Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine” as Want to Read:
Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  3,414 ratings  ·  352 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 222 pages
Published January 18th 2017 by Portfolio (first published June 24th 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,414 ratings  ·  352 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine
Shorel Kleinert
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
David Huff
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jure Brkinjač
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
Arthur Beredjick
Jan 11, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Brandon Wissel
Dec 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
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
Rene Nauheimer
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never thought it would be so so good, it's super valuable to every business owner and delivers profitable actionables instantly.
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
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  review of another edition
Easily the most poorly written, repetitive, vacuous book I've ever read. The entire book could be summarized in two pages.
Jeff Walker
Aug 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
His advice sounds common sense, but it's just not practical at all.
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
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
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.
Chelsea Simdorn
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for entrepreneurs/business owners!
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Joe Scharnweber
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excited to use the tools in this book for my business next year! Great read and easy to understand even if you have zero experience.
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
50% woo woo, 50% really specific, actionable advice.
Nex Juice
Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business From a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine
by Mike Michalowicz

In it's defense, this book was not written for someone like me. I have never had a problem with over-spending or debt. I realize that I am the vast minority. Still, I couldn't bring myself to give this book more than a 3 star rating because it was not only mostly irrelevant to me, but I also think he drastically over-complicates money management.

His suggestion is to have
Johnny Vasquez
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, 2017
I've read this book before but they just released this revised and updated version and since I had planned on re-reading it anyway, I figured why not see what was added.

To be honest I couldn't tell much difference between the two, but this remains one of my top 5 business books ever. I'm committed to implementing this strategy in my company and am excited to see how it will change things going forward.

While the strategy is relatively simple (it's basically an envelope budget system for
A lot of good advice if you come by business from a DIY perspective. About a third of the writing is hyperbole you can skim. He's not a writer. But his advice makes a ton of sense, and you can adapt his methods pretty easily. So it's worth a read to get a handle on money management and long term planning.
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would have given 3.5 stars as it was between a 3 and close to a 4 for me. Really good concept. Simple and practical. Book got a little repetitious for me, maybe because the concept was simple. A good read for any entrepreneur though. I practice part of what's covered already in my business, will implement a couple of the ideas and will leave some behind.
Kaylin Evans
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
If you’re generally good with money and just want a new system, skip to the instant assessment in chapter 4 to see whether this would benefit you. Chapters 1-3 seem geared toward people with holes in their pockets.
Marlena Corcoran
Income is not profit, and increased sales do not necessarily mean more money in the entrepreneur's pocket. I guess some people need to hear this.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Traction
  • Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen
  • Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business
  • Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits!: 4 Keys to Unlock Your Business Potential
  • Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business
  • The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It
  • Never Lose a Customer Again: Turn Any Sale Into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days
  • Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You
  • The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand out From The Crowd
  • Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It...and Why the Rest Don't (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)
  • The 12 Week Year
  • Everything is Figureoutable: How One Simple Belief Can Help Us Overcome Any Obstacle and Create Unstoppable Success
  • Vivid Vision: A Remarkable Tool For Aligning Your Business Around a Shared Vision of the Future
  • Free to Focus: A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less
  • Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Finding Your Message, Building a Tribe, and Changing the World
  • This is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn To See
  • The 10x Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
  • Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
See similar books…
“All revenue is not the same. If you remove your worst, unprofitable clients and the now-unnecessary costs associated with them, you will see a jump in profitability and a reduction in stress, often within a few weeks. Equally important, you will have more time to pursue and clone your best clients.” 4 likes
“A financially healthy company is a result of a series of small daily financial wins, not one big moment. Profitability isn’t an event; it’s a habit. WHY” 4 likes
More quotes…