How To Prepare for a Successful Business Exit With Greg Maddox

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Greg Maddox is a Senior Business Advisor at Cultivate Advisors, a consulting firm that partners with small business owners to help them grow sustainably and rediscover the joy in entrepreneurship. With a background in the financial services industry, Greg works with business owners to plan and maximize their business exits. He is a serial entrepreneur and was also the Founder and CEO of the Maddox Group.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Greg Maddox explains what Cultivate Advisors does 
  • Common factors that limit exit planning
  • How to prepare for a successful exit
  • Greg’s tips for getting a higher multiple 
  • How Greg helps clients increase their businesses’ value
  • Why you need a plan after selling your business

In this episode…

What does it take to successfully exit a business? How can you make informed decisions and gain the financial freedom you desire after selling?

According to Greg Maddox, a certified business exit advisor, there are nine key steps to prepare for a successful exit. You need to understand your current business valuation, develop systems and processes, and find the right experts. His advice is to start this process early and thoroughly plan through using the nine steps. 

In this episode of the Innovations and Breakthroughs Podcast, Rich Goldstein sits down with Greg Maddox, a Senior Business Advisor at Cultivate Advisors, to talk about how to prepare for a successful business exit. Greg shares tips for increasing your company’s value, getting a higher multiple when exiting, and how to plan for life after selling your business.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Goldstein Patent Law, a firm that helps protect inventors’ ideas and products. They have advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 25 years. So if you’re a company that has a software, product, or design you want protected, you can go to They have amazing free resources for learning more about the patent process. 

You can email their team at to explore if it’s a match to work together. Rich Goldstein has also written a book for the American Bar Association that explains in plain English how patents work, which is called ‘The ABA Consumer Guide to Obtaining a Patent.’

Intro (00:09):
Welcome to Innovations and Breakthroughs with your host Rich Goldstein, talking about the evolutionary, the revolutionary, the inspiration and perspiration, and those aha moments that change everything. And now here’s your host, Rich Goldstein.

Rich (00:34):
Rich Goldstein here, host of the Innovations and Breakthroughs podcast, where I featured top leaders in the path they took to create change. Past guests include Ryan Deis, Joe Polish, and Jason Flatland. This episode is brought to you by my company, Goldstein Patent Law, where we help you to protect your ideas and products. We’ve advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 29 years. So if you’re a company that has software or product or a design you want protected, go to goldstein patent where there are amazing free resources for learning about the patent process. And you could schedule a call with my to explore if it’s a match to work together. You could also check out the book I wrote for the American Bar Association that explains, in plain English how patents work. It’s called the ABA Consumer Guide to Obtaining a Patent I have with me here today, Greg Maddox. Greg is a senior business advisor at Cultivated Advisors, uh, with a background as a serial entrepreneur in the financial services business. Greg now works with business owners to plan and maximize their business exits. So I’m really happy to welcome here today, Greg Maddox. Welcome, Greg.

Greg (01:40):
Hey, thanks, Rich. Excited to be here.

Rich (01:42):
Awesome. So, like, let, let’s look at the big picture here. Um, a lot of people are in business not just to make money, but eventually to, to exit the business, to sell the business. Mm-Hmm.

Greg (01:55):

Rich (01:55):
Uh, but there, in terms of the big picture, there are some, um, problems with that, or there’s a, there’s some big gaps with that in terms of their expectation of selling and how frequently people are able to sell and get what they want out of, um, out of that transaction. So, I mean, would you like to, to shed a little light on that and what that’s like in most cases?

Greg (02:18):
Sure. Yeah. And I’ll give, uh, 10 seconds real quick on, on Cultivate, because one of the things that makes us unique is Cultivate advisors. Uh, we’re all former business owners, so everybody who’s an advisor has owned their own company for at least 10 years. And, uh, after that, it’s all over the map as far as industry, et cetera. But, you know, we partner with owners and usually they’re key leaders to, to help them scale, sell, or passively own their businesses, you know, on their terms and timeline. Um, we’re not transactional, so, you know, we’re not the person who’s gonna actually sell it. We’re, we’re not the banker, not the attorneys. We’re, uh, we’re advisory, helping them grow the business to where they can be exit ready, whatever that means for them. We’ll probably dig into that a little bit. But, you know, we’ve worked with thousands of business owners.

Greg (03:03):
Uh, we have a monthly retainer model, so like private equity without the equity. And, um, what we’ve seen is that no matter how big someone’s business is, know how much money they’re making personally, there’s three common issues that we see kind of across the board, uh, that happen in some degree or other. Number one, they tend to own a job, not a true business. So think about that. If, you know, they were to leave for an extended period of time and have zero contact with the company, would the company continue to thrive and grow at the same pace without them in the trenches? Um, number two, most business owners tend to have all of their financial eggs tied up in the business basket. And so, uh, you know, they’re wholly illiquid. They’ve been really focused on, on, on building income, not necessarily building value.

Greg (03:49):
And if they ever stop doing that, usually the income stops and the, any, the wealth that they might have already built can come crashing down too. And the third problem is, in pursuit of solving those first two, most entrepreneurs tend to kind of over sacrifice on the, uh, personal family and health front. And, you know, the challenge there is that we can all white knuckle it, you know, for a period of time, you know, but this idea of that hashtag grind is just the, the way to do it. It it’s hard work being an entrepreneur and pulling off big stuff in your life and in your business. And at some point you gotta put the auction mask on yourself. What ends up happening to happen is that the, the business owner has to get stronger as the business grows. It’s not that this work gets easier, so stronger as a builder of people process and systems turning their business into an asset.

Greg (04:37):
’cause at the end of the day, no matter how somebody defines it, you know what the business owners that we work with, and I’d say most out there really want, is they want to turn their business to an asset that can run either without them or as with as little of them as they want, right? That they only focus on the key bits that they’re really excited about. And we call that business freedom. And you know that you’re achieving some business freedom. If you have, you know, an abundance of time and money, you define what that means, how much time, how much money separate from working in the business. And then exit planning’s a team sport. There’s many advisors that need to be involved, often years ahead of schedule. Most business owners, um, don’t necessarily get this coordinated correctly. But if I can use some of that time and money and create multiple income streams or liquid assets separate from my core operating business, so I can start building and obtaining financial freedom as I’m owning and growing the company, uh, and then also having a life and, uh, enjoying the fruits of my labor within reason.

Greg (05:40):
You know, like I said, everybody cultivate, I’ve owned a couple businesses in the past. We know what it’s like when you, you know, balance. It doesn’t mean equal. It’s more like harmony. Sometimes you gotta lean in to different areas of your life and your business, you know, and, uh, and, and put in the time and the effort. So we get that. But we can’t ignore these other areas that are important because the stats just tell us what the issues are. You know, 50% of business owners are not gonna exit on their terms and timeline. Um, people in the financial services world, in the estate planning world, uh, refer this as the five Ds. I call it just life, but it’s death, disability, divorce, disagreement with partners. And the last one you could call either distress or disruption. So think of, uh, covid. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> coming in and totally affecting your business.

Greg (06:29):
Think of technology changes that totally impact what used to be super successful for you. So like, Uber comes in and kills your taxi cab company as an example. And so these are things that you don’t necessarily have control over, but are gonna impact and we’re all gonna leave at some, you know, point. And another kind of sad stat is that 75 Price Waterhouse Cooper’s, 75% of business owners who do successfully exit or at least are able to have an exit, um, profoundly regret it a year later. Why is that? This could be lots of reasons. You know, if you think about the reasons why exits fail, generally speaking, there’s, there’s three. One, the business is not ready. Two, the owner’s not ready mentally, or three of the owner’s not ready financially. And so if any one of those is, you know, outta whack a little bit, then maybe I’m not happy with it.

Greg (07:23):
So it could be, I didn’t get as much money as I was hoping for, but life was telling me I have to do something different now. And so I just get, I take what I get, I’m not that happy later. Or it could also be that I just don’t know what to do next. I used to work however many hours a week in all of my social circles and everything I used to do <laugh> was kind of revolving around my role in the industry or in my business or in my community with the business owner hat on. And if, you know, if I make that switch and I haven’t figured out what I wanna do next, then it could be a challenge having more time and more money than maybe you’ve ever had at one time in your life and trying to figure out, you know, how to spend it.

Greg (08:07):
And it sounds like first world problems. But a lot of people, you know, talk to your wealth manager friends who deal with business owners who end up blowing through the pile of resources that they got. Uh, that was enough. Um, but because they hadn’t figured it out and every shiny object seemed like, you know, something worthy of their, their time and their money or every family member comes outta the woodwork with something to invest in and, you know, and they jump in on it. So I think that generally speaking, there’s some big areas that most business owners feel that, Hey, my planning for an exit is something I do at the end. It’s like selling my house when I’m itching for a new house or a new neighborhood. Then I’ll figure out, you know, what it takes to put it on the market and sell it.

Greg (08:50):
But selling a business is way more complex than that. And, uh, just because you’re making a lot of money doesn’t mean that you’ve built some an asset somebody else wants to pay you a lot of money for. So if we just think about the, the business in that context, and there’s a lot of things that can be done along the way while you’re building a business to achieve the goals that you have. But, you know, if I want to be, uh, exit ready doesn’t mean I’m looking to sell anytime soon. It just means that I do want to make my my business less dependent on me personally as the owner and more people, process and systems driven so that, um, it works without me. It’s less risky. I can have some time <laugh>, I can have maybe some more money from it. It’s easier to run, it’s easier to make strategic decisions.

Greg (09:38):
It’s probably more fun. And by the way, that makes it way more valuable to anybody else who’s not you who might come in and hopefully it’s on your terms and timeline. But life could either show you an opportunity that you really want to capture or throw you one of those curve balls that you have to deal with and, uh, and are forced to do it sooner than you expected. So most of our clients, um, are not looking to sell anytime soon. Some do have a timeline, but a lot of ’em are just looking to grow into something bigger and have more choices and more control. And we work a lot with tax, legal and wealth. Um, in addition to our business advising, working with the advisors who the, uh, owner already works with to help put a more holistic plan together that deals with all these different areas, you know, years ahead of schedule, giving them way more options, uh, to actually have a successful exit.

Rich (10:34):
Yeah. So then what are some of those things that, that a business owner can do along the way to be better prepared and not fall into one of those traps that you, you mentioned?

Greg (10:44):
Yeah, there’s like, uh, you know, nine key outcomes that have to happen. Um, they don’t necessarily happen in linear order, but generally speaking, you need to understand, you know, what I call your freedom point. So even if you’re not looking to sell, we need to identify a target enterprise value at which you can either make work optional. ’cause the business is set up with people processing systems and kicks off enough cash flow that you don’t have to be working in it, but can still support your lifestyle. Or you could sell it in net of taxes, fees, um, debt, your percentage ownership. You would walk with enough to bridge whatever the wealth gap that you have working with your wealth advisors to do whatever you want to do next. So that’s number one. You have to understand your freedom point. Um, so you need to know where we’re going target wise.

Greg (11:33):
Um, number two, you need to figure out, well, where am I today? I need to understand what my business looks like through the eyes of a third party, whether that’s a lender, investor or buyer. And you know, if you understand kind of generally speaking, how businesses are are valued, you know, it’s a financial aspect. AK usually profit times a non-financial aspect of your business. And those would be the people process systems or the health of your business. And the thing that really moves the, the multiple is the non-financial things. And so understanding how, what you could do to actually increase people, process, and systems so that I have, uh, you know, a higher multiple. I could grow my business at a normal rate from a revenue perspective, but if I’m increasing the multiple, I can accelerate the value so you understand what those levers are, and then create a plan to bridge the gap.

Greg (12:27):
So that’s number three. Then there’s a kind of a two phase, or I should say a parallel path thing that happens. You need to work with tax, legal and wealth on how do I protect my family, protect my business, and protect my assets while you’re working with, you know, somebody like a cultivate or with your internal team on growing your value, funding your freedom over time and hopefully cultivating lots of different options, uh, for the way that you might choose to exit. ’cause for example, if you have kids and you could have a desire to sell or transfer your business to your kids, well there’s no guarantee that that’s what’s gonna happen. So setting yourself up for multiple options is critical. So again, those nine understand your freedom point. You know, the target sales price or enterprise value that we’re going for, where work could be optional.

Greg (13:17):
Uh, where are you today in the business is number two, putting together a three to five year plan to bridge that value gap. That’s three. And then the parallel path, tax, legal and wealth is protecting your family, protect your business, protects your assets. And then on the business advisory front, it’s growing the value of your business by getting you extracted from being kind of the center of all activity, coordinating with the tax, legal and wealth team to fund whatever system that they built. ’cause the business is the goose that’s laying the golden eggs. Um, that’s where most of the money’s gonna come from, whether it’s through a transactional sale at the end or through cash flow while you still own it. And, and then also in coordination with, uh, the other team members teeing up multiple options. Whether I’m gonna sell to a third party, I’m gonna sell it to my management team, kids, private equity, how am I gonna, who do I wanna sell it to?

Greg (14:14):
And those each have different, uh, ramifications on a, on how to plan for it. So as an example, if I wanna sell it to my kids or to my leadership team, chances are they don’t have a big checkbook to pay you a lot of cash to buy it from you. So that means that if you want to sell it to those folks or transition it to those folks, are you comfortable being the bank and to be comfortable being the bank? How much personal wealth separate from this business should we be creating between now and some potential transfer to these folks down the road so that you can mentally exit and do something else instead of micromanaging over the shoulder to make sure you get paid? You know? So those are just a couple examples of, of things that need to get done. And oftentimes what I find is that, uh, either the business owners don’t have the right advisors on their team.

Greg (15:14):
’cause not all advisors are created equal. You know, just because I’m a a in the tax, legal or wealth profession, it’s a niche of the kind of work it takes to support a really successful entrepreneur. There’s just a different set of playbooks and, um, there’s just more w two employees in the world than there are successful entrepreneurs. So a lot of the training that people in those industries get is more geared towards the masses and not necessarily towards these unique strategies that are for really successful business owners. So either they don’t have the right advisors on their team, or they do and they’re operating in silos that there’s no coordination of the conversation between, you know, the business advising, tax advising, uh, legal and wealth advising. And for business owners, this is all very integrated. ’cause there’s a lot that could be done where there’s an overlap there that could, from an asset protection, tax reduction, wealth creation through the business, with an eye towards an eventual, you know, transition or legacy or transaction, whatever it is that the business owner’s kind of building towards. So hope that gives a, a little bit of, uh, you know, a broad brush inside of the different areas.

Rich (16:29):
Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot to unpack there that, I mean, there’s a lot of different directions that could go with that. Um, let’s dial it back a little bit towards the, the multiples. So I mean, just the fundamental concept is that typically, um, when a business is acquired, it’s acquired for some multiple of ebitda, which is essentially the, the profit of the business. And, um, uh, and so one thing you, you mentioned in terms of getting the higher multiple, it’s, um, so there’s that range of multiples. Can you talk a little bit more about that? Of how, like the, how there’s a range of multiples that that could apply to someone selling their business and that, um, you know, really the game is to get the, the higher multiple and how all that works?

Greg (17:14):
Yeah. So I call this business owner math, and, and most business owners aren’t totally aware of exactly how it works. If you are a founder of a company especially, and you had to basically create something from nothing and then grind it out, building, uh, revenue and building profit, you know, we end up thinking that business owner math is about addition. Adding a dollar of revenue, adding a dollar of profit. ’cause we’re very focused on that, especially in the beginning. But then it becomes kind of like habit that that’s what we need to focus on when the truth is it’s about multiplication, the multiples. And so, um, like you said, if I have a number profit or EBITDA times a multiple, well, generally speaking, most private companies are gonna be valued somewhere between two and six times ebitda. Let’s say. Why a range? Well, let’s say, uh, Rich, you and I are both in the same exact business, same industry. We have the same revenue and the same profit.

Greg (18:12):
You have developed people processing systems, you’ve documented it. So it’s not in your head. You’ve got, um, lots of help and support. You are not the key rainmaker. All decisions don’t flow through you. You can actually leave the business for extended periods of time and the team can handle it. It’s proven that they can do that. Um, and you’re just more involved in working on the business as opposed to in it. And the team is, is basically running it. I, on the other hand, we’re making the same amount of money, but I’m kind of chief cook and bottle washer. I am still kind of central to all things. I want all decisions to come through me. I do a lot of the rainmaking, uh, et cetera. I have a lot of the secret sauce in my head and maybe in a couple other key employees so that if something happened to me or they walked out the door, all that institutional knowledge walks out as well. How much money are you willing to pay me for my business? Probably not a lot. That’s why I said earlier, like, you know, in that example, I own a job. I could be making a lot of money but still own a job. So if I’m sellable at all, I might be on the low end of that range,

Rich (19:20):
Probably look towards the assets that the business has.

Greg (19:23):
Liquid. Yeah, it could just be a fire sale, right? If I have assets that are worthy of buying, um, think about a service business. What are you, what assets do you have a customer list maybe, I don’t know. Um, you on the other hand, because you’ve turned it more into not the Rich show, but people, process, systems, team oriented, documentation, process driven, uh, you might be towards the high end of that. So just to make up a number, let’s say we both have, uh, $2 million in profit. And I might not be sellable at all, but I might get one or two times that, and you, the same 2 million can get five or six times that. So I might be worth a couple million and you could be worth 12.

Greg (20:11):
Same business, same industry, same profit. So you didn’t, I was focused on income, but I landed the same place you did. You were focused on value. Because the only way that you solve the value equation is by working on the non-financial aspects. How do I get the people, process and systems in my business to handle the work and not me personally? And that’s the key. And then revenue and profit will come along for the ride and that example. And so I just find that most business owners, uh, either don’t pay attention to that or they underestimate all the different areas in their business that, you know, a process or a system could apply. And, uh, it’s not just writing up checklists, you know, and, and having them on a a Google drive.

Rich (21:04):
So it seems then that, that this is where your process starts when you’re working with clients, is to figure out where they sit on this spectrum of possible values by doing a business value and health assessment, correct?

Greg (21:17):
Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, you know, those first three steps that we talked about, uh, we do all of that, uh, you know, no cost, no obligation, pre-engagement where we could help understand like what does the business look like to a third party? Uh, where do they sit? Where’s the health of the kind of inner workings, the non-financial areas of their business that affect the, uh, the multiples? See where they sit kind of on the range of multiples based on closed deal transactions, um, you know, through our tech stack and attachment to those, uh, closed deal databases. And then also understanding a, uh, where we need to go. Like what’s our, our target here. Usually, uh, you know, that freedom point value isn’t necessarily, you know, designed that I’m gonna sell at that point in time. But at least having that, those two goalposts, we know where we’re at and where we’re gonna go, then we can reverse engineer a plan and put together a three to five year roadmap that addresses the different areas inside the business of the kind of work that needs to get done to not just, you know, grow revenue and profit, but to actually do the work that will help create an increase in the multiples.

Greg (22:26):
And because most business owners and their teams are already busy, and they’re not necessarily great at building out the content for those, you know, tools and systems, the quote unquote documentation required, um, we’ve just made that, you know, a service that we can bundle in so we can actually build the, the, uh, the documentation, the tools, the resources, the training, the onboarding, all of that stuff. And we figured out how to do that, uh, very quickly, uh, with limited disruption to the team. They can just give us the raw ingredients, if you will. And then our team can bake the cake. So it allows us to go from zero, not having anything really documented or organized to a very strong working model inside of, you know, 60, 90 days. Uh, overall though, to really bake that out, that takes probably 12 months of focused effort to really kind of dial in your people process and systems.

Greg (23:23):
Uh, but that’s the kinda work that we do. We help our clients and their leadership teams not just figure out what are those different steps and, and, uh, and the kind of work that needs to get done around financials, sales, marketing, leadership, recruiting, productivity, uh, but then also working with them and their team to execute against that. Hold a little bit of attention to getting results in a timely manner, um, bringing to bear, we have, you know, frameworks and, and things that, that we could use if, uh, if they’re not, if they don’t have anything in that space, or we could work with what they got. At the end of the day, it’s, it’s very tailored to that, uh, business owner. Every business is, is kind of unique. And so the way that you might set it up inside of your law firm, Rich, is probably not the same way another company would set up those, those systems. So it’s really a collaboration and doing it in a way that in a very focused, you know, focused effort, we could do it in a short period of time, typically in three to five years, we could take a business from whatever it’s currently worth to that freedom value that the business owner wants, that they could sell it for enough if they chose to and walk with enough cash to fund whatever’s next for them.

Rich (24:36):
And, um, you know, um, uh, if for those that aren’t, aren’t connecting the dots and, and keeping score, it’s like you building that, um, autonomy of the business that makes it sellable is building that business freedom. It’s building that free Yeah. From the business. So whether you sell or not, you are, you’re getting what you want. Yeah.

Greg (24:58):
That is I guess the, the, the dirty little secret of exit planning, right? It’s not about getting you and your money out of the business at some point in the future. It’s just building a business that gives you what you want right now. And it’s all the same work. Like if you want to have somebody write you a big fat check at some point in the future, the only way to make that happen is do all the same work that just makes it a better business today. And we take into account that it’s not just a business. ’cause a an entrepreneur’s life is, uh, overlaps between finance, personal life, outside the business, business life inside the business. There’s fuzzy gray at best <laugh>, right? There’s not very clear delineations there. So that means that, you know, while we’re working on the business, we should be coordinated with tax, legal and wealth to be buttoning you up there.

Greg (25:47):
Give you a simple example. I had a client where current valuation of her business was about 3 million. Her freedom point value was 23 million. We had a five-year plan to get there. And I was like, okay, so we just created a plan to add a $20 million gain to your world. When do you wanna deal with that? Do you just, should we just wait till the end whenever you decide you wanna sell and you’ll just take whatever’s, whatever you get? Or did you know that there’s a different set of playbooks for people like you if we talk to the right folks? And so that’s a simple example of, you know, work that, you know, she can do with the right tax, legal and wealth folks to protect her assets and, and create a better transition plan over time. Who knows when she’s actually gonna sell her company, but she likes to know that she’ll be ready whenever, uh, you know, either she chooses or life, you know, chooses, you know, for her.

Greg (26:41):
But, uh, the often overlooked piece is that when you do this work, it also just makes it a more fun business to run. You know, you’re not just constantly putting out fires. You can elevate yourself to the CEO slash chairperson role and have a leadership team doing more of the heavy lifting. You’ve got. Leadership team could be two people. I have clients where this is the case, um, where they work about 15 hours a month. They’re not in the office, they’re just, you know, zooming in for key leadership stuff and they’re making plenty of money. The business is definitely sellable. Um, but in this particular example, neither of the, uh, the two leaders wanna buy it. ’cause he doesn’t wanna be the bank. So they’re gonna have to go and sign on the dotted line someplace. Uh, for a multi-million dollar, you know, loan, that’s a tough place to start your entrepreneurial journey, right?

Greg (27:32):
You go from manager, then tell your spouse, you know, I’m 50% of this multi-million dollar, our house is on hok, are you cool with that? <laugh>, right? Um, and his daughter had expressed interest, but she really, I think was interested in the lifestyle that he had created. She’s a successful professional in a different realm, nothing to do with his business, and he wasn’t gonna be the bank for her either. And so I’m like, well, has she realized what she has to do? If she really wants to take this business over from you, she has to quit her high paying job, move back across country, back home, take a lower paying job working for you, and learning this business from the ground up over three years to be in a position to be able to take it over. And oh yeah, she’s gonna have to figure out how to go get some cash to make it happen.

Greg (28:19):
<laugh>, you know, um, now these were issues that were, you know, he was, even though he was years ahead of it, he was squarely thinking about how he wanted to transition. And the fact that he was thinking about it years ahead of schedule gave him the breathing room to deal with it without a rush because, you know, he’s got, well, one, it’s his daughter, but for the leaders, he’s got 15, 20 year relationships with these folks. And you wanna be able to handle these conversations in a way that a, serves you what you want as the owner, but also, you know, is, uh, in a way that you feel is, is good for the relationships with the people you’re having it with. And if you were trying to cram this all in to the six months before the date you felt you just had to be out of the business, it’s not likely to go smoothly or well in that example. So gives him lots of time to figure it out.

Speaker 4 (29:16):

Greg (29:16):
Incidentally, the only reason he’s not selling right now, ’cause you know, he’s clearly got an asset somebody else could buy from him. Um, he’s making close to a million dollars a year, working 15 hours a week, and, uh, he just doesn’t know what he wants to do next. He’s already got an rv, he’s already got a boat, right? He’s already visiting grandkids and, and stuff like that, you know, but, uh, like most entrepreneurs, they’re not gonna just go sit, you know, on, on the proverbial rocking chair. Uh, there’s, there’s probably only so much golf eventually that people can do that there’s something that they have to feel that they are getting, you know, satisfaction or creating value from that’s separate from recreation. And so he’s, he’s working towards figuring that out while we grow the value of his company.

Rich (30:04):
And that’s an important part of the plan too, is to have a plan for what you as a business owner are going to do next.

Greg (30:11):
Yeah. It’s the, it’s a critical piece. So we said the three legs of the stool, right? Mm-Hmm,

Rich (30:15):
<affirmative>, the

Greg (30:15):
Business has to be built in a way that’s an asset that somebody else would wanna pay you for. And that the value that you, you’re likely to get is enough for what you want and require for whatever’s next.

Rich (30:28):

Greg (30:28):
So that ties into your personal financial game plan needs to dovetail with that so that the wealth managers are working with the business advisors and the owners on how do we accelerate that so we’re not just waiting to a big fat payday at the end, but then that third leg of the stool is the personal, like, what else am I gonna do if I’m not doing this anymore? How do I wanna spend my time? And, uh, you know, will that be rewarding for me? There’s no right or wrong here, you know, it could be just getting back into taking care of your health. It could be leaning back in the family relationships, it could be giving back to the community, it could be starting another company, direct investing in other co just, it really doesn’t matter, it’s just there has to be a plan, right?

Rich (31:11):
That’s the thing. Go after any answer will do as long as it’s a planned answer. Right?

Greg (31:17):
Well, and that, um, well, that also impacts what your financial advisors need to help build,

Rich (31:23):

Greg (31:24):
Okay. What do you wanna do? It’s gonna take this much, we gotta, you know, make sure that the cash will always be there for you to do it the way that you want. Do it for as long as you wanna do it. <laugh>, you know, the, that’s be aligned. We start, yeah. The sooner we start having these conversations with the team, the better things get for the business owner.

Rich (31:41):
That’s where that coordination that you talked about before comes in is like having these different types of professionals. We’re all working together toward that goal, toward that plan

Greg (31:53):
And just having those different, um, perspectives. So as an example, I was on a, uh, podcast with some, uh, high-end wealth managers and, and they’re talking about, you know, uh, a really good estate, uh, tax and state attorney might make a suggestion of something that deals more with the, the charitable aspect of, you know, locking up some money to reduce, um, future estate taxes, right? There’s lots of different ways of doing that, and that’s all well and good, but if the wealth manager is also understanding what that business owner wants to do, the kind of all the other goals that they have, then their perspective of, well, we still need to fund all these other things that you said that you wanted to do. So is locking up that cash just to reduce estate taxes, is that the best, you know, play for you or not? It’s not a right or wrong, it’s just bringing the different professionals’ perspectives into the conversation so that, you know, you can make an informed decision as a business owner instead of having all these decisions happening in silos, which is what typically happens. The outcome is, you know, always better.

Rich (33:07):
Yep, absolutely. And, um, so if people wanna learn more about you or get in contact with you, how do they go about doing? So,

Greg (33:15):
Uh, you can email me, Uh, you can also check out my personal website, my exit

Rich (33:25):
Awesome. Well, Greg, thank you so much for taking the time to, uh, to share your knowledge, um, of helping people that are looking to exit, to create that plan to, um, to move their business toward what would be the, the best in class or for the higher multiples. Um, and, uh, really appreciate you, you being on the show.

Greg (33:47):
Yeah, I’m excited. I really appreciate having a chance to come up and talk about this stuff. I think as advisors, we’ve, uh, over the years have made it exit planning all about the transaction. And so a lot of what we need to do in the, you know, the advisor community is to help educate business owners that it is just good planning that will make, you know, running your business now better, your tax legal wealth situation better and your business more valuable later. And so the more we can get owners to kind of plug into the fact that it’s not a later thing, it’s just doing really good stuff now that gives you lots of options. I think that’s the, that’s the best that we could hope for, is to get more people starting sooner.

Rich (34:25):
Awesome. Thanks again. Thanks Rick.

Outro (34:32):
Thanks for listening to Innovations and Breakthroughs with your host Rich Goldstein. Be sure to click subscribe, check us out on the web at and we’ll see you next time.


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