78 – How To Set Expectations And Win Like Zappos | feat. Mike Michalowicz


Mike Michalowicz (@MikeMichalowicz) is an author of 4 books, including “Profit First”, and an angel investor.

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Cheat Sheet

  • Some people close their eyes, swing their hardest, and hit a home run their first time at the plate.
  • The danger is that if you become jaded and overconfident, the inevitable crash is usually harder and faster than the initial rise to the top.
  • But if you pay attention, and do the inner work there are rich lessons to be learned that can apply to your next venture, or to teaching others.
  • Or, you can simply learn the tactics and strategies that someone who has been through the meat grinder of early success and epic failure in order to avoid a good portion of the pain and suffering that comes along with it… and make a lot more money, sustainably, in the process.
  • Today’s guest, Mike Michalowicz, is one of those people who has been through the ringer and is someone that I have learned from. I have implemented many of his lessons in my own business with huge success and I recommend his work highly.


About This Episode

Have you been struggling to get your business off the ground or to get things done?

Wish you had just nailed it from the get-go?

Mike Michalowicz would beg to differ.

When he was 22 years old he started a computer networking business that he quickly grew and sold when it was reaching $2 million a year in revenue.

He then started a computer crime investigation company at the right time (helping take down Enron) and sold it when it was generating $7 million a year in revenue.

“I thought I was God’s gift to entrepreneurship… turns out I was just a guy.”

He then proceeded to blow all his earnings on trophy items like cars, an expensive apartment in an expensive city, and silly Angel investments.

One day he had to come home to his wife and kids and tell them they had to sell everything and start from scratch.

Fast forward to today, Mike has risen from the ashes to write four entrepreneurial cult classics, including “Profit First” and his latest book, “Surge”, where he teaches the strategies that made him successful originally and the mistakes he made to lose it all so you can avoid them.

He is also back into Angel investing, with a stake in a manufacturing company, but this time operating with a strict “No Dicks Allowed” partnership policy that is serving him well.

Having had early success, and then losing it all, and then rising like a Phoenix from the ashes, Mike has a unique and valuable perspective on how to launch and grown successful businesses.

In this episode, we talk about how to avoid a cash flow crunch with proper budgeting, why you should do a small batch run of manufacturing even before your campaign to prove the process…

…but most importantly for Crowdfunding, he reminds us that your backers can’t see behind the curtain and see how hard you are working to deliver unless you let them.

And how to set expectations properly so you can wow your backers and make them raving fans, even if it feels like your world is crashing down around you.

Resources Mentioned


The Surge

Profit First

The Pumpkin Plan

Toilet Paper Entrepreneur

Hedgehog Leatherworks



This episode is brought to you by BackerKit


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