5 Quick Questions with Mike MichalowiczZack Rosenberg | May 1st, 2012
Mike is the founder of the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, author and his new company, Obsidian Launch
1. What is your number one piece of advice for entrepreneurs?
Get started NOW! When someone is starting a company a million excuses can come up (too much responsibility, not enough money, etc). What someone can fail to realize is that you’ll never be 100% equipped to start a company. In your 20’s you might be too young, then in your 30’s you have the responsibility of your family, your 40’s are about your kids, and then in your 50’s you’re too old for the risks. That is why it is best to get started early. Even studies show that the earlier someone starts the more success one can have.
2. Are entrepreneurs born or made?
Entrepreneurs are born that way, just like a professional athlete. All the training in the world cannot make an athlete a professional and the same goes for an entrepreneur. The trait I think all entrepreneurs have in common is an appreciation for risk. What this means is you see the positive side of taking a risk, that when you “fail” it helps you to figure out how to make something work, that a risk is actually an opportunity.
A relentless work ethic is also a trait that entrepreneurs have. For some people, 2PM means the day is done, but for entrepreneurs 2AM is the end of the day. The point here is that starting something on your own is HARD. And, it’s always been hard because if this was the easy path then everyone would do it.
3. How do you know that this is “the idea”?
There is a difference between getting rich fast and getting rich right. Some people jump into the greatest and latest trending industry to capitalize on an influx of cash. When the idea is right, it should be about compassion, knowledge, and vision. Your body may be physically tired but the idea should give you more energy at the end of a long day.
4. What is a success story of someone you have helped?
Hedgehog Leatherworks in St. Louis, MO is a leather manufacturer, creating all of their products in the USA. The founder read my first book (“The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur”) and loved it. When they contacted me, I was happy to help!
We started deploying many of the strategies laid out in my book. This company has seen tremendous year-to-year growth and I believe that is because they are centered around a cause and a purpose: to quality products in the USA and get people away from screen time.
When Hedgehog Leatherworks started, they bought the rights to use a wolverine as the logo on their products. As the company evolved, their name changed to what it currently is, however the logo remains the same on the products, symbolizing their focus on quality, their mission, and not just the marketing.
5. Can you tell us a little about your new book?
Sure! The “Pumpkin Plan” is simply about how to grow a successful business in any field. I read an article about local pumpkinfarmers and found out the following: 99% of farmers grow standard (Halloween) pumpkins, while the other .1% grow colossal (called lord of the gourds) pumpkins. The change in the growing strategy was so small, I could not believe that this led to a huge change. I took this principle and looked at entrepreneurs and their businesses and found the same thing: a small change can make a business wildly effective. This book talks through the changes that can be made to achieve that goal.
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