Buy Then Build Masterclass

Master Acquisition Entrepreneurship & build profitable businesses with less stress, less risk than the start-up game!

Buy now and get two bonus courses!

The Fast Track to Ownership:
Acquisition Entrepreneurship

You have always imagined owning your own business. Maybe you’ve tried the start-up approach – with or without luck. Maybe you’ve never figured out how to do the start-up route because you “don’t have a new idea”. 

The Buy Then Build model will teach you how to approach ownership in the smartest possible way – using the same strategy that I’ve used to acquire 7 businesses and generate 100x as much income in the exact same amount of time it took my first startup to start, grow, then die. 

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Your First Venture

So you want to own your first business. You’ve been bitten by the business bug, and now it’s time to learn, and fast! If you want to build the entire business infrastructure from scratch, then close this tab right now, and go ahead and start pulling out your fingernails. Or better, acquire a business with all the infrastructure already rocking, and begin by doing the fun stuff – scaling up a business that you know actually works, from 6 figures to 7 figures, and beyond.

Experienced Entrepreneur

You’ve already built a business or two (or ten). Maybe they succeeded, or maybe some failed. You know how most of it works, and you want to make sure you maximize your impact with your next project. I’m here to show you how you can take your resources and skillsets and, instead of linearly grinding out growth, generate 10x, exponential growth. The best part? It’s a formula that you can use again and again, stopping the growth.

Business Moguls/ Empires

You’re influential. You have a portfolio of investments and businesses. Your dinner reservation next Tuesday is with your state senator, and after that you’ll throw bags of money out your window as you drive down the street in your hot red lamborghini (ok ok, maybe not that last part – but a guy can dream, right?)

I will show you how you can acquire entire channels of distribution, expand into complimentary product lines, and absorb entire databases of customers, so these rising tides lift all your boats – or in this case, yachts 🙂

Here's the comprehensive Masterclass
that will teach you how to buy a business!

In this module, you will learn the foundations of acquisition entrepreneurship (AE) as a strategy.

Lessons include:

  • AE Framework from an Entrepreneur Perspective
  • The Two Different Journeys for an Entrepreneur
  • Guest Speaker: The Power of Trying Crazy Things to Fix Perfect Problems with Jim McKelvey
  • Bonus Content: The 5 Myths of Entrepreneurship
  • Benefits of AE as an Entrepreneur
  • Guest Speaker: The Story of a Textbook Acquisition Entrepreneur, Dan Peskorse
  • AE Framework from an Investor Perspective
  • Gazelles vs. Venture Capital
  • Bonus Content: Alternative Retirement Strategies
  • Return on Investment
  • Upside Potential
  • Margin of Safety
  • Supplemental Reading: Upside Potential Walk Through
  • Accelerated Route to Value Creation
  • Skill Builder: Return on Investment
  • Bonus Lecture: The 4 Pathways of Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition
  • Knowledge Check

In this module, you’ll take the most important primary step filled with self-reflection that most buyers don’t take – determining who you are as a buyer.

Lessons include:

  • The Most Important Thing
  • Personal Impact
  • Attitude
  • Bonus Content: Will you actually buy? The secret sauce to execution
  • Skill Builder: Understanding Growth Mindset
  • Aptitude
  • Bonus Content: Leveraging Career Capital
  • Skill Builder: The Power of Your Story
  • Supplemental Reading: PERMA Model
  • Expert Interview: What Makes a Successful Acquisition Entreprenuer, Dr. David Weller
  • Skill Builder: Personal Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Action
  • Bonus Content: Determining Your Search Strategy
  • Supplemental Reading: Level of Individual Involvement
  • Skill Builder: Determining the most appropriate level of involvement
  • Skill Builder: Entrepreneurial Self-Assessment Survey
  • Skill Builder: Personal Goals
  • Skill Builder: Three A’s
In this module, you’ll gain clarity to your search as it relates to developing a unique target statement specific to your personal buyer brand.

Lessons include:
  • Bonus Content: Glimpse Into the Acquisition Lab – The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Buying a Business
  • Profiling Your Business: Eternally Profitable, Turnaround, Platform, & High Growth
  • Skill Practice: Identifying Opportunity Profiles
  • Resource: AE Matrix Reference Guide
  • Bonus Content: The Biggest Mistake I Made While Acquiring $16.5mm in revenue
  • Defining the Size of Your Business
  • Bonus Content: How Post-Close Liquidity Determines How Much You can Afford
  • Resource: What Can You Afford Calculator
  • Resource: Deal Size Reference Guide
  • Defining the Right Amount of Leverage
  • Skill Practice: Determining Net Worth
  • Defining Industry Type
  • Supplemental Reading: Evaluating B2B vs. B2C/DTC
  • Supplemental Reading: Industry Overviews
  • Formulating Your Target Statement
  • Skill Practice: Industry Reaction Worksheet
  • Skill Builder: Target Statement Worksheet

In this module, you’ll learn the various approaches to use to identify deals and build a transaction team.

Lessons include: 

  • Bonus Content: Glimpse into the Acquisition Lab – How to Compete as a First Time Buyer
  • Get Upstream
  • Broker Outreach
  • Bonus Content: Two Biggest Mistakes From Worst Buyer Ever
  • Supplemental Reading: Tips for Nailing Broker Outreach
  • Meeting with Brokers
  • Every Business is for Sale
  • Supplemental Reading: Managing Emotions to Reinforce Your Brand
  • Skill Practice: Understanding Seller Motivations
  • Guest Speaker: Leaving the Search Fund Model and Buying on Her Own, Monica Weaver
  • Banker Outreach
  • Debt Vehicles
  • Bonus Content: Is a personal guarantee required?
  • Supplemental Reading: Financing a Deal
  • Expert Interview: Undertanding SBA Financing with Stephen Speer
  • Supplemental Reading: Insight into the SBA Financing Process
  • Partners, CPAs, & Lawyers
  • Bonus Content: The Difference Your Team Makes on Your Acquisition
  • Fundamentals
  • Guest Speaker: How Ryan Begelman Built and Sold a $50mm Company
  • Resource: SBA Personal Financial Statement

In this module, you’ll learn the frameworks to use to evaluate a business and begin analyzing it’s performance.

Lessons include:

  • Offering Memorandums & Accounting Methods
  • Skill Practice: Evaluating Accrual vs. Cash Accounting
  • Balance Sheets
  • Income Statements
  • Cashflow Statements & Critical Factors
  • Supplemental Reading: Forecasting & Stress Testing
  • Asset-Based Valuation
  • Cash Flow-Based Valuation
  • Bonus Content: Is it a fair multiple?
  • Bonus Content: Shift Your Focus
  • SDE Analysis and Value vs. Asking Price
  • Bonus Content: Measuring Business Earnings
  • Bonus Content: Calculating Add Backs as a Broker
  • Business Strategy
  • Porter’s Five Forces and Lifecycle of an Industry
  • Supplemental Reading: Porters Five Forces
  • Bonus Content: Five Forces of Power
  • Skill Practice: Applying Porter’s Five Forces
  • Additional Frameworks
  • Bonus Content: Evaluating the True Level of Risk of Your Acquisition
  • Market Research and Market Strategy
  • Knowledge Check

In this module, you’ll gain insight into the seller’s perspective and what to expect as you begin to interact with sellers.

Lessons include:

  • The Seller’s Story
  • Bonus Content: The Journey of Deciding to Sell
  • Meeting the Seller
  • Negotiating Strategies
  • Discussion Strategies
  • Visit the Business
  • Knowledge Check
In this module, you learn the process of extending your first Letter of Intent (LOI) and how to move forward.

Lessons include:

  • Stop and Review
  • Expert Interview: Navigating the Legal Side of a Transaction, Joel Ankney, author of Here’s the Deal
  • Letter of Intent
  • Resource: Letter of Intent Sample
  • Supplemental Reading: Critical First Steps after Signing LOI
  • Supplemental Reading: Explanation of Related Documents
  • Bonus Content: When to use an IOI (Indication of Interest)
  • Deal Type & Purchase Considerations
  • Bonus Content: Asset Sale vs. Stock Sale
  • Bonus Content: Importance of Working Capital
  • Deal Structure and Closing Date
  • Bonus Content: Structuring Your First Offer
  • Bonus Content: Navigating Customer Concentration
  • Supplemental Reading: Key Considerations When Structuring Your Offer
  • Contigencies and Agreement on Agreement
  • Resource: Asset Purchase Agreement Sample
  • Pre-Negotiations and Seller Response
  • Bonus Content: Why Deals Fall Apart
  • Managing the Acquisition Phase

In this module, you’ll learn how to manage the transaction post-LOI starting with due diligence.

Lessons include:

  • Due Diligence
  • Supplemental Reading: Common Red Flags
  • Supplemental Reading: Legal Due Diligence
  • Supplemental Reading: Financial Due Diligence
  • Guest Lecture: Financial Due Diligence, Bill Wiersema, Miller Cooper
  • Optional Reading: Financial Due Diligence in Acquisitions by Bill Wiersema
  • Supplemental Reading: Operational Due Diligence
  • Resource: Due Diligence Checklist
  • Expert Interview: Conducting Due Diligence with Elliott Holland
  • Exploiting Opportunities and Closing Deals
  • Knowledge Check
In this module, you’ll get a glimpse into the closing of your deal and how best to manage it in the first 100 days.

Lessons include:

  • Closing Expectations
  • Closing Process
  • First 90 Days
  • Supplemental Reading: Communication Planning
  • Supplemental Reading: Role of Communication in Retaining Key Talent
  • Supplemental Reading: Role of Change Management in Employee Retention
  • Supplemental Reading: Role of Engaging Employees in Retention
  • Resource: Message Mapping
  • Day 1, First 30 days
  • Days 60 – 90
  • Bonus Content: Hiring a Manager to Operate Your Acquisition
  • Growth through Acquisition
  • Guest Speaker: The Ultimate Success Story: How Charles Bracken Grew His First Acquisition to Over $100M in Revenue and Exited
  • Bonus Lecture: Growing Your Business Through Acquisition
  • Bonus Content: Learning More about Growth Through Acquisition
  • Acquisition in the Entrepreneurship Economy
  • Guest Speaker: Building Value in Your Business, Brian Jones
  • Guest Speaker: Ensuring Transferability of Your Business, Richard Mowery
  • Bonus Content: The Business Buyer Playbook
  • Knowledge Check
This module was created to allow for easy navigation to the most commonly used financial analysis metrics.
  • Cash Conversion Cycle
  • Current Ratio
  • Debt-to-Equity Ratio
  • Growth Rate Analysis
  • Profitability Analysis
  • Vertical Analysis
  • Horizontal Analysis
This module was created to provide an easy searchable glossary of key terms for people new to Acquisition Entreprenuership who are trying to navigate new concepts.
  • Financial Statements
  • Cash Flow
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Working Capital
  • SDE & Add-Backs
  • EBITDA vs. Adjusted EBITDA
  • Margin of Safety
  • ROI
  • Accrual vs. Cash Accounting
  • Balance Sheet
  • Assets
  • Depreciation
  • Intellectual Property
  • Goodwill
  • Liabilities
  • Amortization
  • Owner’s Equity
  • Income Statement
  • Revenue or The Top-Line
  • Earnings
  • Seller Financing
  • Leveraged Buy Out
  • ROBS 401k Funding
  • Assumption of Debt
  • Indication of Interest (IOI) vs. Term Sheet vs. Letter of Intent (LOI)
  • Asset Purchase Agreement (APA)
  • Stock Purchase Agreement (SPA)
  • Escrow Agreement
  • Reps & Warranties
  • Indemnification Clause
  • Earn-Out
  • Hold Back
  • Stability Payment
  • Consulting Agreements
  • Forgivable Loan
  • BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement)
This module is for anyone considering purchasing online businesses:
  • Expert Interview: Acquiring Online Businesses with Shawn Hussain, eCommerce Law Group
This module highlights how best to value your transaction if you’re working with investors
  • Bonus Content: Valuing For Investors

Guest Lectures, Expert Interviews, and Interviews with Acquisition Entrepreneurs ALL
Included With Your Purchase!

Guest Lectures, Expert as well as Acquisition Entrepreneur Interviews are ALL Included With Your Purchase!

Here’s a few examples of who you’ll be learning from through the Masterclass:



For over 25 years, David has worked with executives to select, develop, and retain top-tier talent with the highest potential and the lowest turnover rate. He helps build succession planning systems and conduct human capital due diligence.

Founder of eCommerce Lending & Focal Point Lending

Stephen has funded over $300mm in online business acquisition loans alone. He leads the #1 source for online business acquisition financing. With nearly 30 years of lending experience, he is an expert at navigating SBA lending.


M&A Attorney & Author

After practicing M&A law for nearly 30 years, award-winning lawyer, Joel wrote the book, Here’s the Deal: Everything You Wish a Lawyer Would tell You About Buying a Small Business to share his expertise in a rarely discussed space. 

Monica Weaver
Acquisition Entrepreneur

After exhausting her search through a traditional search fund, Monica successfully acquired a company as a self-funded searcher allowing her the flexibility to pursue targets that aligned to her personal interests.


CPA & Author

With nearly 40 years of experience, Bill is a well-respected thought leader and trusted advisor in this space.  He partners with clients for due diligence and transaction support as well as strategy.

Serial Entrepreneur & Author

Jim is most widely known as the co-founder of Square but has founded over 7 businesses. In his book, Innovation Stack,  he discusses what it takes to build a resilient, world-changing company.


Serial Acquisition Entreprenuer

After taking a unique opportunity, Charles founded Getix Health through acquisition. He then grew the business to an impressive size through 5 acquisitions with a significant exit.


President, Ecommerce Law Group

Aside from being a successful acquisition entreprenuer, Shawn specializes in assisting entrepreneurs and investor groups with buying and selling ecommerce businesses. 

This masterclass is an excellent companion to the Buy Then Build book, whether you have already read it or not. It hit all the key concepts and along the way it dove into more detail by working in relevant interviews with successful acquisition entrepreneurs or professionals that you may want on your team for your own acquisition. You also get to hear some #nofilter advice from Walker that he has developed through his work as an entrepreneur, broker, and guide of the hundreds of entrepreneurs in the Acquisition Lab!
Phil Miller
Founder & President, Smith Evergreen Concrete
The Buy then Build Masterclass walks you through each step of the acquisition process from knowing what to look for before you start the journey, to what to do in the first few months of ownership. This course and the Buy then Build community is an excellent resource that has condensed what would've taken me years to learn and a lot of fees on professionals, to a clear 8-module course.
Tim Woodward
Co-owner, Woodward Cider Company
It’s rare to find a course this effective, both in the quality of lessons and usefulness of the content. Previous to this course, I wasted a lot of time sifting through watered-down blogs and online articles that were written by people with very little actual experience in buying and selling a small business. If I could have learned the exhaustive list of lessons from this course prior to acquiring my first company in 2019, I would have made more money, saved myself a lot of headaches, and wouldn't have wasted as much time in both of my companies. Don't waste your valuable time, take this course and really know how to be an effective Acquisition Entrepreneur!
John Coveyou
Founder & CEO, Genius Games
This Masterclass is fantastic! The core instruction is great as well as the bonus content but the supplemental reading really dials into things even more which is even better than expected. If you get access to the FAQ Series, it really cuts down the time and improves efficiency when looking for a direct answer."
Paul Golden
CEO, Rayvisin Enterprise


What does this course include?

  • Lifetime Access
  • Almost 20 Hours of Lecture
  • 31 Bonus Content Videos
  • 12 Guest Speakers/Expert Interviews
  • 22 Supplemental Readings
  • 15 Exercises to Further Your Journey 
  • 8 Downloadable Resources (e.g. Calculators, Reference Guides, Templates)
  • 2 Searchable Glossaries
$ 1500



Frequently Asked Questions Course

This course includes over 70 questions and answers about all aspects of acquisition entrepreneurship especially SBA financing that have been asked by Acquisition Lab members during live sessions with lenders as well as Walker Deibel.

Expert Interview Series

This course includes 38 interviews with Acquisition Entrepreneurs discussing how they found their deals, mistakes they made, lessons learned, etc. as well as M&A Professionals sharing their insights and experiences.


We’re happy to answer any questions
 you might have and help you make
 the wisest choice for you.


Walker Deibel
Serial Entrepreneur and Author

Walker Deibel cofounded four startups, including his most recent endeavor, Acquisition Lab, and has acquired seven companies. He is the founder and Managing Partner of the holding company, Centra, as well as an advisor for online entrepreneurs. He holds an MBA from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis where he received the Declaration of Achievement in Entrepreneurship from the Skandalaris Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Walker is a Certified M&A Advisor and former SEC licensed stock broker. Walker has also produced almost a dozen films and had premieres at some of the world’s most prestigious festivals, including Sundance, SXSW, and Toronto International Film Festival. He is the author of Buy Then Build: How Acquisition Entrepreneurs Outsmart the Startup Game, released in fall 2018 by Lioncrest Publishing.

Chelsea Wood
Industrial/Organizational Psychologist

Chelsea Wood is a strategy consultant with an emphasis on maximizing organizational success through human capital. She is also the Managing Director of Acquisition Lab and a Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor. For over 15 years, Chelsea has partnered with leadership teams to identify and address their unique business challenges related to operational performance, strategy, business development and human capital. Her background includes training design & delivery and executive coaching. She has partnered with leadership teams as they grow through acquisition as both an external consultant as well as a member of the transaction team. 

She managed new growth initiatives, including mergers, acquisitions and other strategic partnerships, for a multi-state integrated health-delivery system growing from $3B to $6B through transactions during her tenure. Chelsea has a Green Belt, Six Sigma Certification and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Southern Illinois University. Her master’s degree is in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The Chicago School. 



Outsmart the
Startup Game

Bypass the common struggles entrepreneurs face when creating a successful business.

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