In todays video I wanted to talk about a book by Michael Mikalowicz called the Pumpkin Plan. It talks about how pumpkin farmers can make insane amounts of money by following a few key principals and about how those principals apply to most businesses.
So, Mike Michalowicz, he’s run several multimillion pound businesses. And the book actually talks about an experience he found himself in when he started his first business. It was quite a few years ago. But with The Pumpkin Plan, he starts off by talking about how four out of five businesses in the States will fail before they even get to their sixth year, and one of the key reasons those businesses fail. And actually, you know what, if you then tie that in with what Michael Gerber says about business failure as well, Michael Gerber says four out of five businesses will fail by the sixth year, but actually, another four out five of those will fail by their 11th year. So what Michael E. Gerber says is only 4% of businesses can actually make it into their 11th year.
So the beauty about The Pumpkin Plan as a book is it takes some really simple observations from pumpkin farming and then applies them to business and explains how you can take those simple observations and use them to make you millions of pounds. So a lot of people wouldn’t realize it, although, unless you’ve just paid a load of money for pumpkins at Halloween, then you might have a loose idea, but pumpkin farming can be one of the most lucrative kinds of farming in the world. But the money in pumpkin farming, isn’t in producing loads of pumpkins and selling them. The money in pumpkin farming really comes from producing a prize-winning pumpkin that you can then sell the seeds from.
So what Mike Michalowicz says in The Pumpkin Plan is if you have an award-winning world record-breaking pumpkin, that pumpkin is going to be the size of a van or a car. And it’s probably going to have hundreds of thousands of seeds within that pumpkin, but this is the beauty of it. Because it’s a world record-breaking pumpkin, everyone wants one of those seeds because they want to grow their own pumpkin. So what Mike Michalowicz says is the seeds from this world record-breaking pumpkin, they’re actually worth about $500 each. So if you think about that, hundreds of thousands of seeds worth $500 each, that is how you turn a pumpkin into a multimillion pound business.
So Mike Michalowicz says, okay, well, just growing a world record-breaking pumpkin, it doesn’t happen by accident. There’s no luck to it. It takes a very specific strategy. And he talks about that strategy, but what he does really well is he also relates it to business. So what I’ll do is I’ll talk about the strategy pumpkin farmers go through to create these pumpkins, and then I’ll explain how actually, each component relates to business.
So the first part of that strategy is you’ve got to have the right seed in the first place. You’re never going to grow a world record-breaking pumpkin with the wrong seed. So, that’s a really important one. And then I don’t if anyone’s ever seen pumpkins growing, but they grow on a vine with other pumpkins. So the challenge with that is all the pumpkins are taking nutrients from the soil. So they’re all going to be average-sized pumpkins. If you want one really big pumpkin, you’ve got to kill off all the other pumpkins. So that’s essentially where Mike Michalowicz says, okay, fine. You have to just pick this one pumpkin and then only focus on this one pumpkin. Then he talks about weeds. So he says, you’ve got to get all the weeds out of the ground so they don’t take nutrients from this pumpkin while it’s growing. And then he talks about watering this pumpkin. So the watering, you need it so it can actually continue growing. And then the final part of his strategy is you just have to sit there and watch the pumpkin grow.
So let’s talk about how that relates to business. Firstly, the seed is actually an idea. So in business, you’ve got to have the right idea in the first place. If your idea doesn’t stack up, if you’re not completely behind it, then you’re never going to turn your business into something that’s really worth those millions of pounds. So the seeds in Mike’s story relate to ideas.
Then what he says is you’ve got to kill off all the other pumpkins on the vine. So when it comes to business, what that means is if you’ve got the kind of business that does lots of different things, you could be a painter, decorator and builder. You could be an accountant that also does bookkeeping or does wealth planning, or you could be a marketing person that does SEO, that does funnel building or social media management. The point is, if you’re the kind of business that’s got all these different activities, all these activities are your pumpkins on the vine. And you’ve got to pick one of these pumpkins to actually focus on and then get rid of all the other pumpkins, because all the other pumpkins will stop you growing this one pumpkin that’s going to be your multimillion pound business.
And then what Mike Michalowicz says is, okay, you’ve got weeds around this pumpkin patch. You’ve got to get rid of those weeds. So the other pumpkins were the other services your business did, which you don’t do anymore, because you’re just focusing one thing. But the weeds are all the distractions you get in your business, all the distractions you have in your life. So to actually be able to focus on this pumpkin and this business idea and make sure it gets everything it needs, you’ve then got to make sure you’ve got no distractions in your way.
So then Mike Michalowicz talks about watering your pumpkin patch. So in the business context, what Mike is actually talking about is marketing. Marketing is essentially the water for a business. If you don’t market, then the business isn’t going to grow because you could have the very best business in the world, but no one’s going to know it’s there. So that’s why the marketing’s really important as well.
And then the final bit is once you’ve got all of that in place, all you have to do is sit around and watch your business grow. And it’s quite interesting, but apparently with a record-breaking pumpkin, you can physically see it getting bigger if you watch it. It’s not like watching paint dry. You will actually see the pumpkin expanding all the time. So that’s what you want to get your business to, something that is continuously expanding in front of your eyes without you having to put loads and loads of effort into it.
So, that is one of the best books I’ve ever written. And the moral of that story is… Sorry, not written, I didn’t write it. Read. The moral of that story is just focus on that one thing, figure out that one thing your business can do better than anyone else, that you’re really passionate about, that you know your customers need and just put everything you’ve got into that one thing so you can make it the very best it can be.
If you want a bit more information about that book, or if you want a bit more help in understanding how you can reach the full potential in your business and turn it into a million pound business, then get in touch. We are accountants, but we’ve got our program Apex, which is designed to support business owners and help them take their business to that next level. And if you like this video, just remember to like, share and follow. And I’m looking forward to seeing you at the next one.