John Warrillow, podcast host and author of Built to Sell, talks about building a business in the best way to set it up to sell one day. He shares his strategies on finding buyers and why it's important to make sure your business is always able to be sold.
John Meese 0:24
John, thank you so much for joining me today. And can I just say you have a really great strong name?
John Warrillow 0:31
That's awesome. Yeah, I'm your first John-Warrillow
John Meese 0:34
No, no, I met the john part. I don't know about John-Warrillow
John Warrillow 0:36
Oh man, I didn't even get the joke, man. I'm I gotta have another coffee.
John Meese 0:41
I'm sorry. No, it's okay. It's still early for. For both you and I but I think the name John gets a bad rap cuz there's so many of us but I always try whenever I mean, other John, I always try to really just affirm that's a really great strong name, right? Yeah.
John Warrillow 0:53
Yeah, I was born when you're born probably many years after me. But I was born in the early 70s. And john was like, Jennifer at the time. I mean, it was like if you didn't have six John's in your class, you were you know, we got so I lost the the first name and went largely by my last name, but
John Meese 1:12
Oh, really? Okay. Yeah, well, no, no, actually, similarly, people do call me me salon. I usually respond by referring to them as their last name, which throws them off. Like I've got a friend Matt. He'll be like me, somebody like Johnson, and he just No one calls him that use. But yes, regardless, on fact, Meese or John Meese, John is the second most popular name in the world to sell today. The first is Muhammad. So Bo, we're up there for sure. So regardless, that is not what we're here to talk about today. But I appreciate you entertaining my banter on that subject. John, I've, uh, I've read two of your books. I'm eager to read the newest one that's coming out. And so I'm excited to you know, thank you so much for joining me today, I'm excited to take this insight that you have to share and share with our audience today. But before we get into that, I would love to just pause for a second and ask if you would share, even though I'm familiar with your work, I'm assuming there's people who are listening who aren't, if you would share with us, who you are and what gets you out of bed in the morning,
John Warrillow 2:07
Man. Okay, so a quick bio I built and sold four companies ultimately wrote about that process of building a sellable company and built to sell the company you referenced, followed up with a company a book called The Automatic Customer, which is about recurring revenue. And I'm the founder of a company called value builder. It's a simple software that business owners used to help them improve the value of their company, I guess what gets me up out of bed is that a lot of times entrepreneurs, build their companies, and they become trapped by them. And they and I know this is something you talk a lot about, they become enslaved to the business as opposed to it creating the freedom that they desire. And so we're kind of on this mission mission to sort of fix that. And in particular, on the kind of latter stage of a business where they're really harvesting the value they've created. We talked about a valuable or at least the our mission being to level the playing field for owners as they approach their exit. So we want to help them create businesses that can thrive without them that they can ultimately sell one day.
John Meese 3:04
Well, I love that, well, I would have been familiar with your books, regardless, because I'm just a nerd when it comes to good business books. But I've spent the last couple of years we actually just finished selling I just helped Michael Hyatt sell Platform University to a company called Advancer Your Reached by with Pete Vargas. And so as part of that process, multi year process, I early on, as we were just getting started, I was like, Alright, I need the crash course I read, Built to Sell. And then because it was a membership site, I read The Automatic Customer and was Oh cool, boom, boom, boom, you know, so that that was actually helpful. When we were just starting that process. It was my first major acquisition that I was a part of helping get across the finish line situations. That's awesome. Yeah, yeah. So but in a conversation today, you know, we're talking work, well, we're talking, you know, day three, business day three of 2021. So it's a new, you know, brave world is we're going into the new year, of course, many of 2020s, you know, ailments shall we say, you know, are going to follow us into 2021, it's not like we get a we really do get a clean slate. But it is an opportunity for us to just to begin to dream again, for many people 2020 was just a year of just being reactive of just reacting to just just getting, I did have one previous guests referred to it as like, it's just, you know, getting punched in the face over and over and over again. And you're just kind of like responding to that. And so that we have an opportunity to say, Okay, let's take a deep breath, and let's move forward and plan. And so there are some people listening to this business, who may be thinking about selling their business, but there's actually a lot more a lot more of our audience, I think, who are entrepreneurs in the process of really building something. And that's something that I really appreciate about your book Built to Sell specifically is that you make that case for building from day one, whether or not you plan to sell to build a sellable business. Can you speak to why that's important? I mean, like, let's just say for example, I'm building a business that I plan to work in for the rest of my life, or rather, that's my life. Why should I build that with a sellable framework?
John Warrillow 4:50
Yeah, well, because then you get to build a better business, the ultimate arbiter of the quality of your business is going to be in the eyes of an acquire. You could not want to sell your business by One of the ways that you can know how good your business is, is actually put it on the market. So I don't, I don't recommend that. But it will actually illuminate what all of the pain points are associated with your company. So look, I think it's important to build to sell regardless of whether you intend to because it gives you the the ultimate poker hand in the game of life, right? It's, you could choose to then grow it beyond your personal involvement. If it's a business that can thrive without you, it can grow much larger than it is. It can also be sort of an ATM, like it can just become a cash machine, right? Where you just someone described to me as a sailboat business, I'm like, Okay, I'll take the bait. What the hell is a sailboat business? It's where you put your feet up on the gunnels of your boat, and just watch the checks come in. I'm like, that sounds good. Or, you know, you could sell it, etc. So there's, it gives you lots of options. But if it's what most of us build are companies that are likely dependent on especially in the early days. And the problem with that, of course, is that is that there's a ceiling beyond which you can't grow your you know, and it limits what you can do with your business.
John Meese 6:08
Yeah, no, I think that's really powerful. And, well, I'm just thinking to the personal examples of the people that I work closely with, like Michael Hyatt being example of someone I've worked with closely with for several years. And he just announced actually two days ago that he's retired. Now he's the founder and chairman of his company still, and he still plans to write a book here and continue to advise the company. And he's not going to sell like Michael Hyatt is not planning to sell Michael Hyatt & Company. But now he has a an eight figure company that has run completely by his team with a new CEO in place. And so like you said, he gets that sailboat business in his case, he did actually by the lake house, so it may be too far of a stretch of imagination right there. So, so yeah, that's a great example of where even if you're not planning to sell your business, you want to be able to systemize your business. So you can take some time off, whether that's a month or a year or a decade, you know, being able to step away from it. So I think that's really powerful. Well, John, you mentioned before we started an interview today, you mentioned that your team had recently completed some new research of how business behavior has really changed in the, you know, the new, the brave new world of, you know, beyond 2020. So I'm curious if you could kind of just summarize that for us and what the key insights are specifically for us as business owners, what have you learned about us?
John Warrillow 7:24
I mean, I think you raised it earlier that a lot of business owners feel like they're just being repeatedly punched in the face and 20 218. So we got to thinking, it might be kind of cool to analyze the users of our software before COVID, and during COVID. And so we took the software, this, the first sort of thing people do in the software is they take an intake questionnaire, a bunch of questions about their business, their attitudes, etc. And so we looked at the responses to the questionnaire, prior to the announcement of the pandemic, there were about 5000 people that took it in a in an eight month window prior to the pandemic, and then the eight months during, and it's certainly not over as we talk, but the next subsequent eight months. So March, like it's the end of October. And we compare and contrast the differences. And there was a couple of big differences. The most interesting, I think, for me, was the intention to sell to a third party has rocketed up a lot. So, you know, in the early days, you know, when, you know, 50 years ago, the way you transition to business was, you know, the, the eldest son inherited the business from the Father. I mean, it was like a very patriarchal way to think about, you know, transferring a business. Well, of course, that's all, you know, changing. But the appetite owners have to sell to a third party has gone up dramatically since– during COVID. And so I think we don't know why that is, because it's a quantitative survey. Our interpretation is that it's probably because they don't want to pass on an albatross, a stress bucket that had caused them so much stress and 2020 onto their kids. And so it's not saying I want to sell. The other kind of cool finding is that people have moved up their sell by date, the number of times I've had conversations in the last, say, four weeks where people have been like, you know, what, I really want to get on my front foot and put this processes in place to get to sell my business now, because a lot of people were sort of on autopilot leading up to the pandemic. You know, commies good interest rates were low, and they were sort of like blindly just growing, thinking they're gonna grow forever. And then boom, they stopped growing. And so they're, they're now starting to say, I want to start taking this concept of building to sell more seriously. So–
John Meese 9:37
Hmm. That's interesting. Well, I can– I'm thinking through anecdotes that I've experienced of that, you know, this year in the sense that back in April during the lockdown, I remember my wife and I driving through a neighborhood and while driving past a business, I can't at the moment, remember what type of business it was, but the big side of the window was like, Alright, I decided to retire. Like, you know, it seems like a good time to retire. It was essentially the side of the window like we're closed permission. You know, like, they didn't sell the business. They're just like, Yeah, no, I'm done. I don't need to do this.
John Warrillow 10:03
I think, look, I think that's such a shame. And I know there's so many business owners that I just think that's such a tragedy, when you think about you build a business, you sacrifice, you don't get benefits you you put all of that blood, sweat and tears into your company. And then you just basically close the door and get nothing for your company. I think that's just a such a sad, sad fact. And it's happened a lot in 2020, in particular companies in the service industry, obviously. But it's one that we you asked the beginning of our discussion, sort of what gets you up out of bed in the morning, and, and that's one that really gets me up at bat is I think, entrepreneurs, everyone from Elon Musk down to the guy you're referring to–I mean, they are the engines of our sort of economy, our countries, like, where would we be without these people? And, and I think, you know, to think that people can spend 30 years building a business and then not get anything for it or not get paid fairly for it. I just think that's a tragedy. So we get pretty passionate about that.
John Meese 11:08
No, I hear that I hear that. Well. And with that in mind, I mean, I think, and I don't know, the specific business owners situation, but I do know, many other businesses that have decided to close, you know, during 2020, the business owners themselves. And, you know, I'm sure we haven't seen the end of that, you know, there's some sort of zombie businesses, which are still kind of The Walking Dead in the beginning of 2021. And I hate that that's the case. And that's one of the things I cover extensively in my book is how to turn that around. But I'd love to hear your insight in terms of when we're talking about, let's just say something happens, like a B. 21 is a very unusual certain set of circumstances. But even if it was within a specific industry, if there's some kind of major market change, which completely causes you to have to revisit your marketing strategy or fulfillment strategy, and you're looking at just, you know, a bleeding bank account. Well, that isn't by any means, the ideal time to sell, if your choices are kind of limited. And you're thinking about getting out of the business and closing it permanently, is there a pathway to actually sell the company at that at that point, where it's not doing well, if as an alternative to closing permanently?
John Warrillow 12:15
Yeah, there may be parts of your company that are salvageable, so to speak, that people would find interesting. What's interesting about right now, is that although a lot of businesses are struggling and have struggled through 2020, the counterbalance to that is that there is obviously money is very cheap, interest rates are very, very low. And so there's a whole army of private equity groups that are buying companies. And they use a lot of debt to do that. And so all of a sudden, those acquisitions have become very inexpensive for those private equity groups. And therefore, it's, it's become a natural counterbalance so so although the last 12 months may have been a struggle, I wouldn't necessarily say you can't sell your company, there is a lot of appetite to buy businesses like right now, if you've got a longer sort of horizon, though, and you're and you're saying, like, I've got maybe two or three more good years in me, one of the things that I would really encourage you to, to remember or to think about is that when an acquire buys a business, they only want to buy something they couldn't easily replicate. And so a lot of businesses are made up of four or five different product lines, or 10, or 12, different service lines. And, and when an acquirer looks at a business like that, they're gonna say, Man, I really loved that one product over here, it's differentiated, it'd be tough for us to compete against, it's got a great moat, I got all this other stuff here. And I'm not really going to value that. And so you as the entrepreneur want to be paid for your entire business, right, a multiple of your revenue or your profit, depending on what industry you're in. But that acquirer may only look at your business and value the one thing that you do that is highly differentiated. It's like when we buy cable, right? Like all you want is ESPN, and you got to buy like 150. Now, of course, we can now subscribe to ESPN. Yeah. And so look, I would say that if you're in that situation where your business has been blown up, and you feel this these tremendous headwinds, it may be an opportunity to reset here we are beginning of the year and say, What are the one or two things that really make us unique make us really difficult to compete with give us you know, you've heard the term unfair competitive advantage. And what can we jettison, eliminate that that really just is padding our ego because it's revenue, right? We all boast about how much revenue we it's really just kind of revenue that no one's gonna care about. And it's sucking up time it's sucking up cash. And and it's probably not going to be valued in the end. So So I think it's a unique opportunity to have that sort of that sort of reset moment.
John Meese 15:02
Yeah, well, that's really helpful, I appreciate you sharing that. And I don't want to spend too much time on that. Because there's kind of like the whole concept here is survive AND thrive, right. So I'm assuming there are some people who are on the edge who are thinking like my choices may be close the business or sell the business, in which case, it's good to know that is an option, even if even if you may be selling a piece of your business or at a discount. That's something I mean, that's better than walking away and just kind of, you know, washing your hands of the whole situation. So But what I'd love to talk then about is the thrive component. So as they're entrepreneurs looking at 2021, as an opportunity to grow, to scale to build, and really, you know, there are 100,000 opportunities, because there's all these problems out there that need to be solved, you know, and a business is built on creating a real solution to a real problem for real people. So with that in mind, what would you say are the principles to keep in mind as we're building in 2021 and beyond to build a business that can thrive in the midst of this economy? And beyond? I mean, whatever the future holds, you just hear the most important principles to consider.
John Warrillow 16:39
I would say two things. One is timeless. And that is curiosity, I think is the killer app, right? I think, you know, for most of us, we're not going to come up with the cure for cancer, we're not going to build the next Google the next Tesla. But we can be curious. And and I think that is the prerequisite or the precursor to all great businesses, as a founder, who is really curious about the world, how things could be better how they could improve every little situation, you know, we can go back to Howard Schultz at Starbucks. I mean, he created a coffee shop, we bought a coffee shop, but he created a business that had been around for 200 years, it wasn't about the idea, it was about being on an existing idea. So I think that's one sort of timeless principle. The other thing I would say, and I love this notion of thriving, and I think we're totally aligned on that concept. You know, the subtitle to build a cell is creating a business that can thrive without you and I and I, and I would just encourage people to know that, as they think about building a business, the notion of thriving I think, is important to remember that for it to be valuable to somebody else, it's got to be able to thrive without you. And so it's funny, I like to encourage owners to think about themselves not as trying to hit a certain revenue target or certain hit, you know, certain hit hit a certain EBITA target, profit target, whatever. I encourage them to think of themselves as a parent of a child. And your goal as a parent, is not to make the best Harvard educated kid, but for some people it is. But your goal is to basically make sure that kid leaves your home and can basically move along in the world as a successful human being happy, well adjusted human being if you achieve that, as a parent, you've done your job, right. Equally, I think it takes a lot of the pressure off of business owners. If you think man, all your goal is here, is to create a business that can thrive without you. And so everything you do the systems you put in place, the processes you build, it's all about, hey, I want to make this little adolescent who's kind of, you know, glib and thinks they know everything, and build it into an adult who can thrive without them like Michael Hyatt is done, frankly. I think that takes a lot of pressure off. And by the way, it's when you start to look at the numbers of businesses like that they're more valuable, they tend to grow faster, they tend to be more revenue. But I think chasing numbers as opposed to this philosophical idea is, is perhaps a fool's errand. I think it makes sense. Where your parent hat, I know you're a dad, you've got three, so you kind of can empathize with this idea.
John Meese 19:19
I'm thinking this morning about the conversation I had with my five year old. I mean, not an hour ago, this morning of him telling me, I was telling him that he needed to get cleaned up, you know, and get dressed for the day. And he said, Dad, I'm a genius, and I know what to do. He's fine. And I looked at him and I was like, like, my resistance to that concept isn't the fact that he considers himself a genius. That's, I mean, in some ways, it's like, Okay, well, I want you to actually be self confident your own intelligence, but this is misplaced. And so trying to figure out like you said, not just how to raise a functional kid who's gonna like do the checkboxes. But who can step out that door, not when he's five, but what you know is stuff out the door. At a certain point and be ready to take on the world and my wife, and I actually take that as our philosophy that we're not raising kids or raising adults, or is it grownups, it's just, you know, we're just, we're just in the early phases. So I like that metaphor
John Warrillow 20:13
It can be really tempting for people, especially in a difficult economy, or that are trying to thrive and think revenue is their number one goal, it can be really tempting to take on revenue, that doesn't add much to your value take on sales that are, you know, the kind of projects that are dependent on you personally. And it can again, feel very fulfilling in the short term, but ultimately, long term, it's not adding to the overall thing. So it's, um, it's very difficult thing to always keep in mind, but I think once you use that as your filter through which you make big decisions, like, is this gonna make my business more dependent on me? or less? The answer's less go forward. If the answer is more, I think just have a second thought on it.
John Meese 20:55
Well, so I wonder if you could provide an illustration on that. In other words, could you just to put some meat on his bones here? Can you think of a specific business that you either, you know, studied or worked at worked worked with, you know, that that that has this example of, you know, making that decision of, you know, kind of what is revenue versus what makes us more less dependent upon me? And because specifically, those two things you mentioned, being timeless, you know, but also being less dependent upon the owner? Can you walk us through an illustration a specific example of what that would look like?
John Warrillow 21:24
Yeah, I mean, for sure. So look, you know, there's a story in built cell about a guy named Alex Stapleton who runs a marketing agency, who's selling way too many services. And because, you know, in a marketing agency, you're you think of yourself as client centric, customer centric, diagnosing the customer's needs, and you're providing a solution to them. And it because every customer is different, all your solutions are unique, you provide a custom solution, everybody. So one customer need SEO, another customer needs a billboard, another customer needs a brochure, etc. And so because you're a mile wide in terms of offering, in this case, Alex was not able to build a business that was independent of him, he personally had to, he was the one with all of the marketing experience. So he personally had to oversee this breadth of products and services that he had in in that case, he had one sort of service, that was something that was really unique to him to their company, but also he could train others to do and it was the design of logos. So he developed a logo design process, and systematize it right, taught other people how to do it, and then started to focus more and more of his attention and money on designing logos. So very specific, but because he was doing one thing, he was able to hire salespeople, and he didn't have to personally do much the selling because he could formula. Your salespeople thrive mostly on repetition, right. So when they're selling one thing, they get really good at it. Whereas if they're selling like a wide cadre of offerings, it, they're generally quite weak at that. So he goes on to build in the book of a successful sellable company as a result of that. So that's an example of when selling too many things is is a danger.
John Meese 23:04
Hmm. Well, that's it. That's a that's a great example. Thank you. I appreciate you sharing that. So with this in mind, let's let's talk for a second about your new book, because you got a new book coming out this year. I can see it looks like we got a copy behind you back there, I can see it our listeners, can you going out there The Art of Selling Your Business- So tell us a little bit about this? Because this is a an you know, this is sort of like a next step. It's not completely disconnected from your previous books, right?
John Warrillow 23:28
Yeah, me build a sell was how do you create a valuable business on my customer? How do you accelerate its value? And now the art of selling? How do you harvest that value? In this podcast since 2015? I think we've done 300. So interviews, and the Delta cell podcast, yes, both the cell radio and go. Yeah, so I, what I've, what I've seen is that, across that spectrum of guests, there is a subset that seemed to punch well above their weight, they get multiples that are way beyond the industry, average multiples of EBITDA revenue. And so I sat down and tried to distill what are the transferable lessons independent of what industry they're in? What are the kind of hacks and playbooks that these successful sellers are using. And so that's really what I tried to do with this book is distill a bit of an action plan for owners who want to, again punch above their weight when it comes to selling.
John Meese 24:27
Hmm. So can you share any of those insights in terms of what those are like kind of just something? I'm thinking what's practical at this point?
John Warrillow 24:34
Oh, yeah, yeah, for sure. That mean, there's a ton Sure. You know, one of the things that that makes selling a company. Basically Jacks up its value maximizes its value, is to create competitive tension to create multiple offers. And of course, acquires want the opposite, right acquires what's called a prop deal, a proprietary deal where they're negotiating with one buyer. And so what you really want is multiple bidders, if you will. Now, that becomes tricky if you really lock into one type of buyer, right. So if you think oh, all I want is a strategic to buy my comany, I want Google to buy my company as an example. That can be very, you know, tricky, because maybe Google's got other things on their mind right now. And they're not interested in buying your business that the way to get multiple offers, is to really be open to all three types of acquirers. So those would be individual investors, private equity groups, and strategics. And you could have no interest in selling to a private equity group, no interest selling to individual investor. But like a chess player, you can use those offers as pawns, as a way to jack up the value you get from the company that you actually want. So again, it's a funny thing, the more open you are to the universe of people that might want to buy your company, the more you can dictate the terms to the one you actually want to sell to. Whereas the inverse is not true. If you get really myopically focused on I want to sell to one company, and they've got other things in mind, it can really basically limit the value of your company you can, and you can really shoot yourself in the foot.
John Meese 26:10
Well, I can provide an illustration on that one, because that's essentially what we just did with Platinum University. So glad to hear we did that. We did that part. Right. Yeah. So we, we started down the list of identifying, you know, first, you had a list of dozens, but we narrowed it down to kind of like our top 10, or top 12 of individual investors that we really, because Platform University as a membership site is also personality driven, you know, we really wanted to be selective of that. But we still hired a broker, and then worked with that broker to go to private equity firms, and to really bring in other other money onto the table. And ultimately, you know, after several rounds of negotiation, we ended up with four offers on the table from individual investors who were essentially all aware that they were competing with each other. So that worked out really well. In fact, you know, Michael knew in the front end, what kind of deal he was looking for. And he got it in many ways, because of that leverage that came from having the multiple investors at the table. And so, yeah, of those for any one of them would have been a phenomenal, you know, partner like in other words, they all pass the sniff test of being in a good from a good integrity perspective and a legacy perspective being good partners. That's a question of, you know, who's really got the right structure, the right partnership and the right vision for the business. So,
John Warrillow 27:23
You know, it's really, it's really smart, you got four, you know, shortlisted down what one of the things that I've noticed about private equity groups, is they tend to be like lemmings. They tend to be like sheep, like if you read the investment criteria of 100, private equity groups, the consistency among them. And in other words, what they look for in companies they want to buy is astounding. It's so cookie cutter, it's like, I want a company in a unique niche with management who's willing to stick around that has good gross margin, and differentiated product or service, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, like it's exactly the same thing
John Meese 28:01
with checklists. Yeah.
John Warrillow 28:02
But yeah, they have virtually no creativity. So that's a shot at private equity groups. But what it does as an entrepreneur, what you can do is use that to your advantage. Because if you've been attracted, if you've attracted an offer from one private equity group, you can bet a lot of money that there is another 10, private equity groups will basically want to make you an offer. And so your job is once you get an unsolicited offer from a private equity group, it's a great thank you for your offer. Now, go find nine more. And it's your point, hire broker, hire an m&a professional to go find out more, because if you're attracted to one, to the extent that they've given you an offer, you can be bad, you'll be attractive to lots more. And I mean, this can be life changing money. I mean, you can when you start to play one off the other I, you know, on the on the show, we talked to a lot of people who've increased the value of their company. Like it's not uncommon to double the value of your company, when you start to kind of gin one offer against another. That doesn't happen all the time. But it certainly enables you to make sure– you know one of the things a lot of entrepreneurs do at the end of the day, when they sold their company, is they kind of wonder did I get did I get taken advantage of that I get hosed that I did I get a fair price. And one of the ways he wants to win,
John Meese 29:15
right because they want the buyer wants to make sure they got a good deal. You want to make sure you got a good reward. Yeah,
John Warrillow 29:19
Yeah, you don't you don't necessarily want to, you know, totally screw the other guy. But you do want to be like, Hey, you know, like, I want to feel like I you know, I got a decent deal. And the only way you're going to be able to do that and really look yourself in the mirror and say yeah, I did, I did well, is to get multiple offers. And as tempting It is one of the most common mistakes that owners make when they sell is they get some sort of lured in to a conversation with a potential acquirer and they get showered with praise there like John your business is so amazing. I'd love to learn more about it. We should do a strategic partnership. And they're kind of like romancing them into saying, you know, maybe like we should go beyond just a partnership and like, if you You ever thought about selling your company? And they say, Well, you know, for the right price, and, and so months later, you're now negotiating with one acquirer, you're friendly with them, you don't want to be a complete jerk. And as a result, you kind of may do a deal with that acquire. And you may see a year later go man that I did I just get taken to the cleaners here. You'll never know that unless you create competitive tension, you get three or four offers, and you can look and say, Yeah, like I've got, there was only 10% difference between the low and the high. I feel like I'm getting about what I should get for the company.
John Meese 30:31
Yeah, that's Oh, I think it makes a lot of sense. You know, and I think that, um, thankfully, you know, while this was my first acquisition, that I was part of being that it was a very, it was a large acquisition. Well, I mean, some people would call it a boutique or micro acquisition, but, you know, it was a multi million dollar acquisition, I can say that much, you know, it's not my business business to disclose the terms. But, but thankfully, like, Michael Hyatt himself had been part of other acquisitions before, including, you know, selling Thomas Nelson, which at the time was, you know, I think the seventh largest publisher in the world, and, and he actually managed their, their sale to HarperCollins, you know, when he was the chairman of their board, and so, so that, which is, which was a much larger sale, and, and so thankfully, he had that experience coming into it to know the kind of stuff we should be looking for. So that was helpful as well. So this has all been helpful insight. And I know that you've given us a lot to think about John and to, you know, to build strong to build strong businesses that are timeless that can thrive without us, you know, so we can go by that lake house instead of the sailboat and put her feet up, which that's pretty nice right about now, although it's a little chilly today for that. But you know, I think they make they probably make heated seats for those things at this point. It's, it's the 21st century. So John, any any final thoughts that you'd like to share with our audience before we parted ways for today? No. I
John Warrillow 31:45
mean, if folks kind of are curious about the podcast, and some of these stories, I think, best thing to do is just head over to builttosell.com. And then just opt in, there's like 1000, places you can opt to opt in, you'll get an episode each week. And they're really fascinating stories. Each one is about an entrepreneur who's sold a company. So just builttosell.com.
John Meese 32:07
That's great. That's great. Well, thank you so much for sharing that with us, john. John, thank you for your time, and please keep up the good work.
John Warrillow 32:13
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