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In part two of the incredible exit of Mike Jackness’s Colorit, we are hearing his first-hand perspective on what the process is like from the side of the seller. Mike honestly and openly goes through the process, from the letter of intent through due diligence, all the way to the handoff and transition. He reveals the humbling moments, the surprises, and things he would do differently.
This episode is for anyone thinking about being on the seller or the buyer side of the acquisition process. Ending your involvement in a business can happen more easily and smoothly if you are in a good position and absolutely prepared no matter what. The takeaway to all business owners is put your business in that position from inception in case of an eventual sale.
- Mike’s background and how he found himself in the coloríng business.
- How the due diligence process went and how in many ways it was harder work than running the actual business.
- The things that came up during the process that were surprising and how to approach number discrepancies in due diligence.
- The value of using a professional firm for due diligence.
- Why early preparation is critical.
- The creation and review of the asset purchase agreement and how it went for Mike.
- The small things he relayed to the buyer in order to make the transition smoother.
- Why in-person meetings are very important during the hand-off.
- The importance of doing everything you can to facilitate while still creating limits to your involvement in the process.
- What’s next for Mike.
Mark: Mike Nuñez. Yes, Mike if you’re listening to this podcast congratulations for sending in the right answer to the movie quote. And which one was it; that was the Boiler Room, right?
Joe: I think so. You expect me to remember. I don’t know. We need Chris Moore our content director on here. Come on Chris.
Mark: Hey Chris, we need your show notes for before we actually record these. But I do know that Mike you sent in a correct answer. Thank you for doing that. I don’t know the prizes although the next time I see you I’ll buy you a drink for sending that in and getting the right answer.
Joe: For people that don’t know, why don’t we tell who Mike Nuñez is?
Mark: Yeah, Mike Nuñez is an old friend of Quiet Light Brokerage. He is also a buyer with Quiet Light Brokerage and what are we getting out Joe what am I missing?
Joe: Doesn’t he run AffiliateManager.com?
Mark: He does run AffiliateManager.com.
Joe: He’s huge in the affiliate space so if there’s anybody out there with products that are looking for a great affiliate company to connect with look up Mike Nuñez on Linked In and connect with him. He’s one of the nicest guys in the country and you’ll love working with him and his company.
Mark: You know what this movie quote is going to become, right? All of the show vendors, all of the other vendors out there that want us to make a pitch on the podcast are going to start sending in the right answers to us here on out. So those of you listening whatever the movie quote was send us an email and let us know what that’s from. We’ll give you a shout out on the podcast. But now let’s talk a little bit about today’s podcast episode. I’m excited about this. I love the actual stories of selling some of his business. Joe, you’ve been working with Mike Jackness is on ColorIt.com getting his business sold and today we’re continuing the story. We already have one podcast on this where we talked about getting the offer, preparing the business for sale, going through all that, and now we’re looking at the other side of it. And that is preparing for the close and doing that due diligence and some of that stuff that gets pretty difficult towards the end of a sale.
Joe: Yeah the 1st podcast was right up until the letter of intent and now we’re talking honestly and openly about the process that we had to go through; that Mike really had to go through with his team from the moment you’re under a letter of intent all the way through the due diligence, that financial trusted exam if you will, negotiating the asset purchase agreement, meeting the buyers face to face, working with transitioning your virtual assistants over to them, closing, and training and transition after. We go through all of it. Nothing is left out. Mike is honest and humbled and surprised in some cases. I don’t mean to plug people but Centurica did the due diligence and Mike—we’ll let people listen to it but Mike made a promise to Bryan at Centurica and he said something about this process and his accounting and how it’s going to work out and Bryan said yeah okay we’ll see and Mike was a little humbled and surprised in the process.
Mark: Well, that’s great. Mike is a good guy. We plugged him before. He’s been on the podcast now a few times. Let’s get over to this because I think anyone that is thinking about selling or even if you’re a buyer and you’re going through this process, it’s so useful to get that perspective of what it’s like to go through this process as a seller. Because boy it can be frustrating sometimes, it can be stressful and just getting to the psyche of what’s going on there I think is invaluable.
Joe: And not to go on too long but one of the most important things you’re going to hear is what Mark and I say all the time but you’re not going to hear it from us, you’re going to hear it from Mike. He’s built, he’s bought, he sold, and he’s gone through this process most recently as a seller. And there are some things if he could turn back time that he would absolutely do and he would have made more money. But he was at a certain emotional state and life state where he wanted to sell and we made that happen. And we achieved his financial goals but if he could turn back time that would have changed things a little bit. So we’re hoping that the lesson that you’ll get out of this is planning; planning your exit eventually. If you may wake up one day and decide okay today’s the day I need to reach out to Joe or Mark or anybody at Quiet Light and begin that process what will you plan well in advance for that? That’s part of the mistake that we talked about with Mike. So that’s it, let’s go to the podcast.
Joe: Hey folks it’s Joe Valley with Quiet Light Brokerage and we have another great episode of the Quiet Light Podcast here with our good friend Michael Jackness. How are you today Mike?
Mike: I’m doing good man.
Joe: It’s good to have you back. I know that we’ve been chatting a lot lately because we just closed a transaction together.
Mike: We did. It’s good to be on the other end of it now.
Joe: It is and it’s been a process. We’re recording this folks on April 18th and we started in mid-December. And we ended up closing the transaction on April 5th. So giving you a little bit of a recap; this is Part 2 of the process of selling Mike’s business Color It. Mike those that are just tuning in and didn’t hear it the 1st time why don’t you give a 60 second background on yourself so they know who you are.
Mike: Yeah. So I always joke that this background story gets longer and longer as I get older but the short version is that I have a background in IT. I’m an entrepreneur by heart and was doing affiliate marketing. I quit my day job in 2004 and I’ve been out on my own doing various things since then. I got into e-commerce in 2012 when we bought Travelo.com and sold that—had an exit to that in 2015 in January. Four e-commerce brands one of which we just sold through you. And we’ve been blogging and podcasting about that journey since 2015 at EcomCrew.
Joe: And you’re being a little humble there because you really travel all over the world and speak now. Not just with EcomCrew but also on your email marketing campaigns that you do with Klaviyo. So I’m going to boost you up a little bit.
Mike: Thank you.
Joe: You’re famous man, I’m humbled just having you on the podcast and to call you my friend I think.
Mike: Inaudible[00:07:06.7] has this show notes that say famous on Amazon I had one that says famous in my own head.
Joe: I’m famous in my house but the least famous according to my family. There you go. Alright, so just a quick recap; again we launched Color It for sale in mid-December against my better judgment but you’re influential and you pushed me and we did it anyway. But we try normally to have three to five conference calls in the 1st 30 to 45 days and at least one acceptable offer. We had three or four. We can’t remember. We talked about this the other day and I didn’t bother looking it up. But we had enough so that we got two offers. We ended up under LOI on Feb 5th, intentionally chose not to close for 60 days so you could move three of the brands out of the seller account into other seller accounts and that was a fun process, right?
Mike: Oh yeah. Lovely.
Joe: And then we ended up closing on April 5th, roughly 60 days later after going under the LOI. So we talked about the process, getting to LOI in the previous recording. Let’s talk about what happened afterwards and talk about due diligence. How was your experience in due diligence; how painful was it, how good was it, how easy, all that good stuff?
Mike: It was a lot less enjoyable than receiving the wire.
Joe: Is this a yes or a no that you really worked harder getting the business sold than you did actually operating the business?
Mike: I’d say absolutely. It was a lot of work. It was stressful just because—I kind of strive for perfection and I wanted everything to be exactly what we had communicated in the preliminary process. But Centurica is really good and they found stuff that I didn’t even know about my own business which was really frustrating for me. It was a little bit unnerving. I was worried about how that would be perceived if it would—how it would affect the deal. What I realized I guess eventually was that every one of these deals I think that goes through due diligence stuff comes off and we were kind of within that normal boundaries of acceptable tolerances I guess or whatever they would call it and I probably was making [inaudible 00:09:12.1] but for me at the moment that it was happening I was pretty upset.
Joe: Yeah so we had two or three things that came up where the P&L wasn’t exactly right; the discretionary earnings wasn’t exactly right for the trailing 12 months. And it’s funny I had a call this morning, I’m working on launching a listing tomorrow and the owner of that business said well what happens in due diligence if that happens? And he was worried that the whole deal would just fall apart and you start from scratch. That’s not normally the case. Normally you just use logic and math and say okay if you’re off by $1,000 and your multiple is a 3 time you take $3,000 off the contract price of the business. That’s really important when you build that trust that you’ve built over the last two or three months with the buyers of your business Mike. But in your case we didn’t make any adjustment at all even though your numbers were not exactly the same as in discretionary earnings, right?
Mike: Yeah and I think a few things kind of happened and number one as we were going to do diligence and working towards closing our January numbers came out and our February numbers came out and eventually we kind of knew what March was looking like and we were up significantly year over year. So I mean it was getting to be to a point where in some respects I was kind of hoping the deal will fall apart just like be realistic for money.
Mike: Obviously, that wasn’t what I wanted to happen because I didn’t want it to go through [inaudible 00:10:37.3] but that certainly probably helps. And I think a little of the trust kind of was established like you said that they knew that there was nothing the fairest going on there or at least they hope that that’s what they were thinking. I’m sure that’s what they were thinking obviously. And I also think that just based on talking to Bryan over at Centurica like after the whole thing was done it was basically like when a report comes out it’s always going to be—there’s always something that’s kind of found and I just—it’s kind of like a home inspection. When you go buy a home there’s going to be a home inspection and there’s always going to be stuff that that guy finds. Some of the stuff you can try and negotiate for to lower the price of the home but a lot of it you just accept. It’s just like there are things that you’re going to just go okay well I didn’t know that when I signed the agreement to buy this house and put it in Escrow but I want to buy the house nonetheless and here I am and I’m going to just go ahead and still do it. So I think all of those things combined and I just I mean legitimately was willing to walk away. I wasn’t willing to sell it for less. Because I feel like the number that we picked in my mind was the least I was willing to sell the business for. I was willing—we had talked about willing to—because we had already started separating our companies and making things better that if we waited another year we would have gotten more money for it. But at the same time, I also had set my mind to sell it. So I mean there was a bunch of things going on there but luckily all kind of worked out in the end.
Joe: Yeah, you were emotionally ready to sell. There’s no question about it. I talked to you three times about waiting; separate them all out, wait another year or so, and you definitely were ready.
Mike: It wasn’t about the money. I mean it was just a lifestyle adjustment and realizing we had too much going on and leaving some money on the table for this transaction to almost certainly put us in a better situation moving forward. So all and I think we’re going to do much better by selling one of these businesses.
Joe: Yeah, and you’re going to be able to narrow your focus with the sale. So with regards to Centurica; for those that are considering using them or are fearful that you’re under LOI and your buyer is hiring Centurica. I’ve never had a deal go sideways with Centurica. What they do is they find out like Mike said what the issues are with the business and really what it is, it’s a little scary but for the buyer of the business it’s really things that can be fixed and it’s a path towards future growth and making the business stronger. So I like it when somebody else steps in on a buyer’s behalf and really digs into those numbers. It helps the process and instills confidence in everybody that it is a good investment and that nothing’s going to come back to you Mike in this situation after the sale if you closed and the buyer found something after the fact. It’s better that they find it during due diligence like we did here.
Mike: I think the only reason you really need to be fearful is if you are hiding something and you know it. And these guys will find it. I promise you—I mean they’re incredible. And if I ever go buy a business I will absolutely hire them. They are incredible. I almost want to hire them just to tell them to come do an audit on our existing businesses to make sure we’d get things fixed before we go sell it—another piece of it a year or two from now. They’re really good.
Joe: It’s not a crazy idea preparing in advance for the sale of a business 12 to 18 months out. You know now that that is critical. We’ve talked about it recently. You got a good value for Color It but I think realistically if the brands had all been separated out and you had clean tax returns, a staff that was delegated just towards Color It, it’s possible you would have gotten a higher multiple. And with your January, February growth numbers and December was just killer, there’s no doubt that the buyer of your business is really excited and didn’t even think about making an adjustment because some of the numbers were off by a little bit. Because the numbers were so high for January and February he knew that he was getting a great business. And he told me personally that he thought that this one is probably the best of the three Amazon FBA businesses that he’s bought for me in the last eight months. So we got through due diligence, it was a little painful, a little tough. Centurica helped. We had some trust built early on so we didn’t make any adjustments and mostly because of that trust and because of you keeping your foot on the gas in terms of the numbers and the growth of the business. The worst thing you can do folks is once you’re under LOI have a bad month or two during due diligence. It scares the buyer. They’re making a lifetime investment putting their life savings on the line and they want to see positive numbers, not negative numbers. So we got through it and the next phase sort of when we got most of the way through it was to end up drafting, editing, and signing a 30 to 45 page asset purchase agreement. And that can be kind of scary and overwhelming in itself but the situation was pretty smooth, don’t you think Mike?
Mike: Yeah. I mean it was incredible. I expected it to go one way. This is actually funny, I expected due diligence to go one way and it kind of went a different way because I was building to Centurica when I had did the kickoff call that this will be the most accurate—I forgot exactly how I said but I really hear myself on that [inaudible 00:15:57.3] accurate company that have ever gone through diligence with you, you’re not going to find anything off here by a penny. He was like yeah we’ll see about that. That went one way and then the legal actions in my career and the ones where the other party drops the agreements are usually just an awful experience of their lawyer is dropping the agreement on behalf of their clients and all the things that they would want in a perfect world for their client with complete disregard to what the other party would want to see in that agreement knowing exactly what they want. They already know what the 3rd party is going to want but they don’t care about that. They hope that of a hundred things that are in there you only asked to change 50 or something and the other 50 stays in the other party’s best interest. So what I got was an agreement and—so I’m not a lawyer and I’ve been through these a million times and I don’t really get emotional about this. I just send it immediately off to my attorney I was like let me know and I was expecting pages of stuff that were going to be really difficult to go back and forth on. And I really hate this part of the negotiation process because you’ve already signed a deal and now you’re negotiating over a bunch of other points that you weren’t expecting to have to fight over and there was none of that. Like she just like make sure you fill in the blank for this number and they haven’t created this LLC that they’re talking about in the agreement and make sure that that’s done so it’s actually a legal entity before you sign. I mean there was little pebbly stuff like that, there was a couple of small things that had some substance but it made me so happy not to have to go through a tough process. It kept our legal fees down only spending 2,500 bucks reviewing and editing the APA which I was expecting 10 or 20k just from previous experience of having to go back and forth. And it was such a great experience. I actually emailed the buyer afterwards and I was like dude I just want to let you know that I really appreciate this because somebody along the way from your team said do not send an agreement off to Jackness and Terran that’s just lopsided. Like, make this a middle of the road agreement from day one. Like that was clearly someone communicated that because otherwise, I think it would have been the other way.
Joe: Yeah. This is the 4th transaction I’ve done with Matt and his attorneys; the 1st one years ago and the last three within the last eight months. And every one of those contracts had been fair and balanced and turned around very quickly. And we actually have an attorney referral list now where we just want people to have good attorneys because we’ve had situations where people have awful attorneys. So we started gathering a list and we put this firm Jones and [inaudible 00:18:35.7]. if anybody is working on an asset purchase agreement and doing it directly with another buyer or seller and you want a referral to an attorney, shoot me an email at [email protected] and I’ll be happy to send it off to you; I’m happy to do that. So that’s good, we got through that APA and we actually signed it. It’s interesting because we signed it on the 14th of March and normally when we sign it money goes into Escrow and then we’re right off to closing. But in this case, we waited almost another three weeks. So it could have been even longer.
Mike: It did [inaudible 00:19:16.7] Escrow. You might not recall but there was like a $25,000 deposit.
Joe: Yeah because of the request—actually it was necessary because you moving things out of the seller account. It was a nonrefundable $25,000 earnest money that was put in Escrow after signing the asset purchase agreement. I think it was nonrefundable. But that went to the attorney Escrow agreement and then the balance was sent in just prior to closing. It all worked out very well. We ended up closing on March 5th. But prior to that, we had to have some calls and some meetings and doing some planning but there were times when you were a little nervous because there wasn’t a whole lot of planning and a whole lot of conversations going on.
Mike: Yeah, and it was from my point of view like I wasn’t worried about me because like I knew the money was going to be there. But I’m the kind of guy as you know that I’m looking out for the other guy. They just spent a lot of money, I want to make sure it’s a good experience for them. And I was just like guys you’re buying this business in a couple of days and we haven’t talked about changing passwords and billing and things are going to just start breaking if you aren’t paying attention to them and the team needs kind of a handoff to know exactly where to look for things etcetera. So it was a little bit weird to me that it didn’t seem to be—like they were the kind of guys like everything was like T’s crossed I’s dotted, really highly motivated and passionate about everything that they’re doing but that didn’t seem to be as big of a concern. And I think we were talking a little bit—I think it was a combination of they just purchased another business like right before that.
Mike: I was also coming to visit them for two days like a couple of days after closing to be with them two, four days in person which I think probably they were just mostly waiting for that to happen. And I think the last part is that they just basically trusted me by that point that I was a good guy and wasn’t going to rake them over the coals. But there were definitely some moments where I just like I—if I wanted to like really screw these guys [inaudible 00:21:09.4] kind of I was like thinking that and more just from the perspective of I think they probably should just be more careful because not everyone is a good person and I’ve seen scribbly stuff happen.
Joe: And remember you didn’t read every line of the purchase agreement. I’m sure whatever the potential screwing was or could have been was covered there.
Mike: There’s probably, I did not read the agreement. My lawyer read it but yeah I’m sure there was some legal stuff on there that had I screwed them—I mean again that wasn’t even like—I was [inaudible 00:21:39.9] that I was just more—I’m worried for them.
Mike: The biggest was that if a wire did come in and we still had that lump in the Amazon accounts and—who knows someone could just like catch a fly out of the country and really see it later and it was a little bit scary for me on their behalf. I just worry about stuff like that.
Joe: Yeah. Well, I think that the last minute stuff was due to they had just closed one so they were busy with that and they also knew what was coming. And they are so busy they have so little capacity for anything about what’s in front of them that they were like we’ll get to that when it’s necessary and it’s necessary just after closing; after the money is wired. The other thing you mention was that you went to meet with them in person. You happened to be going on a road trip and going to be in their neighborhood just after closing. So that worked out perfectly.
Joe: I always recommend to people, to buyers in particular regardless of the size of the transaction that if you can; if there’s any possible way, you get in a car, you get on a plane and you go visit your seller during due diligence. Once you’re under a letter of intent get in front of them; have lunch with them, have dinner, get a tour. You don’t want to let the staff know that the business is forsold, the large part until the APA is signed. But you could go in as a consultant or at the very least meet them so that you can gain that level of trust because it makes a huge difference. The worst situation I’ve ever had—I actually had a guy from San Diego where you’re from. Early on when I 1st started back in 2012, he bought a business from me that was $35,000 and there was about $40,000 worth of inventory. He flew from San Diego in January to Minnesota and he didn’t have a winter coat and I was trying to talk to him because I grew up in Min and I’m like you really—you don’t know what 10 degrees is and with the wind chill factor of 20 below but it worked out. And he said to me later, he said look if I hadn’t met them in person and learned everything I learned in due diligence I would have walked away because due diligence was tough when you’ve got a business that’s $35,000 and there’s $40,000 worth of inventory. But he met them in person and that made a difference. He still owns it today. I saw him at the Prosper Show a few years ago. So definitely in person meetings are really, really important. So let’s talk now about those two days; in most transactions, there’s a transition period, a training period that is part of the purchase price. The standard asset purchase agreement says up to 40 hours over the 1st 90 days after closing. I don’t think you’re going to use 40 hours or they’re going to use 40 hours from you but you put in a couple of very long days right after closing, right?
Mike: Yeah. I mean I don’t know that it was required and I committed to be there whatever but I’m again that type of guy and I want to see them have success with this business; bottom line. And part of it is just treating others like I like to be treated. And I have been in transactions before when I bought Ice Wraps on the wire hit the guy ghosted me. It was like I literally never heard from him again.
Joe: That’s why we do hold backs people.
Mike: Yeah but I mean it was a $50,000 purchase. It was actually the exact same situation as going—I went to Michigan, it was also in January. I also didn’t have a winter coat. And I was also [inaudible 00:25:13.8] I thought you’re talking about me for a second. But the employees did help me with the transition. The owner just was gone. And there were a couple of things that I could have used his help on that would have just taken him 30 seconds to answer. So again I just would never want to be that guy. And there is a lot—I mean a lot of things are going on in our business that I probably needed to hand off you realize it is all complicated; they are but it seems so easy to you because you learned them one day at a time. And when you’re trying to take five years of something that you learned one day at a time that for me they’re like sending orders into Amazon or you have something come from our 3PL or coming from China go to a 3PL and go to Amazon or deal with the customer service issue or do Facebook Ads, I mean all the different pieces of the business it all just seems so 2nd nature to me. It’s no different than breathing. But when you try to start explaining to somebody you realize like just how much there is. And so I actually made a list of like 40 items as I just started thinking of them over and above what they were asking for or things that I thought that I needed to explain to them. And I just I wanted to feel like when I left there that I felt good about myself that they had everything from me to make sure that they were going to be successful. Now what they do with things from here on out isn’t really—I look at that and that’s not my problem. I mean I’ve done everything I can it’s up to them now if they want to end to the ground there’s nothing I can really do about that. I’d rather that they’ll make a billion dollars with it. I’d be much happier with that result but I want to tell they felt good about me. Like I gave them every tool possible to be successful and I’m still there for them. They still have been in contact with me but they’ve been really good about it and respectful. And I’ve been spending 10 to 15 minutes a day maybe since I left there helping them which I think is completely reasonable. And I see the light at the end of the tunnel in that within two to three weeks I’ll probably never hear from them again other than to say hi and maybe have a drink some day because they’re really awesome guys. I really like them and I’d love to hang out with them just on a personal level next time we’re in the same city. But they’re obviously not going to take advantage. That’s when I would get upset is like if the other parties are taking advantage and like asking you to continue to do stuff and spend eight hours a day helping them and just taking advantage. And they’re not doing that and again I just want to make sure that I do the best that I could and I can feel good about myself with the hand off. And that’s kind of how things transpired.
Joe: Yeah. And that’s why as far as the taking advantage that’s why it’s called transition and training. It’s not operating the business.
Joe: So we’ve always got a certain period up to and over, the reality is that even after three months they may send you a note, a Skype message, a text, an email with a quick question that you’re going to respond to. It happens. There’s just no way that you can pack everything that’s in your head inside of a two day training period. Because they’re going to come up against something that may not happen for four months and it’s new to them and it wasn’t covered in training. It’s just the nature of all of the pieces and parts. But at the same time, it’s not overly complicated. These businesses are fairly easy to transfer and the training is fairly easy. It’s just running on its own now and it’s the key thing that I always tell people is especially people that are leaving the corporate world and are used to working 60 hours a week and they take over a business like yours that might take 15 hours a week on a high side that just put in 30 but 15 working in 15 observing and training and don’t fix anything that’s not broken. I see that happen too often. People come from the corporate world and they’re just fixers; they want to fix things even if it’s not broken so they do break it. So that’s the big piece that I try to have them not do which is really important. Okay, so we’re doing a video here. Most people listen to audio but you’ve got the EcomCrew shirt on so I want to talk about that a little bit. I want to know; we’ve closed, the money is in the bank, you’ve dropped one of four brands so you’ve got a little bit more free time. Not a lot, I know you’re crazy busy but what’s next for Mike Jackness?
Mike: Well immediately following as just I have the EcomCrew shirt on is because we’re doing an EcomCrew webinar right after this. That’s what’s immediately next but I think you’re talking bigger picture. I’m trying to get—I have some life goals, I do a podcast every year about yearly goals and a couple of big themes are less is more. I think that would be just trying to do too much. We’ve been successful in spite of ourselves, in spite of running at full scene. I’m concerned about burning out because I’ve been there before and I can kind of feel that coming to [inaudible 00:30:01.6]. So before running off the rails and feeling like I’m completely burned out, I wanted to make some changes. And one of those things was selling one of those businesses to make sure that the burnout thing doesn’t happen. And overall like the thing that I really enjoy doing is the teaching and education part with EcomCrew. It’s just been awesome. I talk about how I feel like I have enough in life. I mean it’s always nice to make more money. I’m not going to be one of those guys that’s like I’m not going to take any money when I have enough to make money but there’s different ways to make money. And one of the things that have been really cool is just to help others while doing that. It might be a situation where I might make 10,000 instead of $20,000 but somebody else might make $100,000 so it’s like a net win for the role and it’s still good for me and it’s still in an environment where I get way more enjoyment out of it and it’s a lot better than coming to the office every day and just kind of grinding which is not really for me. That was the reason why I left my day job in 2004. So those are kind of some big picture things that we’re working on. I also want to get into an e-commerce business I have just a personal interest in. I think that that’s really important after just being in e-commerce and business stuff over a long period of time. The things that you are personally interested and passionate about are just way easier. And Color It was an amazing business, amazing brand for a whole bunch of reasons that we don’t time to get into here but it’s just not something that I’m personally into. And the same thing with Ice Wraps and Tech Miner and Water Baby, those are just things that they make money. I’m an entrepreneur at heart, I think a really good business person at heart like I am very strappy. I will figure out a way to make money doing just about anything but it’s not just about that. It’s doing something that I actually have an interest in and enjoy which I think will be a lot better. So those are some big picture things for me.
Joe: But I think a lot of that estranged and left comes with age and experience; hustled in the past and you did what you had to do and you got ahead and you’re giving back. For those that have not listened to EcomCrew, the podcast, I highly advise it. We talk about it often here on the podcast for people that have just purchased businesses or even those that have them and are trying to expand their channels either to Amazon or email marketing or anything like that. You got to tune in and listen to Mike and Dave on EcomCrew. They’ve got a great series, Under the Hood, we’re going to try to do something like that on valuations here at Quiet Light someday but Mike is one of those guys that has been there, done it, and now he’s helping. He’s not teaching because he had nothing else to do. He’s teaching because he’s been very, very successful in sharing his experience with others. So I appreciate that. Mike, any last thoughts, any last words in terms of what you’d say to people that are thinking about selling in the future and how to prepare?
Mike: Specifically, on thinking about selling and how to prepare, the 1st thing I would say is that everything comes to an end at some point. So even if you’re like I’m never going to sell my business that’s complete B.S. because everything comes to an end. And what I’ve learned in life, entrepreneurial life is a lot of times it sneaks up on you. You think you’re in a good spotting and you’re happy with what you’re doing but there’s a lot of things that happen in business that are irritating and wear on you. And eventually one day you might just throw your hands up and you’ll be like I’ve had enough of this. And if you’re in a better spot to sell and you’re prepared to sell all along the way that can happen a lot easier and smoother than if you haven’t prepared. And you’ll also get way more money for your business if you have prepared. So it’s something that you should be thinking about at all times. It will probably make you a better business person and make your existing business better anyway because if you’re always thinking about it from the perception of I might need to sell this business any time it will force you to have better procedures in place. It will force you to be looking at your accounting every month and scrutinizing all your expenses. Making sure that your net profit is always as high as possible. There’s a lot of [inaudible 00:34:09.9] benefits having that thought process. And even if you “never do sell” it will probably put you in a better position no matter what. So if there are things that I wish I’d—if I could go—if you try and go back and change things and I was thinking a lot about this; our plan was to sell the whole thing as like a big conglomerate originally. But things changed and so I wasn’t—I had been marching towards to sell everything as a conglomerate goal, everything was together and I thought one day e when I was done with e-commerce I would just be done with e-commerce. But that’s not how it worked out. What ended up happening was we got too big for what I was comfortable with in terms of risk to reward and I want to take some money off the table and I still immensely love e-commerce and I want to be involved in e-commerce. So I could have better prepared ourselves for that by having multiple LLC’s for each brand that maybe one LLC owned each one of those and it still would have been that conglomerate thing and structured in a better way. You can’t foresee the future all the time but you can definitely plan—put yourself in a better position when the unexpected comes.
Joe: I don’t know if I could have said it any better than that so we’re just going to wrap this up, Mike.
Mike: [inaudible 00:35:20.4]
Joe: It’s about a complete pleasure working with you. I’m glad to have been your broker in helping you achieve these goals and maybe another year or two we’ll do it with the next one.
Mike: I’m looking forward to it.
Joe: Alright, thanks, Mike.
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