In early 2018, likely a result of binge following Gary Vaynerchuk, and Tai Lopez, I thought it would be a good idea to torment myself for a month and a half by reading a new book each day on - how to sell your business. I then committed to sharing the knowledge with the world in daily YouTube videos. This article is a condensation of the lessons learned, and the top five - how to sell your business - books.

Business Transition Lessons:

  • Between 80% - 90% of businesses cannot sell. A reflection of the how difficult it is to create predictable and transferable cash flows streams.
  • Valuation methodologies are all over the map.
  • There is no standard sale process.
  • Owners who build a team around them - lawyers, accountants, intermediaries, financial planners, phycologists - increase their probability of a sale.
  • ​Having attractive discretionary earnings, stable management, low owner dependence, and standardized systems in place, is the bare minimum for selling to a sophisticated buyer.
  • ​Sellers underestimate how much of their identity is tied up in their business, and the emotional havoc a sale can create.
  • ​99% of sellers overvalue their business asset.
  • ​A business sale becomes staggeringly complex, the larger the entity.
  • ​The owners that plan two, three and five years out from their targeted sale date are generally successful. ​  

Want more detail? Check Out The - 44 day Challenge

The Top Five Books:

1)  Private Capital Markets - Rob Slee2) There's Always A Way To Sell Your Business - Doug Robbins

3) Equicapita's Little Book of What Next? - Steven Johnston

4) How To Sell Your Mid-Size Business - Ney Grant

5) Built to Sell - John Warrillow

Personal Lessons:

  • Don't be discouraged when no one watches your videos.
  • ​A reasonably functional studio (lighting, sound, set) can be built for under $2,000.
  • ScreenFlow is a great video editing software
  • The imprint of knowledge left from an exercise like this has untold unexpected benefits.
  • ​The 44-day challenges quickly morphed into a test of discipline, grit, and self-motivation - and became less about the initial intent of marketing and self-education.
  • ​Recording the videos was the most mentally exhausting part - much more than reading the books.
  • Finding 2 - 3 hours per day for a repetitive task was harder than anticipated.

Some people may be wondering, why 44 books, and why not 45, or 46? The reason was simple, the initial search on Amazon for "How to Sell My Business," came up with 44 books. I bought them all and was off to the races. I spent two hours each morning reading and pulling the best lessons out of each book, and then took 30 minutes to record the video. Later in the process, I was paying someone to do the editing. Overall, most of the books (while informative) were blatant sales pitches for broker services. Despite this fact, there were a handful of gems which I am thankful the authors shared with the world. If you are thinking about selling your company, the list above is worth investing your time and money.