Seize the Day! The Why and How of ‘Profit First’

Updated on January 31, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

It’s hard to put a dollar figure on the significance of my Profit First plan to the thousands of businesses that have adopted it, but here’s a staggering statistic: More than 30,000 companies globally have put Profit First to work for them! 30,000!

That’s a lot of companies that have made the decision to become profitable, and believe me … we’ve just scratched the surface.

What Is Profit First?

I’m really proud of the start we’ve made, and for anyone reading this article who isn’t familiar with Profit First, I want to take this opportunity to explain why it matters and how you can achieve profitability in your own company.

Sometimes the most important ideas are the simplest, and you can sum up why profitability matters in just one word: stability. Being profitable means that your company can continue to offer its valuable services. Being profitable means that you and your family and your employees can dependably rely on maintaining your lifestyle.

Profit isn’t a bad word. Profit is good because it lets you keep doing what you’re passionate about doing.

In fact, I recently delivered the keynote address for the Office Depot Organization—a collection of not-for-profit organizations. And guess what I talked about….



Because even if your goal isn’t to generate an actual profit, every organization needs cash flow to survive. If you’re not setting money aside for the preservation of your organization and if you’re not managing expenses responsibly, then you’re squandering money.

Cash is the lifeblood of your company, just as it’s the lifeblood for not-for-profit organizations. Profit First works because we all need money to survive.

Prioritizing Profit: How to Think That Way

It’s basic human nature to ignore or shortchange whatever comes last on our list. It’s about prioritizing. And just as you wouldn’t recover from a serious illness and resolve to put your health last, you must resolve to put profit first because that’s the only way you can ensure you actually make a profit.

The basic principle of Profit First is that every single time revenue comes into your company, you set aside a predetermined percentage of that revenue as profit. You transfer that profit to an account in a different bank, and you watch it accumulate.

Now this isn’t a new system for most people reading this article. It’s the “pay yourself first” principle that many folks use to save money personally, but the principle is applied to your business. The point is that it works. Profit First is based on sound, established principles.

And we have more than 2,000 case studies to prove Profit First works!

Profit First: How to Get Started

So we’ve covered how important and effective Profit First is. How do you implement it? There are 2 ways you can start putting Profit First in your own company.

First, you can get the book. Profit First is available on Amazon, and I’m currently working on revising and expanding it for a re-release on February 21, 2017. The book lays out what you need to know to start making your business profitable, and it does it for a tiny fraction of what you’d spend on a business consultant.

If you’re ready to take charge of your future—and you want to get that knowledge on your own—Profit First is your answer.

The other way to get in on Profit First is based on what we’ve learned from the fitness industry about people who successfully implement long-term changes that improve their health. If you want the financial equivalent of a personal trainer, you’re in luck.

We’ve started a professional organization of accountants and bookkeepers who are steeped in Profit First and are ready to not only educate you, but—more importantly—hold you accountable for implementing Profit First principles in your company. You need an accountant or bookkeeper anyway, so why not make that person part of your new success? Profit First Professionals will coach you and will help you make short-term changes that result in long-term profitability.


Profit matters to your business. You understand why. You know how to access the knowledge you need to make your company profitable starting today. There are no excuses. Take that first step and put Profit First.

Mike Michalowicz

Mike Michalowicz is the entrepreneur behind three multimillion dollar companies and is the author of Profit First, The Pumpkin Plan and what BusinessWeek deemed the entrepreneur’s cult classic, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. Mike is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the former business makeover specialist on MSNBC. To learn more about Mike and get access to a treasure trove of entrepreneurial tips, visit
Read more