At the office, in our shipping area for our books, there’s a little shelf on the wall, displaying a copy of each of the six books I’ve written. However, technically, there is one book missing from the display: my book Profit First.
Now, there is a copy of Profit First on the shelf. However, it’s not the first copy that I published – it’s self-published, actually. Profit First was the third book that I wrote, the first two being The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and The Pumpkin Plan, both through Penguin Random House Publishing. When I pitched Profit First to them, however, their exact words to me were as follows: “No one needs another accounting book.”
And they declined to publish it – at least at first. Not too long after facing that rejection, I spoke with someone who was mentoring me at the time about my frustrations at not getting Profit First into the hands of business owners everywhere just because my publisher didn’t have faith in it. After I finished explaining all of that, my mentor left me with the words that I would actually follow: “Make them regret it.”
I had to make them see that in refusing to publish Profit First, they were making a huge mistake. I had faith in my book. I knew it could help so many business owners out there. All I had to do was prove it.
So, that’s why I initially had to self-publish Profit First. And guess what? It sold so many copies that Penguin Random House eventually came back to me and said that they wanted to buy the book and republish it in a revised and expanded edition. Profit First is by far my most popular book, and it’s helped more than 600,000 business owners apply the profit first method and mentality to their business.
It’s my hope that sharing this story leads to a wake-up call for you. Don’t let the few naysayers who are scrunching their noses at your big ideas dictate the direction you take in your business and in your life. If they don’t share your vision (at least at first), that doesn’t mean you have the wrong vision – it just means you have to double down and press forward. You have to believe in your idea even more than you already did.
If I hadn’t stuck to my guns and published Profit First, regardless of what my publisher said, there would be thousands of business owners out there who would not be nearly as successful as they are now. They’ve grown, curated their clients and automated their business in ways that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
What’s your next big idea? Does the thought of how it could help people fire you up? Are there people in your life, even people who care about you, who tell you that your idea won’t work? Don’t give in. Don’t give up on your dreams. Keep pushing forward, and I promise you that eventually, you’ll see the success that you already know is possible.
Mike Michalowicz is a very successful author, entrepreneur and lecturer. He has written several successful books, including his latest, Get Different. He is currently the host of the Business Rescue segment on MSNBC’s Your Business, and he previously worked as a small-business columnist for The Wall Street Journal.