Lisa Robbin Young

Book of the Week: "Get Different" by Mike Michalowicz

When I was in first grade, my teacher saw me browsing the titles in the 4th grader section of the library. She tried to guide me back to the beginning readers, but I was undeterred. I wanted to read Charlotte's Web.

Mrs. McKellar wasn't convinced, so she opened to a random page, pointed to a paragraph, and asked me to read it. I did, adding character voices as I read along.

She never stopped me from reading ever again.

So yeah, I'm a reader. I'm often a double fisted (or more) reader. I have books everywhere, much to my husband's dismay. I also get asked to read and review new books from time to time. So, it made sense to me to give you the opportunity to see what I'm reading, what I like (and don't) and why.

Thus, this new "book of the week" post comin' atcha!

A photoshopped image of a giant-sized Lisa, hanging from the Eiffel Tower, holding an even bigger copy of Mike's book, "Get Different", with a caption featureing the URL to buy the book:

Better isn't better. Different is better.

That's the premise behind Mike's book, Get Different. Mike Michalowicz has a brilliant, linear mind. He can distill anything into a useable framework or system - his past books (Fix This Next, Clockwork, Profit First), all illustrate this very well. But Mike's also good at making that framework understandable and USEABLE by just about everyone. So OF COURSE he developed a framework for marketing.

Justin Wise is the innovator of this system, and he and Mike bring it to life in this book. It's rich with case studies and examples - including from Mike's own business - to help you see how to implement and execute on the Different Is Better framework. The framework is simple - Differentiate - Attract - Direct (D.A.D) - but that doesn't make it easy.

Experiment to find your "different"

I gave this book 4 stars because the opening chapter is SO bro-markety that it feels out of alignment with everything else Mike has ever written. It's definitely DIFFERENT, but I'm not a big fan of the guy he mentions, so the pot-smoking, pool playing, and name-dropping felt icky and not what I've come to expect from Mike's work. I'm no prude, mind you, it just felt out of integrity with the fun-loving, wise-cracking, caring approach Mike takes in his books.

But if you an get past that first chapter (and I did), you'll find a framework that's easy to understand and simple to use. Notice, I didn't say EASY to use. You'll have to test, tweak, and experiment to "find your different." But that's what marketing is all about anyway, so Mike just gives you permission to do more of it. The forms and instructions are very straightforward. It's easy to plug in your customer information and start testing/playing around with it. But you've gotta DO the work. You've gotta reach out to folks to confirm what sets you apart in the eyes of your best customers. You've got to iterate and evolve, too, because different today is samey-same tomorrow.

Overall, it's a solid read and, while I got an advanced (and autographed!) copy from Mike as part of his street team, I also bought several copies for my clients. It's a doable, understandable approach to marketing your business in a way that WORKS.

You might also like:

How to Stop Holding Yourself Back


How to Grow an Audience Without Becoming A Target


What Paul Simon Taught Me About Marketing