Michelle Seiler Tucker, the author of Exit Rich, discusses the 6 P method to sell your business for a considerable profit on Purpose-Driven Entrepreneur Podcast.
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Michelle Seiler Tucker: Author Of Exit Rich: The 6 P Method To Sell Your Business For Huge Profit
My guest is Michelle Seiler Tucker. She is the leading authority in mergers and acquisitions, the USA’s top closer 90% of all listings and 98% of all offers. She has many years of experience and over 1,000 of businesses bought and sold. She’s a two-time number-one Bestselling Author, Speaker, TV, and Radio Host. Her most book is Exit Rich: The 6 P Method to Sell Your Business for Huge Profit. She’s a venture capitalist and business owner. She’s a podcast host of the Exit Rich Podcast. Michelle, welcome to the show.
Thank you. Thanks for having me on. It’s a pleasure to be with you. I’m glad to be alive. I’m not dead.
Jumping right into it, I would love for you to think of specific things if you can. The reason I like asking this question is that I have a hard time answering it. The question is, “When you die, what do you hope you will have accomplished on this earth that is notable? What matters to you the most that you will have accomplished on this earth by the end of your life?”
I used to always ask people, “What do you want on your tombstone? What do you want to be remembered for?” It’s a great question because too many people live their lives and don’t do anything significant to make a difference and an impact on anybody else’s life. For me, what I would want to be known for, what I want on my tombstone, is that I made a huge impact on other people’s lives. Meaning that I saved business owners from losing everything.
I’ve had so many business owners come to me and they’re going out of business. They’re about to go into bankruptcy. I try to save as many of those business owners as I possibly can from losing not only their business assets but losing their family assets too. It’s sad when you hear business people that have been in business for 40, 50, and 60 years.
One story comes to mind where this lady called me. She is a TV host in California. She said, “Can you please save my dad’s business?” He had a pharmacy. He had been in business for about 50, or 60 years on the same street corner that they started on. Walgreens then came in. CVS came in. Walmart came in, all the competitors and he could never innovate enough to keep his business afloat. He ended up having to file for bankruptcy. She called me and said, “He’s losing the family home.” It’s the home that she and her brothers and sisters grew up in. He’s losing everything that he’s ever worked for.
Now I couldn’t help him because it was too late. He had already been in foreclosure proceedings. They’re already starting to take everything but I want to be known as the female entrepreneur that can go in there and help business owners save their businesses, get their businesses back to where it’s sustainable and scalable, and have a sellable asset so that they can retire and exit rich like the name of my book, and finally afford the lifestyle that they’ve always dreamed of.
How did you end up deciding that this is what you want your legacy to be? Did this happen to you or have you always known this? This doesn’t sound like the thing that a kid goes, “This is going to be my legacy.”
I didn’t. I don’t think things happen to you. I think things happen for you. A lot of people get upset because they think, “This happened to me. That happened to me.” If they would stop to look for the lesson and the blessing and what happened to them and ask themselves, “Why is this happening for me rather than to me?”
What would you say have been some of the most significant, I could think about it as, “It happened to me,” but it’s, “It’s happened for me,” in your life?
I have to think about that. I don’t want to get too personal on this show. I’m not going to do it.
It is a show where I ask you what you hope you’ve accomplished on this earth when you die, Michelle.
Maybe I should have read. I’ve been answering that. I hope to be a New York Times bestselling author. I hope I have a show similar to Marcus Lemonis. I’m fixing businesses and building businesses, so they’re sellable. I hope that I have a hand in saving as many business owners as I possibly can from going out of business, all of those things. There have been times when I didn’t get the deal that I wanted.
I was upset about that but then I found out later that the business ended up in bankruptcy court and there was nothing I could do about it anyway. It’s little things like that. I always try to find the lesson in the experience. Instead of saying, “Why did this happen to me?” I always try to say, “Why did this happen for me? What can I learn from this?”
Michelle, why entrepreneurship? What was so appealing and attractive to you about it versus what you were doing?
It’s not like I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs because I didn’t but my father did own a couple of businesses. My father owned an eggplant in California. I used to go to work with him but other than that, I didn’t grow up in a family of entrepreneurs. I always knew that I wanted to do my own thing. I always knew that I wanted to create my own masterpiece and be my own boss. I don’t like anybody telling me what to do.
My husband tells me what to do. I’m like, “I told you don’t tell me what to do.” I’ve been telling him for years, “Don’t tell me what to do.” Even as a young kid, I always knew that I was going to be in business. I always knew I was going to be a writer. I would always write things. I never played with anything. I would always walk up to a stranger and start asking him questions and I would write everything down, then I own different businesses.
I’ve owned businesses and event planning, magazines, graphics, technology, and medical. I always knew I was going to be an entrepreneur. I went into franchise sales, franchise development, and franchise consulting and I didn’t wake up one day and say, “I want to sell franchises or businesses.” I got stuck in Corporate America working for Xerox. Xerox recruited me. They offered me a lot of money. I went in.
Within six months, my nickname was the Closer. Every time somebody could get a deal done, they would call me. They’re like, “Send the Closer. She can get it done.” My manager came to me and said, “You should apply for the Regional Vice President position at Xerox. It’s opening up.” She goes, “You’ll never get it because you’ve been here six months and everybody else has been here 5, 10, 15 years.” I’m like, “Why would I apply for something if I’m never going to get it?” She said, “It’s because it’s a learning experience. You’ll learn more throughout this three-month grueling process than you’ll ever learn anything else.”
It’s true that Xerox has some of the best training in the world. I said, “I’ll apply for it,” and I did that. I applied. I ended up getting it, even though everybody told me I would not get it. I am the closer but then I got stuck in Fortune 500 Corporate America. I stopped doing what I love. I love selling. I love figuring out problems. I love coming up with solutions. I love building relationships that last a lifetime.
When you’re in Corporate America, in a vice president position, you’re scheduling meetings to schedule more meetings. I told my husband, “I miss entrepreneurship. I got to get back out there but I don’t want to give up my six figures.” I stumbled across a franchise. They had two locations and my husband knew the founder.
I said, “I’m going to buy a franchise. I want to operate it on the side.” They said, “No, we know of you. We know of your husband and we know about your reputation at Xerox because we have mutual friends.” I said, “We want you to partner with us. We want you to help put us on the map and we’ll give you equity, plus we’ll give you a franchise.” I said, “I’m going to leave a six-figure position for a company that sold two locations? That’s very risky.” I said, “I’ll keep Xerox. I’ll do this nights and weekends.” I would go to trade shows and go to business opportunity shows.
I ended up selling so many franchises that I quadrupled what I was making at Xerox in six months. It was time to know to leave Xerox. I became their partner. I sold hundreds upon hundreds of franchises. They did what a lot of companies do. They didn’t build a solid foundation in which to handle the growth of the business. A lot of business owners will go out there to sell but they don’t build a solid foundation. They were overpromising, and underdelivering and franchisees were getting very upset but I’m a team franchisee.Many business owners will go out there and sell but don't build a solid foundation. So they were overpromising and underdelivering, and franchisees were getting very upset. Click To Tweet
The partners wanted me to be the team franchisor. I could tell pretty quickly that our values were not aligned anymore. I said, “You’re going to have to buy me out because I’m not going to sell anymore. I’m not going to continue to support you and your efforts if you’re not going to support the franchisees.” I’m like, “What am I going to do next?” They bought me out and I said, “I might as well transition to selling companies. How much harder can it be to sell a business versus selling a new franchise?” That’s what I did. I transitioned to selling small businesses in large businesses, $10, $20, $30 million, and up.
What was the answer to that question? How much harder was it?
A lot harder because when you sell a new franchise, you got a franchise model. We go and we do our due diligence on the area to make sure that we’re putting our franchisees in a good location. We already have the equipment set. We already have the inventory set. We already have the build-out and design. We’re working with the contractors. It’s not that difficult. When you sell a business, you’re dealing with a business owner who may or may not be ready to sell. The seller remorse sets in, so you’re dealing with all their emotions and the family dynamics. Plus, you’re dealing with their financials which are a disaster.
The business probably can’t operate without them, so it’s going to be very hard to sell. Plus, they haven’t protected their IP, their Intellectual Property and the list goes on and on. There are a lot more moving parts, and a lot more intricate details to selling an existing business, selling a franchise. Plus, 8 out of 10 businesses don’t sell. I transitioned to saying, “If I don’t start fixing these companies, I’m going to starve to death.” I started fixing them and started my build-to-sell program to get the businesses where they’re sellable for their desired price tag.
My next question is a for-fun question, Michelle.
The rest of those were not for fun?
This whole show is for fun. I’m a kids’ book author and this show’s all about legacy. I believe that you can’t leave a legacy without reaching the hearts of kids. If you could, what’s a topic or idea you would make a kid’s book about?
I’m in the process of starting a nonprofit for kids called Tucker Teams and Tots. Tucker Teams and Tots is going to be a nonprofit that’s a percentage of every transaction that we do at Seiler Tucker, percentage of that will go to support Tucker Teams and Tots. We’re going to provide entrepreneurship mentorship, so real entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, and Steve Wozniak. I would love to say Steve Jobs but they’re real entrepreneurs that are still alive, not dead entrepreneurs.
They can provide mentorships then we can do entrepreneurial classes, entrepreneur training, entrepreneurial partnership, and entrepreneur ownership as well. This is for neglected and abused children and teenagers. I feel that these kids are getting left behind. They might get into the system of school and everything else but nobody’s grabbing them by the hand.
Nobody’s telling them, “There’s a better way. There’s a better life. There’s a better path. There’s a better road for you.” The more successful you are as an entrepreneur, the more time and money you have to give back to the community. Kids hold a special place in my heart. That’s why I’m starting at a nonprofit called Tucker Teams and Tots.The more successful you are as an entrepreneur, the more time and money you have to give back to the community. Click To Tweet
That’s awesome. If you could write a kids’ book, what would you try to inspire those kids with?
I haven’t done my research to know everything that’s already out there but a couple of books that I’ve been wanting to write and you can’t steal my ideas now. I tell you this. Now I’m going to have to get an NDA sign written on a napkin.
I won’t steal your ideas. I’ll be your cheerleader.
Thank you. Maybe you can help me write children’s books.
That’d be super fun.
As I said, I haven’t done the research. One thing that gets to me and gets under my skin in the school system is this. I don’t know if this is a book for children to read but it’s certainly a book for teachers to read, is to stop asking how smart our kids are and start asking, “How are our kids smart?” Everybody wants to stick kids in a box or in a desk and say, “You have to learn Greek mythology at the age of six. You have to learn this at the age of seven.” I don’t know if we stopped. We never started focusing on the child and finding out, “What is that child great at?” We might have a Picasso and not even know it.
We’re trying to teach that Picasso Algebra.
Instead of focusing on how smart your kids are, focus on what they are smart at. How do they learn? I’ll write a book about that and I would write a book about not letting the words of others shape whom you’re going to be. So many kids are bullied in school. I have a beautiful daughter and this little boy who probably has a crush on her is telling her, “Your artwork is ugly.” I want to say, “Tell him he is ugly.” I said, “Michelle, you can’t do that.”
How old is this boy?
He’s ten. I want to write a book to inspire children to dig deep and figure out what their strengths are and don’t let the words of others shape their destinies. It doesn’t matter what somebody else says you are. You are what you want to be and you are what you think you are. Does that make sense?
I love it. Michelle, when someone writes a Wikipedia article on your company, aside from a brute definition of what you do, what are some key things that you hope are said?
Number one, we care about our clients. We have tremendous integrity and transparency. We’re results-driven. If you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid. Many M&A advisors that are in this industry charge hefty retainer fees. We don’t charge any retainer fees. We truly care about their business. We truly care about their life. We care about their family and we show up. We’re always there. We’re the glue, the hose to deal it together. We’re the quarterback.
My last question for you, Michelle, as I’ve been reflecting and praying about my own life as an entrepreneur, reliability is my word for 2021. Being more dependable when I say I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it type of person. In your life, what is a habit you’ve formed or a system that you’ve put into your life that has made you a more dependable business person?
One of my habits is I get up at about 4:30 AM and I start my day with gratitude, being thankful for what I have. Also, making sure I ask the universe for what I need and want but first show gratitude for everything that I have, and then I work out. It’s important to take care of your body, so God first then take care of my body. I spend time with my daughter in the morning. That’s very important to me to spend time with her and then I come into work and kill it. Crush it.
Michelle, I’ve loved talking to you. How can readers connect with you?
Number one, I would love your listeners to go get my book Exit Rich. Can I tell them how to do that?
What’s the best place for me to send them to buy it? I know it’s on Amazon.
The best place to send them to buy it is ExitRichBook.com. The reason for that is that we’re in presale and if they buy it on ExitRichBook.com, it’s $24.79, so it’s less expensive than Amazon. Plus, Amazon’s not going to do this. We’re going to email you the digital download immediately so you can start reading it as soon as you order it. We’ll ship the hard cover to your doorstep, then we’ll give you a lifetime membership into the Exit Rich Book Club.
We have video training of me going in deep strategies, techniques, and principles you should be incorporating into your company, plus document review and download. A lot of business owners don’t have the right documentation. They’ll come to me and say, “Michelle, what does a non-compete look like? What does an employee handbook, an organizational chart, operations manual look like?”
They want to sell their business but they’ve never seen a sample purchase agreement or sample letter of intent or sample closing documents or due diligence checklist. These documents are worth thousands upon thousands of dollars. That right there is worth the investment of $24.79. Plus, we’ll give them a 30-day membership in the Club CEO, which is a like-minded entrepreneurial group that I started where we do Q&A’s Masterminds and hot seats.
No wonder they call you the Closer, Michelle. Readers, go to ExitRichBook.com and check out her book. Thank you so much for being on the show.
Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. You were fun.
- Exit Rich: The 6 P Method to Sell Your Business for Huge Profit
- Amazon – Exit Rich: The 6 P Method to Sell Your Business for Huge Profit
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