LIFE AFTER BUSINESS [Podcast]

Hey! My name is Ryan Tansom and I sold a family business with my Dad, Corey, in 2014 and I’m on a mission to learn everything I wish I would’ve known before we sold.

If I would’ve known then what I know now, we could have and extra $1.6 Million in our pockets and controlled the whole exit process!

I interview entrepreneurs who have sold a business, authors, advisors, and thought leaders, any anyone I think can shed light into areas like:

  • How your life goals and visions impact your options/exit plan
  • How to value a company and maximize net proceeds
  • How to increase the value of your company
  • What exit options are out there and how they work
  • What kind of team of advisors you should have and how they get paid

Listen on:   iTunes   |   Stitcher

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Blockchain Technology, Cryptocurrency and the Future of Your Business – Interview with Brad Yasar

Blockchain Technology, Cryptocurrency and the Future of Your Business – Interview with Brad Yasar

Today we’re talking to Brad Yasar, who has had multiple exits already. He is trying to change the way our world works as an investor and a thought-leader in blockchain technology. He’s learned a lot from selling his businesses, and we’re going to talk about his exits, tax planning, and blockchain technology, which will revolutionize how we do business.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Some of Brad’s background, how he became an entrepreneur and where he started as a young child.
  • What ideas and experiences Brad had that triggered him to sell his companies as well as some of the takeaways he had.
  • Why tax planning is so important and how Brad went about establishing his preferred tax structure.
  • Some of Brad’s insights on balancing passion with planning for the end.
  • Thoughts on going from a service business to a technology company.
  • Information about what blockchain technology is, how it works, and how it’s relevant to business today.
  • The differences between an authoritative system and a decentralized system and how commerce is affected.
  • The types of businesses that are likely to be affected positively and negatively in the future thanks to blockchain technology.

read more…

Inside the Mind of an Entrepreneur – Interview with Dr. Sherry Walling

Inside the Mind of an Entrepreneur – Interview with Dr. Sherry Walling

Today we’ll be talking to Dr. Sherry Walling. A clinical psychologist, Sherry has a ridiculous amount of education and is incredibly smart. She has some great insights into us as entrepreneurs and how we operate and balance our businesses and families. Today we’re going to talk about her education and her work with entrepreneurs and startups. She’ll share some insights on what makes us tick and how we can look at ourselves differently. We’ll also talk about questions to ask yourself before a transition and how we can balance the way we interact with our businesses and how we interact with our kids.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Information about Sherry’s education and how she translates this into working with entrepreneurs, which is a world with few guidelines.
  • Some of the problems that Sherry sees with entrepreneurs and entrepreneurism and how she addresses these issues.
  • The four main values that entrepreneurs use to decide how to spend their time and what to focus on, as well as some of the liabilities of those values.
  • How entrepreneurs really feel about their businesses.
  • Tips on how to diversify your passions and not focus too much on your business to the detriment of other things in your life.
  • Ways to keep in touch with yourself through deep breathing, journaling, and self-assessment.
  • Thoughts on planning for bad things that might happen.
  • How opening a second or subsequent business changes an entrepreneur’s mindset.
  • Some of the topics that Sherry and her husband talk about on their podcast.

read more…

7 Exits in the Pursuit of Passion – Interview with Travis Steffen

7 Exits in the Pursuit of Passion – Interview with Travis Steffen

Today we’re talking to Travis Steffen. Travis has exited seven companies so far, and he’s going to share what he’s learned along the way, including lessons learned from a botched exit. He will help us understand what builds a successful business. We will also touch upon following our passions and how to find happiness as an entrepreneur when you’re always chasing the next best thing. He’s got some great tips, so you won’t want to miss it!

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The first time Travis decided to become an entrepreneur and how he funded his first company.
  • The types of businesses that Travis has run and how he got into them.
  • Travis’s mindset as he gets into his businesses: What is he trying to accomplish? Does he keep the end in mind? Travis discusses how he used opportunities as stepping stones.
  • One particular example of the sale of a company that Travis wishes he’d handled differently, including what he’d do now that would significantly increase the value of the business when it came time to sell.
  • Travis’s thoughts on how people can switch industries based on his experience.
  • How people can free themselves from what they’ve built: Travis recommends steps to follow.
  • How Travis’s different exits have changed his mindset on what constitutes a successful finish.
  • Travis’s definition of meaningful work and happiness as well as where he finds his fulfillment.
  • Travis’s best advice for the exit journey, before and after.

read more…

What is Your Unfair Advantage? – Interview with Erik Huberman

What is Your Unfair Advantage? – Interview with Erik Huberman

Today we are going to be talking to Erik Huberman. Erik found that discovering a company’s unfair advantage and exploiting it through digital marketing and sustainable business processes can take a company and its profits to new heights.

Erik is the current owner of Hawke Media, has sold multiple companies and is on the Forbes 30 Under 30. He started Hawke Media three years ago with just seven employees and he has scaled it to 150 employees today. He’s also a cofounder of Arrowroot Capital. Today, we’re going to talk about how to build a sustainable business that is profitable and that gives you the option to sell whenever you want. Erik will explain the three pillars of marketing and how to make good decisions.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • How Erik grew up with the entrepreneurial mindset, as well as how he went from small opportunities to a full-fledged business.
  • Some of the things Erik has done to accelerate the growth of Hawke Media.
  • Some of the things Erik did that ended up paying off when it came time to exit despite not building with the intent of selling.
  • How he ended up selling his first business.
  • How Erik’s mindset has changed when it comes to valuing companies.
  • The dynamics Erik uses when setting up deal structures for either investing or selling.
  • The types of industries and unfair advantages that Erik looks for when determining whether or not to take a risk.
  • Some things that Erik has seen work and not work when it comes to raising funds.
  • The three marketing pillars that Erik focuses on: Nurturing, awareness, and trust. He also talks about what most people are missing the most when it comes to these pillars.
  • Erik’s top tip on hiring people.
  • Erik’s definition of a sustainable business.

read more…

How to Build a Board of Directors – Interview with Jim Zuehlke

How to Build a Board of Directors – Interview with Jim Zuehlke

Today we are talking to Jim Zuehlke, who will be speaking about a board of directors: why they’re important, how to build one, how to compensate them, and how to upgrade the talent of your current board of directors. Jim has tons of experience as a builder of a boards of directors. Although many perceive a board of directors or board of advisors to be solely for extremely profitable companies, the truth is that any company can benefit. Today’s episode is a must-listen for anyone who wants to take their company to the next level.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Jim’s background and how he got into his business, as well as how he got into building and developing boards of directors.
  • What Jim asked candidates for boards of directors and what many of them have in common.
  • The difference between a board of directors and a board of advisors and why the former is important.
  • Where to start in forming a board. Jim lays out the steps to follow as well as some of the common mistakes companies make.
  • Your obligation in compensating your board of directors.
  • The factors that make a successful operating board and why it’s helpful to compare it to marriage, as well as balancing out the skillsets of the people involved.
  • How to know that you’re not where you should be with your board of directors as well as tips on how to make changes.
  • Jim’s recruitment process for someone who doesn’t have a board already.
  • The typical set of subject pillars that Jim uses as he blends groups of people together, as well as Jim’s thoughts on diversity on boards and how that will change in the next decade or so.

read more…

Predicting the Future Value of Your Company – Interview with Ken Sanginario

Predicting the Future Value of Your Company – Interview with Ken Sanginario

Today on the Life After Business podcast, we’re going to be talking to Ken Sanginario. Ken is the founder of the Corporate Value Metrics and the creator of the Value Opportunity Profile and the Certified Value Growth Advisor. He’s got a lot of experience and he has developed a system that shows business-owners how to develop and implement a strategic plan. He’s going to give us some background on the work he’s done and some tips on how to fund your growth through your process. Sit back and relax; you won’t want to miss this episode!

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Some of the milestones that got Ken to where he is today.
  • The first thing Ken would do when getting into a turnaround in order to keep the company running.
  • The importance of having a cash flow statement.
  • The main things Ken looks at to determine the value of a particular company, as well as how its value would relate to transferability.
  • How Ken would advise a business-owner who is in the middle of a crisis.
  • Some of the categories that Ken keeps in mind when figuring out a business’s valuation.
  • Some specific challenges that Ken has helped companies overcome.
  • Why it’s so hard for consultants to get business-owners to change.
  • Why having a process you can measure is essential.

read more…

Buying and Selling a Business the Right Way – Interview with Jim Sulciner

Buying and Selling a Business the Right Way – Interview with Jim Sulciner

Today we are talking to Jim Sulciner. Jim bought his business, RTD, a decade after becoming an engineer and after having a career in marketing. He experienced double-digit growth for over 12 years before selling to a very large company. He sold for a multiple of EBITA that is nearly unheard of and gave himself some great options. He’s going to talk to us about all of his business milestones.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • How Jim started his career and what caused him to take the leap into entrepreneurship.
  • How Jim managed to purchase RTD after only having purchased a home – how he structured the deal and what the transition looked like.
  • Jim’s thoughts on the difference between a founder and an entrepreneur and how he strove to have an entrepreneurial strategy when it came to growth.
  • What Jim’s goals were and how he measured his benchmarks when it came to reaching those goals.
  • Details on how they balanced cash and handled employees.
  • Where Jim got the ideas for his excellent practices that ultimately allowed him to sell for so much.
  • What triggered Jim to want to sell.
  • How Jim managed two offers, how the would-be buyers valued the company, and how he ended up structuring the eventual deal.
  • How Jim transformed his life after his exit.

read more…

Tax Advantages of an ESOP Exit Strategy – Interview with Daniel Zugell

Tax Advantages of an ESOP Exit Strategy – Interview with Daniel Zugell

Today’s guest is Dan Zugell. Dan is the ESOP guy. Dan works for Business Transition Advisors and has been doing ESOPs for 19 years. The reason I wanted to have Dan on the show is because there are a lot of different messages about ESOPs out there. I wanted to get the full ESOP 101. Dan explains law changes, previous failures, how to value the business, payouts, finance structure and more. He totally demystifies the process including what life is like before and after ESOPs.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Dan shares how he got involved working with ESOPs by accident. He was helping a business owner exit and discovered that ESOPs were a great way to exit. He ended up starting and running the ESOP department at MetLife.
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan is a qualified retirement plan. The primary investment is the stock of the company. There are a lot of tax benefits for everyone involved. Employees get shares with no out of pocket costs.
  • Good candidates for ESOPs need a company worth 5 million or more with 20 or more employees and about a million in payroll.
  • They are also an excellent vehicle for passing a business from one generation to another.
  • Dan shares concerns that may rise when looking into ESOPs, and how they are an internal sale with no outside buyer or influence.
  • Tax advantages include deferred capital gains tax, the company gets to write off the sale over a period of years, the company becomes an S Corporation and the profits aren’t taxed by federal or state bodies, and estate planning advantages.
  • The ESOP borrows money from a bank and buys the company stock. The company uses the tax savings to make ESOP contributions that pay off the loan.
  • Dan’s company takes the ESOPs to the banks. Financing is a combination of a bank loan and the seller taking back a portion of the note at market rate interest.
  • What life is like before and after an ESOP. The company owner can still sit on the board and run the company after establishing the ESOP. They even get board fees, salaries, and perks, but they can’t take money out of the company for personal use.  
  • How to pick a trustee and how they ask for the financials.  
  • The importance of preparing for liability and paying employees when they retire by making sure the company knows their numbers and plans properly.
  • Share allocation. The shares are given out over time. An example would be 5 shares a year over 30 years.

read more…

Choosing IPO as an Exit Strategy – Interview with Cathy Demers

Choosing IPO as an Exit Strategy – Interview with Cathy Demers

Today’s guest is Cathy Demers. Cathy started her career at IBM and Microsoft before developing a startup with her business partner. With a $10,000 investment, they built up their business and eventually went public for $20 million. Today she’s going to share with us the challenges she encountered along the way.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • All about the day that Cathy decided to become an entrepreneur, what her business idea was, and how she and her business partner went about gathering up the money needed for them to get started.
  • How Cathy got into using recurring software before it was popular.
  • Why the partnership needed investors and what type they were looking for, as well as why they chose the angel investor that they did.
  • Cathy’s thoughts about the negotiation process.
  • How the growth process went once the company went public, as well as some of the stressors that Cathy didn’t anticipate.
  • Some of the key things that had to be done to prepare for the IPO.
  • What the process was like, Cathy’s emotions, and how her day-to-day role changed.
  • The decision to exit: how Cathy and her partner knew it was the right move.
  • What Cathy did after she exited the company.

read more…

Exit to Find Passion Again – Interview with Troy Schuette

Exit to Find Passion Again – Interview with Troy Schuette

Exiting your business with zero regrets is a goal that many of us have. Today’s guest, Troy Schuette, owned a waste disposal business for 23 years. He made his decisions carefully so he knew he’d be able to exit happily without wishing he’d done things differently. He’s going to talk to us today about the process he went through, from creating his valuations to choosing his buyers to finally signing his closing documents. You won’t want to miss Troy’s story!

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • How and why Troy decided to become an entrepreneur.
  • Where Troy got his passion: Garbage, recycling, and scrap were not actually his passion, but they were the vehicle for his passion.
  • Some of the pitfalls of growing too quickly, as well as what finally clued Troy in that he had lost his passion.
  • How Troy, with the help of his father, decided to sell and how he determined the value.
  • The mental process that Troy went through to choose a buyer.
  • Some of the lifestyle changes that went along with exiting the business.
  • The emotions that Troy went through on the closing date.
  • How Troy told his employees about the sale of the company.
  • What Troy did to let his brain rest after he exited his company.

read more…

‘The SBA Guy’ Talks Business Financing – Interview with John Thwing

‘The SBA Guy’ Talks Business Financing – Interview with John Thwing

Financing is an important aspect when buying or selling a business. The SBA can play a huge role in this process. An important step in the process is knowing where you are trying to go before knowing what tools you will need to use. When structuring a deal the fundamentals come first before the deal structure.

Today we’ll be talking to John Thwing who is known as The SBA Guy. John has closed over 400 SBA financed transactions and is currently at Anchor Bank. Today, John shares a ton of insights about SBA structure, the loans, how they work, and the role the lender plays in relationship to the buyer, seller, and broker. He also provides great insights on all the deals that he has done, and what constitutes a qualified buyer for going into a business and how a seller can use the SBA to exit their business.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • John shares how he started at his first bank in the mail department and ended up becoming The SBA Guy today.
  • How the role of the SBA is to guarantee loans for financial institutions.
  • Deal structures and restrictions with SBA financing.
  • How the SBA tool may not be a good fit and how John helps sellers and agents recognize that.
  • How cash flow is the driver of value, and banks want loans that will be repaid.
  • Due diligence, determining value and prequalifying for financing.
  • How SBA lenders validate 3 years of tax records for ecommerce businesses.
  • Marketplaces for matching buyers and sellers.
  • How hiring an appraiser is not always the best first step.
  • Change of ownership is not part of the SBA loan structure.
  • Qualifying buyers and looking at liquidity, transferable skills, background, and expenses.
  • Discuss financial fundamentals and listen to the market and your advisors.

read more…

Find Your Purpose in Business and Life – Interview with Kevin McCarthy

Find Your Purpose in Business and Life – Interview with Kevin McCarthy

The valuation of your life work and business is a direct reflection of the leadership remaining in place after you exit. What does it mean to build a company of leaders? How do you do that? What does it mean to be increasing wealth so everyone profits?

Today we’ll be talking to Kevin McCarthy, the Chief Leadership Officer of On-Purpose Partners, a deep strategy and planning business advisory firm. Kevin is also the author of several books, including The On-Purpose Person and The On-Purpose Business Person. Today he’s going to talk to us about how to find your purpose and his multi-decade journey trying to reinvent how an entrepreneur can change his or her business.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Information about Kevin’s background that helped him get where he is now as the CLO of On-Purpose Partners.
  • Where entrepreneurs go off-course when it comes to identifying and sticking to their purposes.
  • What purpose means to Kevin as well as how having purpose minimizes confusion.
  • How the On-Purpose Pal can help you stay aligned with your values, as well why Kevin recommends a two-word purpose statement.
  • How to figure out your purpose without having a tragedy.
  • How an amortization chart can help you get on track with your purpose, as well as what “hellegation” means and how it might apply to you.
  • Tips on how finding your purpose relates to your exit plan.
  • An explanation of the Chief Leadership Officer title.

read more…

The Missed Exit – Interview with Tim Hall

The Missed Exit – Interview with Tim Hall

Today on the Life After Business podcast, we’re talking to Tim Hall. Tim’s story is so amazing that I just had to get him on the show. Tim was an executive at Cartoon Network and worked at Hasbro. Then Tim had the opportunity to buy the division of Intel. He was able to grow that business to 85 million dollars in revenue, but when the business climate changed and the economy went into a recession, Tim realized he’d missed his exit. Sit back and relax as you listen to what Tim would have done differently, opportunities he didn’t take, and much more.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • Tim’s career journey, full of twists and turns, beginning when he was a young teenager.
  • How Tim jumped feet-first into Intel, which is what he considers his foray into entrepreneurship.
  • How he kept the cash flowing in his early days at Intel, later called Digital Blue, when he bootstrapped through the first five years.
  • How factoring works: Tim explains recourse and nonrecourse factoring and how it differs from traditional lines of credit.
  • Tim’s top priorities when the company’s revenue quadrupled.
  • How the recession in 2007 and 2008 hurt Tim’s business, as well as what he would have done differently.

read more…

Business Family vs. Family Business – Interview with Wayne Rivers

Business Family vs. Family Business – Interview with Wayne Rivers

Wayne Rivers is the co-founder and President of The Family Business Institute, Inc. that has been around for over 28 years. He is an author of four books on family business and has been quoted in many articles for large publications like Forbes, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur, The New York Times, and Washington Post. Wayne is also a Wall Street Journal panelist, a speaker, and has appeared on the Today Show, CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC.

Needless to say, he really knows his stuff! In his 28 years at The Family Business Institute, Wayne has worked with many families in all kinds of situations. On the podcast, he tells us stories of different encounters he has had with families over the years. His main goals are business prosperity and family harmony for all of his family business clients. The biggest question they have to answer first is, are you a business family or a family business?


In today’s episode, you will learn:

  • How to prosper in a family business and also have family harmony
  • How to avoid complacency in your business
  • The importance of reinventing your business
  • Significance of bringing in good talent
  • Bridge management techniques
  • Importance of modelling out your financials to make decisions
  • Defining roles, responsibilities, and compensation in family businesses
  • Phantom stock arrangement for non-family members
  • Key elements of a good buy-sell agreement
  • Reasons for keeping real, solid financials

read more…

I’ve Sold My Business, Now What? – Interview with Cody McLain

I’ve Sold My Business, Now What? – Interview with Cody McLain

Today’s guest’s name is Cody McLain. Cody is a serial entrepreneur. He’s in his late 20s and has already sold multiple businesses. At the age of 15, he started a web hosting company and grew it up to $600,000. Unfortunately, he partnered with an individual involved in penny stocks who defrauded Cody in his business and he lost it all.

Cody then started another venture, grew it, sold it, and had an entire period of reflection where he was trying to figure out what it means to live a life of happiness. Who did he want to be now? He was searching for his ‘why’ and went on to start multiple other ventures including his current company, SupportNinja, that has over 200 employees and $4 million in revenue.


In today’s episode, you will learn:

  • What it is like to sell a company young and not know what to do next
  • How hiring key people can free up your time and focus
  • The importance of looking outside of day-to-day business operations
  • The need for meaning, drive, and motivation as an entrepreneur
  • The journey of self-discovery and how to find your ‘why’

read more…

How to Get Your Online Business Ready for Sale – Interview with Thomas Smale

How to Get Your Online Business Ready for Sale – Interview with Thomas Smale

Today’s story is about a gentleman named Thomas Smale, Founder of FE International which is an M&A firm specializing in the sale of SaaS, e-commerce and content based businesses. Thomas started his career flipping online businesses. He would buy $50 to $100 websites, build them up, and then sell them for profit.

Thomas started realizing that there was a huge potential market for this and people started going to him and asking for advice. He built an instructional e-course and then ended up building FE International to where it is today with his business partner, Ismael Wrixen. They have done $100 million in transactions, over 500+ deals.

In today’s episode, you will learn:

  • How to grow the value of your business to get more out of your sale
  • The importance of building recurring revenue streams
  • The value of making your business attractive to a wide range of buyers
  • What your IP is worth in a sale
  • Importance of proper exit planning
  • The three key business models
  • The three categories of buyers

read more…

Selling a Law Firm for All Cash – Interview with Tom Fafinski

Selling a Law Firm for All Cash – Interview with Tom Fafinski



Could you survive for 2 years without a salary? Tom Fafinski [Entrepreneur, Attorney, Real Estate Investor, Peer Group Leader] explains how he grew a 7 figure + law firm, only to cut it back to its bones before he grew it back up again and sold for over a million dollars in all cash… up front!

Normally professional service firms get 1-2 times EARNINGS paid on an earnout but Tom had systematized his firm enough to get a stellar offer so he could become a Real Estate Investor and Co-Founder of Virtus Law with his favorite co-worker.

Tom created his dream firm after surviving a difficult sale to a second generation attorney durning the financial crisis because he made the BEST decisions, at the toughest times, and he didn’t rely 100% on the income…

“To be dependent on the business makes you a liability.” – Tom Fafinski


In today’s episode, you will learn:

  • How an attorney became an entrepreneur
  • What the sale of a law firm looks like
  • Why financial diversification from your business is important
  • What happens when you’re not passionate about your work
  • How to not become a liability to your company
  • How to deal with an income squeeze from your business

read more…

Getting Unstuck and Selling Companies – Interview with Kenyon Blunt

Getting Unstuck and Selling Companies – Interview with Kenyon Blunt



Are you feeling stuck in your business or don’t know what to do next? Kenyon Blunt, certified Gazelles coach, Value Builder, and expert in growing and selling businesses, gives his advice on what to do when you hit a wall in your business… Maybe that means you want to move on from it to the next phase of your life or maybe that just means figuring out how to take it to the next level.


In today’s episode, you will learn:

  • The difficulty of having a business partner with a different vision
  • How to get “unstuck”
  • Importance of a network or entrepreneur’s organization
  • What is a roll-up of a company
  • Importance of long range plans for your company
  • Challenges with the turnaround of a business owned by a PE firm

read more…

Divestopedia Co-founder Talks Valuations – Interview with John Carvalho

Divestopedia Co-founder Talks Valuations – Interview with John Carvalho



Do you have a realistic valuation of your company? A lot of business owners never actually know what their company is worth until they go to sell their business. It is important to know this earlier to be able to figure out what exit option makes the most sense.

John Carvalho, president and founder of the middle market M&A advisory firm, Stone Oak Capital, as well as co-founder of Divestopedia, talks about the importance of starting to plan for your exit early so you can have time to get the valuation to where it needs to be. If a change in objectives or change in business is needed, you can back into that if not selling for another few years. The more time you have, the more able you will be to achieve the goals you want when selling your company.

In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • How to structure your company sale
  • Who to find as a likely buyer
  • How to architect the financing behind the deal
  • How to reverse back into what you want out of your exit
  • Making a healthier business before sale

read more…

What is a Family Office? – Interview with Richard Wilson

What is a Family Office? – Interview with Richard Wilson



Richard Wilson creates and manages single family offices for ultra-wealthy families. He also is the founder of the Family Office Club with membership of over 1,500 families of similar net worth totaling over $1 Trillion in Assets. He started off doing risk consulting out of college and joined the angel investing and capital raising world before positioning himself as the thought leader on family offices.


If you listen, you will learn:

  • What is a family office
  • The different types of family offices
  • How to create a family office to manage your wealth and business
  • Benefits of a holistic wealth management solution
  • Importance of building a platform business expanding on your niche
  • How a family office can reduce chaos and stress

read more…

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