“Although entrepreneurs have a wonderful vehicle for engineering long-term wealth in their companies, they are almost never driven by wealth creation. Entrepreneurs have non-financial benefits that drive them.
We relish in the autonomy, problem-solving, growth, and passion we have for our companies. These aspects are not lacking in the acquisition model. For a true entrepreneur, financial independence has been reached the moment they take ownership of a company or an idea, from the very beginning, because there is no separation between work and life. It is the same mission at the same time.
This is because for an entrepreneur, working hard for something they care deeply about is the life worth living. It’s fun, and these benefits are attainable on day one. Perhaps this is the ‘real’ wealth we all want–the purpose that comes along with creating value in your life.” – Buy then Build, Walker Deibel
Why do you want to be an entrepreneur?
If it’s for the money and money alone, I can tell you that you won’t be successful. Period. Close this window. Switch to another tab.
This game isn’t for everyone.
It’s not for just the intelligent. It’s not just for the reckless daredevils.
Entrepreneurship tests what you’re made of internally and will only reward you if can show up every day with faith that you will succeed and a deep abiding connection to your purpose – a purpose so fundamental and deep inside you that it makes you come alive.
Why are these things required?
Because without them, you won’t stay in this game long enough and you won’t overcome enough obstacles to finally achieve the success of wealth and freedom.
The truth is, you’re never 100% ready to own a business. No amount of business degrees, certifications, and MBAs will prepare you for entrepreneurship. Nothing in the world gets you more prepared to run a business than running a business.
Without a connection to a deep purpose that makes sense to your heart, soul, and brain (not just your balance sheet), you won’t be able to show up when times get tough.
That’s why I say money, as the only reason to be an entrepreneur, won’t work.
It might get you started, but once you face the seemingly insurmountable challenges of being an entrepreneur, the situations that cause you to panic, freeze, and question how you’re going to handle it — and yes, those moments WILL come — the quest for money won’t push you through that discomfort.
Belief and connection to your purpose will.
Let’s talk about what this looks like.
Keys to Achieving Entrepreneurial Success
What is faith? Simply put, faith is a belief that is not based on proof.
Or, as Voltaire put it, “faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”
We know the term often comes with religious connotations, but we aren’t here to delve into those. The secular meaning of faith still very much applies to the path of an entrepreneur.
The reason why faith is required is because as acquisition entrepreneurs, there is no one, clear career path on the way to success. There’s not an application or interview process. There’s not a corporate ladder.
You MAKE the ladder.
There’s a good chance few people have been on the path you’re creating as an acquisition entrepreneur. When you have no examples around you or you can’t see the “right” way to become successful, you have to trust that you’re taking the right steps to do so. Even if you don’t have a clue if it will.
Biggest Risk in Buying Businesses
One of the biggest challenges we confront when moving forward on our path as entrepreneurs, or maybe in your case – buying a business – is analysis paralysis.
You analyze the risk and rely on math to help you decide if a business acquisition is a good decision and the best way to move forward with it. It makes sense that we do this – I get it. We put on our investor cap to analyze the risks and determine the rate of return.
Unfortunately, there is no way to eliminate all of the risk from a deal.
You can perform your due diligence and evaluate a listing properly so you can gain the knowledge necessary to make as informed of a decision as possible.
But at the end of the day, it will still be a leap of faith.
Hal Elrod says in Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life: Before 8AM that the equation to being successful as an entrepreneur is as follows:
Unwavering Faith + Extraordinary Effort = Miracles
“When we study the world’s most prolific achievers, innovators, philanthropists, athletes, and just about anyone who has made a significant contribution to the world, they did so by establishing and maintaining Unwavering Faith that they could, and then they put forth Extraordinary Effort until they did. […] [Y]ou cannot fail. You may stumble. You might experience setbacks, but your success will ultimately move from possible…to probable… to inevitable.” – The Miracle Equation, Hal Elrod
The concept of taking a leap of faith isn’t something reserved for daredevils alone.
I’ll give you an example of an area in your life where you practice this every day.
Driving is an activity you probably do on a regular basis that is high-risk but you confidently do it anyway.
If you actually analyzed the risks involved in driving, it might make you pause before you got behind the wheel.
In 2021, we lost over 40,000 lives due to motor vehicle accidents.
But the reality is, you don’t perform risk analysis on your drive before you leave for work in the morning.
Because you’ve done it enough to know that one, you can do it, and if a danger comes up, you can defensively drive and avoid most issues that come up.
The same applies to running a business.
Now that I’ve developed experience as an entrepreneur, I know how hard it is. I know the time, commitment, and energy that’s required to run a business.
But I have no choice but to get behind the steering wheel and keep driving because I know that this is the vehicle that will get me to my destination.
Analysis Paralysis & How to Take the Leap Anyway
Searching, deciding on, acquiring, and running a business fall into two different skill sets: that of an investor and that of an entrepreneur.
As an investor, you’re calculating risks. You’re often looking for reasons to say “no.” As an entrepreneur, you’re looking for the diamonds in the rough and taking the risks to make a business grow.
So to strike this balance between analysis paralysis, which to a certain extent is absolutely normal, and having the ability to take the leap, what are the fundamental things you absolutely must do before you buy a business?
- Do everything you can to understand, evaluate and analyze small business listings. Have a set of tools and a process that allows you to systematically evaluate a business.
- Learn how to navigate the private capital markets
- Get some people around you that are doing it and who can help you make smart decisions.
Once you have these in place, you can manage your own decision-making process against these checks and balances:
- Does the listing pass your initial analysis?
- Can you pool together financing for it? Does it make financial sense to afford?
- What do mentors in your network think?
If all three pass with flying colors but you’re still holding back, ask yourself why.
Ask yourself honestly: are you looking for a way to make this opportunity work or are you looking for a reason to not purchase the business?
Why Do We Do This?
Here’s what we do know: 89.9% of the ultra-affluent own their own businesses.
We also know that the inverse is not true. Not all people who own businesses are wealthy. So of course, the potential for reward is there, but you don’t want to buy a lemon.
This is why we spend so much time figuring it out.
I get it, and I’ve been there many times.
Just know at a certain point, reasoning your way through the process will only get you so far.
Eventually, you’ll have to push yourself off and build your wings on the way down.
Because if you’ve decided on the path of the acquisition entrepreneur, you’ve done so for a reason — because you know that to escape a “life of quiet desperation,” you simply don’t see any other option.
“Owning a business is rewarding in a way that books can only point to. While describing their lifestyle, most entrepreneurs relish in the autonomy and financial benefits of owning a company. But it goes beyond that.
When you own a company, your company becomes an extension of you. It engulfs your spirit, mind, and body. When you breathe, you breathe your company. When your company thrives, you thrive. A spiritual integration occurs that leads to the most engaged life I have ever witnessed.” – Buy then Build, Walker Deibel
Ready to acquire a business in the next 12 months? The Acquisition Lab is your first stop. Reach out to us today and get on the fast track to becoming an acquisition entrepreneur.