I wanted to write a book that captured the essence of my business experiences, for the benefit of the business owner and future entrepreneurs. I was particularly curious how I had led organizations to overcome critical financial circumstances as an owner, key executive and advisor. Those three very different perspectives of business at critical crossroads helped me see my initial owner’s bias and preconceptions of what had occurred.
I enlisted the help of Dr. Bob Everett, a professor and former business owner to assist me in organizing my thoughts. We then developed the underlying theme for INSIGHT. “Bob was helpful in drawing out and structuring my experiences, which were unconventional in nature. He found that my insights were not taught by traditional business schools or in entrepreneurial coursework.” And that is how I started to tell my story and INSIGHT began to take shape.
INSIGHT was written for:
- Owners with a (potential) business crisis.
- A family member or successor who is facing a business crisis.
- Any professional that is serving a business owner in crisis — CPA, Attorney, Estate Planner, Insurance, Wealth Manager, Trust Officer, Banker, Investors.
- Owners or their family members experiencing a sudden personal crisis – divorce, illness, death, addiction, family health issue – and attention is withdrawn from the business leaving it vulnerable.
- Any healthcare professional that serves a business owner in crisis.
- Entrepreneurs wishing to start-up a new business venture.
My unconventional approach to a critical crossroads is to question both what I see (financial measures) and what I do not see (possibilities, motivations, strengths and desires). I found that many owners worked through business transitions without that multi-dimensional perspective, are simply using trial-and-error. That gets them in trouble. That’s when it hit me that having a business guide may be helpful to reduce risk with critical decision support in times of transition and transformation.
I find that results are not difficult to see. Rather, it’s what you don’t see or don’t know that has the potential to go haywire. Therein, the right questions are the answer. In the midst of a crisis, seeing how you get through it can be challenging, especially if the owner is feeling the pressure in the path of the tornado. I felt my method could be of value to other business owners, especially with the increasingly complex issues they face in today’s world. I wanted to reduce the stress for owners and bring them more peace of mind when confronting a transition or transformation in the business, such as:
- Setting a Vision
- Getting Unstuck
- Crisis Response
- Value Creation
- Exit Planning
- Sale of a Business
- Acquisition for Growth
I also wondered how I could help fellow business owners protect their assets before they faced a critical crossroads or business transition. The best time to prepare is not when the business owner is faced with a critical decision that has significant personal, emotional and financial impact. Usually time becomes the enemy and emotions run high. Having viable options and the right answers really, really matter.
Owning and operating a business has many challenges, especially in today’s age of complexity. How an owner decides to work through critical crossroads can have impacts for a lifetime. That’s why I wanted to share what I learned and make my insights more widely-known and available.