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Dec. 30, 2022

How2Exit Episode 83: Ian Pavlik - "The Perfect Exit. Ian Pavlik sells using ITX Marketplace"

How2Exit Episode 83: Ian Pavlik -

Ian Pavlik is the former Founder and President of pavliks.com and The Portal Connector. An IT solutions company based out of Ontario Canada with Customers and Partners around the Globe.

Ian was a former professional Alpine ski racer who transitioned...


Ian Pavlik is the former Founder and President of pavliks.com and The Portal Connector. An IT solutions company based out of Ontario Canada with Customers and Partners around the Globe.

Ian was a former professional Alpine ski racer who transitioned into the business world in the early 90's when he took over the family marketing and advertising business and pivoted it towards the IT space in the late 90's. He then grew it from a father/son small business to a 70 person, $10MM+/yr IT organization.

Ian and his wife Sarah exited the business in late 2022 and have now started a charity, The Pavlik Foundation, which focuses on helping improve food security and provide educational opportunities to youth in STEM subjects.

Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/pARJZE8P8VA
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Contact Ian on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ianpavlik/
Website: http://www.pavliks.com/
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Transcript

Ron Skelton: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to How to Exit. Today, we're here with Ian Pavlik, and, he's the founder and, former, president and founder of Pavliks.com. And, they were the IT connection portal. They were an IT solutions company based out of Ontario, Canada, with customers and partners around the globe. And you guys did an exit.

So we're gonna talk today with you about what it is, like to build something and sell it. So thank you for being on the show today. 

Ian Pavlik: Oh, pleasure to be here Ron. Thanks. 

Ron Skelton: I always, always, always start with kind of the origin story. Let's origin story. It's an, or I think I said orange, the orange story.

Today we're gonna, let's like, how did you get started, right? Let's talk about, what did you build, how did you build it? And then we'll get into, yeah. How the story ended or 

Ian Pavlik: Sure. 

Ron Skelton: And, and where you're at now. So it would be fun to learn about what you're up to next, but let's do the, how it all began first. 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah, absolutely. My father started a business back in 1969. But it wasn't in the IT space cuz obviously IT wasn't quite that way back then. But it was a marketing and advertising [00:01:00] business and, I was born in the very early seventies and so I had business as part of my life, experiencing what my father was going through, building a business.

It was a small business. He grew it to about 15 people, back in the days of, radio ads and tv. And if you, for those of you who are, maybe younger, don't realize, but desktop publishing used to be literally getting these electroset. These pages of letters and you would rub them onto a, onto whatever graphic you wanted to then photo to put into print.

Anyway, that's what he used to do. I grew up as actually a professional ski racer, so I was a downhiller. I raced at the World Cup level, but then in the early nineties when I, retired and left, the skiing, I had to do something. And so my dad took me under his wing and said, why don't you get involved in the family business?

Great. So I learned a little bit, but then it was sort of in the mid nineties when I said, this is not for me, but I was already a bit of a programmer. Mm-hmm. taught myself how to program, had a [00:02:00] laptop when they were like this thick and , PC, M C I A cards that you would slide into the side to, con like, all that kind of stuff.

Anyway, I said I'd like to take over. I'd like to do something in the IT space. And he said, you know what, I'll hand the reins over to you and I'll help you. And give him a lot of credit. And he had sort of scaled the business back to a more of a home-based business at that time.

And it was really just him and I. To start back in sort of 96. And then over the next few years, we kind of grew, we added a couple people. We were out of the basement of my house. That kind of typical story. But the way that I remember it was, when something would come up, I was the president.

I had turned to dad and go, so how do I do this? How do I handle this issue? And then he would guide me. And then after a couple years, I'd be like, dad, I think this is what we should do. And he'd be like, yeah, I think that's right. And it was really kind of about five, six years later when I turned to him and say dad this is what we're doing.

Mm-hmm. . And it kind of felt like, all right, he, and he knew too, that it was at the time you could hand things over. But anyway, so we [00:03:00] get into kind of the, into the late nineties, early 2000, and we were doing pretty much the same thing that the company is doing now. So that was managed IT services, which was back in the days of Windows NT and Windows 311 and that kind of stuff.

Ron Skelton: Mm-hmm. right.

Ian Pavlik: When Doss was there and kind of how helping people connect 311 networks and all that kind of stuff. Did a little bit of programming. So we started to use Microsoft Access or what was called Cold Fusion back in the day, and those languages and built the, these websites and hey, we could actually build websites that interacted with databases.

That's so cool. And kind of novel. And then that's kind of what we did. And then really coming to the two thousands was when we started to grow into 10, 15, 20, and then it was really around 2015. When we added the third division, some software that we had created that we sold through a channel worldwide that we grew into 50, 60 and then 70 people, which is when we [00:04:00] exited last year.

I don't dunno if that gives you kind of the general background, but,

Ron Skelton: It does. 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. 

Ron Skelton: You know, it's interesting. I have a similar background, but on the other side of the fence, meaning that, to this day I still don't touch pc. I've had a few, like when I was in college doing master's degree in my undergrad, I had a laptop that ran on Windows because everybody wanted Word docs.

And if you remember back then, I'm dating myself a little bit, but. Microsoft work didn't work that great. 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. 

Ron Skelton: On and, and for PowerPoint and the stuff you wanted, like when you're doing PowerPoint presentation for like your MBA program, they wanted a particular way turned in and stuff. So I bought one of the laptops. I was on the, I did that same kind of path as far as technology, but it was Unix, Linux trusted, instead of access, we were MySQL, Oracle databases.

So not, 

Ian Pavlik: Instead of exchange was Lotus and Lotus one, with all that kinda stuff. Yeah, yeah. 

Ron Skelton: Yeah. And to this day, I still run everything on Mac equipment. I think I, I still have an Android phone. It's the only thing I have that's not Mac. 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah, yeah. 

Ron Skelton: And I still occasionally probably less than, been a long time, but occasionally I'll pop [00:05:00] open a command shell and log into the server through the actual command prompt.

I still remember all the command. 

Ian Pavlik: It could be the fastest easiest way to do things. Sometimes, you know. There's certain features and functions you can't do through an interface. You have to go to command line. Right? 

Ron Skelton: Yeah. It's like, it's just, and, and it's just quicker for me sometimes, like Sure. Instead of trying to figure out why, if I've got, it rarely happens on a Mac, but if I got something that's running rogue or something, like, why is that thing running?

I'll just start pulling it up, look at the processes and kill the process underneath it. Yeah. And, shut it down. But, yeah, so it's interesting that, you took this from, a marketing agency per se, to a kind of professional services marketing agency, to an IT company.

Ian Pavlik: And it was kinda become in that time of the late eighties, early nineties when as I described the electro mm-hmm.

was do in the old days. So I think there was this program called Corra that came out of a company outta Ottawa somewhere and a small startup at the time. And then, something called, I can't remember what they were, other desktop publishing programs. And my father was kind of a very early to the game in adopting technology to help with the [00:06:00] marketing.

So that, that's where I got exposed, sort of during the late eighties. And it was a sort of thing where he would turn on the computer, in the home office, go grab a coffee and then come back and it would've been started up by then. That was what I got exposed to in the beginning. And that's where I got my interest in technology.

And then when it was okay, if I'm gonna take over. I'm not a marketing guy. I'm a tech guy. 

Ron Skelton: So, interesting. My first modem actually was coupled to a, like a phone, right? 

Ian Pavlik: Go ahead. 

Ron Skelton: Yeah, it dialed out like the whole, like I, my first like connection to the internet was like a phone couple 300 BOD modem and a trash 80 a t r s 80, radio Shack computer.

Right. So,

Ian Pavlik: Yeah, Vic 20 I, I learned a program on a Vic 20 back in the day. 

Ron Skelton: So let's go, let's get back into the, into the mergers and acquisitions world. So you built this, you grew it, and at some point you realized, okay, now this isn't something I want to do anymore. Or what was the process that led you up to, okay, it's time to think about selling it?

Ian Pavlik: There is some, I have to give my father [00:07:00] like all the credit in the world. He was an incredible mentor, still is an incredible mentor. But we became, in a lot of our conversations, clear that in his mind he was, the business was a lifestyle for him. It gave him the opportunity to do what he wanted to, but it was about the business feeding his lifestyle.

I knew that I probably didn't wanna do this forever. And so how am I gonna exit this and how am I gonna un stop doing it other than sort of wind up or go bankrupt? And there were some decision points in the early two thousands where it was like, well, I want to hire a highend expensive salesperson.

Oh my gosh, why would you pay six figures for a salesperson, right? That's too expensive. That would be my dad's perspective. But I'm like, no, if we're gonna grow, we have to invest in creating pipeline. And that was one of those starting conversations. Say, okay, well, I know that's what you would do, but this is what I want to do and it's for the purpose of growing.

Well, why do you want to grow? Well, there's value in growth, not only in, creating more profit this year and years to come, but if we're gonna exit. And so [00:08:00] that was kind of the starting point of the conversation. And it was about two, maybe six, seven years ago. My father had already fully retired and left the business and it was my sister and I, so my sister got involved as well.

So very much a family oriented business. That's correct. Where between the three of us, we had a honest conversation. I said, well, if I'm gonna continue to lead, I'm the primary shareholder. I don't wanna be here forever. I don't wanna be here in 15, 20 years. At some point we're gonna have to wrap this thing up or, and move on.

Are you on board or not? And they were, they didn't know how, we didn't know exactly where or how this was gonna go, but they knew that at some point that was gonna happen. And we would have periodic conversations and say, where are we at with growth, with size, with multiples and blah, blah blah.

But we knew we were aligned that this was gonna happen because if they weren't, then I was like, that's fine, then I'm going to maybe go do something else cuz that's not what I want. But if you want me to be the, the leader of this and you're okay with that, this is the way I'm gonna take it. So that was sort of the, [00:09:00] how we came to the decision that someday we're gonna exit.

Ron Skelton: So you came to the decision that someday you're gonna want to exit. Did you start researching what an exit would look like? Was it a surprise Where I'm leading to on this question, it's a leading question is, when was the realization there's a lot of work to make a company exit a bull did it,

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. 

Ron Skelton: You call a broker and say, Hey, we're thinking about selling this. Did you read a book? I mean, what, 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. 

Ron Skelton: What gave you the insight that we're gonna have to change the way your daily operations worked to maximize your exit potential? 

Ian Pavlik: It's sort of two things that happened. One, for the last 10 years of me running the business, I was a member of what in the US is called Vistage.

Mm-hmm. I think in Canada it's called tech. So business owners, there's like 10 or 12 of us in a group and we would meet monthly, blah, blah, blah, and just be open book share, all our PNLs and everything with each other. And there were a handful of people that exited. So I was able to witness sort of, how, what they went through, what their thinking was.

I saw some really successful exits and I saw some bad ones. So [00:10:00] I got to learn a lot through them. And then I also had tended back about 15 years ago, A small conference on how to, if you're interested in buying or selling, it was only like a hundred, 150 people. It was really an opportunity for all like the Deloitte people to come and try to hit up small guys and find customers.

But what I got out of it was this idea of that don't think of you selling, think of somebody buying you and what does the buyer want. It's not what you think you want to sell. So if you can make sure that you are putting yourself in the mind of the buyer, then what can you do to make your company as enticing as valuable to a buyer as possible?

And there was a great, sort of worksheet that one somebody had given me, where you could do a bit of a self-assessment to, how well documented it was. Like this a hundred point survey type thing. How well documented all your policy and procedures ranking it from one to 10. How long can you, how long can you as the leader, not be [00:11:00] accessible by phone or email before the company starts to suffer. That's a big one, right? 

Ron Skelton: Right. Big one. 

Ian Pavlik: And that one hit me hard back about, I guess seven, eight years ago. And I took some advice from somebody, which was start for two days. Turn off everything and be away for two days.

Inaccessible, come back, see what broke, what did people freak out about? Fix that. Then, a couple weeks, months later, go away for four days, turn everything off, come back, what broke. And it got to the point where my wife and I actually went on a great trip and went to Killam, Manjaro and hike, climbed, summited it.

It was three weeks. Three weeks. We were outta communication cuz we were up on top of a mountain and nothing broke. And I was like, all right, here, we're getting close to something here, where now the business isn't dependent on me. Anyway, it was, 

Ron Skelton: It's a business instead of a paying hobby, right.

Ian Pavlik: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. 

Ron Skelton: So that's a, I bet that was a heck of a trip. I actually have a, a friend she's all of, I would say 98 pounds, soaking wet, like five foot five. She's solo, [00:12:00] traveled to Africa and climbed with the guide, climb, count, Mount Killam, Manjaro. So, uh, 

Ian Pavlik: Actually, there's a friend of mine who has summited all seven peaks.

So he is summited Everest. He had to attempt to kill Manjaro twice. It's how you react to elevation and (mm-hmm) the depleting oxygen, percentage and stuff is something not everybody can train for, and it can hit you differently at different time. So you could be a marathon runner or smoke three packs a day and the smoker might make it and the marathon runner might not.

Right. So it's not all about how you train, although that is important. But, uh 

Ron Skelton: That's interesting. 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. Anyway. 

Ron Skelton: So you've, you started, Vistage, you're, you've got learning from other people's experience. You start making, changes. You start being able to travel and be away from the business.

How were the other executives and other key players, your sister and the other people in there, how were they reacting to this and what was that conversation like? 

Ian Pavlik: For us, it was a couple of challenges. One was my [00:13:00] father was a principal at one point in the past. It was myself, it was my sister, my wife got involved, my sister's husband got involved.

The staff saw this like ceiling of, if you're not related to a pav, I got no chance of progressing in the company. And I realized that somewhat early on. (Mm-hmm). So it became a conscious effort and knew it was gonna take several years to create an org structure that didn't require you to be a pav, to be a VP of that type.

And the size grew to the point where it required that type of work structure. And we had people who were elevating their game and it warranted that, that type of role. So I think it was a combination of growth where we needed more people than there were Pavlik's and then you could start to diversify and we created a much more structured senior management team, with reporting structure. And it was a diff a difficult thing because when you're smaller, everybody wants to and needs to know kind of what everyone else is doing [00:14:00] to get to the point where it's like, oh, silo A, you don't need to know what silo B is doing except where there are linkages between you.

So it was just more about you are in charge of your own domain as opposed to everybody chirping in on everybody's stuff. And that was a bit of a culture shift that we had to go through. To get to the point. I guess also the point of having a stronger management team where it was like our management meetings that we would have weekly was really people just telling me kind of like that story about my father telling me what they're doing as opposed to asking me what should I do?

And I felt like once we got to that point, I'm like, okay, I'm not as important anymore. And it was about it actually, helping them as senior leaders realize they don't need me and they are in control and I'm just a, what's the security blanket for them. So that, yeah, that took a bunch of work to get to that point.

Ron Skelton: Well, did it come natural to you, or did it take a little bit of work to let go of your own ego? Right. It's, there's something, a lot of business. I'm gonna step into this other realm real quick and you understand [00:15:00] why I'm asking the question. A lot of business owners tie a large portion of their identity 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah.

Ron Skelton: To what they own and who they are. Like, if you ask 'em, who are they? And like, well, I'm the owner of, like, they don't say I'm the father of, or I'm the, like, all the other important things in their life are there. But tell you like, if I say, who is, you know? 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah.

Ron Skelton: They go into the business side, they tie their identity to it. So when you decide, okay, I'm gonna exit and these other people need to, take on these roles of responsibility, need to need me less, how did that impact, like, was there an emotional, like shift you had to go through? Was it a challenge at all?

Ian Pavlik: You know what, I know exactly what you mean because I have a lot of colleagues who are like that, (mm-hmm) who are, that's what they want, is they want, and I, I, I say now that I've exited, I do miss a lot of it. (Mm-hmm), but at heart, I didn't need that to define who I was. There were things that I want to do and I had more fun doing those things than necessarily running the business. I loved running the business. [00:16:00] It was enjoyable, but the highs and the lows and the stress in between, that's, I mean, we all know what that is. That's, that's difficult. But it didn't identify me. But for some people it does and all the power to 'em.

But that's where, as I know, as we all know, it can be difficult to exit when, well, I think actually, I've heard this story before about people who are worried about, you know what, I don't have a business card. Like, when I leave the business, what am I gonna give to my buddies? Or what's my email address gonna be?

That type of thing. So I didn't bother me that much. So I think that weaning away into the background, was, if anything, it was nice. Now, the hard part was when something hit the fan. I mean, you still gotta step up. You still gotta deal with it. You still gotta go in there and have the difficult conversations and deal with the fallout.

It doesn't absolve you of that at all. It just also, it means you now have to deal with the people to solve the problem rather than solving the problem. Right. 

Ron Skelton: Right. What comes to mind in this whole, the whole thing is you [00:17:00] already had the mindset of knowing what you needed, what you wanted to do next.

Right. You kind of knew what you found enjoyable outside of your business. I've interviewed close to, I think I told you earlier, I think you're right, when Brian around the a hundred, 102 mark right now, people in this space that have bought, sold, advisors. People who teach at mentors and stuff, and one of the questions I used to ask a lot until everybody started giving the same answers, what's the number one killer of deals?

And it's the owner backing out of the deal, right? Yeah. The owner. Hitting that point and let 'em get to the closing table. And they'll never call it that. They'll say, well, he decided he wanted my sign and that my Aunt Susie made that sign for me and I'm taking it with me. And so I'm not selling him the sign.

And he, the other guy's like, well, that's a, that's part of the ambience of the building. I want it. And, so yeah. But the true, and you're really getting down to the truth of it, is the guy didn't know what he was gonna do, next, and he, he just got cold feet. So, 

Ian Pavlik: Well, it gets back to what I said before is if you don't know that you want, if you wanted to exit (mm-hmm) and you're setting things up to exit, then you must have a reason [00:18:00] to exit. But I think where these things might happen is you might see your buddy or your friend or someone else suddenly gets some, seven, eight figure check and they're like, I want that too. But then it comes down to, it means I gotta give this up.

Then maybe they don't make that connection. But if you know what your goal is, and that was something that, that my Vistage chair really was great at mentoring me along was. What do you want? Right? And it's not, what do you want? So actually I'll tell you a quick little anecdote.

This happened back several years ago. (Mm-hmm) uh, there's a great, business coach I had, his name's Dave Claire, he's down in Australia right now. But he did an exercise with me when the early days when they're like four or five people. He said, what do you wanna do? I want to increase revenue.

Why? And uh, well, I mean cuz then we've got more revenue. Why? And I tease him because you just asked one word questions why all the time, right? Well we want to grow revenue so I can make more money. Why? Well, if you make more money then I have more freedom. Why? Well, if I have more freedom then I got two young kids, I can go see them more.

And he is like, [00:19:00] boom, there you go. 

Ron Skelton: Right.

Ian Pavlik: Right. So it was, so he made that connection and I kind of realized early on my why is family, my why is experiences with them. That's what I want to do. And I've got a very strong sort of connection with some charities as well. That's my why and the business is my means to do it.

So if I can actually turn that means into something a little bit larger and I don't need the burden of the business, that's what drove me. I figured that out early on and I feel, and I give my dad a lot of credit for sort of giving me the tools to learn that. 

Ron Skelton: That used to be one of my favorite things to do because I like that.

I know that exercise and I've participated in it before and I've actually, done that. The issue, I don't do it on the show anymore because I've actually, and I haven't done this on the show, but in my personal life when I was helping people out and we did the why, why, why I've seen grown men cry, right?

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. 

Ron Skelton: Is they just realized they're in the wrong path right now when they're really clicks on the why they're doing what they're doing. They're often left filled when they should be over here in the right field and they're doing something [00:20:00] totally out of alignment with everything they real, they really want.

And it's disruptive. It can be. 

Ian Pavlik: And I think what we get caught up sometimes is you people read, get to why and all that kind of stuff and why about purpose and the purpose of the business. And I'm fully, I fully believe in businesses needing to have a purpose and purpose drives staff and employees and vision, but there's also a personal purpose.

And sometimes those two aren't the same. Right. A business needs, you gotta have somebody who comes in, cleans out the sewage system. There's not like a noble purpose that can necessarily align with what my personal purpose is. But one can feed the other. And I think that's where business owners sometimes maybe get the two mixed and don't spend the time on themselves.

That's just my opinion. 

Ron Skelton: And I'll give it, I'll give it this too. I've actually had a few people where we did the exercise and their why really was their business because they were trying to solve some world problem inside of their business. And it was a catalyst. The business was a catalyst to solve something.

It was like their business was kind of the charity they got behind [00:21:00] and they were solving some greater problem in the world. If they could achieve their goal in it, the world would be a better place in their mind. Like even if I didn't believe it, or they believed it, you know? And I'm not saying I didn't, it's whether you guys are, there's two of 'em that they know who they are.

So I'm not saying I didn't believe it, even if I had not believed it, they did and that's all that mattered. So then for them, They go through the exits, they probably wouldn't next exit until that's accomplished. Right? 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. 

Ron Skelton: So that, 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. Yeah. No, and it's a very personal thing. It's a very visceral thing.

Right. All the power to people who either it's them and the business or, it's two different things. I, yeah, I get it. 

Ron Skelton: So we're part, we're at the part, your story where you've decided to make the decision. You've done your travel, you've made the changes. Did you continue to grow?

Like did, cuz did you hit a number? If I sold it, you started doing the research you hadn't have done Okay. That my type of business at my level sell at, three x, four X five, whatever the number is. 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. Well, yes. So it was this whole pandemic thing. Mm-hmm. [00:22:00] just, mm-hmm. . I think it's, I think it's a very common story.

The first three months of the pandemic, I thought we were gonna lose everything. It was. . Oh, cash flow, right? Nobody wanted to pay us because nobody was paying them. (Mm-hmm) and suddenly there was no money for us to pay anybody. All the work in the world, especially in the IT space, everybody needed a laptop security, remote working.

It was gangbusters, but you couldn't get people to pay us. And we ran into a real cash crunch. Whether conservative or a liberal or wherever you sit on the spectrum, the government funding really helped in Canada keep the cash flowing and then suddenly you come out into August and things blew up in a positive way.

We just had our best year ever after that, and it was just six months or kind of halfway through the pandemic that I looked at and go, hold on a sec. I thought this was gonna be three or four, maybe years away, but the, with the way the trajectory is going, I think we're on track here for something.

This, we might get to our [00:23:00] number. And that's when I had, I brought the family together and said, all right, I'm gonna, I'm gonna explore, I'm gonna look, we're gonna put the feelers out and engage with ITX to, to check things out, cuz we might be there or not. And what I wasn't aware of is, well, how the multiples have increased from when I previously tested the water, say four or five years earlier. I knew what, I knew we were growing in revenue and our EBITDA was steadily growing with it, but I didn't know that the multiples had grown. And so when I, that all kind of came together, it was like, hold on a sec, this could be real. And that's when it became sort of an earnest effort to, because it was also at a stage, so we had grown to about 70 people, another 20 or 30 offshore sort of contractors.

And we had gone through another one of those hurdles and we'd always self-funded. We had never had to go and get anyone else to fund us. We'd always sort of kept our money in the business and if we're gonna keep going on that was another level that[00:24:00] I could have taken us to. But I was starting to get tired and that whole stress of the early pandemic was like,

geez, you know what my worth is in this and I almost lost it all. If we're getting over a bar right now of what would, a allow me to do the things that I want to do, then, and I can find somebody who can maintain the soul of who we are as a business, then why not exit?

And so that was when we started to, engage with, ITX on, on how and what the market might think of us. 

Ron Skelton: So now's probably a good time to let everybody on the show know that, you're a ITX success story. So ITX is a channel partner of, channel partner of the show. And I just wanna be, I don't like hiding anything.

I didn't think I should have probably done this at the very beginning, but just everybody listening knows. I actually reached out to ITX, which is one of our channel partners, they actually help IT companies at that 5 million to 30 million valuation or, to sell. And they've been at it since what, the late eighties, early nineties.

They've been at it for a while. So I asked him for success stories and they introduced you and I, [00:25:00] just that's in full disclosure. So we don't have any, anybody listening and going, Hey, he keeps talking about ITX isn't that one of his guy sponsors? Like it is. 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. And you know what, we talked with a number of different, so in, in that, process it wasn't them hitting us up. We went out and we interviewed a few different brokers, cuz again, I'd never done this before. So I didn't know what the process was other than vicariously living it through some of my, business colleagues. It was interesting to learn from Tim Mueller, sort of the principal there at ITX and then a number of other firms of, so what's the process?

How do you go about doing this? And I learned that I was too big for some and way too small for others. We were just right for, ITX and 

Ron Skelton: Right. 

Ian Pavlik: And I really appreciated sort of the process and how we, held our hand through the process. 

Ron Skelton: And they have a pro, a really good process.

And then they also have, they have a huge pool. They've been doing this for so long. They have a huge pool of known buyers, people that are looking for (mm-hmm). So the proc, their process. Once you've got the documentation there and you're, you've got the information ready to [00:26:00] present, what was the timeline like?

You reached out to them and did it? 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. 

Ron Skelton: How long did it take before they actually had you presenting or talking to actual potential buyers? 

Ian Pavlik: It ended up being kind of, so from the time we said, alright, let's go, there was a whole bunch of work, front end work for us. (Mm-hmm). pulling all our numbers together, all our material, producing some good content that the sim, the confidential information memorandum.

(Mm-hmm). making sure it's all legit. Making sure we got everything all together. So that was a good six, eight weeks of work and I, and that was me, like 80% of my time working at that. 

Ron Skelton: Yeah.

Ian Pavlik: And then, from about the time we pulled the trigger to, our first call with our first prospect was probably three months.

And that's when ITX started to line up. Uh, well, they would go out and they'd do the fishing expedition, find people who might be interested, and then line up introduction calls where it made sense. So they would filter out the, 

Ron Skelton: Yeah. They do some filtering on there. Yeah.

Ian Pavlik: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely.

[00:27:00] Yeah. Then it was like, I would say a month of speed dating. It was a fun process and I kind of, I was nervous about it at first. But once I did my first couple, I was like, because it's like anything, doing this con, having this conversation, I'm the one who knows the most about me, so why should I be nervous talking about me?

Ron Skelton: Right. 

Ian Pavlik: Same thing. I'm the one who knows the most about the business. And so I was, had no problem talking about it. I thought I'd get beat up more on the calls and people, but. Who, if you're wanting the power is in both of us. Right? 

Ron Skelton: Right. 

Ian Pavlik: Not only do I wanna sell, but I get to choose who's gonna buy. And there were clearly some people I talked to, I was like, Nope, I don't wanna sell to you even if you gave me a good number. So.

Ron Skelton: Let's, let's go there cuz it's really important. We have a lot of buyers that listen to the show. What was your selection process? Cuz I've done, I've asked this question quite a bit actually, but, the sellers and brokers and advisors of, how does the seller pick. And I always thought it was gonna be the hi.

You know, if you'd asked me day one, three years ago before I did my first podcast and interview, interviewed my first guy and [00:28:00] studied my first course on acquisition and mergers, I'd have told you that every business sold sells to the highest in business. The best offer. Yeah. It's a bidding war, and that's not true.

Right. It's, you just clearly said right now that before you even got to numbers, you knew certain, it's more like dating than it would be, you know? 

Ian Pavlik: Well, I think it comes down to where the seller, where's their business at. I had a great honest conversation with one, private equity firm where, all they wanted were companies that were heading down downhill fast.

At that point, you know that people aren't gonna hang around, they're just gonna buy you ring every dollar out of it and then wrap you up in two or three years. But let me get out, I want to get out before the ship sinks, right? (Mm-hmm). So in that kind of case, you're probably, you don't care about the people and the staff because they're gonna go, so yeah, you might sell to the highest buyer.

We're on the opposite. We were on the upswing and, and we're very family focused. And I'm not the kind of guy, I'm not one of those Wall Street kind of, let's do a big deal and let's grow, grow. And I want to go public [00:29:00] and be hard ass. That's not who we were. That's not how we built the business.

So we wanted to find somebody that had a, a similar feel to it and a vibe. And that was important. Absolutely, money was important, but if it came down to comparison, I wanted to make sure that, there was a good cultural fit too. Pardon me? 

Ron Skelton: We don't need to name the, the acquiring party, but was the acquiring party, a private equity company, a strategic purchase, an individual family office?

What category would you say that your, the buyer was in? 

Ian Pavlik: It was definitely a strategic buyer. So with how our, sorry, pardon me. Sorry. Alright, so it was definitely a strategic buyer. With the way our business was structured, it was three distinct divisions that didn't have a lot of common customers across them.

(Mm-hmm). one was global, one was sort of national and the other one was a very regional, different product offerings and so forth. So there was a bit of concern on our part who's interested in that, cuz I, [00:30:00] I thought at one point we'd actually sell it in three parts. But when we found, a company that saw the value in each one of them, and it plugged in very well, I guess they call it a roll up.

(Mm-hmm). That just made sense and it delivered the most value to the buyer. But it also was made me feel, and us feel the best about, retaining everybody. Nobody was cut, right? Every customer was kept . (Mm-hmm). all the same products and services were being offered. It was just now expanded and they could, do things and very quickly, that grew the revenue of the organization in ways like, I, I guess I could have done that, but I don't know if I had the cajones to. Right?

Or the desire or the finances, to be quite honest. Right. To (mm-hmm) engage in two year commitments on hiring external contractors at a guaranteed rate, where I'm like, whoa, I don't want to add that kind of risk. Right? I wanna, I want to, but they could do it. And then that grew revenue for them.

So the strategic buyer was definitely there was[00:31:00] in, our discussions, we ended up with, five different offers. Three of them were private equity and one was a family office and one was a strategic buyer. But definitely the strategic buyer in our case was the better choice, in all categories.

Ron Skelton: Now the rumor has it, if you're outside of the circle and you ask people who used to sell to, a lot of times they'll say that strategic buyers always pay higher multiples. Was it one of the better offers of amongst them or was it pretty even across? 

Ian Pavlik: No, it was one of the better offers because they saw, they were able to get the value out of three divisions.

Ron Skelton: Right.

Ian Pavlik: And that was the hard part, right? If this private equity, they're like, well, we just go and get, managed services. Well, that's a third of what we do, or half, right? Oh, we just want to buy some, IP and license ip. Well, that's about a third of what we do, right? So it, it became difficult to, I think, for a lot of the private equity to look at us, as valuable as we really were all up. So, 

Ron Skelton: The second thing is on the, so I'm just dispelling rumors or, that one I [00:32:00] confirmed. So the strategic purchaser was the better offer. And that's, that makes a lot of sense because, they're not trying to do something different from what you're doing. They want it all cuz they want your customer and they're gonna cross-sell an upsell to your customer.

Cuz they typically a strategic, a purchaser has other products and services that align and, to your customer base, they have a product market fit to the same customers that you have. The other myth or thing that's out there is the, what's the word I'm looking for?

When you have to stay like the, earnouts. Like, 

Ian Pavlik: Oh, earnouts, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Ron Skelton: PEs like historically, once a three to five year earnout. I think we talked about this before the show. You sold this in, you made the decision, you made the, you inked the paperwork in what timeframe? . 

Ian Pavlik: We closed the deal in October, 2021.

Okay. And then my last day I stayed on for just shy of a year, and last day was September, 2022. I stayed on for the transition and that was actually, I exited, my wife [00:33:00] left, she was, key and my sister left as well. So three key executives exited, and that was all part of when we were talking and doing that speed dating with all the different, organizations we talked to.

We said, listen, just so you know, we're only staying around for as long as we can do a reasonable transition. It's in, what's interesting is there was no conversations really about earn out that I had a recollection during the speed dating round. But it was when sort of the offers started the 

Ron Skelton: Yeah.

Ian Pavlik: Started to come in is when those offers sort of specified whether there was earn out or whatever. All but the one that we went with had earnouts, and it just was a great match all around because theirs was all clo on close, which worked out well for us too.

Ron Skelton: Right. The earnouts on the PE and stuff was that, was it, so the standard, which is usually three or three and or five years, it's like was,

Ian Pavlik: They were all, yeah, they were three years.

I didn't have any five years on it. 

Ron Skelton: Okay. 

Ian Pavlik: Probably because I had said we wanted to exit anyway and so, 

Ron Skelton: Right.

Ian Pavlik: I wasn't interested, whenever there was a wallet. Do you wanna [00:34:00] stay and have any e No, I don't want any equity. I don't want another bite of the apple. I just wanna, I'm looking to leave.

Right. And as, as keeping business as successful as possible and as easy a handoff off. And also it's one of those things where I think if you hadn't, if I hadn't put as much effort into. Removing myself from the day to day, what do you need me around for? Right?

Ron Skelton: Right. 

Ian Pavlik: So if, if I was the contact for the customers, if that's what they escalated to, if I was the salesperson, if I was the closer, then sure.

Right. You need to have a longer transition. But it was in the last few years where it was very rarely I talked to a customer, right? It only if something really went bad or it was a huge deal. And I went in to say thank you, but I purposely stayed away because I didn't want to be needed in that way.

Ron Skelton: That's a, it's an important distinction to make is that you went in this, planned this and made it work, as opposed to deciding one day, Hey, I'm burned out, this isn't working, and I need to sell it. [00:35:00] And waking up and realizing when you talk to the wake up calls, when you talk to the broker, the advisor, you call a company like ITX and they go, great, you're not quite ready yet.

You've got some work to do. And it's gonna take you between one and probably four years to get, to get to where you want to be. Yeah. And it's not just because you're trying to hit a number, it's also because. To hit, to maximize your value or leaving a lot on the table if you don't, if you don't make those shifts, the difference, to be honest, is like cons considerable, right?

A company who, 

Ian Pavlik: It's also starting to come up with, we started to come up with creative ideas for recurring revenue. All right? So you, we have recurring customers and recurring work, right? But we didn't pay, we didn't paper it as recurring revenue. And so it became, all right, this is, but if you're gonna start to present it, to a potential buyer, they might not have as much trust in it.

So for years we would start to work on what are different ways of taking the product or service that we did and making it a little more sort of secure in recurring revenue. Cuz that's definitely gonna get [00:36:00] you better multiples and doesn't, it makes you feel better too. Mm-hmm. , but to the buyer, it makes them feel better.

So that was, but yeah, you're right. I think the earn outs often come when they need you there. And if you don't have to be needed there, then you can, 

Ron Skelton: And there's nothing negative to say from it. I had a, there was one of the guys I had on this show, he, he went to private equity route and they sold that company to the tune of five or six times, for a combined exit of like two point something billion dollars in the heat and airspace right now.

He advises, he's got two books on it and advises other people to do it so that if you're wanting to stay around and you're just like, so some business owners, they take a business to a certain point, like this, as far as I can get it, I would hang around if we could get it bigger, but I just don't know how to go any further.

Then the private equity route makes sense because they're gonna hold you to the fire. They're gonna do other acquisitions, they're gonna help you grow it, scale it, and change it. You're gonna be around. Yeah. And you don't have to leave, but if you're at your site in the position of life you were in, you're like, I'm ready to do something else, then, you know?

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. 

Ron Skelton: The question, if you're gonna go down the private equity route, it's like now, or [00:37:00] three years from now. Right. 

Ian Pavlik: And if you're maybe in a business that can be, Sort of merged together with like-minded, and you start to get this economy of scale mm-hmm. and with the plan to sell to somebody even bigger, upmarket, then that might make sense for whatever that business that you're in.

I've got a business colleague who had an, heating you mentioned, but they had a heating cooling, an HVAC company, selling and servicing got acquired, by somebody amalgamating four or five locally, and then they got acquired by a bigger company. Mm-hmm. Even bigger didn't want the little guys.

There's a purpose to it. Right, right. I didn't see that as who we were maybe in parts, but not in the whole, and that's where the strategic made more sense for us. 

Ron Skelton: It's cool. You've got this, you got offer. You'd pin the deal. You guys get your check. What was it like, I mean, you got your, I'm assuming you got your disbursement even before the end of the whole period.

What was it like, having the money you needed to have to do your dream and having to be around for 10 months to a year [00:38:00] afterwards, like, what was it like going to work the day after that wire transfer happened into your bank account? 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. It was weird. What made it the most weird was trying to figure out where my responsibility and authority lay.

(Mm-hmm). And I was trying hard to make sure everyone else felt good about it. I needed to continue to do what I did as a leader. There were certain style I had, there were things that I did that I had to consciously after sort of two or three months start to wean away from. Because I wasn't the leader anymore.

There was now, a boss or two above me, right? And so it was that was kind of difficult. I didn't have a responsibility. I had a responsibility, but I didn't have all up responsibility for revenue anymore or profitability because I didn't make decisions ultimately on hiring and firing as much anymore.

And so it was a gradual process. And so that became a. Interesting to deal with, [00:39:00] but honestly it was the last three months, there was not much for me to do and I kept, I'd had my one-on-ones with the CEO and I'd almost feel a little bit bad. I'm like, I only dealt with like five hours of work in the last three days.

He's like, that's good because if you were working hard then you haven't handed off stuff yet, right? I'm like, yeah, but this doesn't feel, I don't know. 

Ron Skelton: Now, did you earn a salary during that time? A lot of them do. 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So we had a, I just maintained the exact same salary that I had before. Which was, and I guess this is just how we decided to run our business. (Mm-hmm). I was never the most highest paid person in the business. Because in my mind, my money was in the business and I wanted, and I knew that the, it would come an exit at some point. There were probably half a dozen people that made more than me.

But the exit was my ultimate redemption in that, no,

Ron Skelton: I'm laughing cuz in the IT space that's very common. I was, a senior director level at companies that were pretty big. I told you before the show, I don't wanna call 'em out here, but I was a senior director level and just under that VP where [00:40:00] they just barely wouldn't gimme my VP title, but I was at senior director level and, and every company I was a senior director in the IT spaces, there were at least two or three guys.

They made more money than I did. I hired, I've employed them and they made more money. It's usually my high-end Oracle DBAs or Yeah. The DA data database administrator and the top networking guys, the guys that have the C I S S P or whatever they call it, it, the top Cisco certifications and stuff, they usually made 20 to $30,000 more a year than I did.

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. And for me it was, there was a handful of tech technical people like that. Absolutely. And it was sales. 

Ron Skelton: Yeah. 

Ian Pavlik: Sales, made two and three times me. Right. Yeah. But they made sure the, they were good. They made sure the pipe was full. I could depend on them a hundred percent. It's all proportional on commission.

Right. Those were so yeah, that, that sort of, your transition will a really interesting experience. One I learned a lot from, and it was one where I was like, Hmm, I never would've done that that way. And it worked out. So I learned from the CEO and the other senior executives otherwise, where I was like, [00:41:00] I wouldn't have done that and I think I would've been right, but it's not mine anymore.

It was interesting.

Ron Skelton: Let's talk about after the exit, right? So a lot of people in this space, they're concerned about what they're gonna do afterwards. And one of the concerns is, is they just shifted from being a business owner. who earns income and their wealth is tied into their business, and maybe they're paying themselves tremendously well.

Right. I've sp spoken to people that, I own the thing. The company keeps retained earnings of certain much to grow, and I pay myself two and a half million dollars a year. It's like, okay, what do you do with it? But the, the other guys out there where it's really tight in and sounds like you were really con, reserved in what you paid yourself and the rest of it stayed in the business.

You get this lump sum of money and now you go from a business owner who's managed a business to almost, what am I looking for? A, financial advisor on your own finances, right? You gotta learn how to manage money, grow, protect your wealth, grow your wealth, to make sure there's longevity and how long that lasts and does anything, right?

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. That was a big thing for my wife and I. We [00:42:00] spent a lot of time, created a very elaborate self system to say, what if this, what if that, and to, to see, like, cuz we didn't want to exit with a number that we would end and blew it all and then suddenly we're back to 0, 10, 15 years later.

And now we're not really employable at that point. That was really important that we understood the numbers. (Mm-hmm). We're not crazy exorbitant people. We'll spend money on experiences, but we're not gonna go buy boats and cottages and that kind of stuff. So we kind of knew what our price range was, but you're right now we end up with this, some net worth and what do we do with it?

And we were lucky that the same advisors that we had in the business were ones, for the most part, that we could transfer into our personal life. They knew who we were, we trust them, we worked with them, and, and were able to help us in. Now what do we do? And actually one of the things that my wife and I did very quickly once we exited was we created our own family foundation.

Right. [00:43:00] And a charity. So because, community and, philanthropy is really at the core of who we are. (Mm-hmm). And we love, to that, that gives, if there's purpose in us, that's the purpose, you know, the kids and the family, and then the joy we get out of, just being part of the community.

So we've now done that. And so I get to do my business stuff now as part of managing and running the charity and the family foundation to a certain extent. 

Ron Skelton: That's awesome. We've covered the, that's kind of the, the process here. The story, the like, the growing the bus, starting the business, growing the business, deciding you're gonna sell, knowing that you had to make those shifts and changes.

We talked about that. We talked about picking a company that helps the process of, doing that. Did anything pop up weird in that process? The one thing I don't think we talked about is like when you got to the due diligence side. 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. 

Ron Skelton: How well did ITX prepare you for knowing what you're gonna look for and look at and doing due diligences?

Was there any pickups or flaws in, in your due diligence process? Did you have to redo things or?

Ian Pavlik: They were [00:44:00] great. They were great cuz went through a number of conversations with him himself and his team. (Mm-hmm). And sort of said, here's what you can expect and, and gave us a lot of content.

Here's the things you need to prepare for ahead of time, so make sure you've got this, that you're not, in the due diligence phase, they ask you for something and you gotta go away and prepare it or grab it and find it. We worked hard to make sure that we had those right away. And if anything, I kind of did most of that work when we built the sim, the confidential information memorandum and had to get all the data for that.

It was kind of doing the, what I needed to do to get all my stuff for the, for the due diligence phase. The other thing that was great was ITX was able to recommend for us some legal counsel (mm-hmm). to, cause you need, you need a lawyer. And, we engaged one that he had worked with before. And so it made that really seamless cuz he knew them.

They knew them. (Mm-hmm). And it was such a smooth process in that regard. I think we were also, because we kind of had our act together. If I give my team, my [00:45:00] sister, she was on the finance side really hetero to act together on, on the numbers. So when it came time and they asked for stuff like, yeah, here you go, here you go, here you go.

And I think the more prepared you can be and the quicker you can respond to questions, the more confidence people have in you because you got it right and you are together and prepared. If you're scrambling and trying to figure out how to respond to, what's the sales history for this segment of your customers and you're taking three days to get back to them, why don't you have that immediately?

Well, cause I never look it up. Well, why don't you look it up? Well then you're definitely not looking at your business from a strategic perspective. Right? And then that gives, an angle for the buyer to go, I know I offered this, but now in our due diligence, they can start to whittle it away. And luckily for us, we are able to go boom, boom, boom all the way through.

And I think that helped us. 

Ron Skelton: So how did the number hold true that, would it stay right on from their original offer or did they have to adjust percent? Yeah, that's not always the case, right? Uh, a lot of people, [00:46:00] a lot of, I mean a lot of offers, I, they do this in the real estate space too. They offer something and they go do it an inspection.

I go, well, because I found X, Y, and Z, we're gonna, and they knew it from day one, they were gonna do that. And it's frustrating. I try not to do that when I'm looking at things and my mindset right now is I won't do, if you disclose everything up front. I'm not looking for reasons to lower the price, but, it's common.

The price gets adjusted down when they find stuff. So it's a testament to you guys that you had your act together, you had your finances together, you knew what you were getting into before you did this. So there wasn't those surprises and there wasn't the, yeah, the conversation, the, and it's an awkward conversation for the buyer too, that to reach out to you, the seller and go, hey, I'm finding stuff here that's gonna take me some time, energy, and money to fix that.

Shouldn't be. Cuz you know, in their mind it's wrong in your mind. It's, it's worked that way for 30 years, right?

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. So I think something that, that Tim from ITX had mentioned early on was, it's about skeletons. They're looking for the skeletons, the things that you don't wanna, or maybe the stuff that you didn't even realize [00:47:00] is an issue.

Ron Skelton: Right. 

Ian Pavlik: But you don't, like, I don't want them to know about that one bad customer that took us to court and blah blah blah. So I'm gonna keep hush about it. Well, in due diligence they're gonna find out. Right? Right. So what I found was, and luckily we didn't, we don't, we didn't have really many skeletons in our closet, but there are a few things that I knew we could do better and we weren't, our, on our, A game about, I got ahead of it.

And even before due diligence, I said, here's one of our challenges, here's another challenge that we have. Is this something that you can help us as an organization do better? So you can flip it into actually a conversation where they go, yeah, if you're doing so well at this, I can make them better.

As opposed to them using that negative about you as a way to whittle down on your, on your, price. So.

Ron Skelton: It's more than that cuz most buyers won't buy something they don't think they can improve upon. Right? Because they're giving you a premium on your Sure, yeah. They're giving you multiple, right?

Three x, five x I don't know what the, and it is not, I won't bring it up. I'm not gonna ask, but like, they're giving you a multiple on your earning. With the [00:48:00] expectations is like they're gonna recoup some of that cuz they're gonna run it better. Every buyer thinks they're gonna run the business better than the seller did.

Right? Yeah. Right. Or I've got all these other products and service I'm gonna sell to his customers so I can cross-sell and upsell. And so they were making a million dollars, I'll make three and instead of, I'm paying eight x, but I, because I'm gonna, make 3 million on the million they have.

It's gonna, it's not gonna take me eight years to recoup my money. It's gonna take me four, five, whatever the number is. Right?

Ian Pavlik: Exactly. 

Ron Skelton: So you built into that narrative. It's, I know people that do on the real estate side, they own apartment complexes. They flip 'em, they'll leave, they won't do a hundred percent of the renovations.

before they put it on the market, they'll leave 10 or 15 units that needed work and that are still low rent to leave the opportunity for increase to the next buyer. Yeah. And they actually teach that. As part of that, it's like, why wouldn't you maximize it? Like, eh, cuz it, it cuts down your buyer pole, right?

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. Just being, being honest all the way through is otherwise you get to the end and if there's lack of [00:49:00] trust then, and you're gonna have to live with them for a while. You don't have to hand the business over to them, not be open and honest. And it, it's like a, like a marriage, right?

Handing over my baby.

Ron Skelton: Did the entire one, one more question. Did the entire. Agree on the buyer? Like, did you guys like alcohol? Yeah. This is the one. Or did it take some conversations as to Yeah, yeah. I don't know about this guy. Or like, did everybody see eye to eye on that? What was the conversation around?

Because, I know as a buyer, I'm gotta kinda step back a little bit. I know as a buyer, if it's got more than two or three decision makers, if we did a major roll up, a little while back, and if you had more than three decision makers, pushed 'em out. Like we're not dealing with them.

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. So it's interesting because we'd gone through all the conversations, probably had about 25, ended up with five offers. Mm-hmm. I was fully transparent with the team. I was the lead. I was in every conversation and my sister was involved in some of them. But when it came down to, okay, and I was careful not [00:50:00] to influence, and, we had a meeting and just that we said, all right, let's write down out of these offers what you think is the one we should accept and why.

And we were all exactly the same. 

Ron Skelton: Awesome!

Ian Pavlik: So, yeah, it worked out well that way. And I think, we, but we had also agreed, and I think this is key, that if we didn't agree, how do you resolve that? Right. So because what you don't wanna do is then get into some sort of yelling match and fight, and then to, to the point of the buyer, now the buyer is buying something that's dysfunctional.

Right. So we had agreed how and why we would, how we would resolve it. And so that was already in place, but luckily enough we didn't have to go there. We all agreed at the same, on the same thing. 

Ron Skelton: Yeah. So I've asked a bunch of questions. We're almost at the top of the hour here. I've asked a bunch of questions and stuff.

We told, I think we told the story chronologically from inception of the business to growing the business to, thinking about Fentanyl market, getting an article market getting sold and now you're running your charities and stuff. Yeah. I asked a lot of questions. Is there anything that I missed?

Is there any part of the story he's like, ah, probably we should probably tell 'em about this. [00:51:00] 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah, I think there's a couple little things along the way. Again, this is the first time that I did it. Maybe the last, I don't know, we'll see. That if, if someone else is going through this for the first time and hasn't done it.

I think I, in some ways I feel lucky that I chose a very good buyer and I chose a very good broker. Mm-hmm. But I know luck comes from hard work sometimes, so there's that part too. One thing I didn't do as deep a dive on that, I maybe should have was I didn't. Interrogate the buyer after the offer as much as I should have, I felt like it was my job to convince and justify mm-hmm.

the value of the offer, as opposed to, okay, now I want to interview your senior management team down in the level lower, I want to know what's your 1, 2, 3 year plan beyond just discussions with the CEO or the CFO. Right? So it all worked out great in the end, but, I didn't dig as deep as I should have there, so that was one [00:52:00] thing that, of the story that sort of left me feeling like more luck than skill, I guess.

Ron Skelton: Right. 

Ian Pavlik: Yeah. Yeah. Other than that, I think it all, it, uh, I think we covered off all the, the main topics there. Yeah. 

Ron Skelton: So I always save spots at the end of the show for people to pitch something. You're semi-retired. Tell us about your charities. What do you got going on in the world?

Ian Pavlik: Sure, sure. Yeah. So we, we created a foundation at Pavlik Foundation, and it's focused on two key tenets. One is improving food security and the other one is edu Youth Education for Youth. Mm-hmm. . And, so there's, those are two things that we are, we're gonna be delivering programs and partnering with other charities to help focusing primarily on our local community around where we live.

Mm-hmm. But it comes from a very, I use that word again, visceral experience. My wife and I had, so we grew up, we never wanted for anything. We were solid, upper middle class, kind of mm-hmm. . But our kids went to a very small public school. It was like 200 kids. It was a walking school. And it wasn't [00:53:00] until a couple years into them going there that we found.

That almost half of the kids going to the school went without breakfast. And I was like, I was so ignorant to that, and it blew me away, and I felt so affected by it that now that we have the means to do something about it, and that's just a small example, but it's that it's under our nose in a way that we don't always see.

And so I've got the time, we've got someone the money now, so let's see what we can do. And it gives us, that's that purpose part that we have. And then also with the education, we feel like for, if somebody can early on in their development can go from, I can't read to read huge difference, right?

I don't like math to, I like math or I know math enough now to become a, an engineer or a welder, right? Rather than I, my wife is doing a tutoring for, adults that can't read and one gentleman wants to become a mechanic. But now he's gotta learn math, right? And so if you can learn math at a young age, then [00:54:00] you can become a mechanic, right?

So, right. Anyway, those are things that we find that are really empowering for us, and that's what our focus is gonna be, for the next while. We'll see after that. Yeah. 

Ron Skelton: So if somebody wants to, if somebody needs help in your local community, which is where? Ontario, Canada, I'm guessing?

Ian Pavlik: Just north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Toronto. 

Okay. That's right. Yes. 

Ron Skelton: So if, if somebody's in the area, they need your help, how do they reach out to, or if somebody wants to contribute to what you're doing, what's the best way for 'em to find more information about what you're up to now? 

Ian Pavlik: Great. You can hit us up on LinkedIn, the Pavlik Foundation or, or website, pavlik foundation.com, and you can donate on there. And we have, examples of all the different, programs. And actually even, it's just been one year and we've already, rolled out five different initiatives with five different charities.

We're rolling with it already. But yeah, check us out, pavlikfoundation.com. 

Ron Skelton: Awesome. I appreciate having you on the show today. I want you guys out there listening to this, to reach out and h help him out with what he's got going on in the world now. It sounds like a good mission to be on.

Thank you for your time and thank you for the education you gave to our [00:55:00] listeners about the process. I really appreciate it. 

Ian Pavlik: No, thank you very much, Ron. I appreciate the chance to share. 

Ron Skelton: Awesome. Hang out for just a second after the recording's over. That's the show guys.