With over 20 years of experience in digital marketing, direct response marketing, affiliate program development & management, and business development, Chris is known for his success in scaling companies quickly; making the growth easy; and keeping...
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Ronald Skelton 0:06
Hello and welcome to the how to exit podcast where we introduce you to a world of small to medium business acquisitions and mergers. We interview business owners, industry leaders, authors, mentors and other influencers with the sole intent to share with you what it looks like to buy or sell a business. Let's get rolling.
Hello, and welcome to the how to exit podcast today I'm here with Chris Daigle. And I say that right? You did. Yeah. Awesome. I got that one. Right. I actually did a little research on yours. watched a couple of your videos where you announced yourself. So I'm going to get one right I have this running theme of butchering people's names. So glad I got it right. So you had over 20 years experience in digital marketing, direct response marketing, affiliate program development and management, and business development. Chris is known for his success in scaling companies quickly, making them grow easy, making growth easy and keeping the owner sane in the process. I'm really interested in that we're going to talk about that here in a little bit, and then haven't taken several companies to hop above and beyond the 100 million dollar mark. Chris is an expert at all areas and growth cycle for small to medium enterprises who are leveraging digital marketing, digital marketplaces, affiliate marketing, and mergers and acquisitions of entrepreneurship. Welcome, Chris. And thank you for being on the show. Thank you, I stumbled on that a little bit. It's late in the day. I'm an early bird. So I get up at 4am. So
Chris Daigle 1:36
Well, thank you for inviting me.
Ronald Skelton 1:38
I appreciate having you on here. So one of the places I always like to start is just really kind of letting our audience know who you are kind of the origin story of kind of how did you get started? How did you end up here?
Chris Daigle 1:50
So sure, I do. Um, I guess I'll start back. I've always known that I was an entrepreneur, not always, I guess in fifth grade is when my discovery was that I was entrepreneurial. When i i I was taught leverage and arbitrage by buying candy bars, and bulk and selling them at an extreme markup from my locker in the fifth grade, is, you know, the sophomore IQ or juvenile was that sounds, it was a real aha for me where I was like, Well wait a minute, like this is a non traditional way, this isn't what they're teaching me at school. So that really led to the bumpy road of being an entrepreneur and saying no to the traditional way of doing things. Fast forward to today. I am CEO of a financial publishing company that is on track to do nine figures this year. And a big part of what we do. Part of that growth that we're going to experience over the next couple of years is going to come from synergistic acquisitions, partnerships and things like that, that some might define as m&a, some might define as business development, but some element of the blending of, hey, that's smart business, that's a smart deal, let's do it. My background as far as m&a, and business has really been learned. Committing to learn from mentors, rather than committing to a traditional educational pursuit, I've had the opportunity to work with some and at my own, like one of those situations where it's like, I'll sleep in the garage, if I can learn from you is a series of those types of relationships in my career that have paid off now, because I was able to compress their learning curve into you know, a six month 12 month period rather than taking 30, 40 years to learn the same lesson. So there's a lot of twists and turns that happen, but But m&a in a corporate environment is where I am today.
Ronald Skelton 3:48
Awesome. And just reading your profile and stuff, you work with a lot of companies, a lot of the guys that are in our audience, they're looking at buying these smaller end of that small to medium enterprises, that $10 million in revenue and below, and it looks like you work with a lot of the companies that are above that realm, or you have you have worked with companies and, you know, taking companies from 33 million to 100 million and those type of you know, those type of numbers.
Chris Daigle 4:12
You know, man, upon reflection, I would probably say that there's more money to be made in the sub 10 million. And when I say more money, for most of us, if you're, you know, as an icon of Wall Street, that's not a lot of money. But for the average business person, or entrepreneur, it's a ton of money. I would say that the only reason that I'm doing things at a bigger level is today's cash flow needs are taken care of from past efforts. And this is an opportunity for me to get into an uncomfortable environment to grow. Right. So it's not that there's more money there. It's not that there's a little bit of prestige or whatever. But if I was strictly doing this as a vehicle to create resource financial resources for me to Take care of my family to whatever I wouldn't be looking at the above 10 million at all. I have a belief that zero to one in business is the hard part. Right? I've done enough startups even did one a couple years ago even knowing better, and it didn't work out. So my preference would be getting those guys that have a garden, or men and women have gone from zero to one, because I want to take them from one to 10. Right. And it's a lot easier to do that. When a business is doing a million, 2 million than it is when it's doing 20 million, there's a lot more. So I would say that don't necessarily aspire for the bigger volume deals, aspire for higher quantity of sub 10 million deals, you'll be happier. The deals are less complicated. You'll like the people more you'll make more money. That'd be my advice.
Ronald Skelton 5:51
Awesome. Awesome. So and I see that we were I was involved with a pretty good sized roll up and the bigger the company, the more the lawyers got involved, the more the you know, the the word I want to use is bureaucracy. But basically the more people that had the checkoff and at some point during that process, we actually looked at and said, If there's more than three shareholders, we had a scoring mechanism. Yeah. And their score shot down way down. Like, you know, that was a that was a detriment to their to the conversation just because of the complexity and the speed at which we wanted to move. Yeah, right. So the bigger deals have more people in to play more minds to sway. And so we were looking at the smaller ones, too. So I think I could totally align with that. So inside of the mergers and acquisitions, you use a phrase I haven't seen anywhere else that I really like it. Maybe I just missed it, that acquisition entrepreneurship.
Chris Daigle 6:43
So I first heard about that, I think that that's a term that was coined by Walker Deibel, who wrote by then build a lot of your audience may be familiar with his work. But because I think it's a more accurate and more accurate definition, because I just completed a program at Columbia Business School for their mergers and acquisition analysis and everything. And this was all about publicly traded companies. What's happening at that level is not what's happening with let me go get a bill of business is doing a million bucks. So calling it m&a. Yes, it's mergers and its acquisitions. But I think that that a lay person, or somebody that wasn't in the space might get the wrong picture about what you're doing. They might be turned off by it, right? Like, oh, that's gonna be that sounds complicated. That sounds expensive. But I really liked that, that Walker was able to coin a phrase that oh, it's acquisitions, but entrepreneur. So it's kind of and so with the audience that I think I was working with Roland Frasier on teaching in his program, I think over a couple years, I worked with almost 1500 entrepreneurs on their either their acquisition or their exit strategy. And that that was language that suited that strata of deal size very well.
Ronald Skelton 8:02
I really like that I actually get that. Because when when I'm talking to somebody that doesn't understand what I do, and they like, Okay, well, where do I start off? I'm going to learn mergers and acquisitions. And they go say, Well, did you take one of the certifications at MIT or certifications at Harvard? Because they have these non degree programs that are certifications. And then I was like, No, and I wouldn't recommend you do that either. And they said, Well, why do you say hire a mentor? And I said, absolutely hire a mentor. But there's a difference between the Academia Approach, which works great for those 100 billion dollar companies, publicly traded companies and all that. But I think it's MIT that has over 140 Something different valuation models, they want to show you in their program. If you only need one or two, right? I would say you'd only need one. But it's always good to know another way to look at things. So one or two of those. And understanding one or two valuation models. Well, I just don't see the need for 140 Something different mathematical models to come up with the same answer is that we're working. Yeah, right. So so you've went the mentor route. I'm a big fan of that I have more college degrees in the average school should have and I joke around about that. But uh, what I learned as I got older is the college program and it was a very valuable lesson I went got an MBA in marketing thought I was going to be this rockstar marketing guy created my own startup and it failed miserably. I created an online dating services was trying to keep people honest in their profiles. Turns out nobody wants to be honest in there and spent a lot of money getting that thing up and running my money, some investor money, but I spent pretty much everything I can get my hands on trying to make it work and learn, you know, extremely valuable lesson that it didn't. After that, I've realized when I wanted to learn something like I did really well. You mentioned a program in one of your in one of your articles online or something like if stumbling across Carlton sheets, right? Yeah, I stumbled across that I was too young to buy it. So I taught my dad let me Use his credit card to purchase it. And then I didn't know I was too young to sign signed contracts to. So I was like 16, 17. So I convinced my dad to buy a few rental properties. And back then we could do non qualifying assumptions. Yes. So we're assuming mortgages. And, you know, I didn't know about flipping at the time, I just read what made sense for me in that program and put it the work we ended up with probably my dad and I, three, four different properties. And then after you do all your expenses, and put everything in a spreadsheet, you realize you're only making 100 bucks a house. Yeah. So I quickly went back to college and went to the military got a degree because I was thinking, it's gonna take me forever to be comfortable and like, not have to my father was a painter, and I worked in a paint factory with him at the time, we painted houses. And I'm thinking I don't want to work out in the hot sun for the rest of my life. It's gonna take me forever to get out of this. So, you know, hiring mentors, I get it. Right. I've done some some of Roland Frazier's lower level stuff. I've committed that I have a bookshelf over here that is scary. In the real estate space is probably at least between the real estate and Dan Kennedy's direct marketing pieces. And I've got $180,000 worth of course, material on that bookshelf easily. Oh, yeah. So this time, I said, I'm going to buy one that suits me, I'm going to go go around, like, do this small Pro. Everybody has an intro thing like a seven day, he had those challenges, the challenges. So I did some of the challenges, I found one that really resonated with me. It was Jeremy Harbour's. Yes, he had this dollar down corrective structure, you know, deal stalking. And so I did that program. And then my, my commitment to myself is, I close a six or seven figure deal, and I do the next program. So Roland's on my list. I'll probably do Carl Allen's too. I'm interviewing Carl Allen here in a couple of weeks. Great. Great. Seems like a great guy. So I'll go through all those.
Chris Daigle 11:56
He was being published at agora when I was there. So yeah,
Ronald Skelton 11:59
cool. He's a good media, you know, I'll make my rounds through them. But this time, when I make my rounds through them, I'm gonna make money with each one. Yeah. And then go to the next one. Because I have to admit, I'm one of those guys, I do believe I still have some real estate investment programs on my bookshelf, or not even all of them are here. But some of them with my old business partner, they still have cellophane on them, right? They sound like a great idea. Like I'm gonna use that someday and I bought it two or three grand right? And then you never take the plastic off of it. You go back to work busy. And
Chris Daigle 12:27
I've been to many of those. And I'll tell you it's interesting Ron. The people say, well, that's that's a lot different real estate into m&a. It's not the creative real estate, getting your brain capable of seeing like, oh, well, if I do that, I can tell you that the creative real estate education that I got from Carlton sheets and Ron Legrand and that whole crowd, back in the day, it educated me on that a deal is whatever you want it to look, whatever you can come up with present it right, like as creative as crafty is whatever. So people that are coming from real estate investing, they're that they're the most fertile soil for getting this acquisition entrepreneurship.
Ronald Skelton 13:10
I believe that I think a lot of a lot of the creativity and being able to structure, seller financing type of conversations and just that negotiation and being able to comfortably have that conversation. Yep. It's there's a lot of alignment between the two. There's, I mean, a lot of similarities between even some of the contracts, right? Yes. So I've seen option contracts and use of this space I've seen from other other creative stuff. So yeah, if anybody's looking to make the move from, you know, step up their game from the real estate space, this would probably be a very logical place to step it into.
Chris Daigle 13:45
But I wouldn't go the other way around. If you're an m&a Already, I would suggest that the case study that Ron shared with us earlier is going to be your now doesn't work. I've got friends that I was doing real estate with 20 years ago, they stuck with it. Wow, they've got a portfolio of real estate now. Right? However, it took them 20 years to get there with this. You learn the skills you team up with the right people or whatever, you just participate in the deal. And it can be a game changer, your very first time out.
Ronald Skelton 14:12
Oh, yeah. As you can. It takes, I'd say on the average real estate transaction, it takes a couple of dozen decent real estate deals to change your zip code. Yeah. Meaning to move you up into a fancier car in a better zip code. One mergers and acquisitions still absolutely has our right yeah, you can you can you can change your zip code with a single deal. Yeah. And you know, and I would venture to say, you know, I did a lot of short sales. There's not much different to the timeline either. I I did a few 100 short sales over thing. I owned a company for a while called Tulsa foreclosure center. We stopped. We did investor back short sales, which looks like you were in that space to
Chris Daigle 14:50
what was my Yes, back then. Yeah.
Ronald Skelton 14:54
So I probably use it for a little while. Actually. It sounds really familiar. Yeah,
Chris Daigle 14:57
it was a tool being used by a lot of short sellers, generally. The HUD ones for short sell packages.
Ronald Skelton 15:03
Do you remember? A nouveau riche? The education company? Yeah, I learned short sales from those guys. So
Chris Daigle 15:09
I'm trying remember who were the principles behind that demo?
Ronald Skelton 15:13
I'll think of it a second here. Yeah, they're they're doing. They're doing something in the MLM space now.
Chris Daigle 15:19
We're in the same space at the same time, then Ron, and I know a guy he's not in Tulsa. He's in Edmond, Oklahoma. Cory Booker, right.
Ronald Skelton 15:27
Yeah, I know. Yeah, sure. Yeah. Yeah. Local guy. Great guy has some cool, cool material. And yeah, so I print with him online, too. So we travel in the same circles. So yeah, it's interesting as I had, for those of your listeners out there, I just had my my personal assistant, go find me some really cool people to be on the show. And then when I when I started doing the background, once, once people, she gives me a list I looked at I was like, Wait a second, you know, Chris, and I have some connections here. And two of the people on my current team right now know of, you know, within, you know, the Eric and Gio both said hi. Right, yes, fantastic. They're on my slack chat earlier around five minutes before you joined us. So, so hello. Hi. I will I will. Um, so let's jump right back into the mergers and acquisitions. This is a space that there's it's been around since like businesses have been around businesses have been bought, sold merged together since the you know, the beginning of, you know, horse trading or whatever you want to call it, you know, camel trading, or whatever it was traded in, in the early days. But I honestly think it's even like real estate, there's always something new, something changing in the environment. What, what's going on right now in the space that you you're intrigued by that you're watching or
Chris Daigle 16:43
a couple of interesting variables, there's a lot of cash, very cheap. That's certainly contributed to an acceleration, I think of activity. However, are they good deals? I don't know. There's a lot of cheap money out there. Secondly, Spax. So the special purpose acquisition companies that they've been under different names for 20 years or whatever, but I was able to peripherally participate in a SPAC that happened. That took a division of a company that I used to work with and valued them billions of dollars. So that was interesting to see how that was structured, because a SPAC is I mean, it's kind of like a black box, people are putting money into a black box and hoping that it makes money. The enthusiasm for E commerce based on the the COVID, you know, forcing more people to shop online. i One of the things that I saw in that was that people were m&a Folks, that acquisition entrepreneurs, were going to brick and mortars and helping them get online. So they weren't necessarily acquiring the company. But they were taking some sort of a profits interest in the performance of the business by taking them into, you know, helping them prepare for the new landscape. Because, I mean, it's convenient. And I think that the minus any supply chain issues or anything like that, we won't have as many people going into brick and mortars as we used to. So understanding, being able to see like six to 12 months out on what you think could happen, doesn't mean you go buy those deals today. But it means you start to build the relationships, you start to get some market intelligence on what that marketplace is like what the unit unit economics are certain things so that you can be prepared. If the market does pivot the way that you're expecting it to go, you aren't flat footed, you've already got momentum, you've already been on the phone with a couple of owners or whatever, so that you're able to best capitalize on the momentum from a market condition that may occur. I think, you know, man, being an entrepreneur not being the college guy, I've always been, you know, oh, you know, the college stuff. They teach in the MBA programs or whatever. And it wasn't until I've matured and recognized the contribution and value of that that level of understanding so I agree with you 147 valuation models was too much. But this thing that I did through Columbia it was it was one of those certifications, right? It was like a eight week course or whatever, but I had never fully been exposed to the corporate perspective on m&a. And even though a lot of the stuff like like how it manipulates stock prices pre and post announcement like none of that really matters for us at this level. But understanding how because as a creative real estate investor or as an acquisition entrepreneur, we're cowboys a little bit right. And understanding how they had codified our cowboy behaviors. Was it was it doesn't encourage me to go and spend $250,000 I'm an MBA from Columbia. However, I feel that I got you know, there was a good contribution, it was a good value for the time and money that I contributed, it was a couple grand, maybe it was nothing crazy. So if if you are exclusively looking at one way of doing things in the space, that's great. And don't fall down the rabbit hole that Ron and I have done, which is go to a seminar and buy all the courses and leave some of them. I'm sure, many pull some up. But don't be dogmatic about your source of training. There's, like Ron's here talking to people every single week, whatever frequency that this is occurring. He's got, you know, conversations where he participated as a student and Jeremy Harbour's program, he's got Carl Allen from, I don't know what Carl's program is called now, but it used to be called CEO dealmaker when he was with agora, but so don't be dogmatic about where you get your information, be open to some other stuff doesn't mean you have to apply, it doesn't mean that they're right. But having that that perspective, because one thing that I do know is that once expanded, the mind can never contract to its original state. So just by introducing yourself to that concept, you now have a little bit of nuanced introduced to a creative structure now that maybe isn't as Cowboy or it's cowboy, but in a less, less risky environment, or whatever. So those would be a couple of things that I'm looking at in the m&a space right now.
Ronald Skelton 21:27
I like that I'd like the ability to add, I call it adding tools to my toolbox, right? Like, yes, I take these other programs, not because I'm not making money with what I just took, it's just like, when you start getting volume of deals going and somebody has one really cool tool, they can add to your arsenal of what you can pull out of that tool shed and structure a deal, you can make the difference of you know, mold, you know, in this space, you can make the difference of, you know, six and seven figure kind of difference in the real estate space. The reason I did it is, you know, doing the volume of deals we were doing if it added a few $100 for each deal we did, then it paid for itself time and time again. So usually it was a no brainer. If I could you know, if I could pull a nugget or two out of a program, I would grab it. It's like now I have a personal assistant, there's times where I send her to a webinar or a online thing to give me the footnotes, right? Yes. I don't want to listen from it. Right. And I don't want to set some of these things. I don't want to sit there and listen to it for two hours. But I bet there's something in there. You'll listen to that for me too, for two hours, right, your write up the outline. And if it's really intriguing, I'll go in the next one. It you know, you most of time, I can just take from the outline the stuff I need and go okay, well that, you know that that fits what I'm doing or not. Yeah, so I'm a
Chris Daigle 22:43
level where we're operating. It's not that we need mechanics, right? We need like concepts. And I don't mean like for somebody just getting started. But for somebody that's that has the mechanics down, they've got the team, we don't need to know, oh, they push the red button faster than the blue. But we need to know like, oh, so they do this pre conversation with the attorney. And before the like those types of that nuance is what I'm looking for, like, like you on those things. And it's one little tweak, game changer and it stays with your toolbox forever.
Ronald Skelton 23:15
It's in that realm of one of the things I used to get like in, you know, in the in the real estate space, and you go over somebody's house, you can almost walk in and go, you know, this house, this neighborhood, probably 120 grand and I'm in Tulsa. So if that number seems low to you, it probably is here in Tulsa, I can actually buy houses on a regular basis and that sub 200 Mark, but um, you know, inside of the business thing, I've learned really quick that when I get on the phone with a business owner, if they're like, hey, I want 1.5 million for my business, my natural instinct is just to go cool to see how we can get you there. Right away to just say, Cool. Let's see how we can get you there. Because I don't have any information at this point. Maybe it's worth more than that. Maybe it's worth less. But my objective when I talk to business, you know, talk to business owners is where are they trying to get to and how can I help them get there? Yeah. So
Chris Daigle 24:08
the same conversations we had with real estate. Yeah, Mr. Mrs. Jones, why are you thinking about selling? Right? One of the things that I do that's I'm going to actually introduce that. That's great. Let's see how we can get you there. My rebuttal is? Oh, okay, great. Can you tell me how you arrived at that number? Right. Just curious. How'd you come up with that number? Right.
Ronald Skelton 24:29
I do that sometimes. Yeah.
Chris Daigle 24:31
Because you never know. And a lot of times, especially at this level, if you're the one initiating contact, the business owners like help, I don't know. What's it worth? You tell me? What's it worth? Right. Let's see that a lot too. And that'd be a great thing. I don't know. Let's figure it out together.
Ronald Skelton 24:49
So, you, um, you've been in the space for a while. I mean, we all have different ways of sourcing deals and stuff like that. At how does that change through the different levels, like if you've been coaching this space, you've seen it at the people wanting to acquire million dollar companies all the way up to, you know, in the in the realm which you're playing in now, is the sourcing of leads changing along the way. We're both both you and I have a direct mail background. So it probably isn't uncommon for either one of us to just want to write a letter and send it to 1000 people.
Chris Daigle 25:24
But no, um, I would say that in the program I was working with, with Roland kind of our go to for getting started was, first let the world know what you're doing. Right. It was very formulaic. It was a I'm looking to acquire and I always advise people to have an ideal acquisition profile, what industry what size? How many employees geolocation? What are the things that would matter to you, and then go to LinkedIn, Facebook's okay, but go to LinkedIn and post, hey, I'm looking to acquire. And if you're like, Well, I'm not that guy. Nobody, you know, my friends don't know me as an acquisition entrepreneur, say I'm working with someone who is looking to acquire, right? And kind of takes the pressure off your friends, go, Wait a minute, you're an m&a expert all of a sudden, and then you just put your ideal criteria there now, does it flood you with leads? No, but here's what you've done, you've started to prime the pump, those things continued to live. And if if you are, you continue to do that with some frequency, not daily, but a couple times a month, once a week, whatever. But while simultaneously going to LinkedIn and leveraging the tools that they have there to find companies that meet your ideal acquisition profile. Now, if you're just getting started, maybe you do the first dozen outreach, so that you as the business owner can kind of understand Oh, this is what a dialog looks like with an actual interested party. Now, once you kind of get that down, then I would suggest you leverage a VA or an assistant or something to do at least the initial outreach, but in that my only advice would be don't be a dum dum. That sounds like Hey, glad to connect, by the way, I'd like to hump you, right? Like how, you know, can you buy something from me, don't be that person have a real conversation, because one of the things that I learned, and particularly in the business side of things at this level, this is their baby, right? So there is an emotional attachment, there's a narrative that they've got about that there's a whole thing about this business. And if you come at them and say, when you buy your baby, they're gonna say, no, but if you say, you know, this is fascinating, I love this industry, like get to know build rapport with the people. And then the rest of the conversation can get very casual, it doesn't need to be, I compare it to sitting on sitting on the other side of the table versus Hey, hold on, let me come over on your side. Let's look at this paperwork together kind of thing, right? The real estate type, dry Kitchen Kitchen Table close. But if you're able to do that, you will start to get lead flow. And here's what I'd suggest the worst thing that can happen for somebody new is that they have a ton of lead flow, you don't have systems you don't know what a deal looks like. You don't have a ton of time, you don't understand leverage that well. So it's okay, if those some of you that some of you that are listening, you didn't go zero to a million right away, as far as you know, like million miles an hour. It's okay to start. But you have to start, right you have to reach out be uncomfortable and have the owner like, because I know, the first time you get on the phone, you're like, I hope they don't think I'm stupid they do. And be okay with that, right? Because the next time you won't be as stupid the fifth time, you're not gonna sound stupid at all, but get the rocks get the marbles out of your mouth in those conversations.
Ronald Skelton 28:41
I did years of cold calling with the real estate side of right, just, you know, calling people saying hey, you know, I'm here to help on the east. But even me who's done that, and you know, have experienced in it when I started doing the first few calls for mergers and acquisitions, they were uncomfortable. Now, the role of I was involved. If I've got around here, I've got a stack of paperwork like this, we talked to over 200 companies and a matter of 180 days, right? So I was spending 30 to 40 hours a week on Zoom calls with you know, marketing agency owners that said, get real comfortable real fast and learn what works and what doesn't. And the thing that I learned worth the most for me anyway, was getting them started off talking about themselves. Yeah, yeah. You know, and it's always like, you know, my favorite thing is the origin story. Like, you know, how did you get into the business? How did you start it? Tell me a little bit about, you know, the path that took to get you here? Yeah. And then the second question is, is you're aware I'm a mergers and acquisitions guy. On this beautiful day in the middle of January, what has you on the phone spending some of your valuable lifetime with me? How can I be of service? And so I really tried to get out what are they trying to accomplish, you know, accomplish and in the conversation sometimes. A lot of times these business owners you're going to talk to you and you can correct me if I'm wrong. They don't even know what they're for sale yet. They're intrigued because you're interested. Yeah. So the best thing you can do is ask for questions. I don't know where I put it, I usually have this giant, metal question mark, I put over her by my, by my phone when I'm talking to these business owners. And all it is, is the remind me to ask for questions. And I am speaking, right? And, you know, and sometimes it's just like, hey, what are the your three biggest concerns? If you decide not to sell this, and you're gonna run it for the next five years? What are you most concerned about? And, and learning how to help around those areas, one of the things you have on your site and a couple different places on your Facebook profile, and I'm absolutely intrigued by and it says fix your head and keep you sane, so what is that about?
Chris Daigle 30:47
Yeah, so what I noticed with most companies, whether I'm interested in advising, acquiring, participating, whatever opportunity exists, however, opportunity without a plan is a huge mess. It's chaos. It's what what makes companies at all levels fail. So I looked for a solution to that. And the solution that I started with was something called EOS Entrepreneurial Operating System, huge fan. And once I recognize and just for those of you who aren't familiar with it, you can Google EOS worldwide, it stands for Entrepreneurial Operating System, it's um, it's a framework for organizing a business so that you're able to project influence without a ton of participation. It's measured, it's clear, everybody in the organization knows where we're going. And as an entrepreneur, somebody that's wired to be a driver and a cowboy. That was a challenge, because I was like, I'll figure it out, right? But as you grow, is that hole saying faster alone farther together? Right? Well, once you start building the team around you, a players you're going to find they don't like chaos, and they have options. So if you can't get your act together with your business, and be an environment where a players can thrive, you're not going to grow. So one of the things that I did was that but I've since incorporated elements of Werner Harnish, is scaling up from EEO. Ryan Deiss has a program called scalable OH S, which is fantastic. Google turned me on to OKRs outcomes, key results. So there's a number of things that we use that we've actually created a methodology that we call the new way. Because if it's not the new way, what is it?
Ronald Skelton 32:32
Let's deal with? Right, right.
Chris Daigle 32:35
So I found that the main problems that the business owners had when I was coming to talk to them about why they were interested in selling, working too much can't scale it don't have enough time with the kids, a burnt out and all that kind of thing. They weren't burnt out when they started, they're burnt out because they're wearing a lot of hats that their personality type shouldn't be wearing, right? So if you can, if I can come in and say, Hey, Owner, Let's carve this piece out for you. Janel, take that because she's kind of wired that way, and we get the right people in the right seats, things start to happen within the business to where morale goes up, performance goes up, sales go up, profits go up, cash in the bank goes up all those things. So I realized that if I were to approach an owner, they want to scale quickly, who does it, right, they want to make the growth easy, who wants to do it the hard way. And they want to stay sane in the process. And so that's kind of my buzz line is I help companies scale quickly I keep make the growth easy, I keep the oversight in the process. And I have that last part because most owners think scale means I'm going to have to sacrifice home, right? I'm gonna have to stop going to the gym, I'm gonna have to give things up while we're going through the scaling process. And what I do is I show them that there's a way for you to have the the rapid growth when I say rapid, we're not doubling a business in a week. This isn't some BS, this is real, real business, right. But if you're measuring things over a longer cycle quarterly or annually, you'll see Wow, the growth got easy. And they don't have to. And I think that most of us would be very encouraged to know that we can get what I want. without it having to be real messy, or me having to say Honey, I'm working late again or whatever. So that seems to be an appealing trifecta of characteristics that business owners like when I presented
Ronald Skelton 34:21
it's interesting is in that process of talking to all those marketing companies and you know, 200 plus business owners all doing about above a million dollars in revenue. That was kind of our minimal like to talk to them. And it more often than not the people that we turned away and said yeah, we're not interested. We're not going to move forward with them. It was mostly because they were in their own way. And on our particular team now I'm trained in a bunch of stuff but like NLP and all that stuff, but I don't I don't really thrive in that environment. So I don't I try not to coach others. I use it for me Catch me in the middle of, you know, my own little morass in my head. But um, you know, we actually a lot of the, I'd say we have about 75%. At the time of the people, we did the first call with that and move on to the second call, because they weren't a fit for the culture or, you know, the owner. And I'm going to be kind of director in the marketing agency space, there's a lot of egos. Yeah. And a lot of those guys, their ego was in their own way. They were they were there, they were their own biggest problem. And it's funny is like, we just seen that fix your head and keep you saying, Man, you know, the kind of money we could we could make in this world if we could, you know, snap some of these business owners out of their own head and have them look at the business as a business instead of an emotional tangle of I've worked 60 hours a week for 40 years straight. Yes.
Chris Daigle 35:49
You know, it's interesting that you bring up the emotional side of things. I did business mastery with Tony Robbins last week. It was for those of you haven't done it, it was virtual, I was a little disappointed that I had to use my ticket in a virtual environment. Tony crushed it, it was fantastic. I learned a ton in particular, I learned a lot from a guy named Keith Cunningham. And, Keith, for those of you don't know, and I didn't know this either. But Keith is rich dad, he was the inspiration for Robert Kiyosaki Rich Dad, and the Rich Dad Poor Dad series. And I'm from Austin, Texas, straight shooter, you know, he said, business is an intellectual game, the more emotion involved, the less intellect, the more intellect, the less emotion, they can't sit in the same places. So if you're aware of that filter, and you're asking yourself, where am I operating from on this? Do I love this deal? Or do the numbers make sense? Right? So that right there was a real takeaway for me. Because I'm a spirited entrepreneur, I'm sure of emotion has played some part in even my recent transactions. But if you can, because the worst thing you can do is I've got an attorney, friend and m&a space. And he said, sometimes the best deals are the ones you do not do. Right. And if you can't operate from an environment of less emotion, more intellect, in evaluating the bit, not not running the company, or the culture, or how you treat people, but in evaluating the deal, then I would submit that you will find yourself in a situation where you'll regret doing that deal, possibly probably, as compared to a deal where it was strictly a, there was a that you know, you vibed with the owner, but when we went to the spreadsheet, the spreadsheet made a lot of sense. That's the deal. You want to do not the one that says, Well, if we did this, and if the owner, you know, if his big dream comes through, then this'll we don't we don't pay for businesses on what they could do. We buy them at a price of what they've done, right? But we buy them, of course, because we see synergies. But we're not paying these business owners because they've got a dream. And if if I had a team of 10, I could do like, and when you get emotional, you can get caught up in the story. Because remember, it's their origin story. It's their baby. So hell yeah, they've got a compelling, you know, conversation about why it's the best in the world, why it ain't the ugly baby.
Ronald Skelton 38:11
I get that, you know, in the real estate space, people would come to me I mentored in that space for a little while and people come to me, you got to see this house, I found this house is so beautiful. I want to live in it. I was like, I've never been attracted to a house. Right? Houses are bricks, stick mud tape, you know, some nails, you know, plumbing pieces, but an elephant any of that attractive. But the numbers on the other side. Yeah, those intrigued me. And I see the same thing in business people. You know, I've got people right now that I work with, as friends because you know, I'm not at a stage where I'm mentoring people in the space. But we meet up together, we help each other do the peer to peer mastermind type of thing. And they're like, you gotta see this business. It's so cool. It's it and it's around crypto. And I was like, what are the numbers look like? You know, none of that attracts me. I'm not attracted to cool widgets, cool gadgets, the, you know, the the best software in the whole wide world. I'm interested in, like, how is it working? You know, what's the average life cycle of their customer, right, or the life cycle of the customer retention? That's one of the biggest things like, what's your longest customer you've ever had? Right? And you know, how that tells me how they're treating them. It's the same thing goes in the real estate space or anything else, you you can fall in love with something and try to make it work. And that's a dangerous play. I have one of my friends right now. She's trying to sell a house she bought I told her over and over not to buy it is an old Victorian money pit. And they dumped a bunch of money of their retirement. And it was I grew up in one like and I've always wanted to own one and you know, next thing you know, they put 50,000 into rehabbing this and it's still worth 50,000 Yeah, right. So they're now they're trying to sell it for 80 and it's been on the market and you know, Penny if you're hearing this I still love you to pieces you're a wonderful person and Wonder if I press enter on? That was a bad idea. So you do the same thing inside of these businesses? You don't watch it. If you've only got one deal in front of you that one could look really appetite. Yes. So
Chris Daigle 40:11
it's Iran. When you don't have a lot of deal flow, everything you get looks good. When you have a lot of deal flow, you get very, you get very picky, right. So what Ron just said is a big takeaway, like, if you don't have a lot of deals, you're gonna love it. You're gonna love what's put in front of you. Please don't make that mistake. Please don't make that
Ronald Skelton 40:33
mistake. Yeah, that would be and
Chris Daigle 40:35
it's but it's normal. Everybody, when they're getting started has a propensity to. I got my first deal. Right.
Ronald Skelton 40:42
I think Roland Frasier, you were the one you coach for for a while that he's a for those who don't know, he's one of the mentors out in the market space, a really good one good place to start, just like Jeremy is one of the things he brought up. He said, your first deal is probably right here in your phone. Right? Yes. And so I took that to heart going through his program, and I you know, I have a kudu I know out there who talks to the people, I want to talk to you on a regular basis. So it could be your CPAs. And stuff for me, happened to be a local guy who owns the home and garden show. Yeah, right. Because I have a pest control company is one of the ones I've gotten a few other things. So the home services businesses appealed to me, I have a background in real estate, I know all the investors in town, so I, it's easy for me to market to them. A lot of those guys are my friends. I can I can probably pull up five names. And you know, between those five names between property management, company owners and real estate investors, they got $5,000, you know, or so? Yes. So I started calling Frank on a regular basis, and he owns a home and garden show here and like, Hey, who do you know, that's about ready to retire, want to do something else? Right, and it's a regular conversation. And I've got to, you know, we haven't bought one of them yet. But I've evaluated to maybe three, one of them, we've cut off early, because it was a real mess. But you know, and I always say those deal. Even the other ones aren't dead, yet. Everything changes with time and circumstances. They just weren't quite ready, right? Yeah. So. So I believe that sourcing deals, and having a long list of deals to evaluate, you know, is, is the same inside of the real estate space, there is always a joke, where you want to look at 100 houses, you know, make offer on 10, three, three of them will get accepted you cherry pick the one, I don't think it's that much different inside of the space, you know, you should be talking to 100 business owners, you know, or maybe not that many, but you got to talk to quite a few, you run the numbers on many of them, five out of 100, probably six or seven of them have really good numbers that make sense to you. And then you cherry pick the one that most aligns and, and go from that. But if you're not out there, talking to business owners, then you're gonna, you're gonna take the first thing that comes in front of you.
Chris Daigle 42:49
And for those of you who are like, well, I don't have deal flow or whatever you're going to get there. However, one thing that you can do is you can leverage the momentum of somebody else, hey, I know that you're in the m&a space from what I'm seeing in the Facebook group or on the calls that we've done or whatever, you're killing it. Do you need any help? Can I help you? You don't even have to pay me right? Like, how can I like integrate that? Can I learn your process, your system where you're getting deals, that type of thing. There was a student in the program with EPIC NAME, Louis sharp guy was running the marketing agency was very eager to help. The people that had been identified as kind of like the experts within the community got to participate in the deal. And I think they ended up buying the company for 178 million, something crazy like that. And Louis for his participation had a very small piece. But it changed his life. Right. And it wasn't his deal. He wasn't the expert, he, he went into an environment of service like you do with your business owners. And when you're homeowners and stuff, he went into a mindset of service, and that will pay out. So if you can't get your own, find somebody like in this community that could use the extra set of hands because boy, we got a lot of leads, right?
Ronald Skelton 44:06
Absolutely. And that service mindset goes with everything right? I have a friend who, you know, I grew up with, he does manual labor now. And he you know, he does a form of manual labor that when it's raining outside, you really can't work as much as you think even the day off. So he stopped by the office one day to see me. And he comes in and the phone rings I answer the phone, Ronald Skelton, how may I be of service? Next guy calls Ronald Skelton how do I be of service. And after I got off the phone calls with those guys. He said you know what you want a bunch of real estate you're doing you're buying businesses now you do all this stuff. You coach people, you own part of the building and all the different things like you shouldn't be a service of anybody. Those guys should be a service to you. I said as long as you keep my only response to was as long as you keep that mindset, you're always going to be out in the hot sun working and you're not going to own a business right being a business being in this you're in service of others. That's an I really believe that I'm a big fan of, you know, the Go Giver the book and yeah, and that mentality of like, you know, provides service first. Yeah. Right. So, and I think it gets me further down a lot of lines with these with the business owners, right? I'm talking to one right now it's a furniture company is going through, he's going through some family issues type of things he's thinking about selling. And, you know, the first call was like, How can I be of service to you? Where do you Where are you wanting to get, you know, where do you want to get? And he's trying to decide whether he needs to be there in you know, a few months, like sell it outright to a guy like me, or somebody I know. Or he's willing to, you know, hang in there clean up some of the mess that's happened in the last five or six months. Grow It, you know, he was, yeah. grow into something that's, you know. Yeah. That's really would make a difference when he sells it. Right. Yeah. So and I'm a big fan of Dan Sullivan's who not how, yeah, I've got that traction book over here. And probably one or two other books by the same guys. Yeah, yeah. And from EOS. And I haven't studied Eos, and probably should. So I think my next I love building teams. And I'll say that to everybody. If you're thinking about doing this, I don't do this on my own. I'm a big fan of who not how Dan's book. I like it in the realm that he thinks that one of the the nuggets inside of that book is that procrastination isn't something to look down upon. It's actually gold. Like when you procrastinate something about doing something, chances are, you're not the right person who should be doing it in the first place. Right. And it's a big thing. Anytime you're trying to figure out how to do something, you should probably figure out who's already great at that. Yeah. And bring them into your team. So if you're out there, and you're listening, and you're just an EOS expert, and you're wanting to get into MLS, mergers and acquisitions, buying and selling companies, I'd love to talk to you because I don't have that skill. And I know it's needed. Love it. So that would be one. Leverage. So we're, we're about 45 minutes into our conversation. And one of the things I want to make sure is people know how to reach out to you and get a hold true. So I have your LinkedIn profile. Is it okay, if I show that? Absolutely. All right. So for those who are watching, make sure I get your name and your LinkedIn profile. Yeah, Dr. Daigle,
so I love it. So there's a story behind the doctor Daigle?
Chris Daigle 47:27
you know, it isn't. It fits in with the theme of what we've been talking about with service and stuff like that. When I first got involved in the marketing world. I, I was of service to a lot of people just like, hey, you know, I saw this thing I know you guys are in this space. I don't know, just random outreach and stuff like that. And because it was genuine, because there wasn't an attachment to an outcome from it. I was just wanting to build my peer group in my network. People would be like, hey, as a matter of fact, Chris, do you know somebody? Yeah, sure. Do. Right. And I kept I was able to make these introductions that were very powerful for people. And it got to be this joke. We're like, you know, you're in pain call the doc your business, isn't it? Your business is hurt and called Dr. Daigle. So it was it was a it was a spin off from being of service being somebody that could help people solve problems without necessarily needing to be like, Hey, pay me first kind of thing, right? I did a lot of work for free. I did a lot of introductions for free at the beginning of my career. And now I don't have to write like people, they, they know the impact of the introduction. So they come with their checkbook out. Hey, Doc, we need to get in touch with someone. So can you help us? Boom? Yeah, hold on a second. Hey, can you talk on Thursday, great. Done. And sometimes now guys, sometimes that introduction opens up the door for me to say to either party, if there's going to be talk of acquisition or partnerships or anything like that, you might want me to use me as a sounding board, right. And that sounding board ends up being they start telling you stuff about the deal or whatever. And you give them a little bit of advice. And they recognize we need more of this, like we need him involved in the deal. And it opens the door for you to be a participant for fee and participant for equity, for performance, whatever, there's so many ways to do these deals. It's not always about I now own the business. It's about leveraging the assets of that business. Sometimes that looks like you being on the on the you know, the the door of the business. Sometimes it looks like nobody knows who the heck you are. But you structured you rejiggered a couple things, and now all of a sudden, they're doing 30% more in revenue, and they're cutting that 10% off to you every month. So there's is it m&a? No. Is it another way to monetize your m&a efforts? Yeah.
Ronald Skelton 49:48
I think that any place where I'm training my efforts for equity in a company to some extent in my world, like in my least the logic I've got wired in my head. It is me As the acquisition side I'm acquiring a piece of the company phone were a valuable asset, you know, the asset is my time and energy. Right? Look at it. Yeah, it's, it's, there's that's the difference. I see you right now with all the stuff I did in the real estate space. And what I'm doing now in this space is in the real estate space. I constantly it's been in fact, one of my buddies is, uh, he's wrapping up the law school right now. And he said, You should start sending invoices for everybody that calls you even if you're like, zero it out, it's a friends and family discount, just so they know what they would have paid somebody else for that advice. Because yeah, for the longest time, you know, I would answer the phone four or five times, you know, a week spend an hour on the phone, helping somebody and you know, as well as I did, if you did a lot of short sells, I can untangle deed issues and complex real estate problems most people couldn't write. So they would call me and help them untangle it. And there's no piece of the action there. Unless I like free negotiate, hey, I'll do this. But when you when you close, send me a few 100 bucks to wear on this business and merger side acquisitions and merger side of things. There's equity in these companies. And it's really easy to say, hey, if I help you solve these problems, I'd like to start off at five or a 10. Or even you know, depending on the time they require you percent ownership, right? And then ever, you know, if you want me to help real merge companies in with you and grow through acquisition, I would like you know, 33%, you know, or whatever the number is, you pick a number that makes sense to them. And you have the revenue that's increased. Yeah. So I bring on a million dollar company, you know, I want a certain percentage of that over a certain period of time, or my you know, my 10 plus percent stake now becomes 15 or 20. In the you eventually do you work your way into owning a significant portion of the company. Yeah, right. Yeah, those all those options are on the table where I think in the real estate space unless you're doing kind of multifamily and doing what is it called now? Try to draw a blank, would you put a lot of money together syndications? Yes, if you're doing syndications, stuff like that, you could probably negotiate a bigger piece for your active, you know, logic and problem solving ability. But in the normal day to day operation of residential? Yes, this this opens all kinds of creative avenues, doing business and mergers and acquisitions. Yeah. Cool. So one of the things I do want to make sure of you actually, I have your LinkedIn profile, I actually have the other thing I have up for people as to how to find you on your website that I show that
Chris Daigle 52:36
you sure can. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm embarrassed that the website looks the way it does today, it was an attempt for me to save a few bucks. Well, that went out the window. I've now hired a company that specializes they didn't roll in site. They specialize in personal branding website. So the site that you see today looks nothing like the site, you'll see. I think in early March, there'll be a more accurate reflection of my my business process, I guess,
Ronald Skelton 53:07
I'll say it didn't look bad. It just you know, it looks like a consultants website, right? They have a picture of you tells you what you do. There's some backstory and stuff like that. I've seen worse.
Chris Daigle 53:18
I think I have to Yeah,
Ronald Skelton 53:21
I probably have worse I have probably have a few websites that are still out there like that, I'd probably should just take that thing. But, uh, so All right, well, is there. Like, we've talked about a bunch of different topics, we covered everything from kind of like making sure you have sources deal flow to the difference between this and real estate space. But out of all the things we talked about, did we miss something? Or is there something we really should have kind of covered inside of the space?
Chris Daigle 53:47
You know, I, I want to stress the importance if I would have known the contribution that like an EOS implementation would have to a business, I would have learned it 20 years ago, and my career would have gone a completely different direction. It's a universal issue with businesses that your buddy owns, or businesses that you're interested in buying is if it's entrepreneurial, if it's visionary lad, they probably haven't done a whole lot of planning. Right? And big boys and girls, they make plans and they stick to those plans. And they get the goodie at the end of that right? Cowboy and cowgirl entrepreneurs that just show up and pivot all the time and I got a great idea and I'm chasing a rabbit. They stay where they are and it's painful. So if you can come in there and get them out of their own way, as Ron was saying earlier, that contribution, they don't care where you went to school. They don't care how many businesses you bought and sold they don't care how what kind of car you drove up and if you can deliver that that's a very compelling story for business owners that which business owner wouldn't like to scale easily and not have to give up soccer games or you know, date night kind of thing, right? And you can do that if you become somebody who learns how to how to help businesses get out of their own way, that would be one thing. And the second thing, honestly, all comes protocol, the simplest solution is usually the best solution. Most of us, especially if we don't, there's that there's that whole long thing about the, the the master. And I'd rather it's something about karate or martial arts, but how the master doesn't do more, the Master does less. And that's what got them to mastery was not doing 147 different valuations on every deal they did. But getting to the one or two models that fit their industry, their vertical their goals, the best, like, so. It doesn't have to be terribly complicated. And another thing Well, Chris, I don't know at all You don't have to, but you're hooked up with a group with through this and do other things that you're doing. Or somebody else like Ron said, Hey, if you're listening and you know, Eos, let's talk, if you get the deal. And you need a guy, a finance guy, or you need a an attorney, and she's 1000 bucks an hour, you bring them in on the deal, right? There's things that you can do that any impediment that I don't I'm not gonna pay editor, don't bring them in on the deal. Let them have a piece of the action. Maybe they say no, maybe they say yes. Right. So think about outcomes protocol, Eos, and leveraging other people's skill sets. And I think those three things would kind of be philosophically big levers for you to pull in your your future endeavors.
Ronald Skelton 56:35
All right, I appreciate it. And we're almost at the top of the hour here. So I do need to stop it. I appreciate your time. I could talk to you for a few hours and really learn from you and I enjoy the time that you've given to me. So thank you for being on the show and hang out for a few seconds after we podcast and see everybody. Alright, thank you, the investors and entrepreneurs professional mastermind. The investors and entrepreneurs professional mastermind combines that traditional peer to peer mastermind introduce first and Napoleon Hill's famous book Thinking Grow Rich, with accountability partnering, where your peers help you ensure that you set goals take action and get results. If you want to scale blow past roadblocks and achieve success faster than you might think is possible. I suggest you take a visit over to tiepm.com that's tiepm.com and check out the investors and entrepreneurs professional mastermind