The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz is a fantastic study about the symbolic relationship of growing enormous pumpkins and how that relates to building a successful business. As you may expect by the book title, the metaphors used in this book are spot on. Michalowicz uses his own entrepreneurial experiences to pair it with the methods used by farmers who grow the biggest pumpkins in the world and explains the relationship between the two in detail. This book comes HIGHLY recommended, especially by the staff over here at Back Office Betties. Michalowicz preaches in his book that to build a successful business, you just need to analyze small details that end up making profound changes. In the next few paragraphs, I want to share a few of those important business lessons discussed in the book so you can apply them to your business.
Ordinary Pumpkins Are Forgotten
The first valuable lesson Michalowicz teaches in his book is that ordinary pumpkins are always forgotten. He uses this symbolism to remind you that as a business owner it is paramount that you differentiate yourself from your competition. He goes on to explain that if you are average at everything your competition does but fantastic at one element they aren’t nearly as good at, your product will sell like crazy. By being exemplary in something your competitors aren’t, it will be easy for consumers to rationalize buying your product, even if it is sold at a slightly higher price.
Stick To Your Specialty
The second valuable lesson from The Pumpkin Plan relates to specializing in an area and sticking with it. The quote from the book, (which happens to be an amazing quote), reads: “The Dalai Lama may be knocking at your door, begging to buy shoes from you. But if you make hats (and not shoes), you still need to kill off the relationship”. This quote demonstrates to business owners that you won’t be able to help everyone in your business, so don’t try to. Stick to your specialty, sell your best product, and learn from consumers how you can better innovate. If you have your hands in too many pots, then you will never excel at any of them.
The third lesson from The Pumpkin Plan relates to how to treat your customers. The adage of “the customer is always right” is not true according to Michalowicz. He implores readers to stop and think about this statement. Is everyone who wants to do business with you right and you’re wrong? If that is true, how do you serve all of them well without ever being correct? The answer is you don’t, because the customer is NOT always correct. He argues that quality consumers are much more important than the quantity of consumers, so don’t try to do business with everybody.
Time To Pumpkin Plan
These are just three key takeaway lessons from Mike Michalowicz’s book. If you are a business owner who is finding that their business is sputtering or underachieving, then this book should already be in your shopping cart. Just remember, it’s the little things that get some pumpkins to grow from an average weight of 8-10 pounds to the world record weight of 2,624.6 pounds.