Michelle Seiler Tucker is the Founder and CEO of Seiler Tucker Incorporated. She owns numerous businesses in several different industries. As a 20-year veteran in the Mergers & Acquisitions industry, she is regarded as the leading authority on buying, selling, fixing, and growing businesses. She and her firm have sold over a thousand businesses in almost every vertical and have a remarkable track record of success.
She is the best-selling author of the book Sell Your Business for more than It’s Worth, and has been featured in INC, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and USA Magazine. Michelle is an international keynote speaker and makes regular radio and TV appearances on Fox Business News and CNBC.
In this interview, she talks about her new book out this week – Exit Rich®.
Head over to https://exitrichbook.com/ to get immediate access to the amazing bonuses that Michelle shares in the interview, by Saturday 26th June 2021.
Listen to the podcast here
Michelle Seiler Tucker, Author Of Exit Rich®
I’m thrilled to have the most amazing Michelle Seiler Tucker, the Founder and CEO of Seiler Tucker Incorporated, here as our guest all the way from the US. Michelle, thank you so much for taking time out to be a guest on the show. Welcome.
Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to be with you.
You are already the best-selling author of the book, Sell Your Business for More Than It’s Worth, and you’ve got huge professional expertise around mergers and acquisitions. First of all, before we start talking about the latest stuff, you as a person, would you tell the readers a bit about you and your journey? How did you get to where you are?
I don’t think I was ever your typical little girl. I never played with toys or dolls. I would always walk around with a notebook. I would walk up to perfect strangers and start asking them questions like, “Who are you? What do you do? How do you do it? How’d you get started?” I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship. Always knew that I would probably not make a good employee because I don’t like to be told what to do. This is my number one pet peeve. I always knew three things. I would do something centered around people because I love people, do something around entrepreneurship because I love business and I’ll be an author. I knew all that at a pretty young age.
I own many different businesses in different verticals. I did get caught up in working for Corporate America. Xerox recruited me. Xerox is a Fortune 500 company, or it was back then. My nickname became The Closer at Xerox pretty quickly because every time somebody couldn’t get a deal done, they’re like, “Call Michelle. She can close anything.” Within six months, I was promoted to regional vice president of Xerox with over 100 different salespeople. I realized very quickly though I didn’t like that. I like management and leadership, but not in a Fortune 500 company because there’s much bureaucracy and red tape. You can’t make decisions and get anything done at any time quickly.
I left Xerox and opened up my franchise development, consulting and sales business. I was a partner with different franchisors. I kept having many business owners and buyers asking me, “Do you have any existing businesses?” I’m like, “No, we only have franchises.” Finally, after a few months of that, I’m like, “Why do I keep saying no? I should be saying yes and listening to what the client wants.” That’s what led me to start my mergers and acquisitions company many years ago.
Personally, I have sold over 500 companies altogether. My firm has sold over 1,000 in every vertical you can imagine. I also learned a long time ago that what Steve Forbes says is true, “8 out of 10 businesses don’t sell.” That’s 80% of businesses that would never sell in America, which are pretty sterling statistics for business owners who want to sell their business, retire and finally enjoy the fruits of their labor. They have less than a 20% chance of selling.
That’s when I learned that, “If I don’t fix and grow these businesses, put them on a build-to-sell plan, then they’re never going to be able to sell. I’m going to starve to death and they’re going to go out of business.” That’s how I transition into fixing, growing and putting them on a build-to-sell model. I partner with business owners, investing my money, my resources, and expertise and I grow the business. I buy businesses and flip them. We sell and merge businesses. I own different businesses in different verticals. I’m an international speaker and a besting author. We have Exit Rich coming out.
I’m looking forward to knowing about that. That story you told about being young, notebook and did you come from a family that is steeped in entrepreneurship?
None of my family was an entrepreneur, but my father owned a few businesses. Every now and then I would go. He would take me with him to his business.
Why do you think this is you? Why do you think this is clearly your great talent? Where’s it come from?
It’s hard to say why this is me, other than the fact that I knew that I don’t like to be told what to do. When I say I don’t like to be told what to do, I don’t really like to be told what to do. It’s my biggest pet peeve. I’ve been with my husband for many years and he still doesn’t get it, “Stop telling me what to do.” I’ve always marched the beat of my own drum, wanted to do my own thing and create my own masterpieces. That’s starting and buying a business. I don’t make a good employee.
What do you see from a female perspective? The majority of our audience is women in business. We talk to women like you who have been successful. Do you see any difference in terms of women and getting their businesses ready for sale? Is there a difference that you can see?
When I got into this industry, I walked into a mergers and acquisitions convention and there were 3,000 men there. I was the only woman. They all turned around and looked at me. I remember a couple who turned around because there was another conference going on at the same time, and it was Dermatology and they said, “The Dermatology is over there.” I’m like, “I’m not here for Dermatology. I’m here for M&A. I’m not in the wrong place.” I’ve been in a man’s world for many years. It’s still a men’s dominated world. Back then, it was 100% male-dominated and now maybe it’s 98%.
I’ve always been in a man’s world. I’ve noticed even when I go to speaking events and belong to different masterminds, they always promote the men’s speakers. They always give them more exposure, speaking time, coverage and social media than they do the women. It’s still very frustrating. As far as selling a woman’s business, there’s not a big difference. From women-owned businesses to male-owned businesses, I find that many female-owned businesses seem to be run a little bit better and be a bit more organized. They have more processes in place. We try to get all our business owners, rather than male or female, who run the business on what we call the 6 Ps to build a solid infrastructure.Many female-owned businesses seem to be run a little bit better and a bit more organized. They have more processes in place. Click To Tweet
They run on all six cylinders. Rather to male or female, they still run on maybe 2 or 3 of those cylinders. I’ve never seen any of them run on all six. I do think some of the female businesses are a little bit more organized. Especially the women in construction and in some of those male-dominated industries are tough. They don’t put up with stuff and they run tight ships. They seem to be more organized and more attention to detail than some of the male-run businesses.
Some of the things we’ve talked about with guests are about women not always knowing their worth. Is that something you experience?
I think that’s what people, in general, do. I have men that work for me that don’t know their worth. I don’t think that’s necessarily women-specific. I do think that women have to juggle a lot more than men do. There’s much pressure and stress on women because we have to do it all. We bring home the money. We come home, take care of our children and many of us have to cook dinner, get our groceries, and do the homework. It never ends for women, but it seems like it ends for a lot of men. Not all men. There are all women that maybe don’t feel their worth or maybe feel like they’re not worthy of owning a business or being in business or industry in a men’s world. Men are like that too.
The other thing that I always talk to guests about is imposter syndrome, thinking you’re a fake or not believing your success. I don’t get the impression that that’s something that’s troubled you.
I pretty much own that I’m good at what I do and my core competencies. There are times I always say, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” There are times when I have self-doubt and I have negative talk in my head. That’s when I’m doing things I’ve never done. I remember the first time I ever spoke on stage. I was speaking in front of 800 people. I was scared to death. I did have a mentor. Five minutes before I was going on stage, I’m like, “Why am I doing this? There’s nothing good that’s going to come out of this. It’s wasting my time. I don’t see the benefit.” I kept like saying, “I’m not going to do it.”Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Click To Tweet
My mentor said, “You are going to do it. Even if I have to drag you up by your hair, you’re getting up there.” After I did it, I spoke for 15 or 20 minutes. It was exhilarating, liberating and great. I’m glad I did it. I don’t know if that’s just women, but I find there are times when I try to talk myself out of stuff like going to a conference, M&A thing or a mastermind. I’m like, “Why am I going? That’s ridiculous. I’m away from my daughter. Why do I need to do that?” I don’t know if that’s just women or people in general, but then once I do it, I’m like, “It’s the best thing ever.”
I’ve never talked to myself how writing a book because I love writing books. I’m good at writing books. To me, it’s part of growth and I love doing things like that. When I do things I’ve never done before, like, “This is a total waste of time.” Even sometimes speaking, and I’ve spoken on many stages, I’m like, “Why am I doing that?” I could see that. I do all my core competencies about, “I know what I do. I know how good I am at partnering with business owners and selling multimillion-dollar companies.” I own those core competencies. I have no self-doubt when it comes.
You said you like writing books. How about telling us all about Exit Rich?
When you hear about Exit Rich, what’s the first thing that comes to mind for you?
I guess that I’m going to be able to exit my business. I’m going to make a whole load of money out of it.
Exit Rich is about exiting your business and making a whole lot of money. It’s better than exiting poor. There are several reasons why I wrote Exit Rich, but the biggest reason is because 80% of businesses don’t sell and less than 20% do. A lot of them that do are exiting poor. They’re not necessarily exiting rich. Exit Rich is not just about selling your business. I think there’s a huge misconception where people say, “I don’t need Exit Rich because I don’t need to sell my business. I’m never going to sell my business.” Number 1) That can’t be further from the truth. Number 2) Never say never. Nothing lasts forever.
The biggest mistake business owners make is, “I’m never going to sell my business. My business is my baby.” First of all, your business is not your baby. Your babies are at home. Go home, love, kiss and hug them. Your business is your most valuable asset. Most business owners don’t think about selling their business until an external catastrophic event has occurred. Internal could be health issues, partner disputes, divorce, death and even having to deal with maybe some trouble with your children. and then External is this pandemic felt around the world.
The worst time to sell the business is when it’s in a catastrophic event or facing a catastrophe. The best time to sell your company is when it’s on the way up. The reason why we’re Exit Rich is because most business owners have not created a business that buyers want to buy. A lot of business owners, male or female, have created a glorified job in which they go to work every day versus a business that works for them.
Buyers aren’t buying jobs. Buyers are buying businesses. Exit Rich is all about thinking about your exit strategy from day one. As Stephen Covey says, “Start with the end in mind.” It’s about planning your exit from the beginning because business owners don’t plan to fail. They fail to plan. Exit Rich is about building a solid foundation on the six cylinders, on the 6 Ps, building in your solid infrastructure that you have a business that’s sustainable. You can scale it, and when you’re ready, you have a sellable asset you don’t get caught in a position where you have to sell and you’re selling for pennies on a dollar, closing your business or even worse, filing for bankruptcy. It’s like when you build a house. What’s the first thing that the contractor does?
They have to go on the ground and dig deep. They have to put in the plumbing, AC, electrical and everything. They have to dig deep and do that from the beginning. If they don’t do that from the beginning, a strong wind comes by or a heavy downpour, especially in New Orleans, where everything floods, and then your house can be gone in a split second. The same thing with fires in California. What you want to do with your business is you want to bulletproof it
You want to build your business with that solid foundation and an actual business can work without you. Business owners have to work on their business, not in their business. One of those first Ps we talk about is People. You don’t build a business. You build people and people build the business. Exit Rich is all about the exit strategy plan from the beginning. It’s all about mindset. We have to shift the way we think about our business.You don't build a business. You build people, and people build the business. Click To Tweet
If we think about our business as our baby, then we’re never going to grow our business to its full potential. Exit Rich is about talking about the five different types of buyers. What are their negotiables and non-negotiables and which buyers’ right to buy your business when you’re ready? It’s about the solid foundation, the infrastructure, which is the 6 Ps. That’s the first half. The second half of Exit Rich is all about evaluations, financials and casting. It’s all about packaging your business for sale. It’s about attracting many buyers so we can create a bidding war to get top dollar for the company. It’s about due diligence and closing. There’s also content in there about if you’re not quite ready to sell, how you build your business to sell.
As you say, we know that we need to plan when we’re setting up businesses. This is about planning for the future. It’s not just for people that are ready or think, “This is it. I’ve done my bit. This is building those foundations.”
When you think, “This is it,” it probably isn’t because your business is not going to get you anything close to what you need to enter the next phase of your life. A lot of business owners come to me and say, “I want to sell my business and we do an evaluation.” Never have an evaluation on business. I always ask them because I want to take their temperature to see how realistic they are. I always ask prospective clients, “What do you want to sell your business for?” I always get crazy answers like $5 million, $10 million, $20 million or $50 million and the business is never worth that. Let’s say somebody wants to sell for $20 million, their cashflow and EBITDA, which is Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amateurization is $200,000 and they think they’re going to get $15 million.
I always ask them, “How did you come up with that number?” This is always the answer, “I’ve put twenty years in it. I’ve invested all this money and sweat equity and that’s what I need to retire on. That’s what I need to buy another business. That’s what I need to send five girls to college and pay for their weddings.” It’s always based upon sweat equity. What they need versus what the value is of the business. Buyers don’t care about what you need. They could care less about what you need. Buyers care about what the value is.
If the business is priced correctly and the synergies are there, buyers will help sellers try to get what they need as far as, “How much upfront? How long they need the work?” They will try, but they’re not going to overpay for businesses because that’s what you need to retire on. Exit Rich is for all business owners, no matter what stage you’re in whatever size because the foundation is the same. The foundation is agnostic. It’s not size dependent. You need to build your business on the 6 Ps. You need to build your exit from the beginning and build a solid infrastructure in whatever size or industry.
Tell me about bonuses.
Let’s talk about Exit Rich. It was endorsed by Steve Forbes and he says it is a gold mine for entrepreneurs because they leave way too much money on the table when they go to sell businesses. Have you heard of Sharon Lechter? She is my co-author. She wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. She’s a five-time New York Times bestselling author. She is a CPA, financial literacy expert and advisor to different presidents. She writes some mentors’ corners after each chapter in Exit Rich from her perspective.
Kevin Harrington, the original shark or Shark Tank. He wrote the foreword. We have Jack Canfield, Chicken Soup for the Soul, that wrote a glowing testimonial. We have all these great testimonials. You can go to ExitRichBook.com and get Exit Rich or you can go to Amazon. For $24.79, we’ll email you the digital download immediately, within minutes, then we’ll ship the hardcover to your doorstep. We will give you a lifetime membership into the Exit Rich Book Club where there’s video content of me doing deep dives into these different techniques and strategies that I’ve been teaching for the last many years in the trenches to my clients, plus documents to operate and sell your business.
We have sample policy and procedure manuals, employee handbooks and org charts. To sell your business, we have samples, a lot of intents, purchase agreements, due diligence, checklists and closing documents. Everything you need to sell or operate your business is there for your review and download. All these documents cost me over $50,000 to create. It would cost everyone over $50,000. That’s available for your review and download for no additional cost. We will give you a 30-day free membership to Club CEOs. It is an entrepreneurship mastermind where we ask transformational questions. We help our business owners pivot so they can be both sustainable and scalable. When you’re ready, they have a sellable business so they can exit rich. All of that value is yours for $24.79 at ExitRichBook.com. You can’t beat that value.
Thank you much for taking the time to come on the show and share all those details. It’s a fabulous opportunity for everybody. I hope it goes well. I know it will be amazing. Thank you much.
Thank you much.
It’s a pleasure.
How amazing was that brilliant woman to talk to? I always loved doing these interviews when you get a behind-the-scenes look at people and their businesses. Michelle has got some fabulous experience there to help all of us that want to start a business and plan at the very start about how we can scale it. If you’re in a business, scaling it up and all the things you need to know to be able to ultimately sell on your business.
Connect with Michelle. Get a copy of her book and take advantage to be a part of that mastermind and the book club. How wonderful. Thanks to Michelle. Thanks to you for reading. We wouldn’t be here without you. I’d love you to head over to your show channel of choice if you’re not there already, and give us a five-star review. It always helps. I look forward to bringing you an interview with another amazing successful woman in the very near future. Have a great day wherever you are. Bye.
- Seiler Tucker Incorporated
- Sell Your Business for More Than It’s Worth
- Exit Rich
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
- Chicken Soup for the Soul
- Amazon – Exit Rich
- Club CEOs
- LinkedIn – Michelle Seiler Tucker
- @MichelleSeilerTucker – Instagram
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