I Love ~ Profit First

I Love is a series of posts about tools, books, and other resources that have been invaluable to me and my business, and I hope they help you too!

There’s nothing worse than going through your revenue and expenses...and coming up short. Or finding that your profits are so tiny that you might as well have been bagging groceries all month for minimum wage. (or, GASP, not even making minimum wage.)

We’ve all heard the saying that you have to spend money to make money, but that’s only part of the story. Spending money doesn’t guarantee you’ll make money.

There are a bunch of reasons why you might not be turning a profit, and this book gets into all of them. I thought my business was doing pretty well as far as expenses until I read this, and I found even MORE opportunities for a greater profit!

A lot of it has to do with outdated accounting practices that just don’t work for modern businesses.

The basis of this book is that the traditional business model of Sales – Expenses = Profit leaves you broke and keeps your business stuck. Instead, as the title implies, the author shows you how to reverse that formula so that you pay yourself FIRST and allow your business to grow!

Sidenote: I first listened to the audiobook where he share stories and his personality made it extremely enjoyable. I bought the book when I was ready to sit down and implement what I learned.


My Takeaways

End the shame game so you can actually GROW

One of the things I love about this book is that Mike Michalowicz removes all feelings of shame very quickly. It’s easy to get stuck in that place of “I’m doing this wrong, I’m messing it up, I’m never going to get the hang of this...” And that mindset simply isn’t productive because we’re wasting time and energy beating ourselves up when we could be working on our business!

The guilt/shame was something I definitely struggled with that before I read this book. I thought I was in the minority, doing it all wrong because I just wasn't savvy enough to figure it out. I thought other people had it all figured out and that I was the only one left scratching my head.

Turns out I was doing it the way I did because it was logical and LOTS of business owners were taught do it that way, including him! There’s no shame in doing things the way you were taught. Now that I know better, you can do better!


I’ve read other popular business books, and a lot of the time they feel overcomplicated, dry, and like they just don’t apply to my business. I love simple, effective tips and ideas that I can implement and actually use to improve my business.

And this book was PERFECT for that. I didn't feel like he was talking over my head or talking down to me. He is very relatable and points out his own failings in this area and how this system came to be. Instead, he explained the idea of paying yourself in an approachable way that will work for any size of business in any industry.

It's a simple step-by-step process that I felt confident I could implement, and I'm in the process of doing that now! I don’t feel overwhelmed or discouraged, and I’m already starting to see great results in my business.

A step in the right direction

This book gave me some great tools to improve my overall business organization. I love knowing that everything in its place!

It also changed how I think about business finances overall. This system has actually simplified things for me!

But most of all, I feel like I’m on the right path with a lot of things that I wasn’t sure about before. I know this is a journey, but I’m on board and I feel confident to keep growing and improving!

This book has been a game-changer for my business!

If you want to stop losing all your revenue to expenses and staying stuck under an income ceiling, check out Profit First!


  1. Phyllis on July 19, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    I love profit first too.
    It really makes so much sense – can’t tell you how many times I thought – how obvious – why didn’t I think of this before?

    • tcleveland on July 21, 2020 at 2:26 pm

      I thought of you the whole time I was listening to it, Phyllis! I remembered you telling me about it and apparently I just wasn’t in the right space to embrace it.

Leave a Comment