The Urban Engine Podcast

3 - How to Deal with the Hard Stuff

An episode of The Urban Engine Podcast

By Urban Engine
In the Urban Engine podcast, we discuss entrepreneurship and success. We interview local entrepreneurs in Alabama and the South, discuss how to succeed, and how to propel your idea forward.
More places to listen

More places to listen

28 - Personal Progress, Self Awareness, and Accountability Partners
Description- Matt McLellan talks with Kodi Lovelace the Team Lead at Absolute Nutrition and Matt Miller of Matt Miller Coaching, about Personal Progress, Self Awareness, and Accountability Partners. Highlights (2:30) Matt Miller draws a great comparison between the benefits of coaching in sports and business. (4:00) Matt Miller talks about the benefits of clearly defining what it is you want, as a means to evaluate progress over time. (6:10) Matt Miller discusses the fundamental differences between coaches and consultants, and gives a few tips on what to look for. He also discusses how his technical training in the social sciences has aided him in developing accurate empathy, which he considers a key skill for his career. (10:50) Matt McLellan asks Kodi why he began to work with Matt Miller. Kodi tells an interesting story relating his past education/fitness journey, and discusses how we can often do things that aren't aligned with our real goal. (16:00) Kodi discusses his method for identifying and hiring a personal performance coach. (19:38) Matt McLellan admits it can be difficult as a human to open up and expose ourselves, he then ask Matt Miller how he pulls back the layers. Matt Miller talks about how being an addiction treatment specialist aids him in getting people to conduct an emotional intelligence analysis. Specifically evaluate 5 things: Self Awareness, Self Manage, Self Motivation, Social Awareness, Manage Relationships. (26:00) Matt Miller discusses cognitive behavior, and the Bike Shed Effect. (30:15) Matt Miller discusses the effects of self pity on personal performance. (46:00) Matt Miller talks about setting healthy boundaries in coaching and business. Summary Matt, Kodi, and Matt Miller discuss the value of allowing an independent non-biased person namely a Coach, help point out blind spots in your life, whether that be in business, fitness, or life skills. This is vital, because what we know in life is far less than what we need to know, and often times our personal connection to the events occurring in our life and business lead us make poor choices. Blind spots are a natural aspect of every car you see driving down the road, technology now aids the driver avoid hazards as they head towards their destination. Maybe a Coach could do the same for you? Links Rogers, Carl: A Way of Being Rogers, Carl: On Becoming a Person https://albertellis.org/ https://www.instagram.com/mattmiller37/
51:45
October 2, 2019
27 - Great Expectations: Managing Expectations for Yourself and Your Team
Description Matt McLellan and Toni Eberhart talk about managing expectations Highlights (02:50) Matt talks about his propensity to set very high goals (like a lot of us tend to do), specifically high goal in high school at one time to want to break the 4 minute mile in track and field. (6:30) Matt tells about his experience with his first salaried manager hire. It was a very expensive lesson since Matt made assumptions for how his manager would operate and that did not play out in day-to- day operations. When things don’t go well in your business, it is not the person’s fault but yours for not training them. (24:20) Matt explains the differences in how he sets and manages sales goals today at Absolute Nutrition versus how he used to do so (which often fell short). (26:30) Toni talks about how she won’t set goals for other people like she does for herself because she is too aggressive on her own goals. (39:20) Matt discusses how constantly calibrating and communicating goals and expectations with your team works so well. Summary Matt and Toni discuss the importance and challenges of managing expectations. Audacious goals, desires and expectations are typical for entrepreneurs and is often why they launch a startup in the first place (entrepreneurs tend to be optimistic). This is essential in getting over the hump in any new business venture as the challenge to do so can be exhausting and nonlinear (highs are high, lows are low). As a startup scales up and employees are hired, it is important to set realistic goals and expectations with your team and to continually communicate to make necessary tweaks in real-time. You get better results, you foster a happier and more productive work environment, and you’ll retain your staff over the long-term as they are fully invested in the mission of the organization that they have had a significant impact in shaping. Links (Book) The Algebra of Happiness https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0593084195/ High school runner Alan Webb (broke Jim Ryun’s mile record in 2001): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Webb_(runner) Carl F. Braun on communicating like a grown-up (the Five W’s): https://fs.blog/2016/03/carl-braun-communicating/ The Psychology of Expectations https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/cui-bono/201802/the-psychology-expectations
42:56
September 5, 2019
26 - Megan Nivens-Tannett with Flourish Consulting talks Marketing & PR
Description Megan Nivens-Tannett talks about her experiences in the marketing industry that led to her launching her boutique marketing firm Flourish Highlights (03:10) Megan talks about her motivation for launching Flourish after her experience working with local HSV engineering firms who often did not understanding basic marketing concepts (much less having any long-term strategy). (07:00) Toni asks Megan about her journey that led to her working for herself. Megan was laid off from a tech company that grew way too fast and had to downscale and is now happy to say it was the best thing to ever happen to her. Her passion and competitive nature gave her the drive do the hard work of starting a new business. (15:30) Megan talks about the significant unique capabilities of marketing experts like herself. When having discovery meetings with clients (where senior leadership is often narrow-minded because daily operations require them to do so), marketing experts lay out a long-term strategic vision and plan and define every advertising avenue that needs to be implemented for success. (25:40) Megan and Toni talk about how you can't assume that people know about your company what you know about your company. This is a very common mistake startup founders make all the time. (27:20) Megan recommends creating an advisory board that represents your customer base and constantly engage with them. Are you even asking your customers important questions about how the perceive/understand your product? (also see: UE #22 w/ Brandon Kruse)
37:59
August 29, 2019
25 - Scott Gillaspie discusses his Startup: Incentive Financial
Description Scott Gillaspie talks about how his life experience has led him to launch his startup Incentive Financial Highlights (02:25) Scott points out a great idea from 12 Rules for Life – a rational mind can be trap because you over-rationalize every possible outcome. You can’t know every possible outcome so you’re better off taking a leap of faith at some point. (13:00) Scott tells his story about how he was being asked to do things that weren't always best for the client in corporate banking. (17:00) Scott talks about his experience after resigning from corporate banking when he started talking to potential investors with his new startup. One of his investors said “I don't really care what your idea is.... I'm investing in you, not your company”. (19:00) If someone says "Hey, go start your own company… everybody is going to support you. It’s going to be great”, then they are lying to you. (27:15) 20% of Alabamians go to “buy here, pay here” car dealerships making subprime auto loans. Buy here, pay here car dealerships are not reporting positive payment history (they are not legally obligated to report positive pay history), which prevents many from improving their credit scores and escaping the high costs of having bad credit. (35:15) Matt asks Scott the question “what is good capitalism?” Summary Scott Gillaspie is a young man on a mission. With a double major in finance and economics and after working in the corporate banking world, Scott is completely focused on building his startup Incentive Financial to address what he calls a mispricing of risk with some subprime borrowers starting in the subprime auto industry. He wants to build a business where everybody wins (his company, the borrowers, the dealers selling the vehicles) after growing increasingly frustrated with doing things that didn’t always align with the best interests of his customers in the corporate world. He wants to demystify the complexity of the financial system (which is designed that way on purpose) and do everything he can to improve the lives of his customers for the long-term. Links - Scott’s bio https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-gillaspie - John Oliver – the horrors of subprime auto lending https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4U2eDJnwz_s Books - 12 Rules for Life https://www.amazon.com/12-Rules-Life-Antidote-Chaos/dp/B0797Y87JC - The Richest Man in Babylon https://www.amazon.com/Richest-Man-Babylon-Original-1926
46:54
August 29, 2019
24 - Mergers & Acquisitions w/ Marshall Schreeder
Cole Rickles talks with Marshall Schreeder, Jr. about his experiences and his role as EVP of Corporate Development at Discovery Life Sciences Highlights (03:53) Marshall describes what Discovery Life Sciences does. They support medical research (drug development + diagnostic development). (11:00) Marshall talks about how finding a process that is inefficient and making it more efficient can be enough reason to start a business around it. Like nearly every entrepreneur, their initial launch seemed like it would be easy (and it never is). (19:20) Marshall explains why he partnered with his friend Luke and started their own business in Huntsville in 2005-2007 (after them both working all over the country at different companies). (26:30) Marshall talks about their initial desire to raise “a million dollars” when they were starting their business (a common theme in the entrepreneur community). With the hope of raising that initial 10% of the million, they met with the late famed entrepreneur Lonnie McMillian who pulled out a checkbook in their first hour of the pitch and he offered to cut a check for the entire amount (and said his attorney would figure out the terms with them later). (49:35) Marshall breaks down the importance of a great team. As long as you are pointed in the right direction, the impact of your team members can be as much as 80% of the reason for your success. Summary Marshall Schreeder talks about his experiences in investment banking and how it eventually led to him partnering with his friend Luke and moving back to Huntsville in 2005 (Marshall is a rare Huntsville native). Coming from a medical family (his dad is a doctor in town), there was a bit of pressure to follow in his father’s footsteps but found his own way working in private equity and then focusing on the biomdedical science industry. Marshall talks about their start in Huntsville launching their own business and that common story we all hear (and many of us know) about thinking a new business will be “a layup” where in reality it’s always at least 2X as hard (and cost 2X as much) and is more like throwing a medicine ball from half court over and over again. When they were starting their Huntsville business, they had a desire to raise a million dollars to get things rolling. They were rather shocked when they met with Lonnie McMillian and watched him pull out a checkbook in their first offer willing to write the full amount on the spot. Fast forward the last dozen years or so and Discovery Life Sciences (the entity after they were acquired last year) is on a roll with a half dozen M&A activities in just the last 15 months. Marshall talks about how his prior experience in private equity has been so valuable as of late in doing due diligence and strong work ethic in managing teams all over the world working toward a single purpose. Links - Marshall Schreeder bio https://www.linkedin.com/in/marshallschreeder - Discovery Life Sciences https://www.dls.com/ https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/discovery-life-sciences-enters-fresh-leukopak-market- 300875890.html - Hudson Alpha https://hudsonalpha.org/the-story-of-hudsonalpha/ - What is private equity? https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/privateequity.asp - Lonnie McMillian (founder of ADTRAN and HudsonAlpha) https://hsvchamber.org/hudsonalpha-institute-for-biotechnology-mourns-death-of-co-founder- lonnie-mcmillian/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADTRAN Books - The Private Equity Playbook https://www.amazon.com/Private-Equity-Playbook-Managements-Working/dp/1544513275
1:02:49
July 24, 2019
23 - The Difference Between a Boss and a Leader
Description Matt and Toni talk with Jorge Lima about founding and operating Civil Axe Throwing with his wife Erin. Highlights (04:45) Jorge discusses the difference between a boss and a leader. A leader moves with his team to do the hard work to be successful. A boss may watch from a distance. (8:30) Jorge talks about how he has used his experience in counseling and psychology techniques to lead his teams. (9:45) Toni talks about her evolution since childhood on wanting to be the boss when she was younger (desire to climb the corporate ladder) to being a leader today of the Urban Engine team. (19:35) Matt talks about the importance of alternative experiences (over books) have been so important for him, especially what he learned when he went thru an AltMBA program last year. (25:00) Jorge talks about how true leaders fosters a work environment that is purposeful, influential and positive. Summary Jorge Lima founded Civil Axe Throwing with his wife Erin. Coming from a counseling background and desire to some day be a pastor (Jorge has a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Evangel University in Missouri before moving to Huntsville), he has been very mindful about his role as a leader and fostering the right environment in his businesses (he also founded Huntsville Escape Rooms before getting into axes). Jorge talks about the importance of moving with your team and doing the hard work side-by-side instead of sitting back barking orders like a boss from the sidelines. He talks about how his education in psychology has led him to implement various techniques that are impactful to his team. He discusses how true leaders foster an environment that is 3 things… purposeful, influential and positive. With 7 Civil Axe Throwing locations now open in the southeast and glowing reviews from customers, Jorge and Erin have been able to leverage their backgrounds into a rapidly growing fun business and are mastering the customer experience. Links - Story on when they launched Civil Axe Throwing in Huntsville https://whnt.com/2017/09/13/civil-axe-throwing-hits-the-target-for-new-entertainment-in- huntsville/ - 5 year trend of the popularity of axe throwing https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today%205-y&geo=US&q=axe%20throwing - altMBA information https://altmba.com/about - Civil Axe Throwing website https://www.civilaxethrowing.com/ Books - Good to Great (emphasizes the importance of humble, hardworking leaders) https://www.amazon.com/Good-Great-Some-Companies-Others/dp/0066620996 - The Psychology of Persuasion (the book Charlie Munger gives college graduates he knows) https://www.amazon.com/Influence-Psychology-Persuasion-Robert-Cialdini/dp/006124189X
37:53
July 22, 2019
22 - Obsess Over Your Customers
   Description Matt and Toni talk with Brandon Kruse about the importance of obsessing over your customers. Highlights (00:58) Matt and Brandon explain how a “sure thing” doesn’t exist even though it appears that way to an outsider. (3:18) Vetting opportunities is hard. Entrepreneurs tend to be optimistic and tend not to share their real struggle running a business (and few really want to hear the details of your problems). (6:45) Brandon explains how he always looks for an unfair competitive advantage over the competition (as he wisely assumes that they can execute better than you can). (29:50) Matt explains how he didn’t have t-shirts for Absolute Nutrition for years because he couldn’t make a decision and the printers weren’t very helpful in guiding him (now he owns a printing business and guides customers thru the design/selection process). (34:35) Brandon talks about how he really stays obsessed with the customer and their pain (point) so you can come up with a good solution (which they won’t solve on their own). Summary Toni and Matt sit down and talk with Brandon Kruse about the importance of obsessing over your customers. Looking from the outside, it often appears like a lot of ideas are a “sure thing” and that customers will flock to your great idea once you just get it built. In reality, that’s absolutely not the case as it takes tremendous effort to attract and drive customers to your business. Almost every retail entrepreneur has their personal story about how they had almost no customers at all in the first few months of opening a physical storefront. Vetting opportunities is harder than it may appear especially when talking with other entrepreneurs as they are inherently an optimistic bunch that don’t voluntarily divulge their real ongoing struggles with running their own business. When you do learn and adapt in ways that do attract your initial customers, it is essential to obsess over them as the cost of acquiring them is significant and they often are your best sales force in the modern era of social media (where good and/or bad customer experiences spread like wildfire). A good entrepreneur obsesses over their customer and their biggest pain points to come up with a better solution that solves the pain. Continually iterating thru this process leads to continuous improvement and a virtuous cycle for your business. Never forget that your customers are what allows you the freedom to work as an entrepreneur in the first place.    Links - (Harvard Business Review0 Obsess over your customers https://hbr.org/2017/05/obsess-over-your-customers-not-your-rivals - (TED) I was seduced by exceptional customer service – John Boccuzzi, Jr. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH1TXfQSwUQ Books - Built to Sell – John Warrillow https://www.amazon.com/Built-Sell-Creating-Business-Without/dp/1591845823 - The Toyota Way – Jeffrey Liker https://www.amazon.com/Toyota-Way-Management-Principles-Manufacturer/dp/0071392319 - What Customers Crave – Nicholas Webb https://www.amazon.com/What-Customers-Crave-Experiences-Touchpoint/dp/0814437818 - Be Our Guest (Disney) – Theodore Kinni https://www.amazon.com/Be-Our-Guest-Perfecting-Institute/dp/1423145844
42:45
June 20, 2019
21 - The Perks of Entrepreneurship
   Description Matt and Toni talk about the perks of entrepreneurship. Highlights (01:50) Matt describes why he started Absolute Nutrition in the first place. (2:50) Toni talks about how she now feels "unemployable" after being a business owner and decision maker for so long. (4:50) Expectations vs. reality about expected freedom of time as entrepreneur. There's so much more to do (and prioritize). (7:15) Change is continuous, even with an established business that's 10 years old. (22:40) Toni talks about how being an entrepreneur allows Matt to be involved in the community and work to make the area a better to place to live. Summary Toni and Matt sit down and talk about the perks of entrepreneurship. They talk about the motivation for why Matt started Absolute Nutrition in the first place and how expectations of having a lot of free time once you start your own business usually don’t match the reality of actually launching one since there’s just so much to do and prioritize. Running your own business provides a much more direct system of reward (when you do the right thing) and punishment (when you make mistakes). After working for yourself for years, it’s typical for you to increasingly feel “unemployable” working for someone else as being a decision maker for so long makes it incredible hard to let those decisions be made by someone else (who you may completely disagree with more often than you are comfortable with). In entrepreneurship, change is a continuous process that never ends. This isn’t a bad thing as it makes you a better person in both business and in life as it trains you to be ever more capable. Entrepreneurship can pave the way to you building the life that you really want, whether it is becoming more involved with the community or spending quality time with your family.    Links - The Advantages and Challenges of Entrepreneurship https://novelcoworking.com/the-advantages-and-challenges-of-entrepreneurship/ - (TED) How to find and do work you love – Scott Dinsmore https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpe-LKn-4gM - 60 reasons why entrepreneurship is amazing https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243389 Books - The 4-Hour Workweek – Tim Ferriss https://www.amazon.com/4-Hour-Workweek-Escape-Live-Anywhere/dp/0307465357 - The Richest Man in Babylon – George Clason (Not an entrepreneur book specifically, but simple guide to focus on where you are headed and why you are working in the first place) https://www.amazon.com/Richest-Man-Babylon-Original-1926/dp/1508524351 - Why We Sleep – Matthew Walker (It can be hard for entrepreneurs to “turn off” as there’s always something to worry about when it comes to their business, but it is essential they get enough sleep to avoid burnout and medical ills) https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Sleep-Unlocking-Dreams/dp/B0752XRB5F 
29:23
June 20, 2019
20 - Matt and Toni talk with Cole Rickles about the value of grit.
  Highlights (01:32) Grit is not choosing the easier path because long-term you're actually going to be more satisfied with the decision that you made. (08:05) Cole explains the impact of having entrepreneur parents are entrepreneurs (see the academic paper listed below with data on this subject; children are 1.3-3X more likely to be entrepreneurs when their parents are) (08:30) Cole describes his first business in middle school (pressure washing). He printed out 250 flyers and received zero calls. (13:59) Cole tells the story of his 1st Amazon business he started about 3 years ago with the idea of selling gun grips. The day after getting the delivery, Amazon stops allowing sales in that product category. Instead, he had to pivot to selling on EBay (more manual labor than Amazon, but was able to clear the inventory). Now have an actual successful business selling other products on Amazon today. (17:59) “You gotta be closed-minded on the end goal, but you can’t be closed-minded on how you’re going to get there” Summary Cole Rickles sits down to tell quite a few interesting stories of the various startups he has been involved in going all the way back to middle school. Most attempts fail, but the successes only occur because of the presence of grit. Good things never come easily, so persevering while being open-minded on how you are going to get to your clearly-defined end goal is essential to success with any entrepreneurial undertaking. The idea of grit has been popularized in the last few years (especially by Angela Duckworth’s book on grit listed below released in 2016), but the idea of how one can instill grit in another person is still up for debate on how that is done. One significant advantage Cole (and many other entrepreneurs in the Huntsville community) has is entrepreneur parents who provided first-hand real-world lessons in the value and results of grit. Links (SpaceX failures video)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvim4rsNHkQ (TED talk on grit) https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance?language=en (Grit from a psychology perspective)  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/media-spotlight/201606/the-truth-about-grit (How Parents Are Robbing Their Children of Adulthood: Today’s “snowplow parents” keep their children’s futures obstacle-free — even when it means crossing ethical and legal boundaries.) https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/16/style/snowplow-parenting-scandal.html (Podcast: How I Built This) https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this (Academic paper: Why Do Entrepreneurial Parents Have Entrepreneurial Children?) http://ftp.iza.org/dp6740.pdf Books The Little Engine That Could https://www.amazon.com/Little-Engine-Could-Original-Classic/dp/0448405202 Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance https://www.amazon.com/Grit-Passion-Perseverance-Angela-Duckworth/dp/1501111116
28:04
May 22, 2019
19 - Mobile App Development and Solutions
Matt talks with Michael Carroll, Lacey Reinoehl, and Jarrod Parkes about mobile app development and solutions. They discuss the common options and features in app design, and cover the importance of determining scope of work and managing expectations with the customer desiring the app. Highlights (2:50) Lacey talks about process to define minimum viable product for your desired app. Clarify the base functionality and allow the app developer an initial idea of what the scope of work is required to complete (along with if a native or non-native app will be required). (13:10) Jarrod walks thru an example of the app developer’s estimate of the work required to start an app and what stages of development are expected. (19:14) There’s often sticker shock when it comes to paying for app development. Michael explains how a couple developers working on an app for a month (typical to get an app to at least the minimum viable product stage) can hit $20,000-30,000 in burn rate. The hourly rate for app developers currently is typically in the $50- 200/hour range. (25:08) The group talks about the importance of qualifying the customer and managing expectations,  along with determining if a native app is actually needed (as that is far more costly than non-native apps). (46:41) Lacey talks about the importance of pitching yourself to a developer. There’s currently no shortage of work for app developers today and you need to convince them that this will be a project they would like to take on and is viable. Summary Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and Android in 2008, smartphone applications have quickly become an essential part of our daily lives. Options for an app are either native (iOS and Android have 97%+ of the global market share) or non-native. An app developer works with a customer to determine how best to add value via the creation of the app with regards to required functionality (native apps enable more real-time interaction with smartphone sensors like GPS, the camera, etc.) within the limits of the budget available for the project. Ideally, the customer spends time before reaching out to the app developer to clearly define the purpose of the app and mock up a draft design and functionality (in Keynote, PowerPoint, or various app mockup tools). The customer should clearly explain the viability of the project to convince the developer to take on the challenge. The app developer will work with the customer to further refine the minimum viable product and set realistic expectations about milestones, costs (both up-front development and long- term maintenance), and level of support provided by the developer. The end result should be a meaningful app that adds value and achieves what cannot be done with any other existing app today.   Links Lacey Reinoehl’s company: https://zaroslabs.com/ Jarrod Parkes: https://jarrodparkes.com/ React Native (JavaScript framework that can ease porting apps to iOS + Android): https://github.com/facebook/react-native App mockup tools: https://hackernoon.com/the-votes-are-in-the-top-7-wireframing-mockup-tools-for- mobile-app-pros-134cd1d9af0a Global market share of smartphone OS options: http://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/mobile/worldwide Books: - Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days https://www.amazon.com/Sprint-Solve-Problems-Test-Ideas/dp/150112174X - The Lean Startup https://www.amazon.com/Lean-Startup-Entrepreneurs-Continuous- Innovation/dp/0307887898 - Don’t Make Me Think https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Make-Think-Revisited-Usability/dp/0321965515
57:02
March 25, 2019
18 - Selling a Business and What That Means
   Toni and Matt talk with John Thornton about the Business Assistant Microloan via The Catalyst Center. Brandon Kruse and Trey Sharp joins Toni and Matt to talk about their experiences in selling a business. Highlights (00:57) John Thornton summarizes the benefits of a Business Assistant Microloan (typically $5,000-$25,000) available to startups, early stage businesses, and established small businesses. (09:55) Trey Sharp and Brandon Kruse talk about their experience that led to them selling Sharp Communications and DialMaxx. (27:00) Brandon explains private equity acquisitions are likely to continue (outside of during significant recessions) with continual desire for companies that are generating $1 million+ in net profit per year. (29:43) Brandon explains the fear that a competitor will buy out your customers is silly. Customers leave because they haven’t been serviced, not because they’ve been marketed to better. (52:22) Brandon talks about the importance of knowing your business financials well. Otherwise, you tend to hit a ceiling and it’s hard to get to the next level. Summary The process of building a successful business is quite the challenge, but selling your business is no walk in the park either. Most tend to underestimate the time and effort required to prepare for a sale. Following efficient business practices (making sure personal and business expenses are always separated, running very clean accounting books) does make the acquisition process run smoother. Entrepreneurs today tend to be increasingly focused on the sale of their startup when they should be more focused on actually building a successful business that generates cashflow first. Selling your business when the stars align can bring peace of mind by trading ownership for an immediate return of your time (via payout of the projected returns of the business for the next 5-20+ years depending on market sector and position in the business cycle). The seasons of life often aim an entrepreneur toward another creative direction for a new venture, so selling a prior business can ease and accelerate that transition. There’s plenty of experts in the M&A space (M&A attorneys, veteran entrepreneurs) in the Huntsville area so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions as they can distill years of hard lessons into just a few minutes of your time.    Links The Catalyst Center Business Assistant Microloan info: http://catalystcenter.org/services/our-services/item/bam-microloan-program If you want a thorough sneak peak of everything that’s involved in selling your business, this prior edition covers most of the details for $6 shipped: https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide-Selling-Business/dp/1413312667 Last 30 year chart of global M&A activity: https://www.ft.com/content/b7e67ba4-c28f-11e8-95b1-d36dfef1b89a Rich Marsden (HSV M&A attorney Brandon mentioned who is very active in the HSV area): https://lanierford.com/attorney/richard-j-marsden 
1:08:17
March 25, 2019
17 - Balancing Success, Family, and Life
Matt, Toni, and Trey Sharp talk about how to succeed as an entrepreneur while still thriving in your relationships with family and other non-business interests.
50:34
January 2, 2019
16 - The Power of Starting at the Bottom
The team talks with Kevin Fernandez about the advantages gained and lessons learned from entry-level jobs and early-stage opportunities.
23:34
December 26, 2018
15 - Giving Back
The team talks with Kevin Fernandez about the importance of giving back to those around you and the power of the Law of Reciprocity.
17:15
December 19, 2018
14 - The Art of the Deal
Matt, Toni, and Trey Sharp discuss negotiating tips and strategies. Areas covered include: dealing with vendors, buying/selling businesses, buying a car, and even negotiating in marriage.
31:31
November 6, 2018
13 - The Difference Between a "Startup" and a Traditional Business
Toni, Matt, and Brandon Kruse talk about setting goals, the difference between "traditional business" and high growth "tech startups", and the power of persistence.
26:04
October 30, 2018
12 - How to Deal with Customers in 2018
Toni and Matt are joined in this special episode by Brandon Kruse, founder/CEO of CommentSold to discuss all aspects of serving customers in the modern market. Topics discussed range from handling customer problems, how to measure customer satisfaction through surveys, properly qualifying customers to avoid problems in the first place, and more.
39:30
September 11, 2018
11 - Tweaking & Improving Your Tactics /w Andy McCloy
In this episode, Matt & LJ talk again with Andy McCloy about how and when to evolve in your tactics & strategies and how to change with the market and the times.
23:24
July 19, 2018
10 - How to Learn Something New /w Andy McCloy
In this episode, Matt and LJ talk with Andy McCloy of Body Creations about how to develop a habit of learning and improving and the importance of being an eternal learner.
26:33
July 19, 2018
9 - How to Build Your Personal Network (/w Kevin Fernandez)
You've often been told that networking is important. "It's not what you know, it's who you know" and "Your network is your net worth" are common quotes. But, how do you actually network with others and build your personal circle? For most of us, it doesn't come naturally, and it's not taught in school. Matt and Toni talk with networking guru Kevin Fernandez about how to build your network the right way.
52:49
June 19, 2018
8 - The Power of Persistence (/w Kevin Fernandez)
The team talks with Kevin Fernandez about the Power of Persistence and Kevin shares the story of how he almost gave up right before hitting his goal.
20:18
June 19, 2018
7 - Brandon Kruse on Competition & More
Brandon Kruse of CommentSold joins Matt & Toni to talk about managing relationships in entrepreneurship, thinking about competitors, the power of an abundance mindset, and his favorite downtime hobby at Huntsville West.
1:11:39
May 30, 2018
6 - Get Motivated
Matt, Toni, and Trey talk tips, tactics, and routines to get motivated and stay that way. The team also talks about the power of great customer experiences and how key customer experience is to achieving success in the current market.
1:06:49
May 14, 2018
5 - Handling Frustration
The team discusses how to deal with frustration as an entrepreneur, the importance of confidence/humility, how to balance confidence & humility, and when & how to ask for and/or offer help.
54:45
May 3, 2018
4 - How to Find and Deal with Partners & Co-Founders
We discuss reflections on the 3 years of CoWorking Night, the positives, negatives, and things to considers in working with partners or co-founders, and how to network and find new people to grow your circle.
57:53
April 11, 2018
3 - How to Deal with the Hard Stuff
We discuss how to deal with burnout, how to get out of a rut, how to handle failure, the importance of making it hard on yourself to quit things you really want to do, and how to manage, train, and lead people.
1:19:39
April 10, 2018
2 - How to be More Productive
In this episode, we discuss tools & tactics to get more things done, goals in entrepreneurship, and how to continually learn and improve yourself and your business.
1:03:06
April 10, 2018
1 - How to Start Something New
Matt, Toni, and Trey discuss how to get new ventures off the ground, the pitfalls of being a perfectionist, how to go from idea to perfect product, when/why to bring other people into your idea, and how to invest your time.
54:31
April 10, 2018
Make your own podcast for free with Anchor!