In this episode, I speak with Michelle Seiler Tucker, author of, “EXIT RICH: The 6 P Method to Sell Your Business for Huge Profit,” and Founder and CEO of Seiler Tucker Inc. whose wakeup call was seeing how few small businesses succeed or are sold at a reasonable price for their founders and wanting to fix that. https://seilertucker.com/
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Michelle Seiler Tucker
This is the show where I learn a little bit about people. I watch some of their videos. I sometimes meet them in person and they have me at hello and I want more than that. I want a full meal. I don’t want the appetizer. My readers know that’s what I try to tee up for all of you. Whether you’ve had your appetizer or your meal, I’m going to serve one up to you now.
Let me tell you a little bit about Michelle Seiler Tucker. She’s the author of the new book, Exit Rich: The 6 P Method to Sell Your Business for Huge Profit. She’s the Founder and CEO of Seiler Tucker Incorporated. She has sold hundreds of businesses to date and owns and operates several successful businesses. She’s a leading authority on buying, selling, and improving businesses as well as increasing business revenue streams. She often posts on this and focuses on the company’s business blog.
She’s not only a force in her industry. Michelle is a force of nature. You’re going to pick that up quickly and she’s a good force of nature. She’s also a force for good because that’s all I have on this show. She closes 98% of all offers. She writes on average and obtains a 20% to 40% higher selling price for her clients. You’ve probably caught her in many places.
She’s also a Bestselling Author of Think and Grow Rich Today and Sell Your Business For More Than It’s Worth. She’s appeared in Forbes, CNBC, and Fox Business and she even started her own podcast called Exit Rich. She’s also been a celebrity judge on Pitch Tank alongside Steve Forbes and Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey. She lives in New Orleans but she doesn’t have a New Orleans accent. Where are you from?
I was born in Long Beach, California.
How far from the Queen Mary? That was in Long Beach. Were you there when the Queen Mary was there?
What year was that? I’m not going to tell you when I was born. You’re not getting that out of me.
You look great if you’re covering up your age. Although, I’ll one up. I’m 73.
That’s shocking. I would’ve never guessed you at 73.
I don’t touch up my hair. Here’s the secret to staying young.
Your tan looks good.
Thank you. I was on a show and they said, “How do you stay so young?” I said, “I have two older brothers and they got gray hair when they got into their 50s.” They said they heard a report that men who can cry appropriately, not cry feeling sorry for themselves but men who are touched by what they see in the world whether it’s kindness or other people’s pain and it gets to them. They live longer because they don’t get stuck in that left analytical brain. Some are like, “I got to fix it. I’m surrounded by problems. Better fix them.” You can’t fix the world by yourself but you can feel for the world.
That’s what keeps your hair from turning grey?
I think so because when something happens, I feel it all the way through so it doesn’t get clogged into what’s my solution for this which would probably kill off my roots but that’s another story.
That’s amazing. I would’ve never guessed you’re 73. Shocking.
I’m never going to guess what your age is because you’re not going to tell me.
I’m not anywhere close to that. I’m young but you look young and your voice is young. A lot of times, people in their 70s, you can tell not so much by how they look but by their voice because a voice begins to get weak.
Also, my seek is just because you grow older doesn’t mean you have to grow up. I am a bit immature. My wife says the only problem is that I’m too proud of it. What do you know? Michelle, talk to us and I will tee it up the way I tee up for all my guests. What matters to you? If you were to step back and look at your career and you’re going to tell us about this exciting new book and say, “What matters to me?” Beyond family, children, and something that you believe will still matter to you at the end of your life, what would that be?
I would say my clients. I’m so passionate about entrepreneurship. I get obsessed. Sometimes angry of what’s going on with small business in the United States because small business is the backbone of our economy. What matters is being able to help as many business owners as I can, save their businesses from going out of business, and help them retire rich because so many of them are exiting poor for a multitude of reasons.
Can you unpack what the whole situation for small businesses, which are the backbone of this country makes you angry? You must see a lot of these small businesses and they put their heart and soul into something. I’ll bet you’ve seen some tragedies and you’ve prevented more than you’ve seen. You must see some and think to yourself, “They’ve put everything into this and they’re not going to retire financially secure,” and you want to correct that. Can you give a couple of stories where you saw something, it touched you, and said, “I need to do something about this? If not me, who? I’m going to champion this.” Do you have a couple of those stories that pumped you up?
Yes, I do and I can give you a little bit of history. When I wrote my very first book, Sell Your Business for More Than It’s Worth in 2013, I learned that 90% of all startups would fail and would go out of business. We all know that. That’s common knowledge within the first 1 to 5 years. When I started doing the research for Exit Rich, I did the exact same research and learned that the business landscape has flip-flopped.
Now it’s only 30% of businesses will go out of business in the first 1 to 5 years. This is a great time for startups and entrepreneurs to start businesses. However, out of 27.6 million companies, those businesses have been in business for ten years or longer and 70% of them are going out of business. The media talks about big public companies all the time like Toys R Us.
It has been in business for 75 years and it goes out of business. Stein Mart, JCPenney is in trouble, Pier 1, and Cadaver Chocolate is closing down with 1,500 locations. GNC is closing down with 900 locations but what they don’t talk about is all the private businesses on every street corner in every town and every state across our great nation are exiting poor.They don't talk about the private businesses on every street corner and every town and state across our great nation, these business owners, exiting poor. Click To Tweet
They’re selling for pennies on a dollar, closing their business, or even worse, filing bankruptcy. When you file bankruptcy, they don’t just lose their business assets. They’re losing their personal assets too because most business owners commingle assets and it appears to corporate veil. Like what you said a minute ago, they’re investing their time, energy, and effort.
These businesses have been around for 10, 15, 20, and 30 years and they’ve made huge sacrifices along the way. I talked to a business owner who hasn’t taken a vacation in twenty years. He missed all of his kids’ events like soccer games and plays. He missed everything. His kids are grown up now. Now, his business is failing and he’s having to file for bankruptcy. That’s what’s sad to me.
Given it’s a tough sell to people, I wrote a couple of books called Get Out of Your Own Way.
I have that book.
One of them is 25 years old. It was published in 1996 and in 2022, it made it onto the Wall Street Journal’s Top 10 list.
How did that happen when it’s so old?
I have no idea. Except, I think points connected because it was on Kindle for a week or something at Amazon but still, all my books are word of mouth. I have a book called Just Listen, which is in 28 languages. There was no book tour and no advertising. It’s the top book on listening in the world. It’s all word of mouth but getting back to the pain of these businesses that you see. If you could drill down and expand that, what are some of the most common things that they refuse to see and look at so that they exit poor?
Many of them but the biggest, most common, and the number one thing I always say is the reason that so many businesses are going out of business is because of lack of AIM, Always Innovate in Market. Business owners stop innovating. Toys R Us didn’t do anything different in 75 years. Blockbusters saw Netflix and had the opportunity to purchase Netflix. They sat back and did nothing and are out of business.
Many business owners are married to their original idea and concept that they don’t want to change and grow. You know as well as I do, you’re either growing or dying. There’s no in-between. That’s why so many of these businesses are going out of business now because they stop innovating and consumers’ buying habits have changed dramatically. Consumers don’t buy the way they used to.Why so many of these businesses are going out of business now is because they stop innovating. Click To Tweet
Whoever makes the easiest for consumers to purchase products and services is the company that’s winning. Amazon is winning because anything is on Amazon. You can practically buy a horse and have it delivered within two days. That’s the biggest thing. It’s a lack of innovation, marketing, and not just innovation in your product, service, and industry but also a lack of innovation in your processes, how you do things, and your customer base.
A lot of businesses go out of business because their customers are aging. The business owner doesn’t do anything to innovate and market to the newer generations in which to keep their business alive. That’s one of the biggest reasons. It is a lack of innovation and lack of marketing. The other big reason is that business owners work in their business and not on their business. Many business owners have created a glorified job and should go to work every day versus a business that works for them.
This is a conversation and you trigger things that I hope you might find interesting. I did a webinar for the Madinah Institute of Leadership and Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia. It was done virtually by Zoom. The title of it was Overcoming Resistance to Change in Others and Yourself. My hypothesis is that resistance to change does not exist. I’d like to know if you agree with this. What exists is non-rational, non-functional self-preservation.
A lot of people, especially men are not that adaptive. A lot of women, in many ways, can be more adaptive because they have kids pulling it there. They have all these different roles and they don’t want to drop the ball. Sometimes, men get locked into this silo of, “I’m competent. I’m confident. I’m in control.” The more specialized they are, the more they stay in that silo. When you try to pull them out of where they feel competent, they start to lose their confidence and feel out of control so sometimes what you’re seeing is resistance. It is a fear that they can’t learn new things.
In America, I mentioned to you that I had breakfast with Larry King every day before COVID. One of the things I learned from Larry King is he was the king of being curious. He was one of the most curious people you’ve ever met. People love being interviewed by him because he was never judgmental. He was just curious and he wouldn’t hit you with a gotcha.
I’m wondering if part of why companies and small businesses don’t innovate is they get something that to a smaller level is successful but basically, they’re not curious enough to keep learning new things. They keep hoping that what they’re banking on will last then it doesn’t. Can you resonate? Does any of that make sense to you?
A thousand percent. That’s why I always tell my clients, my staff, and my partners because I’m all multiple companies that you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. A lot of these business owners are men. They are stuck in that tunnel vision of that box that they want to keep doing things the way they’ve always done them. Probably because you’re right. I think you hit the nail on the head that it’s a loss of control. I always say business owners are control freaks. They feel like they have to do everything if they want it done right. I also always say you’ll never grow unless you let go of control.
I’m at a stage in my life where I have no desire to be the star. I don’t even have the desire to go out and speak. Will you be open if I gave you a little exercise? You can use your presentations with people that will demonstrate to them their lack of curiosity. You can convince them later. Are you open to a little thing? Let me see if it works for you. Rather than tell you, I want to show you how curious you are and how you have a fixed mindset instead of a growth mindset.
This is what you’re going to say. You don’t have it but there’s a good chance I’m going to hook you into this one, so we’ll see. You say that to whoever the group is. You can say, “I’m going to share a quote with you that you never heard. If you give a person a fish, you feed them for a day. If you teach a person to fish, you feed them for a lifetime.” What happens is everybody looks at you like you’re an idiot because everybody’s heard that quote. They start smiling and feeling relief because you gave them a test.
I’m going to give you a quote you never heard of and they thought, “I’m going to fail this.” They’re all full of themselves smiling and I said, “You think you know that quote?” They smile and say, “You don’t know the full quote because you stopped listening. You jumped to conclusions. Here’s the full quote.” I learned it from a good friend of mine, Tim Galloway, who started The Inner Game Series of books.
The whole quote is, “If you give a person a fish, you feed them for a day. If you teach a person to fish, you feed them for a lifetime but if you teach a person to learn, you feed them for a lifetime and they don’t have to just eat fish.” When they hear that, they smile because it’s a gotcha. It’s a way of demonstrating that out of anxiety, almost all of us try to jump to the right answer.
Everybody wants to be right. I think what happens is you don’t memorize the whole quote because I’ve heard that whole quote many times.
You’re a more dynamic speaker than me. I’m just a podcaster. Say more about what you’ve noticed in your journey and what we were talking about before I made it all about me. When they smile, it’s a gotcha. That’s what I’m trying to show you. Out of your own anxiety, you’re afraid to innovate because you’re afraid 6 degrees to the left or 6 degrees to the right, you’re out of control. If you’re not able to practice that, you’re going to be out of business.
I love that. I’m going to have to start using that.
It’s all yours. You inspired it. I’m a speech writer. I’ve made that one up. You can have it. Own it, Michelle. You were taking us on the journey about all these small businesses. They put their heart and soul and sometimes life savings into their businesses and they’re going to fail. Tell us more about that and move into exiting rich.
As I said, they make huge sacrifices. It’s odd because we all go into business to have a better quality of life, financial freedom, and flexibility, not miss our kid’s play, soccer games, and take vacations. Many business owners are not doing any of that. Many business owners are not taking vacations and not spending time with their families. It’s a big mindset issue. That’s what we try to work on with our clients.
Even in Exit Rich, we have a few chapters dedicated to mindset because most business owners think of their business as their babies, “This is my baby.” Your business is not your baby. Your babies are at home. Go home, hug them, love them and kiss them before they grow up then they don’t want you to hug them, love them and kiss them anymore.
The mindset is “this is my baby,” and business owners don’t think about selling their business until they have to due to an internal, external catastrophic event occurring. Internal is health issues, partner abuse, divorce, or death. External is this pandemic we’re in, which is the worst time to even think about selling your company.
We had a nice sweet little lady call us not too long ago from Texas and her husband dropped dead from a heart attack. He had no health issues whatsoever. He left her with a mountain of debt. She knew nothing about the financials and the business and she asked me if we could sell it. As much as I wanted to help her, I couldn’t because he didn’t have a business. He had a job. He didn’t have any employees. He had all subcontractors. All the data was in his head, so he never built a business.
He had a glorified job and he never built his business on what we call the six cylinders. The six P’s that we talk about in my book, Exit Rich. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything I can do for her and that’s so sad. That happens time and time again. It’s my mission and passion to help educate as many business owners as possible to set your family up for success, create a business, and stop working in your job. Start working on your business.
Can you unpack changing people’s mindsets because that’s where a lot of people get stuck? If you’re a hammer and the world is a nail and if the world doesn’t need nails, you’re out of business as a hammer. Can you give us some ideas or ways? I will tell you, my readers try to be honest with themselves.
There’s a number of them who will say, “I have a mindset that I’m stuck in. How can I do it? I’m not Michelle.” A lot of people, as they read this will say, “It will work for her because she’s got it all together. She doesn’t have any issues. She’s got courage. Nothing is going to stand in her way.” They’ll listen, smile, and agree with everything you say, then they won’t do anything. Help me to help them to change their mindset.
I’ll try. As well as I do, that’s the most difficult thing to change. First, I always say that you’ll never grow the business beyond what you can grow down there. I don’t sell businesses. I partner with business owners, investing my capital, core competencies, resources, etc. I’m very particular in who I partner with because I always say, “We’ll never grow the business beyond what we can grow the owner.” Have you ever watched the show Marcus Lemonis, CNBC’s The Profit?You'll never grow the business beyond which you can grow the owner. Click To Tweet
Say more about it because I think I’ve caught up but many of my readers probably haven’t.
It is called The Profit on CNBC and it’s Marcus Lemonis. He goes in to fix the businesses and he partners with business owners as I do. I just don’t have the show yet. He goes in and partners with business owners and he tells them everything to do. They agree with it and buy into it. He leaves to go out of town to his next business and comes back. They did the opposite of what he told them to do. They didn’t do anything that they said they were going to do. They went in the opposite direction and didn’t listen to anything. That’s why I’m interested to read your next book. They don’t listen to anything he said.
Here’s a suggestion for changing mindsets. You don’t know this but my readers know this. I was a subspecialist in suicide prevention. In many years, none of my patients killed themself. You had to change their mindset. What I realized is that when people are stuck, sometimes they will smile politely because they’re stuck but inside, they know they’re not going to do what you tell them.
I have a saying, if you want to influence people, it’s less important what you tell them than what you enable them to tell you that unlocks them. What I try to do and my approach is it’s nonjudgmental and I wouldn’t say, “It looks like you don’t want to succeed,” because that’s more of a shame guilt trip and they’ll agree but it doesn’t change people.
What I found is you want to enable them to tell you what are you afraid of that’s getting in the way of your trying anything new. What’s happened is they have a long list of things they tried that were new that failed and they can’t let go of all the failures whenever they tried something new. If you can get them to talk their way through that and you can allow a space for how painful and humiliating was it when you did this and you told everyone you were going to be successful then you were this failure. What happens is as they unpack that, if you can create a space where you can say, “I can understand you don’t want to fail again but what do you want to do?”
If you allow that, the next question is, what do you need to do? How do we get you from what you said you wanted, what you needed, and what you’re going to do? I know you’re scared and you don’t want to fail again but help me with that. Fill in the blanks. Tell me this is what I want to do, what I need to do, what I’m going to do, and fill in all the places that you’re scared out of your wits because you don’t want to fail again.
Again, if you’re hearing my voice, you’re hearing the voice of a therapist as opposed to a salesperson. I’m only sharing this with you. I’ve heard from Michelle and she’s going to tell us much more that if you follow what she says in both her new book and her last book, it works 100% of the time. It’s bulletproof. All you have to do is follow it.
I’m speaking to my readers now. I don’t want you to end up at the end of your life and look back and say, “I blew it,” when you ran out of time. Michelle has information that will prevent that. Don’t get scared away. Buy it because I am telling you she gave us the tip of the iceberg. It is 100% bulletproof if you try it. Can you track any of that, Michelle? Am I speaking your truth?
I haven’t quite said it the way that you said it to clients. When I say changing mindset for my clients, it is to think of their business as their most valuable asset and stop thinking about it as your baby. Stop treating it so personal. It’s like a financial portfolio. I had dinner with my financial advisor and most of us have a financial advisor. We have stocks and bonds. We invest but we don’t treat that as our baby.
We tell our financial advisors, “Buy, sell, and do whatever you think needs to be done. I trust you.” We look at it as an investment but most entrepreneurs don’t look at their business as an investment or an asset. They are so close to it that they can’t see what’s right in front of them. That’s why we help our clients to get out of the transactional or become transformational. I always say if you want better answers, you have to ask better questions.
I spoke at Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Conference in Boston years ago and there were VCs and investment bankers there. I remember one of them said to me, “When I talked to a business and they’re looking for money, I ask them this question and if they answer it wrong, I don’t work with them.” They say, “Would you rather be King or rich? If they say King, I pass because they have to realize that they have an enterprise.” It’s a business that has value. They can grow the value. Value is translatable into money.
If they grow enough of it, they can stay with the business and expand it so it’s making even more money or they can sell it. This person was not coldhearted. He was being factual. He said, “If they need to be King or Queen because that’s their identity, they’re too connected to it. They’re hurting their business by being too connected to it.”
If they’re too connected to it, their ego gets in the way. It’s all about their ego versus doing what’s best for the business. There’s a reason why Steve Forbes says, “Eighty percent of businesses don’t sell.” That’s pretty scary because think about it. If you’re a business owner and you want to sell your business, you have less than 20% chance of selling.
Those are pretty strong in statistics. That’s why I love the title of your book, Get Out Of Your Own Way. I say fish tanks from the head but that’s the biggest issue with business owners. They’re the bottleneck. They’re typically the issue and the reason why the businesses are not sellable. It’s a long road for us when we take clients down the road to sell.
Thank you for tolerating our discussion about the ones who are resistant and to whom you give advice to and a week later, they do the exact opposite. For those who are reading who are saying, “I’m ready to do what I need to do because I am getting in my own way,” Michelle, my readers are saying to you through me. Tell us some of the first steps we need to take and what they’re also saying through me, “Make them steps that are doable and simple so that I can become a believer. If it’s going to be like drinking from a fire hose, I’m going to smile politely and not do it.”
What are some simple first steps that can get me on track with what I need to do to build a business that I can grow, not only grow but sell and exit rich? What are some doable by me, a scared business owner with too much ego involved in it? What are a few tips you can give me so I can get started down the road?
First and foremost, I like to start my clients out like Steven Covey says, “Start with the end of mind.” One of the biggest issues is that business owners don’t plan to fail. They fail a plan. In Exit Rich, we walk them through what I call The STGPS Exit Model. When you want to drive somewhere, what do you do? You pull out your phone and you go to Google Maps. What do you plug in?
You plug in your destination.
Personally, I have sold over 500 businesses. My company sold 1,000 altogether. I’ve never met a business owner that has a destination. Most business owners do not have a destination. They don’t have an end game and the desired sales price. What happens when you don’t have a destination? You drive around in circles. You drive up and down financial hills to end up exiting poor, selling for pennies on a dollar, closing your business, or filing bankruptcy so you have to have a destination.
We work with our clients to determine what is that destination. Everybody gets hung up on a number. I’m like, “Stop getting hung up on a number. You can adjust yourselves along the way. You can always change the number.” Let’s say you want to sell your business for $5 million. Now you have a destination. You have something to work towards. What does a GPS exit model need to know next? It needs to know where are you starting from. What is your current location? In other words, where is your current evaluation?
Most business owners have never had their business evaluated. They have no idea what their business is worth. They don’t get a business evaluation until they come to me and say, “I want to sell my business because this happened or this happened or that happened.” I always ask them, “What’s your desired sales price?” Most business owners have unrealistic expectations of what their business is worth.
They’ll say, “I want $20 million,” and their income is $100,000. I always ask them, “How did you come up with that value?” “That’s what I need to retire on. That’s what I need for this or that.” Buyers don’t care about what you need. Buyers care about value. It’s interesting to me because we go to the doctor once a year to get an annual physical checkup to make sure our heart’s still ticking and we’re still kicking.
We get our car tuned up once a year but we don’t take the most valuable asset, which is our business, and get an annual valuation checkup. You need this done every year because there are events that increase and decrease valuation. You don’t want to get this from your CPA because most CPAs don’t know how to evaluate synergies. You want to get this from mergers and acquisitions experts, the ones that have been doing it for years.
Let’s say you want to sell for $5 million and that’s your destination, current location, and current valuation. Let’s say you’re worth $1 million. The next thing you need to know is a timeframe. Let’s say you want to do this in ten years, then you need to ask yourself, “Who are my buyers?” I say buyers not buyer because in all likelihood, that one buyer on your business is never going to close on the sale of your business.
Clients come to me all the time and say, “Michelle, I already have the buyer. I need you to represent me.” I’m like, “No,” like the gentleman in Ernst and Young said. The reason I say no is because I have to come in and fix your business. Most businesses need to be fixed before I put them on the market. I have to tweak them and get your finances straight. We got to get all the due diligence into the data room and in all likelihood, that buyer is not going to buy your business.
The only way I will represent clients is if I can put them on the market and bring them backup buyers. You can never get a higher price for someone’s business. You can’t maximize value when you have a party of one and you have no competition. It’s important for your readers to understand there are five types of buyers. Most business owners don’t know this.
Number one is first-time buyers. Ninety percent of buyers are first-time buyers. They buy small businesses like coffee shops, ice cream stores, or dry cleaners. You have turnaround specialists. They buy distressed assets. We have private equity groups. They buy based on the platform and add-ons. For a platform, let’s say they want to get into food manufacturing.
They won’t even consider food manufacturing for more than $3 million in EBITDA. The EBITDA is your Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization. Let’s say they’re already in food manufacturing and you have a small seasoning company, then they’ll consider add-ons for less than $1 million. The fourth type of our strategist and competitors pay the highest price.
They typically will pay the highest multiple because they’re buying synergies to catapult their current business to the next level. They can take advantage of economies of scale to decrease overhead and increase EBITDA. The last type of buyer is your serial entrepreneur, a sophisticated buyer. They pretty much chase cashflow.
They’re industry agnostic. I call them storm chasers because they are cashflow chasers. Those are your five types of buyers. It’s important to know that. The next question you have to ask yourself is, “Here’s the start of my plan. I want to sell for $5 million. I’m worth $1 million. I want to do this in ten years. These are my three types of buyers.” You then have to reverse-engineer your plan and say, “Where do my numbers need to be? My gross revenue is my COGS and my operating expenses. Most importantly, where’s my EBITDA needs to land?’
Your EBITDA needs to be probably around $1 million, depending upon your synergies. You need to ask yourself, “What are these buyers’ criteria? What are they looking for? What will make them pay more money for certain synergies?” Strategists buy contracts, databases, patents, and trademarks and you want to build your business to meet their specific criteria.
It’s like when we start a business, we’re like, “Here’s our widget and our direct target market.” We build everything to meet that direct target market-specific criteria. Your business is your widget. These are your buyers. You need to build to suit that. The last equation in a GPS Exit Model is why. What is your why? Why do you want to sell your business for $5 million?
Your why has to be powerful enough to keep you motivated, in the game, and weathering the financial storms. If the business was easy, more people would be doing it and people would not be going out of business. That’s a GPS Exit Model then we take them into building the foundation and the infrastructure which is what we call the 6Ps.Your why has to be powerful enough to keep you motivated, keep you in the game, keep you weathering into financial storms because if business was easy, more people would be doing it and people would not be going out of business. Click To Tweet
Of all the businesses that you get in contact with who are talking about wanting to sell it at some point, what percentage of them after they hear what you have to say, “I want you to do it either for us or with us?” Everything you’re telling us to do makes sense but I’m overwhelmed. Everything you said I need to do but if I’m honest with myself, I’m not going to do it. You can say, “It’s all in my book.” I’ve written 9 books and 5 are bestsellers. Everything I know is in my books.
What I’m dealing with people and what we’re talking about is if they’re nervous, it’s so out of their lane of competence, confidence, and control. They’ll want me to do it either for them or with them, which is okay. I still write books for people who are self-motivated. I’m saying what I’ve discovered is when it’s so out of what they feel competent in, they’ll say, “Can you handle it? Can you do it with us or for us?”
I run into that with digital marketing. It’s way above my pay grade. I have a young genius who says, “Will you do this? This is how you do this. By the way, this is how you become an influencer. I see you have more than 500,000 Twitter followers. This is what you do with them.” I have no idea how I got 500,000 Twitter follows.
They make me so nervous and everything they’re saying, which is so simple to them, I say, “Could you do it for me and do me a favor? Try not to educate me because I am going to be perpetually stupid in what you’re telling me but I have confidence in you. Can I bring you in so that I can achieve that goal?” Am I speaking about anything that you run into because you’re pointing out things? I think your books and my books are for people who are self-motivated but the majority of people are anxious.
I can relate with you when it comes to digital marketing because that’s not in my wheelhouse. That’s not my core competency. I have several different marketers I work with and I’m like, “Do it for me.” I would like to be educated along the way because the more you learn, the more you grow. I want to know what they’re doing and how they’re doing it so I can hold them accountable.
For me, I would tell you almost 100% of the clients are like, “No, do it with me or do it for me.” I can’t do it for them. They have to be part of the process and be along to run this. When I partner with business owners, I’m not going to come in there and run your entire business but I will give you the tools. I will consult with you. I’m there. I’m your partner. Most want it done for them or with them because they’re so busy in the day-to-day.
The GPS Exit Model, I know that sounds simple, but it’s not that complicated though. All you got to do is call me and I can give you all the numbers, tell you where you need to be and how you need to meet, and build that business to get some of these buyers paying you top dollar. What’s more complicated is when I try to get them to build their business on all 6 cylinders or 6Ps. That gets a little bit more complicated because that’s very involved.
Are you open to some suggestions because I coach people? I’m a Marshall Goldsmith Coach. When I discover people who have incredible value, what I run into is they’re often more convincing than they are compelling. Compelling is what opens people’s minds. What happens is people know their information so much that they’re convincing right out of the gate. What you do is you get a polite smile but inside, they’re thinking, “You lost me at first base.” I always do this with guests. I’m sorry if they didn’t warn you that I do this but can I make a couple of suggestions?
I’m always wanting to grow and learn, so absolutely.
The first one is a scare tactic. It’s what I would say to someone, especially if they’re over 40. I’d say, “Let me ask you a question about your business because we’re running around in circles, so you call it out the way you see it. I want you to imagine the following. If you go to your doctor and you hear the thing that nobody wants to hear from their doctor, do you know what that is?” You’ve switched the frame and so they’re curious.
What your doctor says to you is, “We need to run some more tests.” You won’t know the answers to those tests until they run them. I’d like you to imagine. If you’re over 40, that could happen. Granted we’re living longer but any visit to the doctor could say, “We’d like to run some more tests.” You then go home. Tell me what you start to think about in your life because one of the thoughts is, “What am I going to do with my business? I got my family.” It can be a shock but it can sometimes change when you’re trying to convince them and they’re not buying. If you’re over 40, that is the answer you don’t want to hear from your doctor and it suddenly stops you in your tracks.
The other thing that you’re talking about with people is, “If you’re going to work with me, I will only work with people who are able to delegate as opposed to abdicate.” What it sounds like is you want this all to happen for you. It sounds like you’re ready for change but you’re not ready to change. If you’re not ready to change, we’re a bad fit. I wish you well. I’m not here to warn you but it’s not a good fit. If you’re ready to change and we work together, we’re working together. You’re not abdicating.
“I want to be known for my results and my results are going to suffer if you like the idea of change and you’re ready for it but you’re not ready to change. I’ve learned to not go down that road. Where are you?” These are a couple of things that may land for you because to my readers, Michelle reminds you of many of my other guests who had incredible information. Bulletproof will work every time. If you’re reading and she’s making you nervous because you have a business and she’s telling you all the things you need to hear but you don’t want to hear, you need to pay attention. Is this tracking where you want everything to go?
Yes. It is the hardest piece trying to get business owners to do what they’re supposed to do. Many of them do the opposite. We had a client that did the exact opposite of everything we told him to do. We told him, “Don’t tell your employees that you’re selling.” What’s he doing? He goes and tells his employee. Right away, he has several employees that walk out the door and demand more money. I should hire you.
There’s a book that’s worth reading. You probably won’t read it.
That’s not true. I read books all the time.
You’re going to pull on me what your potential clients pull on you. I’m going to get a taste of my own medicine but I’ll tell you what it’s about so you may not have to read it. It’s a bestseller called What Happened to You by Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce Perry. Oprah Winfrey did a 60-minute report on trauma-informed therapy with Dr. Bruce Perry instead of a head-off.
She said it was the most life-changing story she ever did in her career. That is huge for Oprah Winfrey to say. What she learned is that when basically decent, good people do things that don’t make sense and that are counterproductive and stupid, something happened to them to cause them to not get out of their own way.
You can say, “I’ve noticed a pattern that when we tell you things to do, not only don’t you follow through on them but you do the exact opposite.” Our intention is not to make you anxious but that’s happening. What happened to you that is telling you what you need to do and sharing it with you has caused you to either not follow through on it or do the exact opposite. There must have been something along the way that happened to you that caused you to react in a way.
It puzzles me because I thought you wanted to sell your business or be successful and make more money. Your actions aren’t doing that. What happened to you? It means creating discipline. Oprah Winfrey had to create the discipline to be curious because she was outing herself saying that when people didn’t do what they should do. Instead of saying, “What happened to you that you didn’t do it,” she would say, “Why didn’t you do it?”
That energy of why didn’t you do it triggers them into feeling scolded or who knows what. I apologize if I’m being direct with you, Michelle, but you have so much value to give. Everything that you teach deserves to be followed through on and practice for people to spread the word. If you haven’t met Michelle Seiler Tucker or got her Exit Rich, you need to get the book. In fact, what you need to trigger in people is people dragging their friends to see you speak. I want that to happen for you, Michelle.
You love stories. Do you want me to tell you a quick story? We had a client whose staffing business and we were selling industrial staffing. They had several locations all throughout the United States. We were selling it in the $30 million to $40 million range. In one of our first meetings, the owner said to me, “I’m untouchable. All of my stuff is in a trust.”
When somebody tells me, “I’m untouchable. All my stuff is in a trust,” that gives me cause for concern. He ended up leaving his wife during the sales process and marrying his high school sweetheart while he was still married to his wife, which is not even legal. They had a catastrophic event occur with one of their employees at a manufacturing plant where an employee lost an arm. He falsified information on workers’ comp reports.
He lost all his workers’ comp and was operating industrial staffing in several different plants without being covered. The business ended up losing the biggest clients. The location started shutting down. He ended up going into bankruptcy court. I ended up getting approved by the judge as the stalking horse and luckily, was still able to sell the business in bankruptcy court and got paid something. I sold the business in bankruptcy court for $1.2 million when I could have sold it between $30 million to $40 million. He sells sabotage all the way out throughout this process. What happened to him? That’s a crazy story.
It’s interesting I spoke to someone who did something similar to you. She said to me, “I need to descend him to you, Mark.” I said, “No, I’m way ahead of you. I am retired. I don’t see clients like this. I will help people like you or their families deal with them.” It’s important to see how accountable people are. It’s something that I suggest to people to use the three Ds. It’s when you’re going to hire someone, when you’re going to work with a customer, or when you get married.
From your business, career, and last relationships, or if you’re looking to get married, tell me about differences of opinions, disagreements, and disappointments. If they have zero insight into what they contributed to it and if it’s all about someone else, that’s strike one. Strike two is to say, “I can understand those things happen to you in your past dealings with people like me. How did you contribute to the disappointment and disagreement?” If they still don’t get it, that’s strike two.
You say, “If we’re going to work together going forward, we’re going to have a difference of opinion about things. We’re going to disagree about things. There may even be disappointments. Going forward, if my concern is only how do we get the train back on the tracks, how do you suggest we deal with it?” If they are still clueless for a third time, pass on them. Don’t do business with them. Don’t hire them. Don’t marry them. Does that make sense?
Did you have that conversation with Larry King like, “I’m getting married?”
That’s true. We’ll talk about that offline. I have some great Larry King stories, which are mixed throughout my show. You’ve given us the gift of your very important busy time. How can people best find you and find out more about your great new book?
My main website is SeilerTucker.com. A little bit about my book, Exit Rich was endorsed by Steve Forbes. Steve Forbes says Exit Rich is a go-mine for entrepreneurs as they leave way too much money on the table when they go to sell their business. Have you heard of Sharon Lechter, Mark? She wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad with Robert Kiyosaki. She’s a five-time New York Times Bestselling Author, CPA, financial literacy expert, and advisor to many different presidents.
She is my co-author, so she writes the mentor’s corner after each one of my chapters. The original Shark Tank Kevin Harrington wrote the foreword. We also have great endorsements from like Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins, Les Brown, and Brad Sugars from ActionCOACH. I think we need to add you, Mark, as a testimonial when we go on our next print run.
Exit Rich is not just about selling your business. It’s about creating a business that’s a sellable asset because again, 80% of businesses will never sell. It’s all about mindset, planning your exit from the beginning, and figuring out what is your seller sanity check. We go into the five different types of buyers, so negotiables and non-negotiables and the infrastructure that you need to build your business on. The first half of the book is all about building a sellable asset.
The second half is getting into the evaluations, negotiations, packaging, and due diligence. Where can they get Exit Rich? We’re in presales and Exit Rich launches on June 22nd, 2022. They can go to ExitRichBook.com for $24.79. We’ll email the digital download and ship the hardcover to your doorstep for no additional fees to anyone that lives inside the United States.
We’ll give you a lifetime membership into Exit Rich Book Club where there’s video content and me doing training with these different techniques and strategies I’ve been teaching for many years in the trenches. Also, documents to operate your business, to sell your business, sample employee handbooks policy and procedure manuals, and org charts to sell your business.
We have sample letters of intent, purchase agreements, due diligence checklists, and closing docs. All of these documents are to run your business and sell your business. There are so many more than what I mentioned at Exit Rich Book Club for your review and your download. These documents will cost you thousands upon thousands of dollars to recreate.
I know, I spent probably over $50,000 on all these documents and they’re free to you. We’re also giving a 30-day free membership to anybody who pre-orders the book at Club CEOs. That’s an entrepreneur mastermind where we help business owners build that sustainable, scalable, and ready sellable asset. It’s all for $24.79 at ExitRichBook.com. It’s a lot of value.
You heard it all and here’s the testimonial. Exit Rich is bulletproof. All you have to be is ready to change to have it work for you.
Perfect. Thank you.
It’s yours. Thank you to our readers for reading into another episode of my Wakeup Call. I don’t think you needed caffeine for this one because she gets it right and she will get you on the right track. Do check out Exit Rich and buy it. Avail yourself of all the programs that go along with it. Until next time, thank you for tuning in for another episode of my Wakeup Call. Thank you, Michelle.
Thank you so much for having me on.
- Exit Rich: The 6 P Method to Sell Your Business for Huge Profit
- Seiler Tucker Incorporated
- Think and Grow Rich Today
- Sell Your Business For More Than It’s Worth
- Exit Rich Podcast
- Steve Forbes – LinkedIn
- John Mackey – LinkedIn
- Toys R Us
- Stein Mart
- Pier 1
- Cadaver Chocolate
- Get Out of Your Own Way
- Just Listen
- Madinah Institute of Leadership and Entrepreneurship
- The Inner Game Series
- What Happened to You
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
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