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Profit First: A Simple System To Transform Any Business From A Cash-Eating Monster To A Money-Making Machine

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  4,503 ratings  ·  453 reviews
You are about to discover the profoundly simple yet shockingly effective accounting plug-in that will transform your business from a cash eating monster into a money making machine. In Profit First, Mike Michalowicz, author of The Pumpkin Plan & The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, explains why the GAAP accounting method is contrary to human nature, trapping entrepreneurs in the ...more
Hardcover, 191 pages
Published July 4th 2014 by Obsidian Press (first published June 24th 2014)
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May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economic-track
The title to this book will turn off many people. Gnostic Christians won't like it because "profit" is a bad word. Entrepreneurs won't because it sounds too good to be true. The general populace because they aren't business owners. However, the formula behind this book is critically applicable in any aspect of life and not only business. Here's the formula:


Whoa! Seems rather backwards doesn't it?

In business, here is how it works:
Figure out your Real Revenue: The income gener
Jure Brkinjač
Apr 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Good concept. General accounting principles dictate that: revenue - expenses = profit. This book suggests turning this formula around so that: revenue - profit = expenses.

It basically plays to the common human trait of using whatever resources we have to make things happen. If we have one month to complete a project, it'll take us one month. If we have a week, it'll take us one week. Urgency and scarcity work as incentives. This same principle is used here for treating expenses when it comes to
David Huff
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the simplest, clearest, and most practical approaches to handling the finances of a business that I've ever read. "Profit First", just as the name implies, is a straightforward, understandable discipline that -- if applied - can completely transform a business, and put it on the path toward managing cash flow to greater -- dare I say guaranteed? --profitability.

No rocket science here, just basic common sense, and a system that's wonderfully easy to apply and manage. Not only does it give
Arthur Beredjick
Jan 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was pretty skeptical when in the first chapter of Profit First the author guaranteed every business that uses his system will be immediately profitable, and by the end of the book I was proven correct. “Transforming Your Business” to become more “profitable” happens by changing the definition of profit and implementing an over-complicated accounting system using several different bank accounts. The whole gist is that entrepreneurs should be paying themselves a salary and dividends and accruing ...more
Brandon Wissel
Dec 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
A 180 page book of common sense that could be wrapped up in five pages.

The only person profiting from reading this book is the author who managed to sell a self help book to poor souls who either don't understand money, or got shilled into buying it. It's bizarre to assume there are people who don't understand these basic concepts that actually own businesses.

Half the book is an advertisement for his own consulting business. The only use for this book is reading it in public to make it look like
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Money is hard. Running a profitable business is hard. In theory all the accounting principles work, but only if you're an accountant, and then not even always.

Profit First introduces you to a new way to manage your business finances, take your profit first. Forget about fancy stuff, this keeps it simple and if you follow it's plan you will build a business that is wildly profitable.
Kate McKenna
Not 100% applicable to personal finances as it says. Could have just read the one 'personal' chapter. Felt as though it's a lot of repetition of the same anecdotes, corny jokes, and "breaking the third wall" writing. Was happy when it was completed.
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is great. Well structured, informative and the writing is entertaining. Some great examples and supporting resources are available through the author's website and you are directed to them throughout the book. The system described in the book turns generally accepted accounting principles on their head by changing the way you operate your business from revenue - expenses = profit to revenue - profit = expenses. This minor change has a massive impact on your psychology and flows
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
RE-READ: I intended to revisit this book a year after starting to implement the things it teaches, to reassess what I had done and pick up on any tips and hints I missed the first time. I found myself looking back on the business decisions I made over the last twelve months partly as a result of reading this book. Not only did my income grow significantly, but I was able to start enjoying the fruits of my labours and spending the hard-earned with peace of mind.

There's a big difference between wo
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
A lot of great advice in this book. I also appreciate that the author makes a real effort to be conversational while also being strict about serious topics. Some of his jokes were a little lame but I suspect that they made him chuckle while he was writing them so I don't begrudge. Nevertheless, I highly suggest this for any business owner or home finance manager!
Scott Wozniak
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Too many business owners are really busy, but struggling to be profitable--and they feel stuck. This book turns the standard approach to planning your finances upside down. This system provides clarity--targets that you need to hit to be profitable--and a multiple bank account method that keeps you from "borrowing" from one category to cover bad performance in another. It's designed to work with human psychology to keep you disciplined and on track--and making profit right away.

If you're a busin
Rene Nauheimer
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Never thought it would be so so good, it's super valuable to every business owner and delivers profitable actionables instantly.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biz-books
I LOVED this book! Not only does the author outline a very simple and effective way to manage your business' finances, he does so in a way that's easy to follow and fun to read. His personality really shines through with corny jokes and personal anecdotes, which I enjoyed. I've always been good with money and gave myself many little pats on the back reading this book, because so often it was obvious the target reader is expected to be in such worse financial shape! And still I sometimes feel not ...more
Jeff Walker
Aug 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
His advice sounds common sense, but it's just not practical at all.
Chris Earley
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Loved the audio book in particular read by the author. Goes into detail recommending you predetermine your margin up front that you will stick to and build the business from there.
Nov 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Easily the most poorly written, repetitive, vacuous book I've ever read. The entire book could be summarized in two pages.
John Elliott
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, my initial reaction toward books like "Profit First" is marked by suspicion. When I see big promises and lots of hype, the first question that comes to my cynical mind is "What's the catch?" However, I had this book recommended to me by a number of trusted sources, so I decided to give it a shot. And I'm glad I did.

What I discovered is that underneath this book's shell is a rock-solid, common sense principle that can help any business become more profitable. And that principle is
Jordan Brown
Jun 24, 2020 rated it liked it
It’s far too easy to reinvest your earnings into growing your business. This is a helpful read on how to take a profit while growing. A friend recommended this to me as a guide for managing risk while growing an FBA business.

Favorite Quotes:

“When you have less, you do two things. The first is obvious: you become frugal. When there is less toothpaste in the tube, you use less to brush your teeth. That is the obvious part. But something else, far more impactful happens: you become extremely innov
Aug 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
There were some great principles to think about in this book, but a lack of a simple definition for "profit" made me a little confused the whole book. Profit to the company? Or to the individual? Both? That could have been spelled out clearly at the beginning to avoid a lot of confusion for me!

I do like the principle of taking profit first and then essentially forcing yourself to work with whatever you have left over. It goes super specific and step by step, which is helpful. I definitely would
Renee Lord
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book can change your life! The business approach Mike Michalowicz outlines in this novel is almost verbatim the system I have used to turn around a hopeless business situation. I wish I had read this book rather than reinventing the wheel.
If your business is struggling and negatively affecting all areas of your life and you are ready to do what is necessary, this is the book for you.
The system works. You can and should do less and will make more. The information in this book will remind yo
Tiago Soares
The concepts in the book might be good, but I didn't enjoy the way it was written, neither all the little stories to try to bring up the point.

I understand it might make it easier to understand, and for sure it makes it more relatable to people, but I was expecting something more from a businessman like him.

Nowadays, I like more practical insights, that is why I read such books.
Adam Clark
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a business owner yet but have dreams of being one and this simple system breaks it down do anyone can understand. Really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to implement Mike’s system into my business and personal life.
Shanda Macomber
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had me thinking outside the box. Profit first is an important book for all business owners. I will keep it and read again. I think I had to read it all the way through once before implementing so I can understand what I will be doing.
Melissa Music
Every small business owner should read this book. I’m excited about applying the principles to mine.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Did not understand the book much, but maybe one day I will come back to this book, I guess the first chapter is the most important as in the very end he mentioned it again.
Chelsea Simdorn
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for entrepreneurs/business owners!
Ryan Shumway
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Seems like a really good book. (I’m not at a place in my business where I can apply the principles discussed.)
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
5 stars material, 4/5 rating for repeating content.
Tarvo Metspalu
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-development
Disclaimer: I consumed this as an audiobook.
The core concept of profit first budgeting was really straightforward to understand. And it is great, of course! I do understand why the underlying stories needed to be added - for those who could recognize how they are ruining their businesses - although I would have settled for less.
As a matter of fact, You actually get all the basic information free online. The book itself "just" contains numerous examples of different companies that either faile
Ahmed Alumran
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is for ANY person who has or owns a business. Or is in charge of a business, or is an accountant!

So many people can learn from this book that I can’t begin to explain how good it is.

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