Strategy.[52]

Among other growth techniques, Michalowicz argues the leap frogging strategy of significantly pushing ahead in one "area of innovation", either price, convenience or quality. Michalowicz shows examples of this, including the rise and fall of Blockbuster, Netflix and Redbox.[53]

In The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, Michalowicz argues that the General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), while a standard practice for measuring a company's P&L (profit/loss), is in fact detrimental to an entrepreneur's money management. He argues the use of a method he calls Profit First Accounting (PFA) instead of GAAP alone.[54]

In the book, Michalowicz occasionally pulls from his own entrepreneurial background, explaining how funding actually hampered his company's growth. Ultimately it was the lack of investment funds that helped his businesses grow quickly and healthily.[55]

Michalowicz manages a website, also called The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, with a large volume of resources for entrepreneurs.[56]


Michalowicz has lectured at US and international universities ,[57] keynoted corporate gatherings,[58] authored books,[59] published articles for national periodicals, and made national television appearances and radio broadcasts as an expert discussing entrepreneurial concepts[60] and approaches he terms as a "Toilet-Paper Entrepreneur". [61] [62] [63] [64] [65] This name is derived from the following analogy paraphrased from Michalowicz's book:

Have you ever been in the bathroom only to realize there are a mere three sheets of toilet paper left...but somehow, often with the help of the trashcan remnants, manage to make it work? This is how a Toilet Paper Entrepreneur runs their business... they make do with what they have, pull "miracles" out of the trash and make more and more with less and less.

The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur philosophy is based on the notion that not only can one start a business with fewer resources,[66][67] but that having fewer resources can actually work to your benefit .[68] For example, having fewer resources can force the business to address an issue in highly innovative ways versus simply spending money blindly to solve it. [69] [70]

Michalowicz's writing and interview style is blunt honesty, speckled with humor.[71] In an interview with Inc. magazine, Michalowicz was asked, "How to balance work and family life". His response was:

"You don't. And the fact that you are asking this before you have even put in your first five years with a new business, means that you probably are not cut out to be an entrepreneur."


Profit First Professionals[edit]

Michalowicz is the co-founder and CEO of Profit First Professionals,[73] a membership organization[74] for accountants, bookkeepers and consultants who use the Profit First to guide businesses to higher and consistent levels of profitability.[75] [76] [77] Profit First Professionals has members from over ten countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, England, Germany, and the Netherlands. Profit First Professionals was co-founded by Mike Michalowicz and Ron Saharyan.[78]

Bailout! (reality television program)[edit]

Michalowicz was the host of the reality television program Bailout! The executive producer for Bailout! is Wil Surratt, the former executive producer of The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. Bailout! highlights struggling entrepreneurs, and Michalowicz is given 24 hours to fix their businesses.[79] Bailout! was subsequently canceled and now airs on "webisodes" through BBE distribution.

Select television appearances[edit]

Michalowicz is a recurring, small-business expert, guest on CNBC (over 10 appearances), ABC (over 3 appearances), MSNBC (over 17 appearances), including:

  • December 27, 2007 CNBC's The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch - "Alienating Your Base" segment[81]
  • September 9, 2011 MSNBC's (Michalowicz hosting) Your Business - "Saving Swing Sets"[86]

Early career[edit]

Michalowicz is a native of Boonton, New Jersey, where he attended Boonton High School. He graduated from Virginia Tech with two degrees, one in finance and one in management science.[89] He launched his first company, Olmec Systems, at the age of 24, in August 1996.[90] During his tenure at Olmec, he was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as The Young Entrepreneur of the Year.[91] Michalowicz completed MIT's 'Birthing of Giants' entrepreneurial program in 2003. The program is sponsored by YEO (Young Entrepreneurs Organization) and Inc. Magazine, and is facilitated at MIT facilities by professors, lecturers and entrepreneurs.[92] He sold the company through a private transaction on December 31, 2002. On January 1, 2003, he launched his second company, PG Lewis & Associates (PGLA), which grew to national prominence by 2005,[93] by completing large data forensics projects for historically significant court cases including the Enron collapse.[94][95] PGLA was acquired by Protiviti, a division of Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI) on March 1, 2006. Terms were not disclosed.[96]

Michalowicz is founder and former CEO of, Provendus Group,[97] a growth accelerator that facilitates rapid growth in early stage companies by utilizing techniques from Michalowicz's books. Provendus Group was wholly acquired in 2016. Terms were not disclosed.[98]

Michalowicz is the co-founder and President of Profit First Professionals, an international membership organization for accountants, bookkeepers and coaches who use the Profit First method to guide clients to higher levels of profitability.[99]


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  99. ^ Profit First Professionals (2016). "Profit First Professionals".

External links[edit]