Best Non-Fiction Books to Read: The Pumpkin Plan (Mike Michalowicz)

Photo Credit: (

The Pumpkin Plan is a business book written by Mike Michalowicz about how to grow and build successful businesses. Like many business books, I think that the book is repetitive and could definitely do without so many anecdotes. However, this does not mean the book is not worth reading (feel free to skip parts if they don’t interest you).

I think the message of The Pumpkin Plan is something a lot of entrepreneurs should hear. The core message is based on the analogy of growing a world-record sized pumpkin (focusing resources and nutrients on growing a single pumpkin that has been identified as having the best chance of breaking the world-record).

A lot of entrepreneurs get stuck in a life-cycle of creating a business that is able to tread water, but that also causes them a lot of stress. Treading water is ok if you have a plan to further expand and grow the business; however, if you are just treading water for an extended period of time, it can be difficult to make a livelihood out of it. Michalowicz reinforces the idea of sunk cost, which is to not take into account the previous investment when deciding whether an idea is worth continuing to pursue or not.

Michalowicz also talks in detail about the 80/20 rule and how it can affect your business (and how to use it to your advantage). Too often, businesses are hamstrung by troublesome customers, suppliers, or merchants who don’t bring in enough business to justify the costs. Michalowicz advocates for cutting these people from your business and focusing your efforts on more favorable, future looking clients (even at the expense of the short-term).

Overall, I think Michalowicz does a good job of presenting key business principles in an easy to digest story. There is nothing in this book that will suddenly grow your business in one day; however, by understanding the principles Michalowicz mentions, you can gradually build a better business over time.

The Pumpkin Plan Recommendation Rating: 3.5

This post has now been updated to reflect a new ratings system that I have implemented, which is scored as follows:

1: Something worth checking out if you have time

2: Something that is a hit for some people, but not a must for everyone

3: Something worth prioritizing if interested

4: Something worth making time to check out

5: An absolute home run, worth going out of your way for


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: