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The Dirty Truth About Being an Entrepreneur

tpentrepreneur We were joined today by Mike Michalowicz. Mike is a serial entrepreneur and author of the just released book, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. He has been featured in Inc. magazine, The New York Times, and is a frequent guest on one of our favorite television shows, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.

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marylynn
The first thing we have to ask is … what the heck is a “toilet paper entrepreneur”?

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mikeA toilet paper entrepreneur sheds insight on what entrepreneurialism is all about. What a lot of us read in Inc., Fortune Small Business, and Fast Company is what Google, Facebook, and YouTube did. They’re overnight successes. The dirty truth is that “overnight success” is ten to fifteen years of hard work for most entrepreneurs. Just like with entrepreneurship, there’s the stuff that happens in the bathroom that no one talks about. So the title came from an experience we’ve all had. We’re in the restroom and we’ve done what we came to do. We look over and, sure enough, there’s only three sheets dangling there. It’s in that moment where true entrepreneurialism kicks in. We do the incredible – we grab the toilet seat like a pommel horse, stretch the foot out, hook the garbage can, root through it and find three sheets and the torn up cardboard roll. With that, we’re able to complete the job!

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georgeMaybe Sheryl Crow is the quintessential Toilet Paper Entrepreneur because she can get by with one sheet! Seriously, that’s a great analogy – entrepreneurs find a way to get the job done, no matter what.

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mike
No matter what. A true entrepreneur will dig deep and use things no one would ever consider.

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marylynnDon’t you think that the Facebook guys and the Google guys did that at some point? We often hear that some of these overnight successes are created in a garage. They do the same thing too, don’t they?

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mikeThey do in the sense that that’s how they all started. The only difference is Google received funding within a year. That’s what I call the “full roll” of cash. Most entrepreneurs don’t ever receive funding. There’s a path when you don’t get that money; there’s other ways of doing it, sometimes just as quickly.

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marylynn
In your book, you say that sometimes money is actually a detriment to entrepreneurs.

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mikeI totally believe that money is a detriment. Money amplifies the habits we have. In my own life experience, I was 25 the first time I received a good chunk of change – a $250,000 investment. I bought nice furniture. I hired employees. I got a good car to impress people on sales calls. I wasted the money. When I didn’t have the money, I learned how to leverage it appropriately. Then as the business grew, and more money came in, I was able to use it as a vehicle for growth.

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george
Another thing that I found interesting is that you’re not a bigg believer in business plans.

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mikeI’m the antithesis of it. I just received some hate mail from a university professor saying that he couldn’t believe I said that.

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georgeHey, today was my business plan lecture by the way! I’m kidding – we actually don’t talk about business plans in my class.

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mikeIn my experience, business plans are wonderful dust collectors. If someone can project their own financials four or five years out, they should invest in stocks because, if you could do that only ninety days out, you could become a millionaire overnight.

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georgeI’m not an advocate of “ready, fire”; you do need to “ready, aim, fire”. But at the same time, it’s amazing how many times someone writes a full-fledged business plan and then, within a few months, they end up in a completely different business. And that business takes them to their success.

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mikeYes. So I think, in the early stages of a business, you have to be very cognizant of everything that’s going on, watch the consumers’ behavior, and then flow with the river and adjust the business, sometimes 180 degrees, to match what they want to buy.

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george
I thought you were going to say “flow with the toilet”!

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marylynnSince we’re back to toilet humor, tell us about one of the crappiest resources you used when you had nothing.

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mikeHere’s one little trick I’ve used – the most expensive cost, besides rent and your employees, is professional services … your attorneys, accountants and so forth. I go to the local colleges. They have CPAs and attorneys working there that are now professors. They are more than willing to give free advice and work up the documents with you. Sometimes the exchange is simply being a case study for their class. It saves me thousands and thousands of dollars. I still use it today.

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You can get a free chapter of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur on Mike’s site. It’s a great book that we highly recommend to you. You’ll find it to be great bathroom reading!

Thanks, Mike, for sharing your time and wisdom with us. We wish you bigg success with this wonderful book.

Next time, we’ll talk about lovin’, touchin, and squeezin’. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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We were pleased to visit with Jim Bouchard on The Bigg Success Show today. Jim is the author of Dynamic Components of Personal Power. Success the Black Belt Way. Jim turned his love for martial arts into a thriving martial arts business. From there he started his own publishing company and is now a successful author and speaker.


Jim shared 3 tips to get from where you are to where you want to be:


#1 – The only person responsible for you is you.

You don’t need, and shouldn’t depend on anybody to guarantee you anything. It’s nice when they offer and it’s nice to be helpful yourself. You become a much better resource to others and do more good in the world when you make yourself powerful. So get out there and do it!

#2 – Start with power.
Martial arts is all about developing power (e.g. power for a kick or a punch). Those same techniques work in life and business as well. Power is your ability or capacity to act or perform effectively. So perfection isn’t a destination; it’s a never-ending process. The more you embrace that process, the more prepared you are to take advantage of opportunities.

Of course, at times it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling powerless. There may be conditions and circumstances beyond your control. At some point, though, you have to put on the brakes and take personal responsibility. Then focus on improving your ability and capacity to be open to opportunities.

#3 – Gratitude.
Jim says this could be first of the three in order of importance. He has a morning ritual that he practices no matter what’s he’s feeling that day. He doesn’t focus on what he doesn’t have; he spends a few moments expressing gratitude. Start your day being thankful for what you have.

For example, Jim says it’s wonderful for him to wake up every day and know that he’s in business with his wife and that she’s an extraordinary partner – both personally and n business. No matter what adversities they face, they can face them together and succeed. That’s a lot to be thankful for by itself!

George said he really hoped Mary-Lynn paid attention to that!

Download four chapters of Jim’s great book,
Dynamic Components of Personal Power. Success the Black Belt Way.
It’s FREE! Click Here.

Our bigg quote today comes from Jim Bouchard himself:

“You only stand on the mountain top for a moment.
It’s the journey that provides all the best memories.”

So even when the going gets tough, enjoy every moment of your climb to the top.

We thank Jim for sharing his time and wisdom with us!

Next time, we’ll look at how one young man made a bigg difference at work by adding his personal touch. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image from jimbouchard.org