Today I have Glen Cooper, a business broker, and coach in Denver, Colorado. He is the co-founder and managing partner of Colorado Business Brokers, a recently formed collaborative partnership of business brokers and coaches in Colorado.
He has been doing this work for over 40 years. He sold my very first business as a broker in 1979!
In this episode, Glen and I discuss the importance of adjusting to change and expecting change in business. We must realize that reinvention is necessary. Glen says it this way, “Reinvention is necessary in business because the world changes around you. You’re not gonna get away with not changing. And here we go again, COVID-19 is gonna change the way we do business.”
Later in the episode, Glen shares his four ingredients to building your business which are: Purpose, Promise, Offer, and Difference.
Tune in to hear his explanations of how he has handled change and how to apply these four ingredients to grow your business!
You can connect with Glen by visiting http://www.coloradobusinessbrokers.co/
Unknown Speaker 0:06
Welcome to the SAGE Mindset podcast where we believe all great leaders are self aware, stay accountable and have a mindset that fosters growth and empowerment in their lives in the lives of those they lead. When you listen to this podcast, you could expect to learn about the small changes you can make in your behaviors and thinking today that will create massive change for the future of your leadership, and business. Hi, I’m Kyle Gillette, owner of Gillette solutions and hosted this podcast. Thanks for listening. Well, hello, everybody. Welcome to another episode of the SAGE Mindset podcast. I’m excited to have another guest today. Glen Cooper is here today with us and he’s a part of the Colorado Business Brokers. He’s been doing business brokerage for about 40 years now and is just a wealth of wisdom and knowledge. And I’m excited to have him on here and to learn from him and talk to him about what it is to be Sage leader. In fact, in the last couple of minutes before we started, we were trying to figure out what that means and give definitions And I think that we have identified itself as Sage leader with us right now in glint. So welcome to the episode and I’m excited for this interview.
Unknown Speaker 1:10
Well, Kyle, it’s nice to be here. I appreciate being recognized. I’m not sure you’re right, but I certainly will try to live up to them.
Unknown Speaker 1:19
See, I think that’s part of being a sage leader, right? The humility part it’s it’s a journey, you know, it’s not a you don’t ever arrive. I’m writing. I’m writing about this right now. And I’m, I’m writing my introduction to this, this concept. And in there, towards the end of the introduction, I wrote that you never really arrived that being a sage leader. It’s always various iterations and progress. You’ve had a lot of iterations in progress. So I wanted to talk to you about that and dive in with you for my listeners to gain a bunch of wisdom from you.
Unknown Speaker 1:48
Unknown Speaker 1:49
so one of the first things I want to ask you is, how did you how did you get started in your journey to doing what you’re doing because to start a business is one thing but to start setting Businesses a whole nother level of challenge, I would assume.
Unknown Speaker 2:04
I think starting a business is very hard. Well, selling them, it’s hard to I don’t know, which would be harder, I think it’s probably harder to start a business than it is to sell a business because I can fail in selling a business with one person and succeed with the next and move on in the selling career. If I failed in a business I’ve started that’s much more damaging. So I think starting a business is much harder, because as I don’t think anybody keeps the statistics of business failure very well, especially a small company, because they nobody, nobody cares. And you can’t count them because nobody reports them. The closest you can get is at a secretary of state’s office. In a state you can count the number of corporations that dissolve but that doesn’t mean anything because a lot of small businesses are not corporations. There Seize or sole proprietorship, so you don’t see those at all come and go. The average guess is that 80% of all businesses started fail within five years. Yeah, I’ve heard that. I have no way of proving that. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s true. And I would guess that with the Coronavirus, we’re going to see that not only play out in five years, we’re going to see that play out in the next two years. 80% of the small businesses, it’s going to be a bloodbath out there. I think. I’m not sure but I think so. Because I don’t think Americans understand what they have on their hands, but maybe I’m wrong. And that’s where I do doubt my Sage knows sometimes cuz I don’t think any of us can predict what’s going on right now.
Unknown Speaker 3:45
No, no, it’s true. If I could, oh, man, I have a lot more money and probably be living in a different spot.
Unknown Speaker 3:52
Unknown Speaker 3:54
I do bargains out there. I mean, if you want to buy a business now it’s probably a good time to try it. Do you think you have an idea that can succeed? Because you don’t just have to start a business, you can buy businesses, and there are some good bargains out there.
Unknown Speaker 4:08
Yeah, that makes sense. I know from for me, I’m definitely amongst those statistics. This is my fourth attempt at a business. My first attempt succeeded as a as a personal training business. My second and third attempts failed. And this fourth one is rolling along. So I’m two years old. So we’ll see. But I hope to not become another statistic when it comes to businesses that fail, but I’ve also read that, you know, within the first year half fail, and then we’re within the first five, I think it’s at like you were saying, which is that’s rough.
Unknown Speaker 4:36
Those are just educated guesses, kind of nobody really knows.
Unknown Speaker 4:39
Yeah, yeah. Cuz nobody knew that I did the things that I did and didn’t work
Unknown Speaker 4:42
out. I mean, no, right. Nobody kept that record.
Unknown Speaker 4:45
No, they didn’t. So what is it that draws you to selling businesses? What is it that draws you to working with people in that way? You know,
Unknown Speaker 4:53
I think it was largely an accident in my life, not a certainly as a child. didn’t sit around saying I want to be a business broker. I’m sure I was like all kids wanting to be firemen or something. Instead of a business broker. I think I’ve, you’ve seen some of the notes on my life I have I had a terrible early started in life, every problem that a child can have, I had health problems, psychology problems, parents that were unhappy that had more problems than I did. And I ended up being a person who at 21 years old, tried to commit suicide. So we don’t start well in my life. Yeah, luckily I got, I got my father stepped up. My father who had abandoned us actually came through and paid for psychotherapy, because it wasn’t covered by the insurance at the time, and I ended up having a lifetime of psychotherapy and it worked for me. And I really bring a lot of that to my relationships now, in business brokerage and coaching in my own personal life. I was raised So beaten and battered. The psychotherapy was my rescue line. And I made took advantage of it. I also have a history of in a whole bunch of different industries and, and hobbies. I very active and have been as a child and I and a young person, even very active in the world of politics. I started out as a Republican, I’m now a Democrat. I started out as real conservative on now. Still at 72 years old, I’m probably more liberal than I was when I was 21. At any rate, and then I was raised in the era, if you think about it, in the 1950s and 60s, and I was of real sensitive age, I was a young teenager in the 60s. And the 60s was an era of revolution and lots of assassinations of people that ended up being my heroes. You know, the Kennedy brothers Right, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, you know, you wouldn’t think a guy from Colorado would have a whole lot of connection with those folks. But I did. And that’s what made me a Democrat, I think was those assassinations. What is it about? A lot of people then I left in the 70s in the 70s. I literally became a banker. Which seems really ironic that I would have that but but I was in Boulder, Colorado, Boulder, Colorado was very liberal place, you know. And so banking was not as conservative as you might think it would be and then in the 80s, I started as a business broker by accident. I got into real estate because somebody told me that was a good thing to do. I didn’t like selling houses and one day I went to a seminar about selling a business and I decided that was my thing. And so I sold my first business in 1979. So this is my 42nd year of selling business. And I’ve reinvented myself like you have not just in a different business as I’ve been a business broker for that long but I’ve probably reinvented myself seven or eight times. I started as a sole practitioner and then I formed main Business Brokers because I was not in Colorado. I was in Maine by that time I lived in Colorado, Arkansas and Maine and New Hampshire. And now Colorado again and I went through color a Business Brokers that’s just me and my wife. I mean, I don’t mean car I don’t mean Business Brokers with me, my wife, I became the vice president on the sales leader in New Hampshire business sales, which is a company in the next state when I was there, and then the deeper recession, I sold the businessman Business Brokers to my one of my people. And after a divorce and the death of my wife, first wife of 35 years, I came back home to Colorado and reconnected with I tell people, I’m married my 13 year old girlfriend, which always gets them to perk up their ears, because she and I were 13 together in the seventh grade. But we’re together Again in our 70s, and having a good time, so you know, life just throws a lot of crap at you whether you own a business or whether you’re just starting on. And I guess all my wisdom, and my stick to itiveness comes from the fact that somehow by God, I survived all the things that can happen, either cancer, heart disease, I always had a bad diet all my life, I’m finally on the whole food plant based diet. What a struggle that’s been. I started exercising at age 65. I had a, I was a TV child who ate potato chips, can watch the Kennedy assassination on TV. You know, that’s, that was my upbringing. And now, and now I, I really feel and I’ve been through, this is my fifth recession.
Unknown Speaker 9:52
So I think, I think a nugget of wisdom is if you can just survive and get to the next day. Don’t commit suicide, no matter what I’ve survived to the next day, because if you can do that, you are going to win. Because every dark cloud has that silver lining. You know, it’s just something you got to get to, and it has nothing to do with you. we human beings are so fragile that we think everything revolves around us. You know, it really doesn’t, the best we can do is try to understand what life’s about, live it as best we can, and help others and be kind to others. And that’s, that’s those are the kinds of nuggets of wisdom that I would throw out there. It’s a it’s, it’s, it’s just a terrible world that we live in with lots of problems. If you want to focus on all the negative, you could get so depressed that you would like I once did commit to try to commit suicide. I’m lucky I failed. I’m glad I failed because I really enjoy my life. But it’s been hard.
Unknown Speaker 10:49
Yeah, you you have a journey and there’s so much to me to unpack. There is one thing that stood out to me there’s a few so I’m actually going to rewind quite a ways here, but you Okay, you really identified with Martin Luther King and JFK, Malcolm X. And I’m curious, what was it about them that you really didn’t really identified with? And it sounds like they kind of shaped you as a person to?
Unknown Speaker 11:12
Well, I was I was, well, I’m in 1960, JFK was elected president. And I was a Republican. My Republican politics came because my parents were Republican. And actually, those were of the 1950s were the Eisenhower Nixon years in the republican party and Eisenhower was President Richard Nixon was vice president under Eisenhower for two terms. My parents knew General Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, oddly enough as friends. My parents had all kinds of problems and were a psychological mess. And they neglected me as a child, but they did have some powerful connections, which I never got to use. I was immediately dragged into what was then called the teenage republicans in in car I was Colorado vent to the republicans in Colorado. And so, and since I was neglected at home, it was my only source of recognition. And I was the state chairman of the teenage republicans of Colorado in 1963. When john f kennedy was assassinated in November of that year, and Martin Luther King, then was way Mountain earthgang and Malcolm X. We’re not until the late 60s 68. But those have big impacts on me because I had to answer for at that time, my conservatism, and it was a little hard because Kennedys were heroes among the young people. And I was among the young people too, in high school. So, and there was teenage democrat organization as well, those organizations don’t exist anymore. Those are kind of relics of the 50s and 60s, but I just was neglected so badly that anybody who paid attention to me or who I thought would attracted me and the republicans turned me off eventually. And that’s why I switched to the Democratic Party. By that time, I was pretty prominent as a young person. I was the head of the boulder young republicans when I switched in 1971. And I actually had a press conference at the courthouse with the state chairman of the democratic party at my side. That’s how and that’s crazy when you’re only 21 years old. Yeah, that was the same year that I tried to commit suicide it just I didn’t know who I was anymore.
Unknown Speaker 13:25
Unknown Speaker 13:26
yeah, so but I still get emotional when I think I still get emotional when I think about all the pain that people go through.
Unknown Speaker 13:37
Yeah, how how have you been able to use use your experience unfortunate experiences to support other people to help other people in their own pain and I imagine this pops up in business transactions this pops up obviously in friendships too, but there’s there’s a lot of power and having experienced that to be able to support and help other people.
Unknown Speaker 13:56
Well, I think so.
Unknown Speaker 13:59
I think That’s why I like being first I was a real estate broker for just a short period of time selling commercial, residential and commercial real estate. And then I did have that seminar and I decided to go as a business broker. And I really enjoyed the fact that as a business broker, I got taken in and trusted pretty quickly by people who are much older than me selling their business. You know, at that time, I was in my 30s, early 30s. And people in their 60s and 70s were dragging me into their offices and on the factory floor and different places, and telling me their life story, and trusting me to be able to listen to it, and I was still pretty immature. Well, I probably was more mature for my age than most people that are just 30 but because of all the stuff I’ve been through By that time, but and politics, I got to meet important people in politics, so I probably felt probably learned some sophistication of communications through that. But when a person sells their business They are in pain. And it’s never easy because they are walking away somehow, maybe because they have to, from something they’ve built up well enough to so that somebody can sell it. Most businesses can’t be sold because the business owners don’t realize that they need to work on their business and not just in it. They have to get development so it can sell someday, if that’s what they want. So I was talking to people who had valuable businesses that they could sell, or I probably wasn’t talking to him at all. And frankly, they they’re very emotional about that and they cry. They tell me the secrets of all problems that they have. They tell me about their looming divorce possibly or their wayward child that can’t take over the business business because they don’t want to or they’re on drugs or something. There’s all kinds of stories there. Maybe the seller has cancer, really stuff sometimes they don’t even tell their families and swear me to confidentiality. But I mean, I’ve had Prayer sessions and crying sessions with many sellers over the years.
Unknown Speaker 16:05
What a wonderful What a wonderful position to be in I mean, those those an honor. Yeah, I mean, it’s it’s rough. Of course, they’re grieving because they’re, for whatever reason they’re grieving even if it’s a good sale, they’re still grieving because they, because they put the heart and soul into it. Sure. I mean, what a beautiful opportunity I
Unknown Speaker 16:21
learned my but I learned my socialization in psychotherapy groups, the those encounter groups in the 1970s that people make fun of, were the way I learned socialization early on. And frankly, I love to hear people’s problems and get them sharing, because they, they’re the most real when they do that,
Unknown Speaker 16:44
right. And then you can help them the most at that.
Unknown Speaker 16:47
So you said you build trust, and you can trust them and they can trust you and that makes for a perfect business relationship.
Unknown Speaker 16:54
One of the other things you said when you were talking about your your kind of your life story was that you’ve had to recreate Create yourself a few times. And I’m wondering if you can kind of briefly talk about that, but also about how that is related to business and the need to recreate within within a business as well.
Unknown Speaker 17:11
Ah, I don’t do anything briefly.
Unknown Speaker 17:16
As you’re discovering in this interview,
Unknown Speaker 17:20
reinvention is necessary in business because the world changes around you. Let me give you an example of that. And I’m struggling with it right now. So it’ll be real current. There’s a new set of laws in the state of Colorado and I believe the I haven’t been briefed on it fully yet, but I’ve just hired a lawyer to do it. I have two younger partners. I’m 72. I have a younger partner in his early 40s. That’s 30 years younger than me and I have a woman that’s 20 years younger than me and the two of them are my partners in Colorado Business Brokers. I’m the founder and the starter but they wanted they approached me Three years ago, they wanted to join me and pull off something that nobody else has pulled off in business brokerage, forming a cooperative. And there are new laws in Colorado about what that means. And I’m still studying that. But what we’re trying to do is come to some kind of collaborative working environment where we recognize each other as shares and equal players as long as we play the game. And as long as we do the work. And I like that idea, because it it’s not something where you build equity. It’s something where you work together, and then when you’re ready to go, you just go, people can take your place, and but you get paid pretty well because you’re not trying to build out equity and nobody gets paid too much. Because you divide up the jobs on a on a case by case basis, what we’ve done, and we work that way for two and a half years already, and it seems to work fine. Do we list a business and I do a certain function, then I get paid for For that function, but if I don’t want to work on that function for that business, then then I don’t get paid for it and somebody else volunteers to do it. And every time we have a client, we work as a team. And every time we have a client that we have the prospect client, we decide ahead of time as we go on to interview the client together as much as possible. And then we sit back and we decide who wants to do what job or who doesn’t want to do what job and we’ve done most of the stuff we split about 3030 3333 33 but like I’m closing on one next week that I gotta get 80% of it because the other my partners didn’t want it at all. Now they get a little bit because they’re my backup but I’m gonna get 80% of the commission and it is going to cost us about the only closing we’re going to have here for for this month, but it’s because it’s painfully bad economy with the Coronavirus but you know, so I’m experimenting with it and I’ve never done that before. I’ve I’ve been A sole owner of my business brokerage firms before and I was the commander in chief, the CEO. And I lead by command, you know, as top down management. Now I was a cooperative and collaborative person. I always did the splitting of jobs and things like that with pay so that that’s not different at all. But I feel like I’m really experimenting with this because I have to trust my partners. And we’ve had some some sessions where they’ve been almost like encounter group sessions where we’ve tried to lay it on the line of what we really want life and they are much younger than me. So that’s really hard because they have their their Gen X and I’m Boomer and we have different personalities and different age groups. So it was a lot to talk about. But when I say we invent I had a company called main Business Brokers then New Hampshire Business Brokers. Main Business Brokers was first in Auburn, Maine, then in Portland, Maine. So it had to move out was first just my And my wife, I added some partners early on, then they left then I went to Portland, I didn’t add partners for a while then I did. And I had to restructure, we had to move our location to one. And then here in Indiana, when New Hampshire joined me, I got to be pretty prominent in New England, we were really together the largest brokerage firm north of Boston. And then when the recession came last great recession in the 2009. Era, I sold all of that and came to Colorado to and then I had to file a personal bankruptcy because I used the money to save my business so I could sell it. And so I started all over again at age 62. In 2010, found my wife that I’m now married to in my class or union 50th class reunion. So, you know, I’ve reinvented myself many times, and you just, you’re not going to get away with not changing and then here we go again. covid 19 is going to change the way we do business all over again. I’m not Sure how it’s gonna play out. I like person to person meetings. I like putting my sellers and my buyers. I’ve done a lot of that I’m a hugger, and I can’t touch people now am I gonna stand six feet away from them? I have to wear a mask. It’s really awful. But we’ll get through it. We’ll figure it out.
Unknown Speaker 22:15
Yeah, I think there’s there’s something about realizing that things are going to change, things are going to get messed up, disrupted and I mean, filing for bankruptcy and reinventing yourself going through what you went through growing up, you know, your wife passing away and so many so many things. And I think that if I’m really reflecting on my life, I’m going, man, when is the shoe gonna drop?
Unknown Speaker 22:40
it well, maybe it’s already dropping, you didn’t notice. Right? And
Unknown Speaker 22:43
I think that’s, that’s, that’s the thing. There’s, there’s sometimes there’s intensity to it. For other for some people, the intensity is so much stronger than than myself, you know. So, you may you might have had a really intense changes and my changes may not be quite as intense but either way We’re all going through these, these changes. And I think you didn’t fight them. It sounds like you. I mean, you did as much as you could. And then there’s probably this turning point where it’s not worth fighting anymore. And let’s make an adjustment because it’s wiser to adjust than to fight. But either way, we at some point, we need to, we need to quit fighting the change and just go with it.
Unknown Speaker 23:21
And let me give you a quick I hope I can do this quickly. A quick example of how complicated everything is. If you don’t understand there are really no simple problems and there are no simple answers to anything. My wife and I had been married 35 years I didn’t notice the little signs of Alzheimer’s because I’d never had exposure to Alzheimer’s before. One of the things that Alzheimer’s can do is change your attitude first before you start forgetting things. My wife never forgot anything that I ever noticed. Like put a piece in the refrigerator or anything like that. That’s what I thought Alzheimer’s was. My wife one day out of the blue says I don’t love you and anymore I want to divorce. Well, I was shocked. It took me a while to discuss it with her but she wasn’t rational in the discussion. And we’ve been through 20 years off and on of marriage therapy because I it worked. I mean, we stayed there. We had a happy marriage until she said that that almost didn’t happen in one day. But then when she came to that conclusion, so I gave her the divorce, my stepchildren, I married one with children. So my stepchildren all think that I somehow left her because four years after our divorce, she got the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. And then she chose suicide as the solution. Oh man, and she chose assisted suicide because she was unable she was suffering cheers all fall framers that made her not forget things. She she was unable to move her arms and she became incontinent and all that kind of crap and I wasn’t there. Then which my stepchildren remember because I was already married again. And Because she didn’t die till 2014. So it’s very difficult to know how to tell that story in my history because my stepchildren think I divorced her, which is absolutely not true. In fact, she filed for divorce, not me. But she wanted to divorce and I was fighting the recession. We didn’t have any sales, we were going down like a rock in that 2009 10 period. That was when she did this. I don’t know how to talk about it almost. I talked about it gently, because I don’t people don’t want to hear the whole story. But it’s so complicated. And I’m, I’ve mourn for years on that because she was the love of my life. And that’s not a dig on my current wife who’s actually known me longer than my first life. But she was the seventh grade girlfriend, but it’s just a pain that never really goes away because I couldn’t fix that. I couldn’t handle that for her. And I just gave her the divorce thinking. She’d come around later and we could revisit the whole situation. And then for years, but then it wasn’t coming around and it got worse and worse and She became irrational. And then finally, believe it or not, she requested me to be the last person to talk to her, which I did for 90 minutes before she took the injection that killed her when she was in assisted living. Go home here. Is that a complicated story? Yes. It’s not simple. You can’t you know, I don’t join anybody who says, Well, I should do hate my ex. I don’t hate her. I love her still. I wish she were still here. But she’s not. So. You know, I love my current wife as well. Good lord. It’s just a terror. This is how complicated life is. And every business deal is that complicated do I wish I can’t tell you without revealing confidentiality, because it’s so current, but my current deal with my current clients that I’m closing with next week on her business, as an extremely complicated life as well, and we’ve got to have this closing time just perfectly. So it’s complicated and I know every one of your audience that runs a business knows this, you know, when the employees don’t show up when they complain when they have a problem, you’ve got to trust them and they’ve got to trust you or it gets all messed up real fast.
Unknown Speaker 27:10
Right? Because we’re dealing with people. I mean, because the business sure it’s a business, but it really a business is people. And so and people are messy. It’s just
Unknown Speaker 27:19
unavoidable. We all are. I won’t say they were all messy. Yeah, indeed.
Unknown Speaker 27:25
Yeah. So one of the things you said previously was building up a business and he were talking about working in a business rather than on a business and people get that mixed up. They’re in it instead of working on it. And so, you know, I’ve heard that phraseology many times before, but nobody’s really explained to me the how to how to adjust that kidding.
Unknown Speaker 27:47
I would have thought you might have heard that but it is bad. You know, you’re a little young. Maybe How old are you? Can I ask?
Unknown Speaker 27:53
Yeah, I’m 37
Unknown Speaker 27:55
Oh, yeah. See, you’re too young.
Unknown Speaker 27:57
No, I’m not giving you a hard time. You They’re fine for what you’re doing. You’re fine for business. And that’s, that’s a prime time you’re in prime time. Actually. I started mean business brokerage when I was 32. So 31 to 30 to 30. No, it’s 33. I think, at any rate, you’re fine. I’m not trying to give you a hard time, but Michael Gerber wrote a book called The E myth. Have you ever heard of the E myth?
Unknown Speaker 28:22
I haven’t read the book, but I
Unknown Speaker 28:24
think well, it’s probably not worth reading anymore cuz it’s been absorbed into our culture. And that’s where he started that reference. And I think he’s it I believe he was the first I’m not sure about that. But Michael Gerber was a consultant in California, and he’s had his problems too. He’s on his he’s in his 80s. Now, late 80s. He’s on his fifth marriage. So I’m sure he’s a hot mess as well. Anyway, I’ve never met him but I’ve read all his books and I’ve heard most of his tapes. I was a big follower of his. And the emf is not the electronic myth, but the entrepreneurial myth. He says that people who start and run a business are not entrepreneurs, people who started and run a business are, whatever his word is, and I can’t grab it, but it’s our suffering are just regular people suffering from an entrepreneurial seizure. You know, they, they’re the plumber who, who does a great job. They know how to work in the business, but they don’t know how to work on the business. So when they start succeeding, their workweek starts getting very, very busy. They go to 18 hour work days, and they can’t keep up so they hire somebody, but they don’t know how to manage anybody. They buy that second truck, the third truck and four and they don’t know how to manage a truck fleet. They don’t know anything about how to work on the business, but they do know how to do the work of the business. And the problem is that most of us are the people who think that the skill you need to work on a business is the skill you need to work in the business. That’s a different skill set. And working on the business means you know how to Build it so it’s valuable so you can pass it on so that you don’t have to be there every day. And he’s very good at the discussions of that. And if you want to think about it, if you want me to, I could you could pass it on to your your audience but there’s one discussion one on tape that I know what I can’t remember off top my head what it is, I have to get the reference. I believe it’s still on YouTube, and it would be worth listening to but he is a crazy guy and he had he had that idea and he basically what you have to do is have systems systems is better than business goals. Because business goals can’t be kept after the game starts. You know, you set the nice goal out for the day. All of us are familiar with this. And you plan to accomplish 10 things and you start and the fourth or even maybe the first thing takes all day and you are frustrated at night at five o’clock you’re trying to get out of or go home for dinner or try to go if you’re in home already because You’re working on, you’re trying to go downstairs for dinner upstairs and suddenly you you don’t have the work done. What you need is system so you have a system for how this is how you do it here, this is how we fix it here. And that’s got to be thought through. And that’s hard to think through because you have to be experienced in the business from failure before you have the knowledge to think it through. You know if you’re the plumber, you have to know the 10 things that can go wrong with hiring somebody and and what to do when they go wrong and build systems so they don’t go wrong. The system’s checks and balances and things that you have to have. And I just use the plumber as an example. Gerber uses that example frequently but all of us face that. As a business broker. We have spent years setting up different systems as the market changed. You know, we used to do newspaper advertising. I used to go door to door live. You can’t do that anymore. You get shot. Security is hard to get through online. The phone, it always has been. But it’s real hard to because the screening is ferocious. So there’s all kinds of things that change all the time. And I don’t know if I know I’m my mind’s wandering. So they’re off. I answered your question.
Unknown Speaker 32:12
Well, yeah, I mean, cuz if I want to build up my business, yeah. Or if any listeners want to continue to build up their businesses, then the one of the number one ways to do that is to have systems that are repeatable systems that are in place so that those can be adopted by whoever ends up purchasing the business after you exactly whoever ends up taking over the business after you or whoever comes in and does a bunch of work for you so that you don’t have to do that work. I mean, I’m right now I’m in the middle of hiring people out of country to do some work for me, because I do episode a week and I don’t have time to edit these episodes anymore. And I don’t want to it’s not work that I want to do. And so I hire someone for six bucks an hour to do it in another country. And she does just a good as job, a better job than I do on it. And so my system is we work together. Right in this moment, we’re developing a system because I hired her this week. And so we’re working on that system. But once it’s in place, it’s easy. It’s repeatable and makes my job easier. And then I can be working on the business way more than doing the stinking editing of a podcast, which is exactly
Unknown Speaker 33:15
in the business. Exactly. But if you delegate the job of editing the podcast, you have to have a system for it. Correct. But the system is going to be different if there’s something different about that podcast. Mm hmm. Now, let’s say that you want to I don’t know what the rules would be for editing a podcast is I’ve never edited one. But in my world, to tell people this is the way we do it here. This is the way we fix it here. If I take on the obligation of engaging with a business that wants to be sold with the owner of the business that wants to sell that business, then there are certain steps I take, but not always because maybe I would see that we can skip a step because some efficiency has occurred. Let’s say the business is already Had a formal appraisal. Normally, we take time to work with the seller on trying to figure out what the asking price should be and what the market value is. But if that’s already been done, and the seller is happy with the work, and we look at it and we’re happy with the work, then that step can be skipped. But somebody if I got to delegate them, I have to the My brokers, all three of us can do this. Now. That’s a judgment call. Right? And, and you’ve got to empower people, you can’t give them systems that are so rigid, that they don’t have any place to move. Nobody wants a job like that. So you have to give them empower these people to use their judgment without screwing up the way the business works. And that’s a big challenge. That’s not simple at all. You got to create all it takes years to do this. It takes years and years to come up with this for any business seriously. And the more people you involve in the business, the more complicated against
Unknown Speaker 34:57
Yeah, I mean, I visually I’m Thinking of areas of businesses boxes. And those boxes, there’s some freedom within those boxes, but you have to define the box as well to know what you can do within them, and then yet to get the work that you’re doing within that box, right? Because, I mean, just for example, with my podcast, there’s what I want her to do is to pull out some key information, some key things that were really valuable and, and highlight those things and give me timestamps. And so I could tell, I’d have to listen to the whole episode to tell her which ones I want, but what’s the point? So I’m giving them maybe
Unknown Speaker 35:36
faster if you just did that while you did that,
Unknown Speaker 35:38
right? But instead, she’s gonna do that for me and save me the time of spending two and a half, three hours on a podcast. But yeah, there are those systems like you’re saying, but then there’s also you We can never get away from the judgment, we can never get away from the people side of figuring this out, and that no one person is going to respond to another person in the same way. And so there there comes the empowerment There comes the trust piece. And then you wrap that back around to the accountability side of things where there’s the integrity of the business, there’s integrity of the approach to what you’re doing and that everybody on the team is staying accountable to that, are you if you’re solopreneurs, staying accountable to the way that you want to do things and not just adjusting on a whim because this client or this customer wants that?
Unknown Speaker 36:21
Sure. Well, I think every business has to have a recipe for how to build a business. And I did that for Business Brokers in a book and in 36 lecture series that I’m that is being sold on business brokerage press that I do for Business Brokers. And business purpose is not an unusual service business really, it’s the same thing everybody has to do. The recipe of building a business the successful starts with for what I call four ingredients, you have to know what your purpose is. You have to know how to tell clients customer prospects, what you will do For them, that’s your promise. You have to have an offer that is competitive in the marketplace price wise, and it has to be something that your prospects will like because it’s convenient, it’s priced right it works for them. And it’s just exactly it capable of being tailored to them. So you have to have that purpose, the promise, the offer, and you have to be some how different than your competitors in a positive way. So the recipe, ingredients are having your purpose, your promise, your offer, and your difference. And that purpose promise offer difference. Got to be communicated to everybody in your organization so they understand what it is. Now the customer the client only cares about your promise and your offer. Andrew difference I guess that what you’re different, but what I say to when I meet somebody and they don’t know who I am and they want to know who I am. What do you do? The question is what are you Do I say, I’m Glenn Cooper? I’m a business broker. Well, that sort of defines my purpose. I don’t have a chance to tell them how great a business broker I am. Because if I’m just meeting them, you know, it’s like an elevator pitch. I got 30 seconds. So I said, I’m going Cooper, and I’m a business broker, main Colorado Business Brokers will use current business broker, Business Brokers, it helps you sell business people call me when, and then I try to figure out what their problem is going to be when they aren’t sure if this is the right time to sell their business. Or if they want to know what it’s worth. They want to know how to handle a buyer that they have. That’s the promise and we what we do is we put our systems teamwork and track record at their service. We have the systems because we spent years developing those systems on how to do all the pieces of selling a business. We have the team to do it because not only do we have our own people that are all specialists in different fields, but we also are well connected with attorneys, accountants and finance Financial Planners around our area so that we can pull them in as we need them. And we have a long track record, and we’re happy to give you references. And then and then my offer in when I’m just first meeting them is maybe to give them my card or a brochure or something and say, Here’s my card. If you would like to talk privately in confidentiality, which is part of the service we offer, then just give me a call. And then I might say something like, you know, the reason that you might want to hire us there are lots of rational reasons because of all the systems we have, the team we have and the track record we have. But the benefit of dealing with me is or dealing with our firm is because all three of us, three of our partners are coaches, and you’re going to need coaching as you go through this process if you’re going to sell your business and we do that as part of the process for free. So you know, while we’re having a seller client, those are the kinds of permits promised offer difference. A lot of people say I don’t know how to come up with a purpose, promise offering or difference. Well, there’s a whole nother A set of which I’m not going to give you now a whole nother set of seven steps in the recipe to come up with purpose, promise, offer and difference. But it takes a long time to figure this all out and sit down and really do a 360 degree look at what’s going on around you to try to figure out what your purpose ought to be what your promise ought to be, what your offer ought to be, and how it should be different.
Unknown Speaker 40:22
You’re telling me I’ve been working trying to figure that out for the last two years, almost every single day?
Unknown Speaker 40:29
change every five years a little bit because the world changes as it just did.
Unknown Speaker 40:33
Right. Right. Well, and I think there’s, I mean, really, even as a human being these four things are pretty valuable. You know,
Unknown Speaker 40:40
and as you change over time, as decade by decade, you’re going to your, your desire of what to do is going to change your methodology of how you do it’s going to change.
Unknown Speaker 40:50
Yeah, and it requires a lot of self awareness to get there.
Unknown Speaker 40:52
Well, it takes a lot of work. Yeah, I think work. Good work leads to self awareness. You just have to put on that kind of redundancy check to pay attention. I think that’s what self awareness is called. Yeah, you have to be self aware but failure, all those failures I went through in my life, all the failures that most people go through. Those are nature’s attempt to get to hit you over the head with problems so that you become self aware.
Unknown Speaker 41:19
Yeah, and can make adjustments and can improve.
Unknown Speaker 41:22
Yeah, and can grow. And you don’t approve unless you have to. Most people don’t takes a really, really self aware person and a really sharp person to do to improve when they don’t have to.
Unknown Speaker 41:35
Yeah, yeah. Which which is interesting. You know, that’s a whole nother Avenue we can go down. It’s almost like if you know that in your nature, if you’re not automatically one that pursues self improvement. It’s like you have to figure out how to get external catalysts in your life so that you do improve so that you do grow. And that’s a challenge in of itself. But that’s really a fascinating point that you make there.
Unknown Speaker 42:00
But before in preparation for this interview, I think I sent you did I not the ebook? I know you haven’t had a chance to read it, but I sent you my ebook, didn’t I? Yeah. Okay. If you go look at the table of contents in that ebook, there are minus 12 chapters on on all of that out of the 36 in the book, so you should go in and dig in. Let’s start with table contents because it’s an annotated table of contents. Each chapter describes what’s in it so go to that if you still have it if you don’t I’ll send you another but it’s not I can’t send out free to everybody but cuz that’s why it’s for sale. At business brokerage press calm, but I gave it to you free because you were going to interview me. So if you want that you should go look at that. That’s I spent a lot I spent a lifetime putting that together.
Unknown Speaker 42:51
Yeah, that. That reminds me of a story I heard by Andy Andrews. He talks about walking into a bookstore and there’s just And in the same aisle that he’s in and he pulls a book off the shelf that the other gentleman does, and he starts flipping through it and he’s looking at it he looks pretty interested in the book and then it closes it looks on the back cover and it sees that the books $25 and that the gentleman holding the book says $25 that’s ridiculous and puts it back on the shelf and and Andy Andrews is was just about to walk up to them and be like, what are you crazy, that person for 20 years, 25 years of wisdom into that book, and you can’t spend 25 bucks on that thing. So that’s what you did with your book. You know, you put put all that wisdom in there and there’s there’s plenty to pull out of it. So
Unknown Speaker 43:36
well. I tell people that say I don’t want to buy your book, but I would like to hire you for coaching. I charge $300 an hour for coaching. And the book is $59. And frankly, if you just got my book and read the damn book, you’d have about 10 hours worth of coaching right there.
Unknown Speaker 43:54
Unknown Speaker 43:56
Unknown Speaker 43:56
takes initiative and that takes what you Well, you’re just previously said that not not a lot of us are good at that, at putting that initiative and putting that effort in to grow ourselves. And I think that’s why coaches are so successful right now is that people want to grow, but they need someone else to push them and keep them accountable to growing to moving forward, because it’s so it is really challenging to do it all by yourself or to do it through a book. But it’s there, and it’s available and that wisdom is there.
Unknown Speaker 44:25
Well, I know, I know, younger generations don’t read books as much as the older generation. So that’s an understatement. That’s a challenge. And if you’re not going to read, you’re going to miss all those long efforts because that doesn’t occur in a small tweak, or, or even a blog message where you’re sending out something that’s less than 250 words in a blog or something. When people say, you know, we want all of the stuff you know, and can you write us a blog entry have 200 words or 200 you know, I laugh now it takes me 200 words, just Remember who I am? Before I even begin to speak? Funny? Well, I showed up for a in Michigan I was hired to do an all day seminar. And and they were going to pay me and, and when I had I had slides and everything and I went there, thinking I was gonna get, I mean, I planned it thinking I was gonna get all day and then the program people called me and said, Well, we’ve got you’re gonna have to, we’re gonna still pay you, but it’s gonna now be a half a day. Okay. So, okay, I said, I can do that then because I didn’t they weren’t changing what they paid me. So I said, Okay, I’ll do a half a day. That’s fine. And, and I can feel a half a day when I got there. The half a day became two and a half hours. Nice. Yeah, yeah. Because they had a meeting around me and they first before they introduced me, and then they let some one of their sponsors talk and he talked for half hour. I thought I’d go crazy. Now I’m up and I got about three and a half hours of material and I got two and a half hours to do it. I know what you guys expect, but it’s not gonna be the same presentation I started with. I didn’t say that, but I wanted to wring their necks because it really, I can’t do it. If you tell me to plan for half a day. I can’t do half a day in two and a half hours. It just doesn’t work.
Unknown Speaker 46:27
Right? You know,
Unknown Speaker 46:28
someday, maybe, because I gotta get people breaks. You got to get question and answers and you got it. There’s a lot of stuff. So really, when I say two and a half hours, it’s only about an hour and a half of a journal. Yeah, and here I am with about two and a half hours of material. That’s not gonna cut something out. Well, they already cut me down from a whole day. I was supposed to cover my whole book. My book is 100,000 words. 36 chapters.
Unknown Speaker 46:51
Well, come on, Glenn. You can’t You can’t do that in two and a half hours What’s wrong?
Unknown Speaker 46:55
Unknown Speaker 46:58
not if I’m going to tell you something. Complicated concepts and until you analyze things carefully. So at any rate, I think if you if you look at my, in my ebook, it says it’s complete the ebook and the printed book are this exactly the same text. And they’re, they’re both more complete than the slides more complete than the videos. I mean, I don’t mean slides. I mean, I did 3615 minute videos. And I that the videos are dumbed down versions of what I wrote in the chapters. So if if you really like a lot of it applies to every business, because I’m talking about prospective clients. I’m talking about people who engage, take your time, steal your time that you have to evaluate, why are you letting your time be stolen? I talked about how to build your image in a world that’s very difficult to even get known in or thean in and I talk about why franchises don’t work, which I know a lot of people if you’re listening, maybe working with French choices. franchises work a little if you’re in a great big franchise, I My first job was McDonald’s when I was 16 years old, I was working on a McDonald’s. So I understand franchises from the inside out, I think. And I’ve sold a few, maybe 2030 franchises, but I don’t like franchises. And if your franchise isn’t the command hasn’t got a commanding lead in the market, you’re wasting your time. In my opinion. franchises don’t like to hear me. I don’t get off invited to speak to franchise groups. But their franchises and business brokerages, they don’t work because nobody knows who they are. You know, Business Brokers know know who they are, but the outside people don’t. So they’re not worth it. And they train you for a little bit and then they leave you on your own and they take a percentage of your gross for the rest of your life. It’s it didn’t make any sense.
Unknown Speaker 48:46
Sounds like a good deal.
Unknown Speaker 48:48
Unknown Speaker 48:49
for the people that are taking the percentage.
Unknown Speaker 48:51
It’s good when you don’t know what you’re doing, because they do tell you how to do it. Hmm. But as soon as you know how to do it. They use you to tell them The other franchise franchisees that are the ones, the new ones, they bring in, like, let them call you. And now you’re a teacher for free.
Unknown Speaker 49:07
And you’re paying them a royalty.
Unknown Speaker 49:11
And you’re buying product from them. Usually, you have to do what they say, Oh my god, I could imagine a bigger nightmare. I wouldn’t want to be a franchise. Anyway, that’s just as an aside, we can edit that out maybe, if you want to.
Unknown Speaker 49:25
So Glen, I wanted to just to have you share about how we can get a hold of you. And you know, kind of just recap a little bit of what the name of that book is so that people that are interested could purchase and kind of go that go from there.
Unknown Speaker 49:39
Okay, my website, it’s Colorado business. brokers.co. We didn’t get the.com we’re still working on that. We know who has it. We’ll get it eventually. But SEO is okay for Colorado. It’s just not very good for SEO. That’s the problem. But Colorado business brokers.co and I’m Glen GL e One hand at Colorado business brokers.co. Colorado is the normal spelling of Colorado Business Brokers all run together.co. So that’s how you can get a hold of me. I am available as a coach but mostly for Business Brokers. I’m a coach a business brokerage. I do do coaching for small businesses but only if I know something about that type of business. So if somebody called me want me to coach them on a business they that I didn’t know anything about, I would just say buy my book, I really don’t know your business well enough to be very good coach. And I thought I don’t purely coach I do coach consulting. So I there are times when I just will work on your ideas and ask you questions and listen and get you to listen to yourself. That’s coaching as opposed to consulting where I tell you how to do something or do it for you even sometimes, the book is Glenn Cooper on business brokerage. It’s unfortunately not on Amazon because I I gave the exclusive rights of distributorship to business brokerage press.com that’s business brokerage Brr ktr ag press all run together calm, and it’s in their shop. So it’s business brokerage press calm slash shop, sh op, and it’s called Glen Cooper on business brokerage and you can either buy the hardbound book for 59 bucks, and I forgotten now what they have it on, they have it on sale I think right now for 49, I think. And then there’s the there there 36 lifts 15 minute lectures on video, and an ebook that come together for a higher price. It’s meant for training New Business Brokers, but frankly, if I were a business owner, and I knew about it, most people won’t, I would buy it too because of all the business lessons in there. every lesson for our business broker is so it’s a lesson for every person who sells anything, because that’s what we do. We sell businesses and we manage business and we run businesses ourselves. And it’s all about how to be a successful business broker. And frankly, right now that I gotta rewrite some things about the book. Good. I was written before the Coronavirus So I don’t I didn’t tell anybody about any zoom seminars or I think their webinars. Yeah, things have changed. Things have changed quickly. But not the basics have not changed really happen when you’re dealing with somebody that you’re still dealing with human being and that that that changes very, very slow.
Unknown Speaker 52:14
Well, thank you for that. Thanks for sharing, or we could reach you and your book and all that information.
Unknown Speaker 52:20
And thanks for being on this episode. I appreciate it. Well, you’re welcome. Thank you for having me.
Unknown Speaker 52:28
Thank you again for listening to this episode. If you’d like more, you can find us on all the main podcast channels, including Apple, Spotify and Google Play. Please take a moment to give us a quick five star review. We really appreciate that. If you’d like to support the podcast beyond a review, you can find me on email@example.com slash SAGE Mindset. on there you’ll find various levels of tiers and bonuses that come with them. I really want to add as much value as I can to the members that sponsor us. If you’d like to get a hold of me, please visit Gillette solutions comm or you can email me directly at Kyle Gillette Solutions COMM And you can learn more about the services I have, and potentially even sign up for the SAGE Mindset course. So thanks again for listening
Transcribed by https://otter.ai