Profit First

Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine
Narrated by: Mike Michalowicz
Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (3,910 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The author of cult classics The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur offers a simple, counterintuitive cash management solution that will help small businesses break out of the doom spiral and achieve instant profitability.

Conventional accounting uses the logical (albeit, flawed) formula: sales - expenses = profit. The problem is, businesses are run by humans, and humans aren't always logical. Serial entrepreneur Mike Michalowicz has developed a behavioral approach to accounting to flip the formula: Sales - Profit = Expenses. Just as the most effective weight loss strategy is to limit portions by using smaller plates, Michalowicz shows that by taking profit first and apportioning only what remains for expenses, entrepreneurs will transform their businesses from cash-eating monsters to profitable cash cows. Using Michalowicz's Profit First system, listeners will learn that:

  • Following four simple principles can simplify accounting and make it easier to manage a profitable business by looking at bank account balances.
  • A small, profitable business can be worth much more than a large business surviving on its top line.
  • Businesses that attain early and sustained profitability have a better shot at achieving long-term growth.

With dozens of case studies, practical step-by-step advice, and his signature sense of humor, Michalowicz has the game-changing road map for any entrepreneur to make money they always dreamed of.

©2014, 2017 Mike Michalowitz (P)2017 Gildan Media LLC

What listeners say about Profit First

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Save time and watch a Youtube video on the system

Too much fluff. This book took a good 2 hours to get into the actual Profit First system. Then when it really gets started he intertwines stories about other people and hypothetical situations about not following the system. I got fed up with the useless stories and fluff and found a youtube video that explained the system to me in 20 mins WITH visual references. The system itself is great but this book could be alot shorter and more to the point.

74 people found this helpful

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Changed the way I do business accounting

What did you love best about Profit First?

When I first listened to profit first, I really felt as though the author was talking about me. I have struggled over the past ten years as a small business owner and Profit First talked about all the issues that I was having and better yet, Profit First shows you how to remedy issues that plague all small business owners.

Who was your favorite character and why?

N/A

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

Mike is a very good narrator. He keeps you entertained and you can tell he is passionate about eradicating entrepreneurial poverty

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

No one moment. The entire book has changed the way I do my business accounting. I must say, the book is real, the message is real and if you own your own business you really need to read this one!

Any additional comments?

I never do reviews on anything, ever. I had to let other small business owners know about this one. I have never been the accountant type. I am good at what I do and my business shows it. We are up every year for 10 years but I never seem to take any more money home. That has all changed since I listened to Profit First (I also bought the paperback too). I have followed the processes in the book which are very simple and easy to follow and now I take my money first. No matter how much money the business has to pay for expenses we make it work. The book makes so much sense that you may get mad at yourself that you didn't think of this yourself. Do yourself a favor and listen to this one!

34 people found this helpful

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Best business book I've ever read

I have been using the Profit First system for almost a year. Things aren't perfect by any means, but I am seeing that my business is getting healthier, little by little. I sometimes listen to this book just to get a lift from Mike's infectious enthusiasm. And I love the Profit First accountant Mike hooked me up with. Thanks, Mike, for figuring this all out. I am grateful.

By the way, I use Smarty Pig for all the separate accounts. It works well for me--but I do know it's more accessible and therefore more dangerous! I am so tired of being broke, however, that it's really not tempting to steal my own money.

Perfer et obdura, dolar hic tibi proderit olim.
Persist and endure; one day, this pain will be useful to you. --Ovid

14 people found this helpful

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GAME CHANGER

If you could sum up Profit First in three words, what would they be?

GAME CHANGER

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mike

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

Mike reads the book in a very conversational way. Super fun to listen too.

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

This book with change your business and change your life!

Any additional comments?

Profit First is a GAME CHANGER! Very practical and it will turn your business around! I am a new business owner and this book may have saved my life!

5 people found this helpful

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Takes forever to get to the point

Listened for 2 hours and 15 minutes before the author gave any applicable info. Stories drag on too long in my opinion. Made it hard to follow.

15 people found this helpful

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Truthful and helpful

This book is very important. We need more entrepreneurs to read this and learn these business principles.

4 people found this helpful

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Gotta listen to change your life

For 20 years I struggled from paycheck to paycheck. July 1st I will get my first profit check. Do what Mike says and you will win.

6 people found this helpful

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Good advice, but slow

The actionable steps are good. A system worth setting up and trying. There are too many side stories that take away from the book and make it hard to get through.

2 people found this helpful

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Profit First

This book provides some good fundamental strategies to help small businesses manage money by transferring it to small accounts.

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Update Version put Profit First on STEROIDS!

What did you love best about Profit First?

It's a real system that I can use to transform my life and my business!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Profit First?

Mike had me in tears when he shared his piggy bank moment with his daughter

What about Mike Michalowicz’s performance did you like?

He's hysterically funny guy and he made a rather boring subject (money and the accounting of said pennies) entertaining.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Alex Mcg
  • 06-25-18

1 hour book stretched to 8 hours

was very excited for this and was still excited after making it through the initial few hours of padding until he finally tells us what the profit first system is. Even before you start the book you know what concept is and the author acknowledges its well known. lt's no surprise, but it is a surprise how, knowing this, the author doesn't justify this book with content that is actually ground breaking. Very little time and no serious answers are given for how to reduce your bills, or how to grow/re-invest and profit simultaneously, which is what the book should have been about. instead we got endless anecdotes of people who increased profit 1000% using the system, why you as an entrepreneur deserve to take profit, or another vaguely relevant story of people making do with reduced means which proves the system works. Profit First should have taken its own medicine and prioritized what's important, but instead padded out a 1 hour book with 7 hours of useless hot air. what a shame and waste of valuable time.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-02-18

Very powerful and pragmatic book.

Perhaps you are considering buying this book because, like me, you are looking for a system or guide on how to manage your business cash and/or profits. I have read a few books now on money management and cashflow but was always a little disappointed as there was never any real concrete systems to use or implement. This book has changed that! This book is aimed at small and large businesses alike, either in the US or outside (I'm UK based). Mike Motorbike (read the book to find out why) has a casual and funny manner (even for a yank) which helps get the message across. However, don't be put off by the seeming informality as the book has a very underlying seriousness because, as Mike states - he is looking to 'eradicate entrepreneurial poverty' - a bold and very noble goal! Since listening to this book I have followed the process and systems almost instantly and have change my entire mindset around profit, expense and taxes. Just to end. In the book, Mike asks you to email your commitment to him. I did do this (I wouldn't normally do something like this) and he responded with a very kind and informative email which has raised his credibility in my eyes. I have since started reading his other book, 'Run Your Business like Clockwork' which is proving to be equally impressive.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-30-18

Life Changing!

Profit first has completely changed the way I look at my business accounting. I have implemented profit first immediately and it has truly made an amazing impact. My business finances are instantly in a better financial position. Thank you so much Mike!

3 people found this helpful

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  • JK
  • 03-10-18

Cash is King

I have a busy pharmacy and have been struggling to get a grip of the financials. I know that cash flow is the most important thing. This book teaches you cash accounting to a new level. A level that is easy to understand and to put into practise. You dont have to have any accounting expertise to do this. I will now go and put it into practise.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Motion Hatch
  • 11-30-18

I love it!

Definitely grab this book on Audible! It's amazing! Mike really goes the extra mile in the audiobook to explain all the graphics to you which you can also download on his website. I really enjoyed this because it's extremely helpful but Mike even adds some extra fun bits to the audiobook. Get it now!

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  • sam chard
  • 10-30-18

Finally an accounting concept 'I get!

Great delivery, simple concept, genius. Love the common-sense approach of using behaviour to drive profit. True measurement of performance -good or otherwise.

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  • Mr. C. M. Wade
  • 10-26-18

Life changing stuff!

I’m an audible addict, I’ve said it now and the first stage is admitting you are, however this is by the far the most effective book I’ve come across. Ps Mike even replies to your emails!!! #1

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  • Edward Bennett
  • 10-17-18

So much waffle.

Takes long to get to the point. lots of personal stories that seem to just be for padding. ironically talks about tailoring it for people with short attention span then goes off on a tangent.

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  • Heather W.
  • 10-04-20

The way forward!

There is beauty in simplicity, and the concept of this book is just that. The style and tone of Mike’s writing, alongside real stories and examples made this an easy listen that I related to from the start. I’ve implemented the system, committed to following it and still don’t understand why this model isn’t just the norm...... it makes so much sense. I have two more of Mike’s books to read, which one first ??

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-18-20

The best business purchase I have made!

This book is excellent, easy to understand and the author is so filled with passion and enthusiasm that you can not help but be inspired. This book is a must if you have ever had a sleepless night over your business finances!!

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  • jez
  • 02-07-19

A whole lot of hype for little output

The book goes on for an hour and a half about "doing this one thing will change your business forever"! It really was a hype sales pitch that just ground on me! The "one thing" isn't even a revalation! Here have it for free: 1) Work out you tax, profit each week 2) pay it into a bank account that you don't touch! SIMPLE

18 people found this helpful

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  • Claudio CDY
  • 05-17-18

absolutely brilliant

easy to follow, huge impact! This changed my company how it runs and it structures! wasnt even half way through the book before recommending this to other entrepreneurs! love love it! the barefoot of business I call it for us australians! :)

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  • DZR
  • 06-22-20

Couldn’t finish it, narcissistic ramblings, no structure

The author constantly big notes himself and tells you how amazing he is. Far too egotistical for my liking. Constant side notes are obvious attempts at humour, but they are so frequent they become highly distracting and detract from the structure. I’m only a few hours in but I can’t suffer through anymore, I’ve got no idea what (if any) point the author was trying to make. He mainly just repeatedly told us how much he loves margaritas (he really likes margaritas), how much money he has, buying luxury cars and how much he travels. I didn’t learn anything about profit or business, but I feel like I know his life story now. He’s extremely obnoxious. If you stripped out all the attention deficit, egotistical anecdotes there’d be nothing left. Listening to him also feels like being subjected to an aggressive sales pitch (which it kind of is, he’s sure to mention his various books and businesses throughout). Instead of saying something useful/valuable he goes on for an hour about how “I’m going to tell you something...” amazing/mind blowing/so simple etc. I was really disappointed by this. It’s not often I find an audiobook so repellant that I can’t even listen to the whole thing.

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  • Sebastian Williams
  • 07-10-18

Honestly a must read..

Before you read about marketing, before you worry about getting more clients and growing you must, I say again MUST read this book! I am only two weeks in and my business is already profitable! Thank you Mike!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Asha Babu
  • 05-13-18

Game-changing book for small business

The premise is undeniably simple and yet no one is doing it - to their own detriment. I was sold as soon as Mike described the entrepreneurial ego that prevents people from admitting they are struggling or living cheque to cheque. This book has re-evaluated what I consider a "successful" business and has already made a huge positive financial impact on my business, less than a month in to adopting the book's principles. Highly recommended.

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  • Zlata K
  • 04-12-18

I wish I read this earlier!

What made the experience of listening to Profit First the most enjoyable?

It gives a step by step guide - easy to execute advice.

Any additional comments?

This started making a difference in my business already. I only wish we discovered this book and system earlier. Well better later then never :)

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-26-18

Business game changer

Owning 2 businesses and relating to living from check to check for the period of 5 years I could relate to the problem so well. Profit first is helping reshape my business and cash flow and it has made me far more innovative. If you own a business this is a must read.

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  • CONSCIOUSSHELF
  • 05-31-20

All stuffing no turkey

Mike talks a lot. He is engaging and funny and even relatable but he fails to identify the point! This is after he claims to have written this book for people with a short attention span. I feel this book lacks structure, organization and purpose. I agree with other reviewers - one sentence would summarize this book: Pay yourself first and build business around that. I have listened for 4 hours and have no idea what he is trying to talk about. I know more about his life, his wife, his daughter, his neighbor, his clients.... than his purpose for this book. If you despise small talk... find another book. Any other book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-19

I couldn't listen past the first five minutes

So then I tried the first chapter hoping it would get into a bit more substance, however it did not. A lot of exaggerated hype.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lawrence Mauga-Reid
  • 07-29-18

Absolutely mind blown

Mike is changing the world by changing the lives of entrepreneurs, who because of their success in small business, run economies. I have been in what you might perceive as a successful business for nearly 10 years (14 total with the back yard hobby type) and have always stressed out at the end of every financial year because I knew I made a profit on paper but it wasn’t in the bank- yes I had spent it. The end of the book is where it hit me most, you don’t need a lot of karma to have a successful business... that is what I was always reliant on. Thanks to Profit First, I am well on my way to doing things right (7 bank accounts setup, admin, book keeper, accountant all on board) because I have become financially educated... I couldn’t believe just how far behind I was personally from a poverty background which was bleeding into my business.... THANK YOU Mike and team- it only took me 14yrs to find you but you have definitely changed my world!! I see startups in a new light now!!

2 people found this helpful