Finding Freedom: How a Thoughtful Business Transition Changed Everything with Tom Kirk

Episode Description:

In this episode, host Elizabeth Ledoux is joined by Tom Kirk, an entrepreneur who formed his first company at 27 and has since started or bought several companies, including FirstWave Financial. Tap or click the play button below to listen to: Finding Freedom: How a Thoughtful Business Transition Changed Everything with Tom Kirk.

In this episode, Elizabeth and Tom discuss how he got into financial planning and investment advice, his open heart surgery and triple bypass, starting FirstWave Financial, and the importance of understanding what you want with a business transition. 

They also discuss Laura Chiesman, the president of FirstWave Financial and co-author (with Elizabeth) of “It’s A Journey – The MUST-HAVE Roadmap to Successful Succession Planning,” which you can learn more about at 

Tom is a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), which is a certification for Certified Practicing Accountants (CPAs). 
Learn more about Tom on FirstWave Financial’s website: 
Connect with Tom on LinkedIn:

Connect with Elizabeth Ledoux and the Transition Strategists:
Elizabeth on LinkedIn: 
Transition Strategists on LinkedIn: 

Subscribe to “The Business Transition Roadmap with Elizabeth Ledoux” on your favorite podcast player: 
Apple Podcasts: 
Google Podcasts: 

Get Elizabeth Ledoux and Laura Chiesman latest book, “It’s A Journey: The MUST-HAVE Roadmap to Successful Succession Planning”: 

This episode was produced by Story On Media & Marketing:

Finding Freedom: How a Thoughtful Business Transition Changed Everything with Tom Kirk Transcript

Tom Kirk: We sat down every fall, and she decides if she wants me to keep doing things for her that I would like to do. And we have a handshake deal we do another year. And it’s been, it’s been a blessing for me to still stay connected to the business at a very high level and to kind of be, you know, Laura’s wing man, if you will, like she was for me for all those years, you know, I’m able to communicate and operate at a level with her and for her that she probably doesn’t have with with anybody else on the team. And I’m grateful for that for that opportunity.

Elizabeth Ledoux: Welcome to the business transition roadmap. My name is Elizabeth Ledoux. And through my years, I have seen how communities thrive. When business succession and transition are done. Well, me and my team at the transition strategists have been helping business owners develop and implement transition strategies for over 30 years. And on this show, we want to help you by giving you the roadmap to a healthy business transition. Let’s get started. Hi, everyone, and welcome back to our business transition roadmap Podcast. Today, I am thrilled actually to have Tom Kirk with us. He is a an amazing person, and a pastor, owner of an incredible firm. He’s got such an incredible journey that he’s going to be able to share with us today. So Tom, welcome. And if you would tell us a little bit about you and your journey. That would be great, great place to start.

Tom Kirk: Well, thank you, Elizabeth, thank you for having me. On your podcast, it’s an honor for me to spend this time with you. My journey, I started my professional career as a CPA, I worked for a large accounting firm in Orlando and had the opportunity at 27 years old to start my first business. myself and two other accountants, we started a business with no money and $100,000 with a debt and grew that business. That business, you know, through my entrepreneurial path. So that was when I was 27. I, my last company that I sold, I was 59. So that’s 20 to 32 years of an entrepreneurial journey. I went through a lot of transitions over that period of time. The way we started our CPA firm was a transition of sorts we left we left an existing firm. And that was terrible. It was not well planned. And we ended up suing each other and spending a lot of money on legal fees before we finally settled from then until now I’ve been through five or six other transitions, buying firms selling my interest in the CPA firm, starting what’s now called First Wave financial selling that to Laura, Laura Cheeseman, who is now the president, CEO and 100%, owner of the company. And, you know, I know what doesn’t work, I have some transitions I did before this last one. I ended up in places I didn’t want to be and spent a lot of money that I didn’t need to spend. But this transition to Laura has been fabulous. I often tell my friends who are in similar positions of successful business owners that a well orchestrated transition can be the cherry on top of a lifelong entrepreneurial journey. And so in a nutshell, that’s that’s kind of been my path. Nice, nice.

Elizabeth Ledoux: So when you, you and I met each other, as you were getting ready to leave that CPA firm. And as you are getting ready to launch first wave financial, that’s when you and I met for the first time. And that was a transition in itself. So tell us a little bit about tell us a little bit about that transition and what was behind that?

Tom Kirk: Sure. Well, I was a lead partner in a medium sized CPA firm in Central Florida at the time, I had been doing financial planning and investment advice inside of that CPA firm and in 1995, started first wave financial with the help of my existing CPA firm and those owners, we collectively grew that company from nothing, absolutely nothing to a multi million dollar business from 1995 until 2012, at which time the CPA firm was considering and did eventually end up selling to a regional firm. So when you and I met Elizabeth, I was really on the horns of a dilemma about whether to transition this entrepreneurial effort of first way financial into that reasonable opportunity, which was a lot. It was it was very enticing to think that I might be able to take the intellectual property I created In First way financial and poor lay it across a regional capability as opposed to just a local capability. But with your council and other friends and family, I realized that I really couldn’t work well, for somebody else I had been my own boss for so long that what we ended up doing is I sold my interest in a CPA firm to my former partners. And I use that capital as a down payment to buy them out of the financial planning and investment advisory firm, persuade financial, so that in 2012 13, I was no longer practicing public accounting at all, I hadn’t really been doing a lot of public accounting for about 10 years prior to that. I was no longer a partner in a firm that I started, they they sold and merged into a regional firm. And I was now the 100%, shareholder, first way financial, and was able to really, for the first time, unilaterally drive that company with the support and help of the unique ability team that we had created there.

Elizabeth Ledoux: Nice. And, yeah, how did one of the things that I appreciated about you at that time was you did a really nice, deep dive into who you were as a person and what, what really would make you happy? What really would be the right place for you to be, and also keeping in mind to how you wanted to manage and create the customer experience? So you wanted to have some, yeah, some guidance, or direct control over that versus going into that regional firm. So talk a little bit about that for us.

Tom Kirk: Yeah, I think that the roots of that really were why I got into financial planning and investment advice in the first place was that as a CPA, it’s a good racket, okay, you have to get your tax returns done. Every business needs an accountant. So you have to have an accountant. It’s almost like you have to have a dentist. So I used to ask my partners, when we were trying to create a transformative experience for our CPA firm, I would ask him how many of our customers and clients would come to us if they didn’t have to? The answer was not very many. In the investment and Financial Planning and Investment Advisory business, there’s lots of other options out there for wealthy people to get good advice. Not so good or good advice. So you got to create a transformative, unique experience for those customers and clients that they cannot achieve anyplace else for which they’ll come from miles around, to pay a premium to stand in line to be able to work with you. And that was the kind of experience that I was creating, even within my CPA firm, it was very much able to amplify, once I went on my own with the help of other people. I mean, I’m kind of an ideation person. But I need help, I need help, I can make things up. I can make them real, I can prototype them, but I need somebody else’s help to make them repeatable, and effective and efficient and profitable. And that’s the key. That’s the team that I was able to create, in first wave financial.

Elizabeth Ledoux: And I think that that’s true of many, if not most entrepreneurs, that they really are those leader visionary type people that can get it off the ground, and then have to have that team and that team is a it’s a very, very important part of building a company. So fast forward, you’re in first wave, things are going well. You are happy, right? doing the work and just engaged in that. And so what, what triggered or had you start to think about this transition, and it because, you know, I meet business owners all the time that say, Oh, well, that transition, I don’t need to think about that yet. I’m not ready to exit, not ready to exit. So that’s a long way off. I’ve got a long way to go. And I want to keep building and growing. And you know, that’s really my focus right now. So we’ll do that later. I’d like for you for you to talk a little bit about what created a sense of urgency for you. And how did that manifest inside of you? Sure.

Tom Kirk: Yeah, I remember very clearly. So in 2003 Back it up a little bit. I had my first open heart surgery at 46 years old. I had a triple bypass operation and had a what’s called a Widowmaker blockage in my heart. That was in 2003. I started first way financial in 1995. So as a few years in and was I survived that in 2000 and let’s see 13 10 years almost to the year later, I was going to my cardiologist as I normally did. I’m a pretty compliant patient, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink exercise I eat right? And he said, You know what? You’ve got a heart murmur. And you need to get your affairs in order his exact words. And I was like, I beg your pardon? Are you saying that I’m dying? He said, he said, Well, we’re all dying. He says, and this will kill you, but not right away, you got a what they call aortic valve regurgitation, my artic valve was not closing properly. So my heart wasn’t functioning well. And I was asymptomatic. I did not notice it, but they could hear it. And he said, You know, it’s gonna cause your problems, eventually, your heart function is going to fall off so far, that even if you have it fixed, it won’t come back. So you need to seriously thinking about it. And so what do you mean, he goes, it’s better to have this when you’re healthy than when you’re not, when you have good insurance than if you don’t. And when you can take extended periods of time off from work in case you have to. And so I left from that meeting and started a process of working with the team to imagine me being gone for different lengths of time for different levels of severity. By that I mean, one month, three months, six months a year periods of time, accessible only by phone, in person electronically, not at all, some great version that you know, I’m going to count to try. So I did a grid, of course, course. Did I tell people, I’m a recovering accountant. So I did this grid of all these variables. And I we started to identify specifically, what would what would from team management, customer service, finance, business development, various categories? What would work, what would continue to work in those different squares and what was start to fall apart. And once we identified what our vulnerabilities were, we began to either immediately or build contingency plans for filling in those voids in case that potential already happened. And I remember very well, a conversation I had with you, Elizabeth around that time. I said, I got a crazy idea. I said, you know, I’m planning in case, I’m not here by accident. What happens if we start planning for me to not be here on purpose? Why don’t I just sell the darn thing? Because I basically we had created and it you know, if I was you know, in a business, as we all know, is more valuable if it’s not dependent on the Creator, and I was there, I was 70% of the way there before this thinking. And then after that, thinking, we were probably 90 95% there, it was sustainable without me. I was really concerned about taking care of the customers taking care of the team taking care of my family. And we got that all figured out. So I started a conversation marizanne Get a crazy idea. And you okay, what is it Tom? And I told you, and then we started the transition roadmap development process. And and here we are.

Elizabeth Ledoux: Yeah, I remember it was interesting, too. We we did start that process. And in the beginning of that process, I remember I was in California, and I happened to be out for a little bit of a hike, exercise, walk just between a couple of appointments, just getting a little bit of fresh air. And I remember you calling me up on the phone and saying, Hey, I had a conversation with my lawyer. And she said that I needed to figure out what I wanted before I went back to my lawyer. And I think that’s important for our listeners to know, because I think a lot of people go to the lawyer or the CPA first. And I don’t think that’s all bad to do that. However, you had an experience where you thought, you know, you knew and they were ready to go to the lawyer. And that wasn’t quite the case.

Tom Kirk: It wasn’t at all it was quite a eye opening experience for me, because I’ve been working with lawyers, my entire business life, all different kinds of lawyers, for and against me. And I called her up and I said, Hey, I’d like to, I’d like for you to help me structure a transition of this of my business and she goes, I can’t do that. And I said, What do you mean? I said, Well, you tell me what you want to do. And I’ll put it into words, but I can’t tell you what to do. And so I was floored. And I think it is a classic mistake. You know in the it’s a journey, your book, we talk about you talk about you know these professionals are necessary for different parts of the process, but they aren’t. They are the first people you should talk to. I would suggest you know your process is the first finishing to go through, this is what I did. My Sector Seven physician, I finally learned that.

Elizabeth Ledoux: Yeah, and we were talking earlier that you believe that this was your best transition? What? What made it the best transition for you?

Tom Kirk: The result? The result? You know, the Bible says you can tell the tree by its fruit, right? What does the tree bear is what tells what the what the what the tree is made of. And what’s happened is, I am having my best life, Laura is being very successful, the clients are continuing to be treated well, the team is still in place, I still send business family and friends to that firm, because I know how they’ll be treated, I can walk around my community with my head held held high. All of those things are the fruit of the effort that we put into the transition. And that’s that’s the evidence that that has not happened in my other transitions. And the other transitions I sent, my very first one went up soon each other for three years, it was we ended up merging back together, seven years later, we bought a firm in Orlando that was just, you know, quarter million dollars down a rat hole, nothing ever came from it. I mean, it would, you know, I’ve had bad fruit. This fruit is awesome. It’s been fabulous, it’s been such a joy, I’m so grateful to have gone through the process, and to still be involved, you know, we’ll talk about maybe what’s worked and what’s not working, I’ve really been blessed by, you know, I sold the business to Laura, and part of the contract was included a two year employment agreement, for tax reasons. And for transition planning. I’m on the fifth or six year extension of that, you know, we we sat down every fall, and she decides if she wants me to keep doing things for her that I would like to do, and we have a handshake deal we do another year. And it’s been, it’s been a blessing for me to still stay connected to the business at a very high level and to kind of be you know, Laura’s wing man, if you will, like she was for me for all those years, you know, I’m able to communicate and operate at a level with her and for her that she probably doesn’t have with with anybody else on the team. And I’m grateful for that for that opportunity. So just so many, so many great things have come from it. So that’s evidence to me that position was the best.

Elizabeth Ledoux: Yeah, absolutely. And, and by, you know, I was gonna mention that, by design, literally by design in the roadmap, part of your next adventure, right part of your next adventure was to be able to continue your creativity, to continue to write to continue to market, continue to talk about the firm, and help other people, right, help me when new potential clients come into the firm, but that was what is important to you. So yeah, so that two year was by design, and it also it fulfilled you. And it also helped Laura to make sure that she had somebody that she could come and speak with that knew the firm inside and out. And also was it didn’t have any hidden agendas really down because it’s sometimes hard when you’re going through that and all of a sudden, you’re the successor, you’ve got the business, everything’s there. And you’re like, Okay, I’m the owner. Now what? Right? Yeah, yeah. So I think that that was part of a big part of your success on both sides, is to have that by design, how you were gonna work together. And it was fabulous.

Tom Kirk: Husband, I agree. Yeah.

Elizabeth Ledoux: So yeah, let’s talk quickly, I guess about is there anything that we talked a little bit about what did work and what the outcomes were? We haven’t talked about anything that you thought could have been improved, could have been changed. Maybe was missed. Because, you know, in the podcast, one of my goals is to help other business owners learn from other people’s experiences, and then try not to make the same mistakes. So if you were gonna redo or do something different in this last transition, would there be anything that you would do?

Tom Kirk: Yeah, I thought about that when you sent me the invite. And if there was anything that I might have done a little differently, you know, when I sold a business to Laura, I basically 100% seller financed it for her. She really didn’t have the assets yet to afford it. And you know, I had other opportunities where they would have stroke me a check, but it would have not I’ve complied with all the things that you helped me discover about what was important to me about that transition. So I did that. And with that, and part of my goal in selling was to free me up, you know, I had a lot of freedom already, you know, Dan Sullivan talks about the four entrepreneurial freedoms, you know, time, money, relationship and purpose. And I had a lot of those, but I didn’t have as much as I wanted, you know, I’m a crybaby I had, I was taking 150 days off a year, but I wanted to take more, I had enough money, but I had to work with some people I didn’t want to work with anymore. That was relationship freedom. I knew what my purpose was, I know why I’m here. And I was doing that. But the time thing was mainly I wanted more freedom of time, and, and freedom of money, I guess, from being my having my neck across struck out, stretched out across this tabletop, for the 4030 plus years, I’ve been an entrepreneur, you know, I had signed so many pieces of paper, I borrowed so much money, I’d hired so many people, you know, by the grace of God, you know, it’s all worked. But you know, it could all go poop in a minute. And I was ready to, you know, back off from some of that risk. And by selling to Laura, I did that. But by seller financing, I kept a bunch of it, you know what I mean? I kept a bunch of it. She, the payout was contingent on the firm continuing, at least at the level that it was, if not higher. And so I really didn’t get the freedom of money, the money freedom, the risk freedom right away, you know, now I have Laura has created enough wealth, she’s refinanced me out on her own credit, not with, you know, the, the first the first transaction, she brought me from the bank that I that I guaranteed and I finance the rest of the next transaction, she borrowed from the bank. And I guaranteed it the last time she borrowed from the bank. And I didn’t guarantee it, and I’m paid off now. And it’s a wonderful feeling. And it lets me now go forward with estate planning things with my family that I couldn’t do before, because I still felt at risk for a large part of my net worth. So if I had to do it over again, knowing that I was going to have that risk, I probably would have kept a little bit more of the return, I may not have sold all 100% in one fell swoop, maybe controlling interest, you know, so Laura can run it like she wants to and like she has, but getting more of a return on the almost like an equity risk that I had, it wasn’t just a fixed, it wasn’t just a note payable, no receivable risk, the interest rate, you know, I that was contingent on the entrepreneurial value of that business continuing, which I’m willing to take. I’ve taken that risk for a long time, but I didn’t make the return during those risky years that maybe I could have. And I’ve gotten enough money. So I’m not crying about it. It’s not you know, I think I left some money on the table, maybe. But if I had to do it over again, that’s what I would consider. Consider if I had his heart percent seller finance it, then have the repayment of that contingent on profitability and continuation of the business, I would probably retain some profit sharing part of that business as well. No, I’m saying so much is that risk, but I mean, some of the return.

Elizabeth Ledoux: Yeah, that makes sense. Absolutely. And, and I guess that’s why I think it’s so important not to always go to the how and how much first, because yeah, I remember going through that was in your objectives matrix, which is where you put down everything you wanted for yourself for the business for your successor blog, you know, for everybody, your family. You did a deep dive there. And one of my most favorite things, one of my favorite objectives of all time was yours was I want to be able to surf when the surf is up.

Tom Kirk: That was my that was my test. Yeah,

Elizabeth Ledoux: that was so neat, because you don’t know what the weather is going to be like when the surface is going to be up how it’s gonna be. And it’s just complete freedom and complete ability to go whenever you want. Freedom of time, but yeah, is as you walk through. Really understanding what you want is important because many times the successor doesn’t have any they don’t have the money to buy. And many times though that successor is probably the best option for meeting a majority of your desires and your objectives because they know the business there. They you’ve already worked with them, etc. And it’s not the easiest road the one that you took was not the easiest road by far. But it’s a road that many owners decide to take because they care so much about their company. about their employees, you know about their customers and clients, they want to make sure that the consistency stays there. And the culture continues forward. So yeah, we strategize all the time on partial sales, partial transactions. And then it just goes into this big long timeline of at some point in time, there’s an agreement out there where that person based on milestones, can then know that they’re going to have that business. And they also know what’s required of them. Yeah, so interesting that you might have changed that or shifted that because that risk is still there. And it is important. And I have never seen an owner who decided to carry that note. And then if it didn’t go, well decide that they were going to have collateral and go take their successors home or something like that, because the business then no longer exists. And we also have many, many stories in our books, not in my books, my businesses that we’ve worked with have done well, because the owner stick around, and they’ve got a good plan. But there are many out there, where we all know that the business owner left in my opinion leaves too quickly, and then has to come back in and their risk is high, because they come back in and have to rebuild the business because it wasn’t operated properly or didn’t do well. So many of those kinds of stories. So yeah, you were you took an amazing path forward. And without it, without your engagement in it and your commitment to it. You would not have the results that you have today, you made a huge commitment to be able to make this happen. I think entrepreneurs do that all the time when they’re operating the company. And the commitment that you made, though, as you exited and transitioned out of the company was impressive.

Tom Kirk: Well, thank you, thank you for saying, I really appreciate that. So that’s kind of how I am though, you know, it’s either all or nothing. If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it. I’m not going to mess around.

Elizabeth Ledoux: That’s right. That’s right.

Tom Kirk: It’s not worth just spending time as well. You know, take your best shot, and then go with the chips fall but you know, you took your best shot. If you didn’t take your best shot and the chips don’t fall. Well then, you know, you’re to blame.

Elizabeth Ledoux: Yep, absolutely. You’ve got some beautiful Porsches behind you and those pictures, one of your favorite things to do. Yeah, that was part of your that was part of your next adventure.

Tom Kirk: It was Yeah, so yep, in 2015 I sold the business to luau 2015 and sold the business to Laura 2016. I had my second open heart surgery and got my valve replaced, and I survived. Praise God. So 2017 I got my racing license with historic sports car racing. 2018 I won the national championship, and historic historic sports car racing HSR with the VRM endurance challenge and the WeatherTech sprint series, driving an earful. 911 and I’m still driving and instructing with Porsche Club of America and chin trackdays. Actually, next month, August, I’m going to Road Atlanta to, to instruct and drive there for a chin track days. So it’s a blast.

Elizabeth Ledoux: That’s a blast. And yeah, how does it feel to have this transition so well, and to be able to be living your next adventure?

Tom Kirk: feel very fortunate. You know, the, I’ve got a lot of successful entrepreneurial friends. Most of them men can think of Laura as one. But I think in this transition world, people that I grew up with, that have their own business, and they may have bought them that business from somebody else and thinking somebody in particular, I’m trying to get engaged with you actually, I’ve given him some of your information. And, you know, I’m 67, they’re 65 to 75 years old. And, you know, they they don’t have that sense of urgency. They don’t you know, what I mean? It’s just really hard. I try to watch for when I could, you know, I’m a, I’m a practice development person, right. So I watch for what I call the blink, I wait to be invited in. And they raise a point about some challenge you’re having and, and what usually is, centers around is they’re chasing the how they get distracted by how and then they run into frustration and then drop the ball. And so I want to get them engaged in your process to turn that situation around. But I feel as you say, to how do I feel, I feel really very fortunate that that it’s worked for me, this work, you know, everybody that was concerned about me, the team, the family, the clients, Laura, the community, you know, in where your business was as a fiduciary, but Isn’t this right? Putting our client’s best interest first. And, you know, there’s an implosion implied agreement we have with these people, we’re gonna be here forever for you and your family. And here I was stepping out. And to see the firm continue on to be there for people that we have been part of their family for 20 and 30 years. You know, I just unfortunately, I was at a funeral of a doctor friend of mine that I was one of the his first accountants back in the 80s. I was his accountant first as his wealth coach. Next, I was an investment advisor, advisor, you know, 2030 35 year relationship, and to have those be able to continue and feel good about it has send more business and my family and, you know, we’ve got multi generations of people not being served by what we were able to create there. It’s just, you know, they, you know, I’ve Zig Ziglar used to say, you can get everything and you know, how to get everything you want to out of your life is to help as many as other people get everything they want to out of their life. And that’s been the case for me, I’ve gotten way more than I deserve, by trying to help other people as much as possible in every way I possibly can. And this is just part of it.

Elizabeth Ledoux: That’s incredible. Thanks for sharing that. And that’s, that’s the idea, because what you’ve been talking about is people first people first and, and I think that, I think that that’s very important to be able to have that have that experience today from past history, right? And to keep that because so many people that just falls off, they are in their business, they transact out of it. It’s over. And then they’re on to something else. So yeah, it’s fun to be able to hear that from you. Congratulations.

Tom Kirk: Well, thank you another another challenge just for but first thinking about doing this, that I that you actually you helped me with another part of your processes, the Pathfinders experience that we did together, I became aware that I needed to watch for where I could express my unique ability other than what I had been doing for 30 years as an entrepreneur. Because, you know, my understanding of this unique ability I have is it’s going to show up everywhere, because that’s how I operate. So watching the horizon, whether it’s my church, or I actually am helping a friend of mine start a new nonprofit we’re really kind of excited about. It’s a, it’s an investment advisory firm organized the state of Florida as a 501 C three organization to provide fiduciary level investment advice to people can’t afford to pay for it. And I’m really excited about that. Because I’ve been wondering, I’ve been struggling with how to provide, I know how to be an adviser to wealthy people, how to provide that level of competence and confidence and, and integrity to people can’t afford to pay for it. And Michael’s figured it out, he asked me to be on his board. So that’s an opportunity for me to ideation create, to prototype implement, I don’t have to make I’m not making any money I didn’t I don’t care to make any money at it. It’s just fun. So just watching for those opportunities to express my unique ability outside of what I was doing for 30 years was something you also helped me identify as important for my well being. Yep,

Elizabeth Ledoux: yeah. For your fulfillment. Now, by the way, so I know we’re basically at our time. So I have one more question for you. But before I do that, I just want to let everybody know that the Laura that he’s speaking of is the Laura, who is the co author of it’s a Journey, the book that she and I wrote together. And, yeah, and the experiences that she had as well on the successor side, and the financial aspect of you know, that whole process. So anyway, I just wanted to recognize her. She’s an amazing person as well. And yeah, so that’s good. Last question for you. I always like to end these sessions with one thing that you would like to leave with our viewers, listeners that you think would be most important for them to keep in mind as they approach their transition and walk through it.

Tom Kirk: Avoid chasing how avoid chasing the how people are going to come at you with how solutions all the time. Most of articles you read about whether it’s an ESOP, or seller financing or a roll up or, you know, internal transition, and they’re all about the how the big deer and I’ve chased lots of house. The big difference this time is starting with Why. Why do you want to sell the business? Who do you want to maybe sell it to? When would you like to have it happen? And what are you selling? Those are the top questions that you mentioned and it’s a journey that made all the difference in the world going through that process. Then I can I can look at various houses Were being presented to me and, and grade them against what I just said was important to me. And it just made the choice of the direction to take evident and successful because they met, they blended together. So avoid the takeaway is avoid chasing the house, just say, you know, thanks for the idea, put that in the back burner, but start off with why why do you want to transition? What you want to accomplish for yourself and others? When would you like to do it? And to whom would you maybe like to sell it to go through that process first? And then the rest? Makes sense?

Elizabeth Ledoux: Alright, thanks. Well, Tom, I so appreciate you and the time that we had today to spend together and all of your insight into your situation and your journey. So just appreciate you and thank you so much for being here.

Tom Kirk: Well, the pleasure is all mine. I wish you all the best. And thanks so much for the opportunity.

Elizabeth Ledoux: Thank you for listening to this episode of the business transition roadmap. If you are listening to this and you find yourself wanting to go deeper into these topics and start the process of putting together your transition strategy. I’d love to offer you a free initial strategy session with my team will help you to explore the future transition of your business, head over to www dot transition To schedule a call. Thank you again for listening, and I’ll see you on the next episode of the business transition roadmap.

The Business Transition Roadmap with Elizabeth Ledoux

How do communities thrive? When businesses experience healthy growth and transition. Join CEO of The Transition Strategists, Elizabeth Ledoux as she and her guests identify what makes a successful business transition roadmap. If you know you want to transition or exit your business “one day”, today is the right day to start planning. This show will give you the roadmap.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, you can check out other episodes here: Podcasts – The Transition Strategists
Share post:

Podcasts Episodes