Jeremy Weisz
Mike, can you give me an example of one person and what they said as far as how they figured out what that challenge? The biggest challenges because it like you said, there’s a lot of things firing at us on a daily basis.

Mike Michalowicz
Yeah. So I mean, they’re even coming in now I got a call from this has happened two days ago. There’s a hot air balloon company. And they thought their biggest challenge was with sales because of the COVID crisis going on. So if no one’s buying their stuff, so it was how do we get more customers? So within there’s five levels in the fix this next model is called the business argued needs within them, there’s five needs, there’s 25 core needs that make up the DNA of a business like it’s definitely one these questions. And he said it was client conversions. Like how do we get people on these hot air balloons when you can’t gather so They were think they’re making these dividers, these plastic dividers. So you can go up in every little corner of the hot air balloon. But people like to walk around, see the different views, really struggling. So we had a call and he went through the analysis and he realized he didn’t have a conversion problem. He had a prospecting problem, meaning the type of customer he’s trying to attract was no longer attracted. People don’t want to gather. It’s not convincing them are saying environment these don’t want to do in the first place to be stuck in the basket with 15 strangers. So he realized he needs to find a new prospect. Well, the new prospect is advertising actually, he’s actually working on now. hot air balloons. There are some aviation regulations, but they’re allowed to carry massive banners kinda like if you’re at the beach, you see one of those airplanes plant banner behind it. Think of that banner, but like 20 times bigger.

Jeremy Weisz
Let’s get married or marry me or something. Yeah,

Mike Michalowicz
they can. They can lift these massive banners up and float. In areas near cities or towns, and he’s like, Oh my gosh, I might be going to the wrong prospect. So by going through this model, he was forced to consider what he wasn’t considering the default response is, something’s not working, how am I going to make it work and we just kind of push that round peg through a square hole or square peg through a round hole with the fixes next mile forced him to do was get the empirical data and he saw very clearly, there’s just not prospect flow anymore. So how do I get new prospect flow? And it wasn’t the game, same people getting different people, I’m just changing the customer. Changing customer, which which which way to get that range? The question hit Yeah. Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz
You know, I like to talk about some of the companies and people that influences book and there’s and we’ll talk about some of the stories but specifically the most important person which is your wife. You know, you tell some interesting stories about kind of, Mike, you are made for this. And Mike, you need us Get a job. Yeah. Talk about the two contrasting pieces.

Mike Michalowicz
Yeah, so I’m in, you know, genius of all geniuses here. I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole life. 12 years ago, I make a commitment. I have an epiphany for myself that I need to become an author. I’m going to be a full time author. And entrepreneur endeavors certainly have come out of it. But I’m going to write about entrepreneurship. Why

Jeremy Weisz
is that? What Why were you thinking that?

Mike Michalowicz
Because I, as an entrepreneur, I, even though I had sold two companies, I actually built and sold two tech companies one to fortune 500 woman’s private equity. I never ran this profitably. And I started a third company where I lost all the money I made selling my prior two companies. I didn’t understand the essence of what made entrepreneurship work. And we actually went through depression, struggled with with entrepreneurship. And I realized I should need to learn how to be an effective entrepreneur. So I started writing for myself, I said, Oh my gosh, where I discover for myself as well. I share with other entrepreneurs, I gotta write about this stuff. I actually have the original book, which was a German journal, which is the guy’s term for diary. I still have it. It was a diary and realized I got it right. So I went to my wife, I said, I gotta be an author, I need to write this. And she’s really get it. And now she’s like, oh, here’s one of Mike’s ideas. But I got an email that came in from someone who read a book I’d written cuz I’d read a book that point but an article and said, this has changed my life. This has affected my show, my wife, and my wife read through once she stopped, and she read through going really slowly. And she says, Mike, you’re born for this. You could tell from that guy’s words like that was it? And I felt you know, when you’re your best friend, your soulmate affirms your dream. It’s like yes, I felt so energized that day. Well, fast forward six months later, maybe maybe a year later. The author journey is like any other entrepreneur journey. It’s effing hard. There’s a lot of competition you might not make it you guys stick to it. Well, you know, my my first launched my first book was the toilet paper entrepreneur. The very first day, I had no idea how to launch a book, zero book sold, which just have clarity on the pain of that that means my own mother didn’t buy a book that day. Zero. And, you know, in the income coming home represented

Jeremy Weisz
and in the book, Mike, you talk about how many copies you had in your garage? only thousand I think it’s 25 copies. So it’s not like it wasn’t like a made on demand. It was like you had real physical

Mike Michalowicz
printing backed up. Yeah. And it’s like, Okay, I got a week supply. Here’s the last week a week. Last it lasted 10 years. It’s gone. It’s all gone now except for a couple copies that I’m saving just as a momentum. But my wife then at that point, sat me down, says Mike, you got to get a real job, which for an entrepreneur, that is a knife to the heart, you know, get a real job. That’s devastating and it devastated me to hear that but it was the truth because God’s truth. I couldn’t do it. I actually doubled down on authorship. I said, No, no, I gotta make this work and I did.

Jeremy Weisz
You know, that’s what I love about it. And we I could feel that when I read when I listened to that and you know, the the other store I love from the book and you talk about this is Savannah banana.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah.

Mike Michalowicz
So Savannah, bananas, is just a remarkable story. I started writing about them in profit first. I ever since I discovered them, they just they weren’t discovered me and kind of waved your hands. I was like, Oh my god, these these people are remarkable. They, they challenge the notion of an industry as opposed to this challenge notion was not working for them. This was not working for our industry. So they went through this fix this next process. And the idea is there’s always different elements playing out in the business. At any given time, there can only be one element. That’s the most important element. That’s definition most. So what needs to be fixed next and once you fix it, it’s kind of like whack a mole. Then you find the next fix and you find the next. Well, this challenge the notion of baseball and they said, they said baseball’s kind of boring. This is a baseball team owner saying this because baseball is kind of boring and so they amplified entertainment. Going to a Savannah bananas baseball game is like going to a Harlem Globetrotters basketball game, just on steroids. You know, now you have 5000 people in the audience. It’s massive. This this is a minor league team. they’ve sold out three consecutive seasons. This season. They drew a full face because the Cova crisis this season started in May. They have a whole new animal and they’re still profitable still selling tickets. Baseball supposed to be done and they’re growing. But what was fascinating and I put in their story was the day came they realized they were stuck in the confines of their stadium. Their stadium can fit legally 4500 they Squeezing 5000 you know, your people out in the outskirts of the field on the hill and so forth? And they said, How do we deliver this to everybody? And when they started asking that question, because the next fix was not doing better entertainment, it was actually allowing more fans to see that’s what identified through this analysis. How many time bricks he Jessie, the owner, once he had clarity on what he needed, the answer was always seeing in front of them. There was a stack of these letters He always was getting from people inquiring about it. He went through it. There was a letter from the company owned by Ron Howard, you know, like the famous movie Hi, I’m saying we want to consider making a TV show about the Savannah bananas. And he responded to it. They sent out a producer for the final two games of the last season. So this was 2019. And of the 10,000 or so concepts pitch to Ron Howard and their team, the number one extreme Have to kind of concept for a pilot to show was the Savannah bananas and ethics that go on there? It’s still playing out. And with the Cova crisis, things have shifted. But what we’ll see in the next six months to a year, does this become a TV show? But what was so interesting is he busted through the confines of a wall, a stadium and now he has potential to entertain and serve millions of people. Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz
And and people should check you know, actually actually listened to a refix this next us talk about how they not only the TV show, but also different products that can live beyond what that experiences

Unknown Speaker
right, right

Mike Michalowicz
beer, Savannah, banana beer, it goes like crazy,

Jeremy Weisz
you know, that was a shift for me a mindset shift because it’s like how do you touch people and go beyond even what your service your core services to other services? So

Mike Michalowicz
Well, you know, they did they built fans, I went to now three games there. It’s a must attend experience and I’ve ever gone to the first game. I was I was so taken aback. By the entertainment and how circus like it was, but in such a fun, engaging way that at the end the game, I didn’t know what to one because they actually play. I see one guy, he’s wearing all the gear. He had a Savannah banana tattoo, like a permanent tattoo on his shoulder. Like that guy’s a fan. So I ran to him. I said, That game was amazing. I go, I know who won. And he looks at me goes, I don’t know. And I’m like, What? You’re a fan. He’s like, I love this combination. I don’t watch the game. I’m here for the show. He’s like, I got it. Savannah, bananas, get it. Baseball is simply just a little term they put on it, but it’s the Harlem Globetrotters. You know, what’s the end of the Harlem Globetrotters game? You simply know the hongo tries to beat the Washington whoever they Yeah, exactly every time but you don’t know the score. You know you’re entertained.

Jeremy Weisz
Yeah. And you know so one another core message I took out of that in you practices in writing your books, which is listen to your customer, ask your customer and because if they didn’t listen In that letter from Ron Howard a you didn’t listen to the the thoughts that were coming in from your your customers, then that’s where the next idea or that’s where the iteration or that’s where you’re going to get some, you know, piece of your business and understand it better. There’s another interesting story. Mike, you talked about which I thought it was hilarious in this context, which was you spoke to some funeral directors

Unknown Speaker
at Yankee Stan and so how did that even come about? i?

Mike Michalowicz
Well, I guess I got a call from

Jeremy Weisz
directors at Yankee Stadium.

Mike Michalowicz
Well, so let me just clarify that wasn’t like filling records filling 50,000 it was at Yankee Stadium, but they have these training rooms. So it’s a business center to their right. I never really knew

Jeremy Weisz
Look. It sounds better like you’re on the mound and then they’re just

Mike Michalowicz
Welcome everyone, everyone, everyone at Nike Nike stadium.

Unknown Speaker
Now that’s what I’m picturing.

Mike Michalowicz
150 200 funeral directors and Haha, they you know, I remember it’s in the story from the book I remember telling them I said, you know, the the biggest definition of the biggest way to find success is repeatability right. And if you can get a customer by a second time a third time, you got an engaged customer and someone that kind of awkwardly or enhances were Funeral Directors. Like there isn’t much replay. And I know the only day I’ll do the funeral director job to call Haha, they very deep voices very nice all the time. And that’s why I explained what repetition isn’t from a person aside from a community. And can we exploit exploit but can we serve community so well that our reputation is of excellence, like, instead of serving anyone who passed away, can we specialize in Armenian funerals or who specialize in gay couples or something like that, or whatever it is, and get a reputation of such excellence that that community will be loyal to us because we’re loyal to them.

Jeremy Weisz
Yeah. And I think I was talking to someone who’s got a very, very successful ecommerce company that says, like sells memorabilia for the deceased. So they have lockets and necklaces. And so there’s other things basically, in the book you talk about, what are all the things you could be doing to serve that person that would help? You know,

Mike Michalowicz
oh, yeah, we have Emory. There was they teamed up with a portrait painter who would paint the portrait, but also write the story of the person within the painting. There was one really fascinating technique they did is they would do a traditional portrait, but they would use micro editing to put along like the lines and their clothing, actual stories and you wouldn’t know anyone there unless you get a magnifying glass. Wow. Yeah. Is this really an innovative way and people loved it.

Jeremy Weisz
You know, Mike, you are there’s really a big question that i i love that you talk about in your book. Which is an every entrepreneur probably pops in their head. How do I take four weeks off without checking email, checking out my company having things run without me? What are some of the first steps and talk about that concept? And my friend Tony really went to one of your, you know, events and actually report bugs like I Everyone needs this about everyone. That’s close. Yeah, run like clockwork. Exactly.

Mike Michalowicz
Yeah. So I believe there’s two forms of significant forms of poverty and entrepreneurship, there’s many forms there’s two significant one is financial property. Everyone’s aware that the bigger one I think it’s time poverty that we become. Slaves is too strong of a word, but we become we we devote our life to serving the business as opposed to business serving our life. Yeah. So I studied this phenomenon and I just determined that for the vast majority of businesses if the owner small businesses if the owner can leave the business for four consecutive weeks, they fizzle In digital disconnect in the business continues to sustain and grow, it likely can go into perpetuity as most things happen every four weeks, you know, Billings, hiring, firing new clients, old clients leaving. So the first step is actually schedule the fortification. Step one, and many people are trying to get there. They’re saying, you know, one day I’ll be ready for the vacation and they never comes about because the the schedule, yeah, schedule it. So I tell people it’s like tomorrow, like anything for vacation, but a year from now, maybe two years, but it’s got to be booked. And the goal isn’t the vacation. The goal is the business has no experience with you. You’ve got to be gone. So I don’t care if you go, you know, to your mother in law’s house. I actually that that sounds like misery but you know, go somewhere. She’s not listening to this. Yeah, hopefully. Go somewhere you’re not able to access the business. What happens is there’s a mind shift. One of my favorite stories was a gentleman named Mike Agugliaro. He runs a plumbing house homes. I know

Jeremy Weisz
Mike. Yeah. You know, Mike. Yep. Yeah, a word that big h HVAC the CEO or Yeah, yeah. Oh, amazing. Company. Amazing. Yeah.

Mike Michalowicz
$30 million. Right? He starts out in a van $30 million. And I asked him, I said, How do you go from being the guy who’s driving the van repairing electrical stuff and plumbing stuff to having a $30 million company and like this? He says, Well, he’s driving the van for four or five years and said, this is not working anymore. He started asking a new question. He said, instead of asking how many get this work done, he said, who is gonna get this work done? That is a defining shift. Hmm. So when you schedule it for education, stop asking how am I going to do this and ask who’s going to do this? And that forces you to start systematizing bringing the resources it doesn’t mean full time employees could be part time virtual contractors. It could be empowering your vendors actually could be even training your customers on how to do things to bring about efficiency. Yeah, that’s the two big steps schedule it and shift from doing to designing

Jeremy Weisz
who will get this done, not how I love that. And Mike is a force to be reckoned with everyone should check CEO Warrior.

Mike Michalowicz
It’s an animal I Louise talking to

Jeremy Weisz
you talk to him. Did he have you speak at one of his events?

Mike Michalowicz
Yeah. Many of his events got a virtual one yesterday, in like two weeks before I go on and get this text, you know as as dice. You’re sitting there. It’s like, oh, what’s Mike was our problem at all? Is the Hulk roaring, you better bring your A game.

Jeremy Weisz
Mike so much to cover. I know you have to hop off in a few. I love to hear I was asked since Inspired Insider, what’s been a low moment what’s been a high moment maybe talk about and fix this next. There’s high and low story in there, like together, which is burpees. And it shocked me what when you talk to the founder of burpees what he was saying about his legacy living habits. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Mike Michalowicz
Yeah, that was fascinating. I’m so blessed. I did. I actually got chills. Now as you said, I was so blessed to talk to him before he passed away. He was an eccentric I never met him face to face. I did a phone call phone calls with him. But we shared a mutual friend. And I wanted the Burt’s Bees, you know, from zero to a billion dollar exit with Clorox Burt was this eccentric beekeeper who would sell these products on the side of the street up in Maine. So you can get you know, be lip balm and stuff like that. Well, he partnered up with a woman named Roxanne. I came in realizing at the moment but partnered with her and they grew this business. When when they sold for a billion dollars, Burt hardy left the business there was a dispute with him and his partner Roxanne. And I asked him about the whole experience, you know, he made still some pretty good money. And I said, Why was this the definition of entrepreneur success to build something and sell it? I said, if you could do it all over again. Um, what would you do different? And he said, I wouldn’t Do it again. And it kind of punched me in the face. And I was like, What do you mean? He goes, it was a horrible experience. Hmm. What came clear to me was that the entrepreneur journey is something that we have to define for ourselves. that success is not bigger is better. It’s, it’s that it satisfies an inner thirst, that needs to be quenched. his thirst. thirst was just to be happy. My interpretation was, he just, he just wanted to, to give to his community. He’s wanted to live a very humble life. Well, you know, when he made his millions, whatever Roxanne bought out for, he didn’t move to a new cobblestone cabin the woods, he never had cell phone, I’d call I’d call the local convenience, the general store and you say, Hey, is bird around right now? Now? We don’t. That’s how you that’s how you got hold of this guy. After he had built Burt’s Bees. He wouldn’t have done it again. Yeah, the definition and why I had that story in there is that legacy is something of our choosing. We have to we have the right We must define what we want for ourselves and have our business satisfy our want it’s not about just money.

Jeremy Weisz
Yeah, everyone got to fixthisnext.com check out all his books Profit First, Clockwork, The Pumpkin Plan, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. But Fix This Next start with Fix This Next, according to Mike So, Mike, if you had to thank you so much. I totally appreciate your time.