Warning: The Fix This Next book had such a profound impact that we immediately became certified Fix This Next Advisors. It accelerated our business, and it can help yours too.
Fix This Next by Michael Michalowicz
Not just a book, but a troubleshooting and maintenance manual for any business.
“Business success is a journey, something you need to navigate in perpetuity of your company.”
After serving in the Army as a flight surgeon, I opened a concierge practice in Newport Beach, California, that catered to high-end individuals interested in maintaining their very best health.
My patients were wonderful people at the tops of their professions. Interestingly, most of them came from humble beginnings, everything from profound poverty to average middle-class childhoods. You can read more elsewhere on the blog about the characteristics of peak performers – and how anyone can develop these habits – and how it’s a fundamental truism that a big part of reaching these highest levels of accomplishment is by doing the right thing rather than all the things.
So many people confuse cause and effect: the wanna-be’s who think that the flash – the expensive car, the three martini lunch and the exclusive club membership will make them successful. The writers who obsess over the latest writing software tool instead of writing, the marketers who spend more time debating strategies in Facebook groups than actually marketing their services, the overweight person with every diet plan and book that never gets off the couch.
Worst and most tragic of all – the business owner who is hair-on-fire busy but whose business is plateaued or failing. Fix This Next is the troubleshooting guide + fix it manual for businesses of all stages and sizes. Elegantly simple, any entrepreneur can use this system to identify what to focus on next, then how to apply Mike’s proven OMEN method for an effective solution every time.
Gut Instinct vs. Objective Analysis
Business owners often see the problem right in front of them as the biggest one, when in fact what they see may be a symptom rather than the root cause.
“The biggest problem business owners have is that they don’t know what their biggest problem is.”
They know they have a problem, or more like a long list of problems to be solved and fires to be stomped out. But as they dive into each day to do battle, slaying the monsters as they appear, it’s common – normal, actually – to lose situational awareness of the Big Picture.
It’s not that gut instinct is wrong, because it’s identifying apparent problems, but gut instinct is more about fight-or-flight reaction to flee immediate danger than objective analysis that can reveal a deeper, different source.
The Business Hierarchy of Needs
Rather than assessing a company’s health and needs based on revenue-based growth stages, Mike Michalowicz argues that a company’s health is based on the level of its current needs.
“…a healthy company must first attend to the base needs of sales, profit, and order before the leadership (you) can focus on more advanced pursuits.”
Regardless of how large or small a company is, it will move up and down levels over time. Focusing on the problem at the lowest level first addresses the more foundational problems and often puts out a number of seemingly independent fires at higher levels, in turn allowing your company to rise up again through the hierarchy to greater levels of health.
“Metrics are the scoreboard. They are how you measure whether you are winning the game.”
Fix This Next goes beyond diagnostics and prioritization. Mike presents his OMEN method for developing a plan for, implementing and solving the problem. It’s simple, uses objective measurements, and includes involvement of the team members closest to the problem. This method is elegant in its simplicity, which is what makes it adaptable to any business in any industry.
“There are infinite ways to address business challenges – that part is up to you. As long as you know which way to turn, you’ll get to your destination.”
Don’t just read books for the sake of reading books – apply what you learn in this book to your business and you will see results every time.
You can find out what level your business is really operating on in the Business Hierarchy of Needs by taking the Fix This Next Evaluation (it’s free!).
Further Reading & Resources
I’ve read all of Mike Michalowicz’s books, but which one you should read really depends on the needs of your business. Here’s the list and what they can help you with, so you can make the best choice for you:
- Fix This Next – Read this one first! The remaining books each address common problems and practical solutions for businesses at different stages of growth and with different needs to scale further. This book will show you how to identify the next best thing for you to focus on in your business.
- The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur – Are you a would-be entrepreneur, a scrappy bootstrapper with more enthusiasm than resources? Take heart, many a Fortune 500 company was founded by someone just like you. Conventional guidance will keep you busy, but Michael Michalowicz’ ‘get real’ approach will show you what is important – and not important – to do as you’re getting started.
- The Pumpkin Plan – The only thing worse than having a failing business is a having successful one that you hate. The Pumpkin Plan shows you how to avoid both. Whether you’re just starting out or have a business that makes you miserable, this book shows you how to nurture your business into a thriving, joyful vocation.
- Profit First – If your business is generating revenue but you struggle to pay the bills, Profit First is for you. Sustained profitability is the key to long-term growth – you must master this or failure is inevitable.
- Clockwork – When you’ve mastered sales and have stabilized profitability, it’s time to systematize and turn your business from a job where you are working for your business into an asset where your business is working for you.
- Surge – A five-step system to identify the surging trends in your marketplace and how to ride them to success.
Not sure? Try this free, fast & easy tool to assess what you should be fixing next in your business.