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May 16, 2022

Josh Lindsey On The Importance Of An Investment Banker With Real World Experience (#125)

Josh Lindsey On The Importance Of An Investment Banker With Real World Experience (#125)

“Be very careful when you choose business partners.” - Josh Lindsey

Josh Lindsey Utah is the managing partner of American Business Brokers harboring nearly a decade and a half in mergers and acquisitions. He took one of his personal companies public in 2006. Josh's exceptional business acumen has allowed him to position and sell businesses at values ranging from $100,000 to over $50 million. Some of these transactions have included financial service companies, online e-commerce stores, furniture companies, advertising agencies, insurance agencies, medical supply companies, SaaS providers, manufacturing and distribution, franchises, and logistics. 

Josh also owns and manages PHX Private Equity, Inc. A service that purchases businesses nationwide with private capital. This allows customers to talk directly to someone who is able to purchase their business as soon as possible. This gives them the distinction of being the only brokerage that has its own equity capital group, specifically dedicated to buying businesses. 

In 2015, Josh was listed by the Utah Business Magazine as a top 40 under 40 business executive. Additionally, he and his team at ABB were honored at number 89 on Inc's 500 list of fastest-growing companies in America. 

Outside of his endeavors in valuing and selling businesses, Josh enjoys coaching little league football, boating, cars, charity work, and being the best family man he can for his twin sons.

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This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth. 

Your liquidity event is the most important financial transaction of your life. You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count. 

But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.

Our founders said "no" to a 7-figure offer and "yes" to a 9-figure offer less than two years later. 

Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event. 

After all, how can you master something you've never done before? 

Are you leaving millions on the table? 

Learn how the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our 9-step roadmap helps you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.  

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Enjoy the interview!

Transcript

[00:00:00] Jeffrey Feldberg: Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.

This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience.

Your liquidity event is the largest and most important financial transaction of your life.

But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave anywhere from 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.

I should know. I said no to a seven-figure offer and yes, to mastering the art and science of a liquidity event. Two years later, I said yes to a different buyer with a nine-figure offer.

Are you thinking about an exit or liquidity event?

If you believe that you either don't have the time or you'll prepare closer to your liquidity event, think again.

Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event.

After all, how can you master something you've never done before?

Let the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our nine-step roadmap of preparation help you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.

At the end of this episode, take a moment to hear from business owners, just like you, who went through the Deep Wealth Experience.

 Josh Lindsey Utah is the managing partner of American Business Brokers harboring nearly a decade and a half in mergers and acquisitions. He took one of his personal companies public in 2006. Josh's exceptional business acumen has allowed him to position and sell businesses at values ranging from $100,000 to over $50 million. Some of these transactions have included financial service companies, online e-commerce stores, furniture companies, advertising agencies, insurance agencies, medical supply companies, SaaS providers, manufacturing and distribution, franchises, and logistics.

Josh also owns and manages PHX Private Equity, Inc. A service that purchases businesses nationwide with private capital. This allows customers to talk directly to someone who is able to purchase their business as soon as possible. This gives them the distinction of being the only brokerage that has its own equity capital group, specifically dedicated to buying businesses.

In 2015, Josh was listed by the Utah Business Magazine as a top 40 under 40 business executive. Additionally, he and his team at ABB were honored at number 89 on Inc's 500 list of fastest-growing companies in America.

Outside of his endeavors in valuing and selling businesses, Josh enjoys coaching little league football, boating, cars, charity work, and being the best family man he can for his twin sons.

Welcome to The Sell My Business Podcast. And you're going to love this episode with a guest that we have. You know, what The Sell My Business Podcast and in Deep Wealth at Deep Wealth Experience, we work with business owners with our 9-step roadmap to help them prepare for an eventual liquidity event.

But before things even begin, people often ask, hey Jeffrey, what's my business. What do you think I can do? Where is it at? And then once I finished preparing with the Deep Wealth Experience, how do I go to market? Who can help me? What would that look like? Well, we're going to have all that and more in today's episode, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Josh, welcome to The Sell My Business Podcast. It's such a pleasure to have you with us. There's always a story behind the story. Josh, we'd love to hear. What's your story? What got you to where you are today?

[00:04:04] Josh Lindsey: Yeah, that's a great question. So my road to selling businesses full-time is a little different than most. I actually started out working in sales for a financial services firm and got recruited to leave and start a company. So we launched a financial services company where we had prepaid debit cards and ATMs, it's back in the day when those were really hot, so to speak.

And we actually took that company public in 2006. So that was kinda my first coming out. I had two business partners that helped me through that transition. I was fairly young 24 at the time, that was really the sales road warrior placing the ATMs and kind of making the sales happen. After that, after two years in the public realm, I got into acquiring businesses myself.

So I'd go out, find companies, acquire them, build them up and then resell them. So really doing some family office slash private equity work. I have sold six of my own personal companies since then. And throughout the process, I was getting people that were asking me, how are you finding these businesses?

Or where are you getting the money for the acquisition? Or how are you successfully doing the exits and this just friends and family? And that's how American Business Brokers was started in 2011. It was just odd. There was an obvious demand for high-quality representation in the marketplace.

I mean, a lot of these business owners are great at just that running their small business, that's their world. But then when they're looking to transition and they're looking to cash out, it's really kind of a big task. And so anyways that we launched that and it acts as a great feeder.

When we see deals that we like, we're obviously able to buy them or get involved. Somehow otherwise we just provide hands-on representation to help companies successfully exit.

[00:05:45] Jeffrey Feldberg: Josh, what a great story. And really, when you think about it, you've been in the trenches. It's been very hands-on and very practical. So all the theory you've left for the classroom and you're just doing what you've done. So I'm curious as someone who's bought businesses, someone who has sold businesses.

As you look with, let's say a buyer's hat because our audience, as you know, are people who are looking to sell. And one of the things that we say in the Deep Wealth Experience, in fact, it's step number three of our 9-step roadmap. Don't be selfish. You cannot think like a business owner who's selling, you've got to put your shoes and your eyes, so to speak in the eyes of the buyer and think like a buyer. Master the art of thinking like a buyer.

So from a buyer's perspective, Josh, what are you looking for? Ideally in a situation where you're looking to buy a company and it just makes it so easy for you to say, yes let's move forward and do the diligence and ultimately cross the finish line.

[00:06:39] Josh Lindsey: Okay. That's kind of two-fold. I'll give you the first answer as far as what I would like to see in a nice packaged-up business that I'd like to acquire. One, I want to buy a business I don't want to buy a job. Okay. So if I am seeing that the owner is heavily involved, we're talking 40, 50 hours a week and that business is probably fairly reliant on him or the relationships that he has with clients or vendors or whatever that may be. I'm probably not as interested. Why? It doesn't matter how successful I am in business. It's going to be very difficult to replace that person. And again, I'd like to emphasize, I'm not really looking to buy a job. I want to buy a business.

So I want to see a business that's got some type of management in place, some type of infrastructure that allows that owner to be an owner and not necessarily in the business, running it full time where it's relying on him. That would be the first thing that I would want to see.

[00:07:36] Jeffrey Feldberg: And the second thing that you're looking for beyond, I mean, effectively what you're saying, and this is one of our favorite questions. Does your business run without you? No maybes, buts, you know? yes or no. Does your business run without you? And I'm hearing you say if the answer is well, no, it's thank you. But no, thank you.

So you find a business that does run with alpha business owner. What's next? What else is a checkbox? Yes, I can check it off that this is something that I'm interested in?

[00:08:00] Josh Lindsey: Good financials. Keep good books. Don't push the limit when it comes to write-offs and add-backs. What I mean by that is don't go out and buy a boat for $200,000 and then jam it into the marketing expense. I believe you. Okay, great. Here's a picture of my boat. You actually bought it, but at the same time, that's not really an allowable add back. It's going to be difficult to convince a bank or lawyer, CPA et cetera, that's following GAAP principles. If that makes sense.

[00:08:28] Jeffrey Feldberg: Have the good old EBITDA adjustments of keeping it clean and keeping the personal stuff personal. Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. And so then Josh, on the flip side, because really as a business owner, if I've never sold my business before. I don't know what I don't know. And again, that's our wheelhouse at Deep Wealth, but I'd love for you to share with our listeners.

What are some of the common mistakes that you're seeing in business owners that just, make your job more difficult when you're looking to have a liquidity event ultimately sell the business for them?

[00:08:59] Josh Lindsey: The number one, and we just talked about its books. People just don't realize that they're not keeping good financials. And I hate to say it, but oftentimes it can be the bookkeeper that you've hired. As bad as that sounds, I'll get ahold of somebody's books and say, ah, you know, these are just, they're not done right.

Or why is he allocating this into this column? Like that just doesn't make sense. It's a problem because you need to have at least three years' worth of books that are tight. And so it's not just something that you can fix, like when you're three years into it and those books look rough or they're just not done properly.

It's going to take some time to fix those. You're gonna have to redo them all correctly or focus on going forward and build three new years. Does that make sense of nice clean stable books? I know that's giving you the same answer, but I can't emphasize enough that financials are they're my biggest problem when somebody just hands me a mess and then they're like, hey, I want $10 million for my business. It's tough.

[00:09:56] Jeffrey Feldberg: And fundamentals are fundamentals. You know, what's tried and true is tried and true. And it's been around for a reason, a year after year. And so speaking of just the marketplace and buyers and the whole liquidity event side of things, we've been through some interesting times ahead, the pandemic certainly has changed a lot of things.

What's changed in your world from the pandemic in terms of when it comes to selling a business, perhaps this use of work pre-pandemic, but post-pandemic don't even think about it. I mean, What have you been seeing what's been going on.

[00:10:31] Josh Lindsey: That's a good question. I'd say 2020 was one of the more difficult years because I had to have a lot of conversations that were tough with business owners that they should probably just liquidate and close their doors. There was really no end in sight if that makes sense. And everybody kind of got oh, let's go on lockdown for 30 days. And then 30 days turned into three months and then three months turned into a year. And so, I saw a company, I'll give you an example. They're very successful dress and formal gown and prom wear so to speak. But when the pandemic hit, there were no proms, there was no school. There were no none of those events. And when I say successful, I'm talking really successful that just stopped. And in that space, they were holding about $600,000 worth of inventory because when a girl has a dress, you have to have, a size two, a four to six and eight, like you got to have all these sizes.

And so they were really inventory heavy and they didn't have any business coming in because everything was shut down. So I saw somebody who was really successful, all of a sudden become desperate. And liquidation was their only hope.

So to answer your question, I don't think she could've seen that coming, but the pandemic has put a glaring spotlight on what's essential and what's not.

[00:11:46] Jeffrey Feldberg: Yeah, it sure has. And really it's a, you can't prepare for what you don't know necessarily, but if you're prepared, there are all things that you can do to try and navigate through that. And sometimes hindsight's are always 2020. And in that regard in some hard lessons there that it's just unfortunate in that particular case, but coming out of the pandemic, Josh, has it changed for you in terms of what the landscape looks like now?

So as a business owner, I'm thinking of working with you, I'm thinking of going to market, has my thinking changed? Should I be doing differently or should I be doing things differently than perhaps I would've before?

[00:12:22] Josh Lindsey: Well, You've seen some multiples go up in certain areas, trucking, and logistics. They've seen an increase in multiple of those are more in demand than they were before the pandemic. So that's a good time to sell if you're in that space, it could retract. We were already seeing quite the climb in that space, just due to online purchasing, increasing, but when the pandemic hit, it really was like nitrous just fuel to the fire.

 I think you will see some multiples of eventually mean I'm talking, selling multiples. Maybe go down a little bit just because as things start to clear. It doesn't mean that business will be in demand or that it's not essential. I just think there might be a little bit of a cooling kind of like real estate.

Like a market can get hot and it doesn't flip, but it just pools. If that makes sense. It stabilizes or maybe values come back down to a normal level. But right now, really high in that space.

[00:13:18] Jeffrey Feldberg: Interesting. And you know what I'd love to hear and you have a very unique perspective, Josh. I want you to imagine the Josh of today and you're buying businesses, you're selling businesses. You're just in it. And you see both sides of the fence, but Josh, let's go back to when you had a business, you didn't have the experience that you have today, and you're a business owner and you know, you want to have some kind of liquidity event, maybe to have a full exit or raise some capital.

What do you think a business owner should be looking for in an advisor to know, hey, yeah, this is the right advisor for me, or thank you. But no, thank you. Let me find somebody else. How do we, as business owners from your seat really find the right person? How do we do that? What questions should we be asking?

What kind of traits should we be looking for?

[00:14:05] Josh Lindsey: Yeah, that's a great question. So I'm really biased, but I believe in what I do. And what I mean by that is there are too many people in this space, in my opinion, that sold insurance. And then all of a sudden decided to be a business broker because they know somebody that makes money doing it.

There's really no real-world experience. If you were like selling cars one day and now all of a sudden you're selling a business and you're like yeah, but it's just a formula. It's just a process. Is it just as easy as filling out a REPC and then sending it to a title company? because it's not. I'm out there doing it every day.

And there really isn't any REPC to just fill out. Everything's negotiable, every deal is different. Every industry is different. You don't just attach a multiple to a business and say, this is what all businesses should be priced at. Anybody that tells you that they don't know what they're doing.

So I'm a firm believer that if you're not working with an advisor, that's done it themselves successfully purchased the company. And especially exited the company, then they don't have real-world experience of what can happen and what to watch out for. And it's really important. And I tell my clients all the time, I say, look, this is a plus, this is a pro and a con for me with working with me.

And that is, I will treat your deal like it's my deal. And I will give you all of the advice that I would do or give if this was my own company that I was selling. Now at the end of the day, you get to make the decision, but just know I'm going to get very passionate and very personal when I share things with you, because I sleep better at night, knowing that I've told you everything that I know about deals, and you've made the decision, hey, we're going this way or we're going that way.

And not all my clients, listen to me. You know, sometimes they'll do these seller finance notes that I've advised against. They just feel comfortable with it. And sometimes they work out and sometimes they don't, but that real-world experience of actually doing deals where you're putting money on the line and then retrieving it back through a sale.

It's invaluable. And so if I was looking for an advisor, I would want to be working with somebody that's actually doing it, not just transitioning from one career into the next.

[00:16:24] Jeffrey Feldberg: So let's talk about that now. So as a business owner, I'm out there, I'm looking around, you know, hopefully finding someone that I am going to respect and we're going to listen to and follow their advice. Josh, wherein the marketplace as you look at businesses and with American Business Brokers, what's your sweet spot if you will. What's the type of company in terms of size or industry or revenue that you really excel with?

[00:16:46] Josh Lindsey: I do a lot of stuff in main street. So what I mean by that is that's 30 million and below as far as value. And here's why. You know, once you're doing 2 million, 2 and a half, 3 million in EBITDA, You know, most private equity firms are going to come sniffing around and they're going to want your business.

And the deals really aren't that difficult to put together. But if you're below $2 million in cash flow or EBITDA, private equity is not even going to consider you. I don't care what space you are and they have to have it be big enough for them to be worth their time. So there are a lot of great businesses out there that are making a million dollars a year for the owner net or whatever that are in this limbo stage.

And that's really where I shine is making sure those guys are getting maximum value. Like a private equity company would offer pay, although they're not on their radar if that makes sense.

[00:17:38] Jeffrey Feldberg: And when you're working with businesses and in a Deep Wealth experience, one of the things that we share with the business owners, if a business owner comes to you, it's not a guarantee that you're going to work with them because your time is your currency. You can only do so many deals in a year.

And, given the choice from one business to another business. If you had to choose, you're going to be looking for certain things that are going to have you give the nod towards one business and a thank you but no thank you towards another business. So on the positive side, what would ideally need to happen for a business owner who would show up, and tell you their story?

Have you asked your questions and you're saying, Yeah? Okay. This would be the kind of company I can see myself taking to market, helping them sell their business because of A, B and C. What would that be?

[00:18:24] Josh Lindsey: Yeah. So another really good question. You're good at asking good questions. So the first one would be as long as all the financials and stuff are tight and I can read them pretty quickly that's great. And I know that I can take this to market, and package it. The second thing is after I do an evaluation and establish, hey, this is what I believe we can sell it for.

We've got to be pretty close. If you think your business is worth a hundred million and I'm telling you it's worth 10. It's just not going to happen, even if you sell me and tell me all the reasons why you think it's worth more, I'm just going to deal in reality and be like, hey, look, there's no way I can stretch it to that far.

So as long as there's a meeting of the minds, as far as value goes, and then the third, and this is really just kind of more of a gut thing is how I'm interacting with these people. And if I can tell that I'll work well with them, and here's why that's important to me. I will go above and beyond. I will spend tons of hours on somebody's business.

I'll fly across the country and meet with private equity firms on your behalf, on my dime. If I feel like I'm valued and I'm being appreciated. I work solely on contingency. Nobody pays me anything upfront unless there are certain circumstances where they'll pay a retainer. If that's something they want to do.

But for the most part, I'm fronting my own costs. I'm going out there and I'm making stuff happen completely on contingency for these people. All I want to know is that you appreciate what I'm doing because deals take a lot of work and they take a lot of time to put together. So if I feel like I'm dealing with somebody who's hostile, who's going to be a little bit demeaning to work with no offense, I don't need your money. I make plenty of it, but I value your business. And so if I feel like the relationship is not going to be good, I absolutely would pass.

[00:20:02] Jeffrey Feldberg: So chemistry, the chemistry for you, Josh is put the money aside, put the deal aside. If the chemistry isn't there. It's a thank you, but no thank you.

[00:20:13] Josh Lindsey: Yeah, and chemistry is a good word, but it's just a respect factor. You don't have to listen or take all of my advice. I would expect you to ask questions and I would expect you to want to further understand why I'm advising you in such a manner. And again, you get to make the decision.

 I can't sign a contract for you and I can't make you do anything, but we've got to have a relationship where I can speak honestly and say, hey, here are my concerns about this offer. Boom boom. I lay that out for you and we talk about it and it's not an argumentative fashion. It's hey, you hired me to do a job and I'm out here cranking for you.

And I've got some real concerns about this and you take them into advisement and then you tell me what you want to do and we proceed as a team. And so most people, honestly, we work well together and I get tons of referrals. I only work off a referral basis, but occasionally I'll have some clients that just feel like they know more because they're successful in this realm, and feeling that ego can be an issue.

Hey, I'm a really successful orthopedic surgeon. Okay, great. What do you know about selling a business? I don't, but I told you I'm a really successful orthopedic surgeon. They don't apply. So that's what I mean by friction. Occasionally I'll see that friction. And I'll just say, hey, I'm not your guy.

[00:21:30] Jeffrey Feldberg: And for all your listeners out there. I really hope you're listening carefully because Josh is just sharing some incredible gems of wisdom and you know, really it's again, a bit of a rhetorical question, but how can you master something you've never done before? And Josh, your example of that orthopedic surgeon.

Well, an orthopedic surgeon doesn't sell businesses, but Josh, you do. And so it doesn't matter how successful you are as a business owner. Doesn't matter what accomplishments you've had as a business owner. That's terrific. That'll get you in the door, but you really need to put that aside, listen to your advisors, hear the wisdom that they have to share, and then you can decide you have a meaningful conversation and then you can decide, yes, it makes sense.

Or I agree or don't agree, but you have that kind of conversation. So, Josh, it's interesting because as business owners and all of us on this call and in the community, I would call it successful, probably Type-A, probably have all these ideas. So what tips would you give to a business owner?

Not only when speaking with yourself, Josh as an M&A advisor but other advisors in the process as well how do you just put that Type-A personality aside, put the ego aside, and just get the meaningful conversations where there's respect from that respect. You can get some trust. And from that trust, you can see where that takes you.

It doesn't mean that you're going to cross the finish line together, but it just puts you in a better position to have a nice conversation about that. How are business owners? Can we do that? Because I suspect we're probably hard-charging don't tell me what to do, I know how to do it type of mentality.

[00:23:03] Josh Lindsey: Yeah. So, I'm super Type-A. And again, it's funny 'cause I referenced the doctor thing, but what's worked for me in the past is I like to ask questions. So I like to ask questions, who are you? What do you do? Why are we doing this? And so that helps me process information. And if people give me information and I always know I'm in control to make the decision. I like to feel like I'm always in control. So from a Type-A personality, I would say don't be afraid to ask questions. And if the person on the other side of the table, isn't willing to answer it. Either something's wrong or the friction is already there.

If they're getting defensive, because you're asking questions, so put together a list, prepare if you're going in to buy a car, you're like, hey, what's this car all about? Tell me about the car. Tell me about your warranty program. What are the bottom line fees? Just all that type of stuff and get the answers.

And then you get to make the decision. So I don't think there's anything wrong with asking questions about why you're doing something or why you're advising this and I like it. I want my clients to ask me questions and give me the opportunity to explain if that makes sense.

[00:24:07] Jeffrey Feldberg: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And so let's talk a little bit more about strategies. I'm going to mention the E word because we banished this word, this E word at Deep Wealth. We don't use it. We don't believe in it. It's called an earnout and you know, I hear all the stories, and depending on who I'm speaking to, it can go in any which direction.

So you know, where we stand at Deep Wealth on the topic, but I'd love to hear from you, Josh, where do you stand on earnouts and how do you work with potentially an earnout or even getting an earnout off the table if a buyer is still feeling some risk or just some nervousness around the deal? What have you done before in the past? Or what can you share in terms of strategies of what a business owner can do to avoid that from the start?

[00:24:46] Josh Lindsey: I've closed over 300 deals, and I can think of maybe two off the top of my head where we've had an earnout. And let me tell you what those earnouts look like. because they weren't traditional earn-outs they were incentive earnouts so there was a deal in Texas logistic company.

We established a price, and had the value. The majority of it was cash. There was a 10% seller note. It was secured, so had collateral with the truck. So if they defaulted, they could collect, and then they wanted the owner to do more than its traditional training longer than 30 to 60 days.

And so we structured it as an earnout over the next three years where the current owner would be compensated based on the performance of the business. And he would be working in it, but his comp was tied to the performance if that makes sense. But it was an incentivized earnout like he was still getting the majority of his cash 90% at closing, 10% fixed payment was collateralized. And then the earnout is really more of a bonus. I'm not a huge fan of, hey, I'll buy your business and you stay on board. And if it does well I'll pay you and if it doesn't, then I'm not going to pay. That's insane.

[00:26:04] Jeffrey Feldberg: You and I are on the same page there, but all too often, unfortunately, you don't have the right advisors or some business owners don't have an advisor. And that's exactly what happens and as business owners, we get the short end of the stick.

[00:26:16] Josh Lindsey: Yeah. It would make more sense just to keep your business.

[00:26:19] Jeffrey Feldberg: I agree, you're paying for it. You're paying yourself for your business so for sure it doesn't make a lot of sense. Josh, in terms of other advisors, so a business owner will come along, they'll bring you on board. What would you advise the business owners? Okay. You have me on board.

I'm going to help you sell your business. What would you advise other business owners to look for when it comes to perhaps an M&A lawyer or having some kind of a tax expert? Any suggestions? Because you know, when there's that old saying, when the team works, the dream works, and the team is everything.

[00:26:52] Josh Lindsey: Yeah. So we're unique in the fact that when we get hired, it's a one-stop-shop. We do everything from top to bottom, meaning all of our contract work, all of the legal fees, all the closing costs, escrow, everything is part of our fee. Now, if you want to use your outside lawyer, because he's a buddy I'm not going to say no, they're welcome to bring anybody they want into the transaction.

It's just, that it's not covered inside of our fee. And the reason that we do it this way is one, we can help you save money by obviously building it inside of our fee. But two, I work with these guys all the time. And so they know exactly how I like to do deals. I can speak a really candid to these lawyers because I have an ongoing relationship with them and say, look, here's the deal.

Here's how it's structured. Here are our concerns. Draft up a purchase agreement, this is how we want it to look. And then you'd be the face communicating with their own lawyer. But we get the unique advantage of communicating exactly what we want without the formality. I talked to my lawyer all the time.

He's in my neighborhood. I see him at my kid's school, we're friends, he does all the contract work. And so he knows how I like to do deals. And then more importantly, if I need to just speak candidly hey, this is crap. I need you to fix this. He'll do it and not take offense.

[00:28:09] Jeffrey Feldberg: Yeah. I love that. This is your secret sauce. You found a formula, a winning formula for you, of other professionals, other advisors, you have great chemistry. You have trust, you have respect for them. You have a system in place. You all know how each other works. And then you take that to the business owner.

What you're saying, and really it's a one-stop-shop. So when a business owner reaches out to you, Josh, if what I'm understanding is correct, I sign up with American Business Brokers, Josh, you're taking me to market, but you have a covered in terms of, hey, I have all the legal in-house, we're going to take care of that.

We know what the deal structure should be. We do this all day long. Nothing's going to get by us. We have your best interests in mind, and we'll get you across the finish line.

[00:28:47] Josh Lindsey: Yeah, and what's great is, you know, if there's ever issues post-sale, you just pick up the phone and you're talking to the same person like I'm with you after the sale if there are issues as well.

[00:28:56] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific. And Josh, let me ask you this because we've been talking about buying businesses and really focusing on selling businesses. And you've certainly been in this next scenario. Let's talk a little bit about the post-exit life because I know for many business owners, they sell the business. They're looking for the happily ever after, and they're a little bit disappointed.

They don't find it and no one wants to come out and play in the playground. And no one's feeling sorry for someone with a lot of zeros in the bank account, who's bored at home. What's been your experience with that and what kind of strategies could you share with our listeners on how do you optimize your life for happiness once you're no longer in the business?

[00:29:32] Josh Lindsey: That's a really good question. So a couple of things I'm going to hit on a few points. The first one is, that you've got to create an end date where you're no longer going to help the new owner. I have a lot of clients that one, they love the business. And so even though they're like they're training in 60 and 90 days after whatever, they're still poking around.

They're still doing favors for the owner. And then I hear about it. I'll see one, I see this guy at the golf course all the time. And he's oh man, this guy always calls me still it's been six months and I just want to look at them and say well, why are you taking this call? Like, why are you doing the favor?

You realize you're not obligated to do this, but they just stay attached and people will take advantage of you if you let it. If you'll take the calls and come in and watch the shop for an hour as a favor, you'll never transition out of it. And you'll eventually be frustrated and be like, I thought I sold my business.

So you've got to create an end date in mind where it's like, hey, once I'm done with this training, you've got to let them go because there are some people that kind of hang on and linger on and that I don't think that's healthy mentally. It's definitely not healthy because you're not being compensated for it.

But the second thing is, that having a transition plan in place is a good idea. I see more people struggle with it when they're transitioning into retirement than I do on the younger side. So let's say you're 40 years old, you're selling a business for $5 million. You know, that $5 million you can't retire.

You've got another 40 years to go. Those people tend to be more prepared to, hey, I'm going to do this, or, Hey, I'm going to buy this apartment building and look for my next venture. But my clients that are like in their sixties and going into retirement, they're the ones that struggle more because they don't think you they're capable or they're don't have the energy or for whatever reason, they haven't planned a transition.

So my advice to them would be. If you're not up for another reboot of a business and you're getting out because it is taking a lot of your time, at least plan, a passive transition, like looking to, you know, maybe doing some real estate investing. Where you could buy an apartment complex and be like fairly passive. Have a manager in place kind of run the property, but like it's still providing income.

You still have a purpose, you've created this new purpose, this new building, you oversee, but it won't be nearly as taxing as your full-time business.

[00:31:54] Jeffrey Feldberg: And Josh and for our listeners, again, pure gold, you're hearing from Josh and personal story after I had my own liquidity event and I sold the business, something called a non-compete comes along. And your friends who are in the business or in the industry, I can't really socialize with them anymore, or it's awkward.

You can't do that. And all of a sudden that momentum is gone and you have this big silence. So Josh, with what you're sharing of before you sell the business, put together something in place, whether it's managing real estate or some kind of a hobby or passion, or even another business or whatever it's going to be, that's just going to keep you energized.

It's going to keep you happy and fulfilled. Had I done that it really would have saved a lot of heartache and pain after the liquidity event on my side? So some terrific advice there. So Josh we're at the point where we're beginning to wrap up the episode. And one of my favorite questions to ask is this.

I want you to think about the movie Back to the Future. And in the movie, you have that magical DeLorean car that can go to any point in time. So Josh, imagine it's tomorrow morning, you look out your window. The DeLorean car is there. The door is open waiting for you to hop on in, and you can now go to any point in your life, maybe Josh as a child or a teenager, adult, whatever it would be.

Josh, what will you be telling your younger self of, hey, don't do this or do this, or here's some life wisdom or lessons learned. What would that be for you?

[00:33:19] Josh Lindsey: Yeah, that's a great question. That's cool, I like the question. I'd love to be able to jump in a car and go back to the future that'd be great. I would say this, so you have to be very careful when you choose business partners. So although I've been super successful I have had some bad business partners over my career.

And when I look back on it, I was making decisions on who I had partnered within business based on what they could provide me. Like If they were a great sales guy or I felt like they could give me a leg up or a door open or whatever. And I wasn't really evaluating them based on some of my core values.

Meaning does this person aligns with me based on my core values if that makes sense. And so that caused issues. And so while things were great in the beginning, as soon as the money starts rolling in the core values, tend to expose themselves. And then the rifts come and I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was just young and less experienced realizing that, when lots of money starts coming in, people's true nature tends to come to the forefront. Those are some of the worst experiences that I've had in business is just seeing some true character of people.

[00:34:32] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow, Josh you're full of these wisdom zingers. I couldn't agree with you more. And there's that old saying if you want to see what someone is really like to your point, either give them a lot of money or take all the money away and then you really see the true personality of what that person is really all about.

And that's just some terrific advice that you shared on what to do and not to do, particularly when looking at business partners. So Josh, as we wrap up the episode a heartfelt, thank you for taking part of your day and spending it with us on The Sell My Business Podcast. I'm going to put this in the show notes.

It'll be a point and click for our listeners. Josh, if someone would like to reach you, what would be the best place to do that online?

[00:35:10] Josh Lindsey: Yeah. So my website is americanbizbrokers.com or a direct line to our office is 8 6 6 2 2 4 8 3 8 6.

[00:35:20] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific. And Josh, if I can put you on the spot, I know you shared with me a fabulous offer that you were thinking about for the listeners. Why don't we put that out there and have you share that with them because I think that'd be a tremendous value and opportunity for them.

[00:35:33] Josh Lindsey: Yeah, absolutely. So normally, if you want to get your business appraised, it's $3,000. But we decided to create an offer where we'd waive the fee. It would be free for any of your listeners that are just interested in knowing the value of their business, or maybe they're in preparation to sell their business.

 Happy to do it for free. The first 10 people that reach out mentioned Jeff, his podcast, et cetera, happy to waive the $3,000 fee and give you guys a free business appraisal.

[00:36:01] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well, It doesn't get any better than that. And you're having Josh and team do that for you. So I think it's a match made in heaven. And Josh, Thank you so much for that generosity. And as we wrap this up as always, thank you so much and please stay healthy and safe.

[00:36:14] Josh Lindsey: Thank you.

[00:36:15] Sharon S.: The Deep Wealth Experience was definitely a game-changer for me.

[00:36:18] Lyn M.: This course is one of the best investments you will ever make because you will get an ROI of a hundred times that. Anybody who doesn't go through it will lose millions.

[00:36:28] Kam H.: If you don't have time for this program, you'll never have time for a successful liquidity

[00:36:33] Sharon S.: It was the best value of any business course I've ever taken. The money was very well spent.

[00:36:39] Lyn M.: Compared to when we first began, today I feel better prepared, but in some respects, may be less prepared, not because of the course, but because the course brought to light so many things that I thought we were on top of that we need to fix.

[00:36:55] Kam H.: I 100% believe there's never a great time for a business owner to allocate extra hours into his or her week or day. So it's an investment that will yield results today. I thought I will reap the benefit of this program in three to five years down the road. But as soon as I stepped forward into the program, my mind changed immediately.

[00:37:17] Sharon S.: There was so much value in the experience that the time I invested paid back so much for the energy that was expended.

[00:37:28] Lyn M.: The Deep Wealth Experience compared to other programs is the top. What we learned is very practical. Sometimes you learn stuff that it's great to learn, but you never use it. The stuff we learned from Deep Wealth Experience, I believe it's going to benefit us a boatload.

[00:37:41] Kam H.: I've done an executive MBA. I've worked for billion-dollar companies before. I've worked for smaller companies before I started my business. I've been running my business successfully now for getting close to a decade. We're on a growth trajectory. Reflecting back on the Deep Wealth, I knew less than 10% what I know now, maybe close to 1% even.

[00:37:59] Sharon S.: Hands down the best program in which I've ever participated. And we've done a lot of different things over the years. We've been in other mastermind groups, gone to many seminars, workshops, conferences, retreats, read books. This was so different. I haven't had an experience that's anything close to this in all the years that we've been at this.

It's five-star, A-plus.

[00:38:26] Kam H.: I would highly recommend it to any super busy business owner out there.

Deep Wealth is an accurate name for it. This program leads to deeper wealth and happier wealth, not just deeper wealth. I don't think there's a dollar value that could be associated with such an experience and knowledge that could be applied today and forever.

[00:38:45] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table?

Please visit www.deepwealth.com/success to learn more.

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As we close out this episode, a heartfelt thank you for your time. And as always, please stay healthy and safe. 

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Your liquidity event is the most important financial transaction of your life. You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count. 

But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.

Our founders said "no" to a 7-figure offer and "yes" to a 9-figure offer less than two years later. 

Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event. 

After all, how can you master something you've never done before? 

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Enjoy the interview!