This week on The Growth Whispers we challenge the conventional wisdom about building your business to sell it. When you’re starting your business some people say you need to know your exit strategy, and that you should always know your exit and be planning to sell your business.
But there’s another view: when you start your business, you should expect to run it for 50 years, or 100 years, or generations. That’s the alternative we want you to consider, and building your business so you keep enjoying your business for many years into the future.
Why you should build your business like you’re never going to sell it
Episode 52 – The Growth Whisperers
The Growth Whisperers is a weekly podcast hosted by Brad Giles and Kevin Lawrence two advisors to mid-market businesses, one Australian, one Canadian, who each work with CEOs and Leadership Teams across the world with a mission to build enduring, great companies. Each weekly episode covers interesting situations and questions from the world of strategic planning, leadership development, talent and hiring in high growth entrepreneurial companies where real results matter.
Kevin Lawrence 00:13
Welcome to the growth whispers podcast where everything we talk about is building enduring great companies. Those are companies that people build and continue to build for decades and decades and decades and resources to help them and their teams to do this thing. enduring great companies. That’s what we’re about. And I’m here today with my co-host, Brad Giles, as I am every week and Brad, welcome to the show today. Today is a very special day like a really special day. Do you want to tell us about that, Brad?
Brad Giles 00:46
Well, today’s episode 52, it is our one year anniversary with so happy to have made it to one year it’s great one year of talking about building enduring great businesses. Every week, for one year, we’ve been doing this and we started in the heat of the pandemic. This was Yeah, really a tough time and now we’re enduring.
Kevin Lawrence 01:18
Yes, we are. And you know, like a lot of things that started out as an experiment. Hey, let’s try this and give it a shot. We’ve been enjoying it. bringing our brains together, you know, It’ll come together in a book and lots of other great things. So yeah, it’s our 52nd episode. Made it to a year persistence pays. And yeah, so what? So today, before we get into our topics today, Brad, what’s your word? Or your phrase of the day where you’re at today?
Brad Giles 01:47
Yeah. Joey Chestnut, obviously, so you’re not Joey chestnut To be more specific. So according to major league eating the World Federation on eating the world champion, the undisputed world champion is Joey chestnut, at World at eating records. So Joey’s eaten 75 hotdogs in 10 minutes. And if you do, then, and they have that competition on Coney Island in New York, and I think he’s also eaten 32 Big Macs is the other world record that he holds, right. But when Joey hit 75 hot dogs in 10 minutes, okay, to give you an idea of just how much how far ahead he is. The number two person is almost flaking out at about 45. Okay, so Joey is by far and away the world leader in consuming hotdogs within 10 minutes. But my point is that you’re not jelly chestnut, we talk about all of these things. We talk about purpose, execution data, we talk about great leadership team and hiring the right players. And so you are not Joey Chestnut, right, you can’t consume at a rate, the average person cannot even consume at a rate of the people who are losing, let alone Joey chestnut. So you’ve got to be realistic in the manner in which you will consume in which you will introduce these concepts into your business and execute them and get them to stick. So you’re not Joey chestnut, there is only one Joey chestnut, who can eat 75 hotdogs in 10 minutes.
Kevin Lawrence 04:00
What you’re saying is you have to pace yourself when you’re implementing things in your business. Yes, because most people can’t consume that much whether it’s information or changes or other things that quickly.
Brad Giles 04:14
Yeah. And you know what people say? Like, I want to get all of this stuff in right away. It’s cool. It’s also awesome. Yeah, but you can’t wait until
Kevin Lawrence 04:24
later we just not right. And if we try to consume stuff like Joey chestnut, only half of its gonna get down and then it’s all going to come out and there will be no net in the system. Well, that will Yeah, quickly, the system will eject it very quickly.
Brad Giles 04:39
It just won’t work. Yeah. It’s not only about doing it, but it’s just accepting like we can only consume this content. We can only implement this content so quick and you may feel that that’s, you know, You’re not happy with that because you want to get it all done. But it just doesn’t work that way
Kevin Lawrence 05:05
it is and I was talking with another entrepreneur last weekend talking about this about phasing things in slowly in their business. So they get solid and become excellent. Versus layering in a bunch of stuff that turns to garbage real fast. That is awesome. So Joey chestnut, well, that kind of leads to my word of the day, which is masters. Interestingly, and I’m just reflecting on the past week on some amazing people in my world that are absolute masters. And I was thinking about the guy that I trade around on a few cars, a couple of cars. And this guy makes it so easy. He just he makes it incredibly easy. His name’s Cor. He’s so easy to deal with. He makes Yeah, he makes he’s fair. And he just makes it frictionless to make the changes that you want to make. And another contractor that I’m working with on a project and again, just making it so easy absolute Master, most these guys have done it probably hundreds of times. And just how would you work with Masters in many in I think all around my life, I’m surrounded by masters on many different things. So So yeah, dealing with Masters, people that are excellent. It’s easy, it makes just makes things really easy, which I’m sure we’ll come into our theme for today. So and by the way, those masters in my in your oxygen mask first we call them 14x advisors, people who have been there and done that 14 times before IE they know these things like the back of their hand, they’re not making it up, and they’re not on the bottom of their learning curve. So today, speaking of Joey chestnut, hot dog eating champion and masters who make things easy and even look easy, like Joey chestnut would also do, what is what are we talking about today?
Brad Giles 07:06
Yeah, well, because it’s Episode 52. We’re talking about why would you want to build an enduring great company? Why? There are lots of people out there, who think that the only option that you can have is build a company and then sell it. And then we’re kind of just saying, there’s another alternative, there’s an option out there that you may not have considered, which is building a company for the purpose of the long term, building a company and thinking about it over a longer period of time, which, you know, it may seem quite strange to some people. So today being our one year anniversary, we’re going to flesh that out. And yeah, see where it takes us.
Kevin Lawrence 08:06
Yeah, and there’s so much thinking of there, this kind of get rich quick and build it and sell it, it’s the common narrative out there in the business world, and we just want to share it, we have a very different view, under circumstances where someone selling their business could make sense, but we’re obsessed with and we work mostly with people who want to keep building their businesses for decades or generations. That’s and that’s what this podcast is all about. We have some others that don’t. But the core of our, our passion, especially in this show is about that. So the title is, you know, why should you should build your business, like you’re never going to sell it, right. And even if you sell it, building it, like you never got what are going to sell it also gives you an advantage. And in one of these, we were talking, I was preparing for the show, like Brad and I were having some pretty passionate debates about this, because it really makes us mad, it makes us frustrated when we see people sell their business that we think don’t need to and we’ll get into some of the details. And, and, you know, when there’s the intent is just to open up people’s view of what’s possible, versus that common narrative of you should build it and sell it. And, and no, and especially, you know, as we get into this piece around, you know, if your business is really connected to a purpose, it’s like, Can you really even sell that business, but what we’ll get into that today. Anything you want to add in there, Brad, before we get into our points,
Brad Giles 09:30
well, just that you don’t need to sell. I saw a comment online, I would say within the last few weeks and this person, let’s say a thought leader for one of a better term. They said the reason you know a business, the reason that you have a business is to sell it. And I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I I think that for some people, that’s our view, it’s a view. Yeah. So people have
Kevin Lawrence 10:04
it’s not a foundational truth of the universe life gravity, which it’s an opinion, it’s a view, it’s an option. But there are other perspectives.
Brad Giles 10:16
And that’s the point. When that is the only reason that everyone thinks that a business exists. It doesn’t is not representative of all of the views. And we’ve got to think that some people want to build and some people want to keep and some people want to sell. But yeah, there is a case to be made for the other side. So let’s dig into that today. So that really flows into the first, the first, I guess, definition normally will sort of say, Well, what are we talking about here, there’s a commonly held belief that people are in business to make money and build a business, to sell it and make a pot of money. Again, that works for some people. There’s an industry around that, and it works very well. And what we’re saying is, if you take a long term mindset, you may think differently, if it’s your understanding your belief that, you know, I enjoy the business, I enjoy what I’m doing on a day to day, and this is the difference that I’m making in the world, it can really make a big difference to you. Mostly. Yeah. Anything to add to that?
Kevin Lawrence 11:39
Yeah, no, it says we kind of started with isn’t there’s this belief that you build it to sell it. And then a lot of the companies that we work with, won’t sell, I’ve got no company in the Middle East, there were three years, India and all around the world companies like they are selling assistant, even on their radar, right, like, and in some cases, they may have some other shareholders in the business or partners or other things, but they just want to keep on going. They keep on building but they all have one thing in common is that there is a purpose beyond profit in the business for all of them. And it’s not just about the money, although they generate great money. Normally, they generate great profits. But there’s a love and a passion and a connection they have to this thing that they’ve built and continue to build. And commonly what you see for people, I see a lot of people that contact me that kind of out of frustration that want to sell, because they’re kind of at the end of the rope, like yeah, this ain’t fun. And we’ll get into some of that other stuff later on. But it’s, it’s because they’re there, they, it’s causing them more pain than it is giving them you know, joy, right? It’s and there are frustration and a bunch of other stuff that we’ll get into it. So that kind of takes us into our second point. The first point is, you see the other alternative, outside the narrative of you know, when you start a business, you got to know your exit, when you started a business, you got to know your exit point and how much you want to get for it, that’s a view. Or when you start a business, your alternative is, you know, you got to know your purpose and the difference you want to make and rally people around that.
Brad Giles 13:15
And, what return you want to make. So rather this. So rather than saying only your purpose, or rather than saying how much you’re going to sell for. So I want to make a million dollars a year or whatever number that might be that that meets your requirements or $10 million, whatever. The point is that just knowing that there is an alternative is the first step. This is not the only option that’s available. Yep.
Kevin Lawrence 13:45
So the second we want to talk about is what is your motivation for selling if you’re thinking about it? And again, maybe it is the right, right is the right decision for you. We’re just having you see the non traditional perspective I’m not selling so you know, are often when we talk to you is it you know, they for whatever reason, they don’t like their business anymore. Like there’s some it’s not joy when they’re going to work and work on their business. Sometimes it’s the team, sometimes the only the competitive environments gotten real rough. Sometimes they’ve gone through a real rough patch financially, and you’ll have problems with their banks or other things. Maybe they just burnt out. And maybe they’re just cooked. 1And sometimes because of what’s going on, they can’t see how they’re gonna win in the future and they lose faith. And there’s all kinds of reasons and you know, you dig into them, and they’re all common, like, you know, leading a business isn’t the easiest thing in the world, right you can get a job working for your local government, it’d be a heck of a lot easier. But this is meant to be a big challenge and ideally a very rewarding challenge both for your spirit and financially as well. So, so the main thing is no matter what you’re motivated, really understand why is it I’m wanting to sell, like, what is the generally pain point that’s making me want to sell? Then consider alternatives, like consider other things that could help that. So for example, no one person I know that’s gonna sell their business, they’re just sick of the pressure. They’re just sick of the pressure that lands on their shoulders. Well, if you have too much pressure on your shoulders, that means that there’s not enough pressure on your team’s shoulders and or you don’t have a strong enough team. That means you’re probably still in the chapter in my book, your oxygen mask first called make yourself useless. Well, unfortunately, you’re probably still too useful. And if you’re too useful, that gets tiring, you need to have the team members who are in the useful position, and you were in the strategic role, and becoming more useless.
Brad Giles 15:53
And an interesting question around that subject is, well, what if you weren’t allowed to sell? What if there was some government mandate that said, You must own this business? And you were forced? You weren’t able? What would you do different? Definitely fire Rob, just as that’d be the first thing. But then do it get Tina and that and that and you know, that customer ABC Corp? Or definitely get rid of them? If I was forced to own this business? Well, then why don’t you do it. So understanding that the constraint of freedom is not really perhaps your best friend. And if you could introduce the idea of a different constraint, if I was forced to own this business, how would I run it differently? Can actually get you to illuminate the path of what you really want to do?
Kevin Lawrence 16:48
And our point seven tonight takes that into account of how do you make this thing amazing? Again, if it’s not, maybe it’s not me? And maybe you want to sell it because you got something else you want to do with the money maybe you want to go and do a charitable foundation and channel the energies there. You know, there’s lots of reasons but the point is truly understand it. And if it’s a point of pain, is there a different approach that you could take there is almost always there is no, and even if it’s, you know, if you’re mentally cooked, which burnout we deal with a lot, he might you might need a break, you might need a sabbatical.
Brad Giles 17:27
wait maybe debt levels too high? Well, then you need to work down the debt or refinance it, but the point is, understand what is the motivation for you wanting to sell? That’s right. That’s beyond the cash.
Kevin Lawrence 17:44
Right? Exactly. Cool. So then, then the next thing, and this is the one that really gets us because we have a lot of faith in people’s abilities. And we’ve seen how people can take businesses and scale it and improve it, because we do it every day, we’ve been doing it for a long time. It’s very simple to us. And I know, he said, they say hard to do sometimes. But you really got to see how that lump of cash, you’re going to get whether it’s three, or five, or seven, or 14 times your profit or your eba, whatever it is, you got to see how that can actually be an a steal of a deal you’re given to someone. Because over the next decade, you could easily have all that cash, go into your personal bank account the same way if you sold it, and you still own the asset. And it’s probably worth 2, 3 or 4 times as much if you keep building it. So it’s basically normally you’re selling it at a massive discount of the future value of your business. If you believe in the future value of the business, and often you might not. But what’s possible, it’s whatever you sell it for is crumbs, compared to what it could be worth if you continue to scale it and improve it and grow it over the next decade or two.
Brad Giles 19:05
And so I part of the concept here could be short term gain I selling today could equal long term pain, or equally an opposite, short term pain could equal long term gain. That’s simple. That simple phrase can apply. So often what we say is, if you were to go through the pain of actually not selling, could you actually get a bigger gain in the long term, or how long would it take you to realize that now in some cases, someone’s going to come in with such a large check that it makes your eyes water just to see it right and, you know, the humanness of that situation. You know, we would probably potentially say Yeah, you’ve got to go for that, that that opportunity is never coming out. again and that may be an absolutely legitimate path if someone comes to you with let’s say crazy money but you but what are you going to do what are you going to do
Kevin Lawrence 20:14
because you’re selling if you’re really deeply passionate what you’re selling your soul like you’re it’s like you’re selling off a piece of what you’re doing and then you got to go find another place to express your soul and your purpose in life which could be awesome well that’s that’s which may or may not
Brad Giles 20:35
which could be an example
Kevin Lawrence 20:37
one of my one of my clients that i worked with starting actually i just did an interview on his podcast last week actually name his name is nigel bennett he has a company called aquaguard and probably close to 17 or 18 years ago we started together anyways he didn’t like his business at all turns out he had a partnership problem and he talked about this in my book but he put his hand on the doorknob and you feel like he was getting electrocuted every time he went into his own damn office hated it wanted to let tried to sell it anyways long story short 18 years later that thing is an excellent business he’s got his third person he tried his president turned out which is a long term guy that grew up in the business who became an excellent president awesome company he’s still connected to his purpose around protecting water you know he’s involved in helping it plus he’s got freedom to do other things and he’s living a spectacular life spectacular so but in the end you know he’s you choose to keep keep it and let it build and it’s given a great opportunity to as president cameron who’s doing a great job and and it’s turned out like it couldn’t have turned out better for him and this kind of ties us back in to our next point point four is ideally your business is a platform for your purpose like the difference you want to make if it’s just a platform for profit we understand why you probably want to sell it because you probably don’t like it that much but if you find a platform for your purpose something you deeply care about and you feel that intrinsic reward that you get connected to through your business and you can bring it to life through your business and whatever it happens to be there’s no feeling like that and that’s why i know some of these people can’t sell these things because they truly enjoy it so it’s a ideally it’s a platform for your purpose and if it’s not you might consider looking this direction
Brad Giles 22:36
and that’s why we talk about building enduring great businesses because in an enduring great business you can fully self actualize your purpose you can fully build what you want to do you can really follow your passion and create the vehicle for you to live out what you really want to do the difference that you really want to make in the world and yes the profit is incredibly important having said that it’s also important to self actualize you know that’s maslow’s hierarchy brian at the top
Kevin Lawrence 23:17
so profits important but at a certain point it’s not enough right but when your profit and purpose man that leads you to a great experience and obviously helping to build a great company and now you were talking about tony shea upfront from zappos brad you’re sharing that example of how he sold to amazon and maybe you continue with that story that you’re sharing and how that that that that ties into this
Brad Giles 23:41
so tony hided coming to work as your your friend with the water company did he was at a business where you know i might disrespect the story but i’ll do it with a smile on my face he didn’t like coming to work and didn’t love the team didn’t love the product and really just every monday was like oh god i gotta go back to that work again so he ended up he sold that for north of $200 million i think he sold it to microsoft his first business and then reset and then thought i’m going to do it again but i’m going to build the business that i love to work in the one that’s going to make the kind of difference and it was around happiness that’s his thing that’s his theme right zappos obviously being the company spent a few years building that and then actually i think he sold that for over a billion dollars to amazon but part of that deal the only way that he would do that deal was that he got to continue to run it with full autonomy in exactly the way that he wanted to now terribly unfortunately tony recently passed away Last year. But in terms of what we’re talking about here, building an enduring, great company, what’s important is that the sale still happened, the first sale happens so that he could build his second business. And then he transacted on the second business, but still continued to build an enduring great company and Zappos. And that was him, fulfilling, you know, his purpose. And so, it’s important to consider that the transactions can still apply in some circumstances. But what we’re saying is the purpose, your purpose, the purpose is so important and not regretting that as you age.
Kevin Lawrence 25:47
So so so Tony basically got, it was very smart and got himself the double dip, he got the cash benefit, and whoever else had stock options, gods, you got the cash. So we got that you got the cash. And he got the purpose piece, because he was he set himself up with the autonomy to continue to run based on purpose. And it was a, it was a very smart deal that he did there, from both perspectives, purpose and profit. So So the whole idea is, is that you know, the best businesses do feed your soul in some way. And it helps to manage some of the pain that you have, as you’re building, it’s not always easy. And look at your business, how is it feeding your soul? And you know, what could make it better? How do you bring that purpose back to life or make it more powerful, or to your own benefit, and to the people around? And so so the next point number five is is is like it’s kind of inspired by Tony and maybe it’s, you know, 4.4 and a half. But look at where your personal return comes from your intrinsic reward your satisfaction in the business beyond money. And sometimes it gets lost. Like sometimes we get so caught up in it, that it’s just, you know, you forget what really makes a chicken referencing my stuff. I know you’ve done stuff on this as well. But there’s, there’s a piece in, in your oxygen mask First we have you identify your sweet spot. That’s where you do your best work that energizes you and you love doing it. Yeah, the combinations. And a lot of times, talk to senior leaders and CEOs. They’re not doing their sweet spot, they’re actually hating their damn job ever mind the business, they actually what they’re doing, they are getting personally drained by what they do not personally energized and they often got to reconfigure it. And you got to restructure. So I’ve got another CEO, the one from seven direct reports to three, game changer, absolute game changer, another CEO that had the responsibility for legal still in their hand. They outsourced it, all of a sudden, they love their business, probably 20% more because they, they felt they had to deal with the legal issues and they hated it, they actually made them worse. But that’s a whole other story. But it’s really dialing it in so that you can get a great intrinsic reward not necessarily just connected from what the purpose is, but from your daily work. And what makes you feel good at the end of the day.
Brad Giles 28:14
I do a similar exercise and it’s energy up energy down. So what drains your energy as a leader, as a CEO, and what gives you energy? It’s a pretty simple kind of a thing. But okay, why can’t we get you to offload the things that drain your energy and get more of the things that give you energy?
Kevin Lawrence 28:36
You know, actually, it’s we have to not why can’t you like we have to, otherwise you’re gonna bonk is a leader and you need to be able to be inspired and doing your best and, and have permission to build the team around you the way you want so that you can enjoy the game. So it’s like if you were playing, you know, soccer we would call it or you know, or footy or football as you guys would call it. You know the little round ball you chase around the field. If you like to be a forward but your goal a goalkeeper, that’s not going to be fun. And if you’re a goalkeeper, or vice versa, like you got to play the position you want and play the sport you want because maybe you want to play badminton or croquet or you want to surf. So yeah, so in our roles, we often get lost and we personally don’t get
Brad Giles 29:24
to feel good about our work. We’d call it soccer. But Clayton Christiansen said that in an organization, people look to the corner office to the CEOs role, and they think the great intrinsic value comes from having the power from being able to make the decisions from having the big salary. But then, once you get there, after a while you recognize that the great reward isn’t the power or isn’t the decisions. It’s growing the people around you. It’s having a team and getting The team to become better versions of themselves. That’s the great, intrinsic, personal return on investment that you get.
Kevin Lawrence 30:08
Yes. So point five is making sure that the job that you’re doing is the job you want to do, how do you tweak your role to really work for you point six is about investing yourself and learning. You know, a lot of the leaders that continue to enjoy and thrive in their roles continue to learn and learn a lot of stuff, and it helps them to one navigate and make better decisions, and to grow themselves. And I eat the perspective we just shared Brad about, about almost basically becoming the coach versus the best player. Right, that’s, that’s a shift that a lot of leaders need to make. But you need to learn about that and study and read about other great leaders that did it and how they did it, and what helped them to do it. But it’s, it’s, you know, a lot of leaders again, that want to sell that when that especially when they’re they balk, and they’re tired, or they lose faith, they often haven’t spent enough time learning, and they need to open up the horizon and see more and talk to them. And sometimes, you know, they need a coach, they need some new mentors, they need to go take a three day executive education program with a bunch of other entrepreneurs are doing you know, lots of different things and do one of those columns sessions that we do when there’s not COVID. But you know, it’s whether it’s additional help, or a guide, or to build their belief or their inspiration, or the strategic thinking or to see new doors they didn’t even know existed, sometimes you’re really got to really sharpen your own saw and make yourself you know, sharper and more capable.
Brad Giles 31:40
And so if you’re going to build an enduring, great business, rather than Sell a Business, you’re going to have to invest in yourself, you’re going to have to continually stay ahead of the growth curve, you’re going to have to be in front of it. And as advisors, as advisors, and coaches, you and I and Kevin, we need to stay ahead of the CEO.
Kevin Lawrence 32:07
Yeah, 100%. And, and, and that’s when we have to spend so much time learning and growing ourselves. And we encourage the best part is, you know, we just had a call last week with all our CEOs, or invite them all, and people are all sharing their best learnings and best resources in the past year. Now, the great thing is, when you work with a bunch of amazing people, they have as many good suggestions as we do, and the tribe or the community support each other. It’s just awesome. We got some awesome ideas that came out of that last session. And, and but we need to do that regularly, not only for energy and sharpness, but to help with our own growth.
Brad Giles 32:41
So let’s move on to number seven. So why should you build an enduring, great company? Rather than maybe sell? Well? Why do you want to sell? Maybe you’re just burnt out? Maybe you’ve just had enough? Maybe you think anything is better than this? And so perhaps you just need a reset? Perhaps you need to start with the blank page. And I spoke about this earlier. What if you were forced to keep your business? By legislation by the government? Or someone else said, No, you absolutely must hate this business. You are not allowed to sell it, then how would you run it differently? You know, there was a famous actor, comedian director called Mel Brooks. And in one of Mel Brooks, movies, he had this famous line where he said it’s good to be king. Because the king gets to do whatever he wants. And there was Yes, lots of food and ladies around him at that time in the traditional Mel Brooks humor style. But it’s good to be king in the context of your own business, because you can actually start with a blank slide. In preparation for our chat today. We were saying one of the reasons that you would sell is because you want to clean out the garbage. Well, why can’t you clean out the garbage? Well, you still own it. So you don’t like this software, you don’t like this team, you don’t like that person you don’t like your debt?
Kevin Lawrence 34:16
Well, why can’t you don’t like your location, you don’t like your business model, you don’t like a lot of stuff and you know that that clean slate blank page exercise is very freeing and powerful. It’s just hard for some people, one they don’t make the time to they might not be comfortable doing it. So even if you go look at this, a lot of times when we get lost down a path, sometimes you just need to start way over there. So another CEO we work with his business model is getting commoditized and commoditized and commoditized. And he’s been going through some strategic exercises to help them think different perspectives, longer term, big picture, and he’s gonna take a little slice of the business and go and build it into potential. what would overtake the existing business kind of exam i’ve got a few others that have done that but sometimes you need to do it without constraints and give yourself permission and then go make those changes and it’s almost like if you if you’ve got a a beautiful old classic car and then you keep repairing it and repairing it and repairing it now you don’t need to throw it in the garbage but you might send it back to the factory or you might like some of the high end brands lijke Ferrari you can send a car back to them and they’ll restore it or you might send it to a restoration shop and go and spend an amount of money that might not make sense but they will make everything brand new again it’s still that original heritage it’s still got the the soul and everything of that original you know 1960s whatever it happens to be car but then they rebuild it brand new fresh so everything is brand new and fresh and revitalized and they might even do something to even they could take it back to its root or modernize it there’s a thing and in hot rods in the us called resto mod where they restore a car and highly modify it and modernize it at the same time so it looks with all the heritage and everything but underneath it’s like a brand new car
Brad Giles 36:16
One of my favourite companies that do that as a company out of Los Angeles i think called Singer yes beautifully me they made yeah re Imagineering i think they call it yeah and they take a Porsche 911 from like 1988 to 1996.
Kevin Lawrence 36:42
and 1990 to 1994 it’s called a porsche 911 that they use as their base
Brad Giles 36:48
yes and it’s everything is modern it’s the classic look but it just they are just absolutely beautiful so the metaphor the analogy here is well can you do that to your business can if you become sick and tired of the business what can you do that to your business over a three to five year period
Kevin Lawrence 37:18
one of the teams yeah one of the teams i work with you know they said okay great let’s just walk out the door and let’s walk in as the new buyers of this business and what will we do to it yeah right fresh because a lot of times we’re caught up in old legacy stuff and we don’t want to deal with it but we need to and normally the exercise we go is let’s go three to five years in the future what does winning look like and then come back and with no emotional attachment to anything what would the decisions we’d make be we make those decisions then you go and look at how do you do it in a respectful way because it involves people but and in many ways you become you think like your own turnaround expert for your own company and sometimes they need it and sometimes it’s so refreshing like a snake shedding its skin just so refreshing and it allows you to grow again
Brad Giles 38:10
but it comes back to your core purpose it comes back to you know what do you want your legacy to be what is the difference that you want to make in the world and you know when you retired or as you when you were aged how would you look back and think you know i’m so proud of the difference that I made with the people i helped with the business that we built together yeah would i reset would cleaning out the garbage would that help me to achieve that
Kevin Lawrence 38:46
yeah and if we kind of you know review this and sum this up look if you love your business if it’s if it’s a platform for your purpose and it should be beyond profit profit screen default and making money is awesome it’s a platform for your purpose now there’s lots of things that you need to do sometimes to make it work adjusting your role adjusting the business model rebuilding things you should at least be able to have that passion and tension to keep building it like you’re never going to sell it and that you’re going to keep it for decades or generations and if you did that may be a separate choice but thinking about building something spectacular for the long term will get you to make different decisions sometimes than if you’re just going to flip it over in a couple of years right because you’re building foundations for greatness for the long term so let’s go back and review brad so the main point we’re making today is you want people to be aware of this different view where you could build it and never sell it build it and keep it forever because i think it’s a travesty some people sell they don’t need to and there’s the emotional thing where they sell it get a lump of money and then they’re bored they want to go back and do it again some might be relieved and then there’s the well then then they still need a platform for the purpose so they have to do something else to be useful and feel fulfilled in this world. So number one, you know, when we’ll take turns on his brow keeps, you know, seeing this enduring alternative, which we’re putting on the map, there is an enduring alternative, build it, to keep building it for the long term like many of our clients do.
Brad Giles 40:15
And then number two, of course, is understand your motivation beyond the cash as to why you are enamored with selling, why you think I would like to sell? What is that? Because, yes, the cash is one thing, what are the other reasons? And then, can you look beyond those reasons? Can you say, Well, I don’t like the team or I, I can’t see a way that we can win in this business in the future? If that’s the case, then you know, maybe you should consider getting some help coach and advisor, to help to rectify those things, because the cash is good. But there is also a case to be made for building an enduring great business.
Kevin Lawrence 41:00
Yeah, and you can fix anything. Secondly is see how whatever cash you’re going to get, whether it’s three or 10, times your earnings, how if you, if you continue to run it for a year, you’re going to get all of that and more and that can all go into your pocket if you do things right. And, or ensure charities pocket, whatever you want. And you still own the asset, which is probably worth at least twice as much, by that minimum, if you do it right. And seeing how that it’s just, it’s financially, it can look like a lot of cash, but it’s nothing compared to if you keep building this business and making it better and better.
Brad Giles 41:32
And then number four is your business is a platform for your purpose, right? When you are leading a purpose motivated or a purpose driven business, it’s, it’s probably or more often than not the thing that you’re deeply passionate about. So if the, if the appeal of selling around profit is, is the main motivation, perhaps your business isn’t connected to your own purpose. Mm hmm.
Kevin Lawrence 42:05
For five, look at where your personal return comes from, where’s the intrinsic satisfaction you’re getting from your work? You know, are you in your sweet spot? Are you actually doing work that you love, and you get to spend your day, doing the things you love and make you feel great and create value or need to find a way to restructure your own role, or maybe the role of your teams, so your team members, so you can delegate stuff that you don’t love doing and spend more time being inspired in your job.
Brad Giles 42:33
Number six, invest in yourself, and you, maybe you’ve slipped behind the growth of the business, maybe it hasn’t become as much fun. Maybe you don’t have any advisors or mentors or education. And so perhaps you could learn and learn and learn that will help you to keep the business and evolve to build the business that you do love.
Kevin Lawrence 43:07
And then finally, sometimes you just got to do a clean slate, you got to get a blank page, and you got to rebuild this whole thing. And sometimes you can renovate and improve and fix. And sometimes you just got to take the whole thing and start from zero like sending a classic car to get restored, or completely cleaning the house and gutting the whole house and starting fresh or knock the damn thing down and rebuild a bigger, better version of it on that amazing foundation that you have. So at the root of it, I hope you get from today’s as many alternatives than building your business to sell it. And there’s a lot of people which will interview in the future. So a lot of people who have built businesses for decades and generations and they would never consider selling it. Because they’re getting something different from their businesses that those that sell might not be getting. And again, it’s not right or wrong. But we want you to see this view we have of what’s possible because there’s so much noise about selling what you build. And I think you miss out on lots of things if you build something great, and then give it to someone else to continue growing. So that’s been the show for today, Brad. Thanks for listening. This has been the growth whispers podcast. I’m Kevin Lawrence here with my co host, Brad Giles, for Brad go to evolution partners.com.au. And for Kevin, go to Lawrence and co.com or go to YouTube if you just want to watch the podcast. hope you have an awesome week. And continue to think about how do you build your company so that you keep on building it, getting lots of intrinsic rewards. cash rewards as well are wonderful so that you can continue to grow and do lots of awesome things for other people in the world.
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