ABOUT ME

 

My main focus in life is helping private business owners create extraordinary value with their businesses and lives. I help create great outcomes using life experiences I’ve had during my almost forty years of running and being around my favorite people, private business owners. I’m a student, an entrepreneur and a curious observer of life.

What’s required for your success?

I’ve learned that creating the outcomes you want requires that I listen and ask great questions.  My job is to help you identify and attain what you want, why it's important, who needs to help and how you're going to reach your desired outcome.

You’ll need to be curious and willing to do a little work.  I know how hard it is to make changes in what you’re doing now.  I know how hard it is to learn to delegate and let others make mistakes.  I want to help you learn how to do these things.  It’s one of the two that will make your business really successful and even be able to be sold someday.

Why would you want to listen to me?

My specialty is working with owners of private businesses. It’s where I have the most interest and can add the most value. If you own a business and are interested in a coaching relationship as well as mentoring, I’m your guy.

If you’re an advisor to private businesses I’ve been doing this for twenty years with the advantage of having been a consumer of advisory services for twenty years before switching sides of the table.  (In case you’ve been adding this up it means I’ve been obsessed with businesses for 40 years.)

I’ve owned a vending and food service company where I built the company from 1.5 employees to 90 employees before successfully selling the business.  Along the way I made about a zillion mistakes that you can learn from and hopefully not make the same ones I made.

Time for me to brag a bit

I’m a Certified Financial Planner®, a Certified Financial Transitionist®, a Chartered Financial Consultant®, a Chartered Life Underwriter®, a serial entrepreneur, a writer, reader and thinker.  I’m a contributor to The New York Times’  You're the Boss blog as well as the author of our Stage 2 blog, Creating Value.  I’ve written for American Express Open as well as Inc.com and the Huffington Post.  I now have a beat with Forbes.com where I write about succession issues for private business owners.

I have a podcast called “The Sustainable Business” where we talk with thought leaders who will help you think about your business or your clients’ business twenty, thirty or more years into the future.

I’ve run an operating company (noted above) for over twenty years, grown up in a family business, sold the family business and successfully transitioned into several new businesses.  (I’m kind of tired of using the word I.)

I started reading a book a week in college and have continued doing so since 1972!  In case you’re wondering that’s a lot of books and a lot of theory to think about.

What I’ve learned from all of this.

Too often we in the advice business make things way to complicated for you.  Instead of complicating issues, my job today is to simplify.  If I can’t put the issues you face in your business and practice in simple terms you can implement, you’re not going to do so.

I know this because I’ve been in your place.  I trusted people and ideas I didn’t understand.  Every single time I’ve trusted without understanding I’ve been burned.  I don’t want that to happen to you.  Instead, I want you to truly understand what’s important for you, why it’s important and how any idea we talk about fits into your life.

The truth is, it’s all about you - not me.

Whether we work on creating value for your business, help you find a path to financial independence, solve a business succession issue or get the right customer and employees, I’ve been there and done that.

Sometimes I’ve been told I’m a curmudgeon

What that really means is that I’m a straight shooter.  I’m going to tell you exactly what I’m thinking and sometimes I don’t do it as diplomatically as I should.

The fact is I’m passionate about having my clients get great outcomes. Together we’re going to dig deep to understand the why in your life. I’ll be able to help you tie your why to the actions we decide to take.

Too often people who provide advice do it from their worldview.  I’m going to give advice from yours and I’m going to force you to own your views.  That means from time to time you might find me blunt, even to the point of annoyance.  It’s not how you’re usually going to experience me, but I want you to know that I’m very serious about helping you get a great outcome…..and being blunt is part of the deal.

Do you have a life outside of work?

Some people would say no.  But, I usually ski 25 to 30 days a year, ride my bike for over 1,500 miles and see 15 to 20 live concerts a year.

A little known fact is I’ve seen about 90 Grateful Dead concerts and I still am a believer that there is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert. I’m fair game for all that think I’m wrong in most things…..I’m just not about there being nothing like a Grateful Dead show.

I’m really lucky to have a great family with both of my children well on their way towards having a successful life.  My wife is my best friend.

Our family is a close one.  My children have been brought up with a strong sense of integrity, personal responsibility and a great work ethic.  I like to believe they got this from watching Suzanne and I as they grew up.

I want to be your thinking partner

I think a great advisory relationship is all about creating a partnership with my clients. I’m a member of your team. I help you figure out what you need and then stick around to make sure your goals become reality. Over the past 35 years I’ve worked with and coached hundreds of businesses.

Success for me comes from the combination of learning and doing. Learning provides best practices and doing provides knowledge on what works in the world of private businesses.

Let’s have some fun together. Let’s find some really interesting ways to make your business and life better. We’ll both be better for it.

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