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Business Owner Mindset

Entrepreneur Book Review – Built to Sell

Once you have decided that you want to sell, what do you do? This is the central question that John Warrillow addresses in Built to Sell. Warrillow takes the knowledge he built over a career surveying, interviewing, and serving entrepreneurs and weaves it into a story that explores his principles for having a saleable business.

Warrillow creates the world of a fictional business owner, Alex, who is stuck in his entrepreneurial journey and looking to sell his firm. Alex reaches out to his successful serial entrepreneur family friend Ted who proceeds to coach Alex to his own successful exit over a two year period.

This fast read is enjoyable, the characters are relatable to fellow entrepreneurs, and the message is simple but powerful.

Warrillow’s prescription for exit success is to focus your business on three core principles:

  1. Analyze – what makes you special, unique, highly profitable
  2. Productize – anything can be branded into a specific product and products depend on a process, not on the creative genius of a specific person
  3. Empower – many people mistake this stage as ‘hire and delegate’ but it goes far beyond that. Who are the very best people on your team to run this specific product? Do you need people who aren’t on your team yet? Find them and empower them. Empowerment implies ownership of outcomes and allowing your team to run significant portions of your business without your direct involvement. These people provide the intellectual capital and operations skills that your buyer is going to want to retain. If you don’t have these people, guess what, your buyer is going to want to retain you instead!

Simple, enjoyable, and powerful – if you haven’t read Built to Sell, take the time.

Jarrod Musick

CFP®

Posted: 09/17/2020

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