Be an Ethical Entrepreneur, Marketer, and Business Builder

The toughest thing in business??? Working for me? :-)

It’s funny. The question I get asked possibly the most often when I talk about buying great businesses to build and sell is “How do you find them???” Interestingly, that’s probably the easiest part. A few weeks ago I bought a motorcycle and the guy I bought it from had some contacts with business owners. So we start talking business since he’s also a young entrepreneur. I tell him a bit about my business philosophies and he takes off. Less than 6 hours later as I take a brief break from riding my new motorcycle he calls me –

“Hey, were you serious about buying more businesses?”

“Yeah, of course, what do you have?”

“My uncle is selling his and he’s standing next to me. You want to talk to him right now.” As I’m sitting on the side of the road straddling my motorcycle I think for about a split second.

“Yeah sure, put him on.”

So hopefully this week I’ll be evaluating that business. More and more have popped up. Almost every week someone calls, emails, or tells me about another business for sale. They’re all over the place. All you have to do is start asking and telling people what you’re looking for. It really is that simple.

Alright since the Buying part of Buy, Build, Sell is easy and, as of yet, I can’t give you any real world experiences with Selling, what’s the toughest thing? Building the business takes a lot of time and work however for the most part if you follow some basic formulas (all of which can be found in the books by Brad Sugars, Marcus Buckingham, and Michael Masterson) the building part can really be broken down in to small, manageable chunks. Things like developing systems, scripts, a niche, a Unique Selling Propostion, improved marketing, Points of Culture, incentive-based pay, cross-marketing, back-end sales etc. etc. etc. are all pieces to the Ethical Business Building puzzle that are relatively easy – they just take time. If you disagree, ask yourself if you’ve truly made the commitment to work “on” your business every single day instead of just “in” it.

Now, if your goal is to own more than one business or to be able to step away from your current business to experience other adventures in your life, you need a Great Manager – excuse me, I mean Team Leader, for each business. Its been told to me by several millionaires (I’ve met so many I can’t recall which) that wealthy people rarely invest in a great idea or product – they invest in the people behind the idea or product.

The book, In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies (Collins Business Essentials) repeatedly points out how “excellent” companies like Hewlett-Packard, Texas Instruments, and 3M have learned through years of trial and error that great ideas die. Texas Instruments did a study that found out that EVERY product that management thought was a great idea that died on the vine had one thing in common – they all had team leaders who were appointed by management. Whereas all the great (i.e. profitable) ideas were started and followed through by teams of people who were led by at least one person who either came up with the idea or who had a great passion for it and approached management with it. At 3M their entire business model is designed around the concept of making your idea work against all odds. There are all kinds of stories and tales of Presidents and Vice Presidents of 3M divisions who were told 2 or 3 or more times that their idea wouldn’t work, but they kept persisting – often working after hours and on weekends – to make their idea successful.

So why is all of that important to Building your business? Well, if you can’t find someone who believes as strongly in your business as you, then how can it ever reach its full potential without you? Granted, if your exit strategy is simply to sell the business and go onto another then you won’t need that great Team Leader since that’ll be you. Keep in mind, that each area of your business – Service, Sales, Operations – needs someone to effectively lead. In my business I certainly can’t be the one to do all of that and so I stick to Operations and leave the Sales and Service up to other Team Leaders. Actually at the moment, I’m working to recruit a great Service Leader.

My bigger goal is to ultimately own lots of businesses. Possibly 2 or 3 or 8 at once. To do that, I need great Team Leaders. This blog is my opening for recruitment.

If you want to learn from and with me on how to Buy, Build, and Sell businesses and you’re willing to relocate to somewhere in New Mexico or Colorado here is your opportunity. 🙂

To work with me, the most important things are strong moral ethics (reference my Points of Culture), passion, communication skills, and intelligence. If you have those, experience, education, connections, age etc. etc. etc. become secondary.

If you do possess those qualities, I promise you’ll have the opportunity to work in an exciting, ever-changing atmosphere where we’re always learning something new (reference the Team Building portion of my What would someone pay to learn from you blog). You will be challenged and be held responsible for your performance. If you perform well, you will be paid exceedingly well (reference my blog on Never Paying an Hourly Wage).

Consider this for a moment. Right now I have plenty of business buying opportunities and few Team Leaders available to run them. I am acutely aware of that and will NOT buy another business without first having a Team Leader in place. In your current job does your boss, manager, owner or anyone appreciate, trust, and have the willingness to invest in you that much???

Another potential benefit of working as one of my Team Leaders is the opportunity to buy the business that you lead. What better, quicker, low-risk way to enter the world of owning your own business? Just thinking about working with some new Team Leaders gets me pumped. Developing my team members into being the best at what they do is probably the most exciting part of my job! If that also excites you then send me an email at

To your success with me 😉 , Bryan

Leadership – What would someone pay to learn from you???

In my experience meeting hundreds of business owners, 2 stand out as extremely unique. In a sentence, Bob Reiss and Steve Dickerson are probably the only 2 businessmen I’ve encountered who I would carry their briefcases around for a year for free. I would just download as much information and as many lessons from them as I possibly could. It occurred to me that I when I’m leading people, I want them to feel the same way about me. What can I do so well and so fluently that someone would actually pay me to learn it???

Well it better be whatever I’m doing to lead my team. Think about it for a second. Consider you’re hiring someone new. They’re young, inexperienced and considering whether to enter the job market or go to school full time for business. You’re the team leader for your business, right? Would that person learn more from you or from her professors at business school? Will they learn more from the other business owner down the street? Why can you teach them more? What about your service leader and office leader? Do they all have something to offer each of their teammates?

Let’s face it, if you aren’t so talented at what you do that you can teach a class on it and people would pay to learn from you, then you probably need to start investing more time in yourself. James Rhome used to say “Always invest more time in yourself than in your business.” Doesn’t that make sense?

Here’s another way of looking at it. If you’re team has so much faith in you that they would pay to learn from you, imagine how enthusiastic they’re gonna be when you thank them for their hard work every time you hand out their paycheck.

In case you haven’t noticed from my blogs, I’m a bit neurotic. I can’t stand not doing something to the best of my ability. So if I’m going to create the best marketing or sales system for my business, you better believe I’m going to read dozens of books, blogs, articles and ask my colleagues about those topics. However, as much as I love to learn, I’ve learned that it’s much more fun to teach others. If you want to see your teammates light up and get actively engaged in growing your business, start teaching them new things. Start helping them shape their ideas into effective parts of your business. Start showing them how their contributions are making a difference by measuring the results. And most important of all, reward them for what they’re doing. My next blog will be about why I will never pay a full-time person an hourly wage which is related directly to what we’re talking about now.

I previously mentioned that no one wants to suck at their job. Quite to the contrary, everyone loves to go home to their wife, husband, mom or best friend and tell them how they had this great idea that helped improve the business. In my business, if I’m working with someone who has been on the team less than 6 months or more than 20 years, it amazes me how hungry they are to both learn and be challenged. We all want to brag about how much fun our job is because our team leader gives us so much “freedom.” The interesting thing about “freedom” is that if everyone is part of a team, they start to worry less about doing it “their” way and instead appreciate what’s best for the team. However that only works if you walk the walk. 😉 When I implement a new policy, incentive, marketing program, etc. we discuss it at the team meeting, get some input and run with the idea. Everyone seems to feel apart of the team instead of me just dictating this is how it should be. Keep in mind, that if everyone on the team respects my talent for marketing or leadership so much that they would pay me to learn it, then maybe what I suggest in the meetings carries a bit more weight… Maybe not… lol Time will tell. 🙂

If you need incentive to keep yourself on your toes and always learning and teaching your team, implement a Team Building portion of every team meeting. That’s the point where you educate your team on some of the great ways to communicate with customers, improve themselves, and be an effective part of the team. In our last team meeting I introduced Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and it was so much fun! One of these days I’ll summarize my NLP lesson into a blog or 2 for you to help build your team.

To your success, Bryan