Interview - Mike Michalowicz

Entrepreneurial Skills Simplified

Full Interview-


Mike Michalowicz

Prolific Business Author, Keynote Speaker, and Thought Leader, Mike Michalowicz’s ultimate goal is to “Eliminate Entrepreneurial Poverty”.  Mike simplifies business.
Mike Michalowicz was New Jersey’s Entrepreneur of the Year for Entrepreneurs Under 25. He built and sold multi-million dollar companies including one to a Fortune 500 company. Hundreds of thousands of businesses have implemented his Profit First system in order to be more profitable in their businesses. He has been seen on multiple tv shows including a recurring role as a location host on MSNBC’s Your Business. As an author, he now has surpassed a million readers with 7 business books on the shelves. His latest release, ‘Get Different: Marketing That Can’t Be Ignored’ just hit Wall Street Journal’s Best Seller List.
Mike’s first experience with entrepreneurship started when he was in his 4th or 5th grade when cassette tapes and Queen’s song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ were very popular. He would record the song on multiple tapes and rent them out to kids at his school for $1 a day. By the end of the week, he would rack up $4 to $5 dollars. Unfortunately, this business venture was short-lived because the bigger kids would not pay him or return the tape. 
After college, Mike worked for a local computer company for a couple of years and eventually decided that he would rather be the guy in the backroom who just counts their money. He started his own business, his first on-the-books entrepreneurial endeavor, only to realize that there’s so much more involved in running your own business than counting money. But he discovered that he the skill and drive to be successful. He eventually sold his company to a private equity group. The company still exists and is doing extraordinarily well.

On Writing His Books

Like most authors, Mike wrote his first book based on what he thought the world wanted. His process of creating books has evolved as he moved along and gained a massive readership. “I’m blessed to be one of the few authors that I know of that has been able to establish a big community that is very engaged.” In creating his books, Mike would start by asking his community of hundreds of thousands of business owners about the challenges that they were facing. His process of writing one book is a 5 to 6-year journey which includes collecting, synthesizing and testing out information. According to Mike, he tries to replicate what The Bible, Dale Carnegie’s classics, and Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’ have in common — the extraordinary storytelling and use of timeless principles. “In my home office, I have on the wall The 8 Principles of Writing a Book. One of them is ‘Will this book survive and go unaltered for a hundred years?’ If yes, I will check it off and move on to the next thing. If the answer is no, I can’t write on that topic.”
Mike shares that he tries to connect with the pain and challenges that entrepreneurs experience. The reason people resonate so well with his books is that they can see themselves in them. “When you can see yourself in it, then you can apply the solutions so much more easily.”

On Speaking and Presenting

Mike sees speaking as a one-person play. “We’re not speaking, we’re performing” is a quote from another author that resonates with Mike. That’s why he went through training on improvisation and enrolled in public speaking courses to prepare for the stage. “I have a responsibility for keeping people entertained. I have to get them laughing and crying, learning, and giving them actual tips all within a presentation.” Some of Mike’s favorite performers are comedians and he applies their techniques in his own performances. Mike teaches a lot of entrepreneurial topics so he is best suited for small business owners.
Having been invited to speak and present to different industries, Mike believes that there are important values in inviting someone from outside of a specific industry. According to Mike, bringing in an “outsider” provides a fresh perspective and invites extraordinary conversation. It causes a jolt to the way the audience perceives things.

Rapid Fire Questions with Mike Michalowicz

LI: Do you have a favorite word?
MIKE: Blueberry. It’s also my favorite food.

LI: Is there a particular sound that you love?
MIKE: I like quiet music. I don’t care what the music is as long as it’s quiet. I’m really into ragtime music right now.

LI: What TV or movie character do you feel you relate to?
MIKE: If you saw Arrested Development, I kind of feel somewhere between Jason Bateman, the lead character, and Joe who’s the magician. Sometimes I feel like I’m Joe who would always try his razzmatazz and fall flat and then Jason Bateman would be the only one that gets what’s going on. I’m a lovechild of those two. 

LI: If you could be anyone or anything for a day, what or who would you be?
MIKE: A garbage man. That was my dream as a kid. I think it’s badass. I don’t aspire to be a garbage man for a career because I don’t have the strength and stamina, but I would love to do that for a shift.

LI: In one year on this day, what are you doing?
MIKE: A major keynote. My favorite thing to do is get on stage and present. It’s the ultimate privilege. When I walk on stage, just the fact that people are there to listen and learn for an hour about what I have to share turns into a privilege of being able to present. I intend to be doing a major keynote one year from today.