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Publisher's Summary

Each year Americans start one million new businesses, nearly 80 percent of which fail within the first five years. Under such pressure to stay alive - Let alone grow - it’s easy for entrepreneurs to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of “sell it - do it, sell it - do it” that leaves them exhausted, frustrated, and unable to get ahead no matter how hard they try. This is the exact situation Mike Michalowicz found himself in when he was trying to grow his first company. Although it was making steady money, there was never very much left over and he was chasing customers left and right, putting in twenty-eight-hour days, eight days a week. The punishing grind never let up. His company was alive but stunted, and he was barely breathing.

That’s when he discovered an unlikely source of inspiration - pumpkin farmers. After reading an article about a local farmer who had dedicated his life to growing giant pump­kins, Michalowicz realized the same process could apply to growing a business. He tested the Pumpkin Plan on his own company and transformed it into a remarkable, multimillion-dollar industry leader. First he did it for himself. Then for others. And now you.

So what is the Pumpkin Plan?

  • Plant the right seeds: Don’t waste time doing a bunch of different things just to please your customers. Instead, identify the thing you do better than anyone else and focus all of your attention, money, and time on figuring out how to grow your company doing it.
  • Weed out the losers: In a pumpkin patch small, rotten pumpkins stunt the growth of the robust, healthy ones. The same is true of customers. Figure out which customers add the most value and provide the best opportunities for sustained growth. Then ditch the worst of the worst.
  • Nurture the winners: Once you figure out who your best customers are, blow their minds with care. Discover their unfulfilled needs, innovate to make their wishes come true, and overdeliver on every single promise.

Full of stories of other successful entrepreneurs, The Pumpkin Plan guides you through unconven­tional strategies to help you build a truly profitable blue-ribbon company that is the best in its field.

©2012 Mike Michalowicz (P)2012 Gildan Media, LLC

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting analogy for growing your business.

The ideas outlined in the book are relevant to today's business environment and simple enough for any business to use.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant book, unique view that makes sense

This book is amazing, what an interesting and easy way to explain how you can grow a business. Loved it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Awesome book if you can get past the narration.

What did you like most about The Pumpkin Plan?

A fantastic analogy and interesting / fresh presentation of fundamental business growth strategies. This is a gold mine of good info, whether you think you know it all or not, it can't hurt to get a reminder.

What did you like best about this story?

The analogy of pumpkin farming is interesting and simple to understand. Bang on.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I found the narration to be overly distracting. Nobody needs a hyper-emotive Kermit the Frog adding condescending fluff into a book with such solid foundations. Sorry, Michael. Stick to writing and leave the narration to the pro's.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Lots of helpful info. If you can't find a nugget in this you're a lost cause. I cringed at the narration too many times to count.

Any additional comments?

Any business owner should be able to find some value in this book. Well worth a listen / read. Great content overall.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

In my top 3 business books

I've listened to many many business books. This one was great and very relatable. The topics mentioned are actionable and realistic. I can't wait to put it all into action.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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No interesting

waste of time .
It's no quality knowledge that is worth having.
The writer just wants to make money and for that he cooked up some unuseful stories .

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Better to read than listen.

Sorry to say I didn't finish this book. I tried but the I found the narrator distracting and annoying with all his impersonating and exaggerated tones. It's a shame because the actual content is quite good. Would be better to read this book than listen to it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • L. Dakin
  • 14-11-2012

This is the book I've been looking for

I've been thinking of narrowing my marketing for a while, to focus on one area and one niche of customers. This book takes it even further and shows me how to do it step by step, and WHY I need to to it.

I love the "assignments." Some of them reinforce what I've already done in my business (via "Book Yourself Solid" by Michael Port) and some of them take it even further.

This is an excellent book and I recommend it for any solopreneur / entrepreneur who wants to really be serious about getting out of "overwhelm" and get their business on the right track.

With regard to the narration, it cracked me up that he came up with a different voice for each of his client quotes. Appeals to my theater girl background.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 30-11-2012

Great Job...Great Stories and Examples!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Would fully recommend to anyone, I have already had two of my partners purchase and listen to it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Pumpkin Plan?

I think using the analogy of the pumpkin farmer is one of the simplest way to remember the steps needed to achieve success. Plant the seed...

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

I have listened to many business books, Mike does a great job keeping you entertained and on task.

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

Look out Walmart, here we come!

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JOB
  • 03-11-2012

Straight to the head!!!! No Sugar Coating.....A++

A lot of good ideas and the challenging one! To fire the non productive customer to get the one will appreciate your efforts and create a win-win situation. Highly recommended. Thanks

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anthony
  • 29-10-2012

Excellent and Entertaining

Would you listen to The Pumpkin Plan again? Why?

Yes. This is one of the most entertaining books that i have ever listened to or read. The author is hilarious - i would listen again just for entertainment value. The best part are the ideas that the author has - they are excellent for anyone interested in either starting a business or developing a business plan in their current job. I would listen to another book by this author without needing to know the content.

What other book might you compare The Pumpkin Plan to and why?

No comparison

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

His smooth delivery and I don't know if his humor would come across as funny in print.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-10-2012

All business owners should read this!

Would you listen to The Pumpkin Plan again? Why?

Yes, and I will. If you are an Entreprenuer, it is a must

What other book might you compare The Pumpkin Plan to and why?

How to win and Keep Customers for Life by Brian Lebeouf

Which character – as performed by Mike Michalowicz – was your favorite?

NA

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

NA

Any additional comments?

If you own a business it is really easy to say that you are focusing on your core competencies, but to actually execute on that is much more difficult. This book will help!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-11-2012

Wow... pure gold!

Would you listen to The Pumpkin Plan again? Why?

Yes. Michael really makes his points simple and concise and then backs them up with very practical examples. He also makes it very entertaining and believable. I immediately listened to it two times in a row and will probably listen again every few months. I wished this book was around years ago.

What other book might you compare The Pumpkin Plan to and why?

This has to be one of the top books that I have read (listened). Simple to understand, entertaining, and very practical to implement.

Which scene was your favorite?

The vendor collaboration is pure genius.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Henry Roberts
  • 12-08-2012

Hard advice but true!

I have been in the retail business over 40 years and the pumpkin plan is right on! Wish I would have followed mikes plan years ago with intention. I did have a plan though its called NEXT. But some customers and employees went away then I realized it was for the better after the fact. But I had to stomach them longer than I should have. Mike says to plan on removing them with a plan! Have no fear! Replace them with big pumpkins. Great book! Great job on the audio with mike himself.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • anthony
  • 04-05-2013

Amazing examples on how to GROW your business.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

We would recommend this book for anyone in business who is looking to grow their business to the next level. Some of the advice is shocking but yet so true!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Pumpkin Plan?

You should be asking for your top clients for their vendor list instead of awkward referrals.

What about Mike Michalowicz’s performance did you like?

Mike has a great sense of humor and amazing advice with how to overcome many challenges business owners are faced with everyday.

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

The million dollar pumpkin plan

Any additional comments?

Get "The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur" on audibble / audibook format.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Aaron
  • 07-05-2016

Excellent info and ideas for entreprenuers

If you don't want to be "the old guy sitting on a broken lawn chair with your junk hanging out when you are old and retired" then read this book. This book literally aims to keep you from being that old guy, by helping you to organize your business -and your mind- towards making your business profitable, and offers suggestions for how to target your strengths and create a customer base that is appropriate.

There is a lot of useful info, and it is presented in a light, entertaining format. The author is a successful businessman, and knows what he is talking about. Narration (by author) is above average (especially for an author-read book).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gerardo A Dada
  • 31-03-2014

Entrepreneurs & independent profesionals MUST read

I purchased this audiobook hoping to learn about growth strategies to apply in the context of a medium or large company. My mistake was not reading the reviews or listening to the sample, this is not at all what this book is at all.

The book is a guide on the key challenge most independent professionals, consultant and entrepreneurs face: they work too hard, pursue every opportunity, and chase every client. After years of grinding, there seems to be no end or no major break in sight.

This book hit home because it is based on very sound marketing principle: focus and differentiation. Becoming a specialist, focusing on a niche market is the single best strategy for success in a competitive market and to escape a price war.

I have seen this strategy work many times in real world. I have seen companies grow successful following this strategy and I have seen companies, entrepreneurs and individuals struggle year after year when they don't have a focused strategy.

I liked this book so much I gave it as a gift to a good friend who is an awesome, super creative, super hard working independent professional who has not seen the success he deserves. I hope this book helps him and helps you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kenneth
  • 18-10-2017

Not as cheesy as first impressions

Seriously, Mike's won me over.... by the time I reached chapter 3, I knew the value in his offering was worth holding on for... so, I adjusted to his humour. This is a very enjoyable, and condensed alternative to M. Port's 'Book Yourself Solid, M. Gerber's 'E Myth' and Dan Priestley's slick funnel of books. Also, endearingly smooth in his own way..... now I'm compelled to read his other books! ... and visit his website! ... oh no.... YES, I have actually started implementing the Pumpkin Plan! Day 2 and ALREADY seeing desirable results :-) Thanks for sharing your perspective, Mike (No, we're not related and this is an honest review by a verifiable reader of Audible)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Suzie Grantham
  • 21-04-2018

loved It

Mike held my attention during a 2 Mile power walk with great ideas. Thank You.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • belle
  • 18-01-2018

Great book.

Loved it. Exactly what I expected it to be. Great nuggets of information to help me on my entrepreneurial journey

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Zulfikar
  • 18-03-2017

What an excellent read!!!

Great book!! A story told by a funny, intelligent and passionate Author. Highly recommended especially if you want to succeed at business..and basically annihilate the competition!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Daren
  • 04-03-2017

Great content - weird narration

What did you like best about The Pumpkin Plan? What did you like least?

Great content - the voice effects!

Would you be willing to try another one of Mike Michalowicz’s performances?

No

Do you think The Pumpkin Plan needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No

Any additional comments?

Concept really good and the content follows through. So from a development viewpoint this is really good. Just be prepared for Shaggy from Scooby-Doo to make an appearance throughout which will land up doing your head in.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-2018

could help with a stagnant small business

This book was decent and had some great gems in here. I will try and use a few in my own business and hopefully his tips will work.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Phone Repair Doctor
  • 24-11-2016

I Love Mike!!!

Do t let the title fool you this man knows what he is talking about. Listen and learn

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeremy Reilly
  • 02-11-2016

great book.

really useful book giving you a full plan to grow your business. works across all industries.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • missmiss291@yahoo.co.uk
  • 07-09-2016

I love his personality! Good book!

Now for me to implement what I've learned! Get this book, it's got something valuable for your industry.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mohini
  • 06-07-2015

Not as interesting as I expected

The idea of this book could be paraphrased in a page. Wasn't life altering for me and wouldn't necessarily recommend it.