My Own Pumpkin Plan Review


This may come as a total shock to you, but The New York Times: Sunday Book Review is NOT running a review of my new book, The Pumpkin Plan. You probably won’t read about it O Magazine or People, and Tim Ferris isn’t pimping me out anytime soon.

I’m used to this. I tried to get a successful entrepreneur or author to write the foreword to my first book, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, but when I asked all I got was total radio silence. So I wrote my own foreword. Problem solved.




(I also tried to get endorsements from Seth Godin, Guy Kawaski and Michael Gerber, which didn’t work out. They did make my dreams come true for The Pumpkin Plan, which I talked about in this post. So maybe there’s hope for a high-profile review of the new book.)

So until major reviewers come knocking, I’m writing my own review. Mine is in my “Must Read Pages” style, sort of like Cliff Notes for busy entrepreneurs like you. (Check out my last book review here.)

Here’s my own short Pumpkin Plan review, and then we’ll get to the must read pages:

The Pumpkin Plan is life changing, and the author is damn sexy.

Okay, on to the key pages you need to read to grow a kick-ass, remarkable, profit machine of a business:

Page 3: “Never forget this: Ordinary pumpkins are always forgotten.”

Page 8: “Gross revenue means nothing when your receptionist makes more than you do.”



Page 18: “Kiss my ass, one nut guy.”

Page 19, Action Step #3: “Ask better questions. Really big pumpkins have really strong roots. We can only find the best answers when we ask great questions. Rather than ask, “Why do I struggle?” ask, “How can I take home $2,000 a day, every day?” Either way, your brain will find the answer. Write down one big, bad question you always ask when you’re beating your head against the wall, and then reverse it.

Page 31: “Eric has fallen into the other trap—trading time for money. He’s maxed out. He has no balance, becoming more machine than man.”

Page 43: “Don’t waste your time planting seeds that may or may not work out. Plant the seed that you know has the very best chance of making it, and then focus your attention, money, time and other resources on that tight niche until all of your entrepreneurial dreams come true.”

Page 47: The Atlantic Giant Seed chart.

Page 51: “In the words of the great amateur pumpkin farmer Chuck Radcliffe, ‘If you want to grow a prize-winning pumpkin, you have to plant a prize-winning pumpkin seed.’”

Page 73: “When you’re working with clients who are your mirror image (or darn close), marketing is cake.”



Page 84: “John had been ready for a while to make a change. He was completely at capacity. ‘I couldn’t work one minute more. I left the house at 4:30 a.m. and rolled in after 7:30 p.m. My wife and daughter were becoming strangers to me.’”

Page 90: “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.

Page 100: “The Pumpkin Plan isn’t just about revenue; it’s about profit. Remember profit?”

Page 116: “One of the biggest fallacies in business is that old adage, ‘The customer is always right.’ Stop for a minute and think about what that would mean for you if it were true. If  ‘the customer’ (translation: everyone who wants to do business with you) is always right, how can you possibly serve all of them well?”

Page 127: “You don’t have to grow a pumpkin as large as a house to nab the world record. You only need one pound.”

Page 134: “The key to explosive growth is competing reasonably well in every area of your competition competes in, and then blowing them away in one category.”

Page 145: “If you can get your clients and prospects to label you differently—not just for the sake of being different, but because you are different—you make it easy for clients to notice your differences… and to choose you over the competition. Oh—and if you do a good enough job, price becomes irrelevant, so you can charge more than the other guys and finally earn what you are really worth.”



Page 163: “Recruit your clients to actively participate in building your next product or service in order to gauge interest and reduce risk. Encourage them to build sweat equity in your next offering, so that they have a higher degree of interest in buying it and are more likely to market it for you.”

Page 173: “Your clients don’t want to risk referring you to someone else because they want to keep you for themselves. But this is different. Matching you up with other vendors in order to serve them better? That they can do.”

Page 191: “This is when I had one of the biggest ‘duh’ moments of my life. Building systems is simply another form of investment.”

Pages 194-197: Read this section about the Three Questions. It’s a practice so important, it almost became my next book.

Page 207: “You’ve got to stop worrying about where you are on the product-to-market curve. You’ve got to create something so radical, it makes the curve obsolete. You’ve got to kill the curve.”

Pages 213-217: Read this section about how to continue to grow your business, or grow a new remarkable business, in the “next season.”

So there you have it – my “Must Read Pages” for my own book, The Pumpkin Plan. Of course I want you to read the entire book, but you’re busy. I get it. Maybe after you start applying the strategies in this book, you’ll have more time for reading… and maybe even sleep.


10 thoughts on “My Own Pumpkin Plan Review”

  1. Golden nuggets for entrepreneurs who are too busy to read the book. Love it! (Although I sincerely hope people DO read the entire book. So much good, game-changing stuff in there.)
    Mike, what’s your next “Must Read Pages” style review? Or can’t you tell us?

  2. I love this – I left the important pages of TPP dog eared so I could come back and review them on video – maybe that’s what I’ll do tonight!

  3. I enjoyed reading this. It has taught me to not let the “no” or the fact that no one is willing to even recognize your work, stop you from being creative and getting the word out there. I needed to read this to grow my business and sell my book like wildfire!! “The Day She Left-A Domestic Abuse Survivors Story”

  4. I love this book.. I read it in 3 days it was my first book read since 8th grade lol.. After I was done I was actually mad with myself for reading it too fast because I didnt want it to end so I went and purchased your first book! I am a big fan now Mike! Thank you, you have made a lot of things very clear to me now

    1. Ray – YOU ARE AWESOME!!! Thank you so much for reading The Pumpkin Plan. I hope you love TPE. Now that you are back in the reading game, I encourage you to keep going. There is so much to learn. A couple of my suggestions include: Purple Cow and The Dip by Seth Godin, Go-Giver by Bob Burg, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, anything by Malcom Gladwell, Art of The Start by Guy Kawaski, Emyth by Michael Gerber, Made to Stick by Dan & Chip Heath, I could go on and on. But I hope you have a new addiction to books!
      Thanks again for posting this Ray. I am flattered and honored to have you as a reader of my books.

      1. Thank you Mike.. I really appreciate those recommendations because I was already panicking what I was going to read since I didn’t find any other of your books LOL. But I always have your blog to read now as well. Great work and thank you again you really opened my eyes in a lot of things!

  5. Truthfully I was searching for my next audiobook and only downloaded The Pumpkin Plan because it was on sale. It then sat in my library unread for 4 months while I worked my way through more notable titles.
    Big mistake! This is a tremendous book with actionable items that are easy to understand and implement. I especially like the system for actively engaging your best clients to grow your business. The restaurant example with the car service blew my mind but is so simple.
    Thank you!

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