“I’ve always been so competitive. And I’ve always been like, I want more, I want to do more, I want […]

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 “I’ve always been so competitive. And I’ve always been like, I want more, I want to do more, I want to accomplish more, I want more, you know, and I’ve always just wanted to make sure that my life means something. And that is not for nothing, that I helped somebody, I helped a business owner, I saved the marriage, or I saved somebody’s house, or, you know, I’ve always wanted my life to make an impact on someone else’s life. And I wanted to make sure that my life is not just for nothing.” Michelle Siler Tucker is the leading authority in mergers and acquisitions and author of Exit Rich. She has 20 plus years of experience in close 500 plus businesses and has a 98% closing rate up to 40%. Higher for selling prices, selling near appraised values.”

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Selling 500+ Businesses With Michelle Seiler Tucker

Brett:

I’m excited about our next guest. She’s the leading authority in mergers and acquisitions and author of Exit Rich, which is set to be released here soon. And the book is all about the method to sell your business for a huge profit. She has 20 plus years of experience in close 500 plus businesses and has a 98% closing rate up to 40%. Higher for selling prices, selling near appraised values. We’re gonna dive all into that right now with Michelle Seiler Tucker, how are you doing, Michelle?

Michelle:

I’m great, Brett, thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Brett:

Excellent. Yes. I’m excited to dive in. Would you give our listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus? Sure.

Michelle:

So I think I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart. I started businesses when I was young. But then I kind of got, you know, sucked into corporate America, I went to work at Xerox making six figures with great benefits. And very quickly at Xerox, my nickname was a closer so every time somebody couldn’t close a deal, they would bring me in to close the deal. And I was really good at negotiations. But six months later, my manager came to me and she said, Michelle, you really should interview for the regional manager overseeing 85 salespeople. And I said, Okay, she said, You’ll never get it. But you should do it. And I’m like, why should I interview for something I’m never going to get? As she says because you’ll learn so much from the experience. It was like a three-month experience. It was like a three-month interview process, where you had to meet all the high-level executives, and it was pretty intense. And she says you should just do it for six months. And I said, Okay, I’ll do it. So anyway, I did it for three months and competed against my peers who had been at Xerox for decades. And I ended up getting it actually. And they picked me. And then you know, all of my friends at Xerox hated me, because I beat them out of the job. So every time we’re in a luxury, I mean, I would go to sit at their table, and they would all move and part like the Red Sea. It was like negros a high school. Like, Oh, my gosh, be happy for me. So anyway, I pretty much lost all my friends at Xerox. But I did that for a while. But I really missed owning businesses. So I stumbled across a franchise, I had a couple of locations. And my husband knew one of the owners, and I said, well, maybe you know, so I approached him about buying their franchise. And I said, we know of you and we know of your reputation. We don’t want you to buy a franchise. We want you to partner with us and help us sell franchises. And then we’ll give you one. And I said, well, you have two locations, I don’t think I’m going to give up my six-figure position. With great benefits for a company that’s not really successful. Why don’t we try it for six months and see what happens and I’ll keep my day job. So I did that. So I flew all over the country, weekends and you know, had my own events. Within six months, I made more money than I made at Xerox, I think I made like $300,000 in those six months. So I said, You know what, I think this is a good time to leave Xerox. So I was in that position for six months. And then everybody was even more upset with me. Because I beat the valid job and keep the job. And so then I went into franchise sales franchise consulting franchise development. And they did, Neil, I’m sorry, Brett. They did what a lot of business owners do. They grow the company and they don’t build a foundation. And that’s what they didn’t do. So we sold so many franchises. They just couldn’t keep up and they were overpromising under-delivering and it was a mess. And these franchises were my friends, you know, I went to their weddings, I went to the hospitals when they had babies, I was at their birthday party. I stayed at their house when I came into town. And so, you know, I was really fighting for them. So it became very adversarial this partnership because I was fighting for the franchisees and the franchisors were very upset with me because I thought I should be on their side. Now I’m going to be on the client-side every time. So I ended up having to buy me out and I’m like, Okay, what am I going to do next? And that’s kind of when I transition into selling companies. And I started selling you know, coffee shops, restaurants, daycares, but then I learned very quickly that eight out of 10 businesses don’t sell. So, that’s when I started fixing them, growing them. And now transition into selling much bigger companies typically $10 million, and up. And that’s, you know, at any given time in five to ten companies. By now I have companies in medical, I have companies in graphics, I’ve had technology publishing, you know, event companies, I’ve been in a lot of different industries. So that’s my story.

Brett:

Beautiful story. Amazing, so much there that you’re going and I just wanted you to finish the last point, which is fantastic. So, wow. So you’re sort of like, I think like the, you know, the profit doctor, like the business doctor, right. And so, corporate America, to entrepreneur, to franchise owner to a business broker to merge into bigger, larger mergers and acquisitions. I can’t wait to dive into some more of those details and glean some wisdom from you. But in the meantime, I want to take one step back, okay, Michelle. I want you to go back perhaps to the time when, before the Xerox days, it could have been the college days, could have been the high school days, you know, I believe we’ve all been given certain gifts, Michelle, in this life. And these gifts, I believe, are God-given gifts, some people call superpowers. And these gifts are given to us that we can be a blessing and help to others. So I’m curious, what is that gift, maybe one or two gifts that you believe you were given? And how does it help how you help people today?

Michelle:

Okay, one thing I want to say before I get there, I love how you said the business doctors because actually, I do have that domain. And that is one of my companies. So I think my gifts, you know, as a child, I didn’t play with toys, I didn’t play with dolls, I was quite unusual. I would walk around with a notebook and a pen. And it didn’t matter where we were in church, school, grocery store, restaurants, I would approach strangers and I would ask them a million questions. And I was always so curious. I wanted to know everything about that person. And my mom always thought I was gonna be the next Barbara Walters. And so I really love writing. I think my two gifts are people. I’m so interested in people, you know, what makes them tick? What’s their interest? What are their hot buttons? Why are they successful? Why are they not successful? I’m so interested in people. I’m like, you know, a kid in a candy store when it comes to business. So I think, you know, really listening and really figuring out what people want is my special gift. I think that’s why people call me at Xerox “The Closer” because, you know, you can’t close somebody on something unless you really know that person, and what their wants and needs are. And then I think my other special gift is writing. I’ve always been into writing as a child. You know, I used to write stories. I used to write poems. I’ve written lyrics. And now I write books. And I’ve written three books now. And every book I’ve written in, basically, six weeks, Exit Riches, 325 pages, I wrote it in six weeks. So I think those are my special gifts, and just you know,

Brett:

Those are beautiful gifts. So curiosity, people asking questions, being inquisitive, figuring out what people want, I want to laser focus on that, because I think that might be overlooked. So what’s the best secret Michelle, to uncovering what people really want?

Selling 500+ Businesses Michelle Seiler Tucker

On selling businesses. “Always deliver more than expected.” — Larry Page, co-founder of Google

Michelle:

I think it’s really asking the right questions. And you know, they always say, you can tell how intelligent a person is by the questions they ask. And I think it’s by asking, a lot of questions are really listening. So many people ask questions, but then they don’t really listen. And, you know, you go through, like, people have been with me on sales calls, meeting with buyers and sellers. I never have a pitch, you know, it’s never a pitch, it’s always really getting to know that person, really get another company, really getting to know their struggles, you know, their wins, their challenges, and then just asking the right questions, to really get down to what that person really wants. And a lot of times, they don’t know what they want, you have to help them figure it out. And I learned that a long time ago when I used to teach Dale Carnegie that you got to figure that out, you got to help them figure that out for them. Because how many times do people not know what they want and I can’t make a decision you got to help them figure that out and help them make the decision for them.

Brett:

Excellent so asking the right questions right and never not going with I guess a predetermined pitch or solution because you don’t know yet right and true beginnings and other challenges. Their wants, how they’ve been successful, what have been their challenges, what have been, you know, things that have? Why are they selling? Why are you even specific? Right, understanding their motivations. And then perhaps offering or helping them figure out or uncover what they really want.

Michelle:

Absolutely. I mean, and there have been times where I’ve helped, I’ve helped business owners figure out that they don’t want to sell their business. And that’s okay. I would rather help them figure out that they don’t want to sell versus going through a year or two years trying to sell when all they’re going to do is back out because of sellers’ remorse.

Brett:

Very well said, right? The motivation is not there. Then when it comes down to, let’s say, the brass tacks or the end of the deal, right? They probably won’t deal right, and they probably won’t deal and now you’ve wasted perhaps their time, your time, and buyers’ time. And as mergers and acquisition Business Brokers Tell me if I’m wrong, but not getting paid unless a deal is closed.

Michelle:

Yeah, so I mean, a lot of M&A. So I’m a Mergers Acquisitions Master Intermediary, and you can’t just take a test to get that or take a college course, you have to prove yourself by selling so many businesses over a $2 million range. So many brokers don’t have that title. I have that title because of our track record. But yes, many M&A advisors and Business Brokers charge retainer fees. I don’t charge retainer fees. I’ve never charged a retainer fee because I’m results-driven. I’m a salesperson, I’m a closer, I’m going to get this deal done. You know, as long as I have your sellers, sanity checks down. And I know we can meet that. And I’ve planned your beginning strategy because I will never help you plan your exit unless we help plan your beginning.

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Brett:

So well said and I appreciate that we likewise we work the same way we don’t we say look, no charge no obligation. For whatever reason a deal doesn’t work out, we don’t deliver like you don’t owe us anything. Like we have to actually produce the result of tax deferral, and what we call transformational exit planning. And if we can do that, then we’ll get paid otherwise, you know, don’t pay us.

Michelle:

And that’s great. And you and I should have a conversation about that. How you can work with me and my clients. But so many advisors, you know, there’s a group out there, I’m not going to say who it is, of course, but they charge about 60,000 to 100,000 retainer fees. And they actually called me six months ago and asked me if I could close your deals for them because they couldn’t get anybody to close deals. They’re very, really good at getting that retainer fee, but they’re really bad at closing deals. Yeah,

Brett:

Yep, it takes a team and, and, hopefully, evidence, and the results speak for themselves. And so that’s what we focus on as well. So I think we would get along great. Um, that being said, What’s the most rewarding part of what you do?

Michelle:

So I think, you know, there’s two sides, well, there’s three sides to what I do. It’s very rewarding to help a seller sell their legacy, and transfer into good hands, that they feel comfortable with that, because the seller sanity check, it’s not just about what you’re going to walk away with, or how much you need a mother, how much do you need a year, sometimes that’s number three, four, or five or six on a seller’s list. A lot of times number one on a seller’s list is taking care of their employees, taking care of their clients growing their legacy. So it’s very rewarding to me when I can make that match a buyer and seller where that seller feels really confident. And being able to transfer their legacy to somebody they’re very comfortable with is going to grow it and take care of what they built and not ruin it. So that’s very rewarding. On the flip side, you know, there are five different types of buyers. And we talked about that in my book and exit rich, but it’s very rewarding. And I don’t work with a lot of first-time buyers anymore. My firm does. But it’s very rewarding to help a buyer leave corporate America like I left corporate America and buy a business we had a lady, a first-time buyer who called us about buying a restaurant. And she had been in banking for 30 years very close to retirement. And she wanted to buy a restaurant and she says I have $350,000 in my retirement fund. And I can redirect that and purchase a business without paying taxes and penalties. I’m willing to put down 300. I want to keep 50, I want a restaurant. I’m like why do you want a restaurant? Do you have restaurant experience? Have you worked in a restaurant? Does anybody you know work in restaurants? He goes, No, but I think that’s easy. And I’m like, No, that’s like one of the worst things that you can get into as a restaurant. So I ended up and I asked her why do you want to own a business when you’re so close to retirement? She said, Michelle, I’ve been in banking for 30 years, I make about 130,000 a year, that’s my best year ever. After being here for 30 years, my husband was in the military contracted Agent Orange. He’s outlived every doctor’s diagnosis, you know, the prognosis of when he’s going to leave us. And when he does, though, I will lose all the benefits, and I won’t really be able to afford, you know, our lifestyle. Plus, I want to leave a legacy for my child for my daughter. So that’s pretty strong why. You always tell buyers and sellers, you have to have a very strong why, otherwise you will never accomplish your goals. And so anyway, I said, Look, thank God, you got me because if you got any other broker, they will stick you in a restaurant. I’m not putting you in a restaurant. So I found a flooring buzz. And I said it’s not about the industry. It’s about that cash flow. She said I would like to make 200, 250,000 a year, and I can put down 300. So I found I had a flooring business for sale. And I went to them. I said, Look, I know you want more money down, but I got this wonderful person. And I think you’re really gonna love her. She can afford to put down $300,000. She’s gonna leave 50,000 for working capital. And she wants her to buy the business and the real estate. The real estate was for sale, too. And I said no, no, no. And finally, I got them to say yes. You know, it takes 10 nos to get seven nos to get a yes. So I finally got them to say yes, she went in. And she has doubled the business. But right away, she was making about three, even after she paid back, the business was paying back the debt service, the seller financing. She was still making about 300,000,  350,000 a year. Now she grew the business and she was making a half-million dollars a year. And she’s been in the business for five years. I mean, that’s extremely rewarding when I can help somebody accomplish a Why leave corporate America, especially close to retirement, and make more money than they’ve ever made before. I don’t think it gets much better than that doesn’t

Brett:

That’s transformational is fantastic. There’s so much to unpack there. And by the way, she’s probably having the best time or life ever working right? Doing all of that. Right? Her family.

Michelle:

Yeah. And she’s learned so many things. She’s like Michelle, I’ve never learned so much. And, you know, the owner stayed on for a while, and she’s made her payments. And she’s like, God, Michelle, I’m so glad I got you. Because if I didn’t get you, you know, what would I have done? Because there are so many brokers, they are just their order takers, the order takers, they’re not problem solvers. They’re not trying to do the best for the client. They’re just trying to get a deal done. And yes, I could have shoved her in a restaurant, she would have been miserable, she would have wasted her money.

Brett:

Yeah, very well said. I want to touch on two little thoughts here. And the first one is the internal motivations, right? There are external motivations for folks that are such as retire and have some money here and be you know, but there’s the internal stuff like legacy, like family, like my employees and my clients and taking care of them. And it’s, it’s not just the surface stuff, it’s going below and saying how we problem-solve to structure this in a way to find a buyer who you’re going to believe in as well. We’re going to take care of your folks the best they can right, give the circumstances, and still give you a fair price. Is that a fair summary of that first part?

Selling 500+ Businesses With Michelle Seiler Tucker

On selling businesses. “If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” — Zig Ziglar, author, salesman, and motivational speaker

Michelle:

Absolutely. And sometimes, Brett it truly is like searching for a needle in a haystack. To find that right marriage, because let me tell you something, I’ve had sellers walk away and say, I don’t like that buyer, I’m not going to sell it to them and have buyers walk in and say, “This is a dump”. And they said it right in front of the seller. And I like kicking the buyer. So you know, that’s why we do so much education on the buy side, sell side before we even set up meetings, you know, like, “Look, if you don’t like something, let’s not insult the seller. Let’s just keep it to ourselves. You can tell me about it later”.

Brett:

Yeah, very well said. And the second part of that is, is helping people get freedom from corporate America. Right? The one thing we can’t get back, Michelle, and let me know what you think is time. Right? We can make and break money, we can make him break businesses, let’s say right, but we can’t get back time. And that timepiece also means the time to actually leave a legacy. Right? So I love that she for 30 years was in corporate America. And then now she made this change. And she’s going like my husband has health challenges. And I also want to be able to leave this legacy for our kids or daughter. Right? And by being an entrepreneur and taking a risk here and going out for something new. Yeah. And so she traded her time and energy that was being traded for corporate America for this legacy. Any thoughts there on the aspect of time. 

Michelle:

She sure did. And you know, I tell you it was a big, a big risk on her part. And you know, that’s why we say the why has to be so strong because everybody was telling her, “Oh that’s crazy, that’s insane!”. “Why would you do that when you’re so close to retirement?” And it was a big risk because she’s, you know, that was her entire savings. And if it didn’t work out, she wouldn’t have any money left. So it was a huge, huge, huge risk. But she is so thankful that she did it. Because those 30 years in corporate America, she said, Michelle, I have nothing to show for it. There’s nothing to show for I have no equity in anything. And you know, that’s why I got out. I was at Xerox for a year. And I just thank goodness, I didn’t stay at Xerox much longer than that. And I love Xerox, it’s a great Corporation. And I won’t say anything negative about them. But you know, she’s so happy now. Because she is trading time, spending time and her money for equity and building a legacy, and leaving behind something really valuable. And it’s just more than just money right? For her daughter to inherit.

Brett:

So well said yeah, transformational, you truly are a gift that I can already tell I’ve interviewed a lot of folks, no one quite like you on what you do. So this is really, really neat. So now let’s dive into some of the tactical Okay.

Michelle:

Before we can, I give you one quick story.

Brett:

Good, sure go ahead.

Michelle:

You asked me about what’s so rewarding. So those are the two things on the buy-side sell-side, let me give you one more story for your listeners.

Brett:

Sure.

Michelle:

What’s also very rewarding is saving a business that’s about to go under. Because when businesses go under, not only do they lose the loser business assets, but they usually lose their family assets too. So I had a graphics company that called me a few years ago. They had a husband and wife who worked in their garage, started business years ago, worked out of their garage, converted the garage to an office. One employee told the one employee that they’re going to sell or close your doors. So what do you think that one employee is going to do? On the job, right? So he called me up, and I could tell that he was panicking. And, you know, I typically don’t take the phone call, I don’t always take phone calls. You know, I’m really, really busy. That day, my assistant said, Michelle, you know, this graphics company is on the phone in Houston, I think you might want to take the call. I was like no, no, I can’t. I got to do this and this. And I’m like, you know what, someone just told me to take that call. So I said, Okay, I think it was God who told me to take that call. So I took the call. And he started talking to me about the business. And he said, Look, you know, we built this great business, but I’m looking at my wife and I are working 14 hours a day, we have one employee, we’re about to get a divorce, we’ve mortgaged our home. And we just can’t do it anymore. We can’t work this many hours. We’re at wit’s end. And he kept talking. And I said, Well, what do you think the big issue is, and he said, the issue is that I don’t have the business acumen to grow my company to the next level. I don’t have a business acumen. That’s why I need to sell. And I said, Well, tell me a little bit more. And then he says, our quality is so good. It’s unparalleled in the industry. That we’re turning down 6,000 clients a year. And when he said that, I went Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, because that’s the opposite problem of most companies. Most companies don’t have enough clients. They need to do more marketing. So I said, Listen, Steven. I said, here’s the deal. We’re not putting your business on the market, because your business is not sellable. Because if we take you guys out, there is no business. And I said, well, what are we gonna do? I said, I’m gonna do my due diligence, but I’m pretty sure I’m gonna partner with you, and I’m going to save your business. And I did. And I put up, I invest in money, my time, my energy, my effort, I took them out of that garage, leased a 6,500 square foot building, hired 2025 employees, they never broke a million before. Now they’re way over a mountain and are doing millions, hard, you know, a chief operating officer, etc. and Steven now comes up with these brilliant, brilliant ideas. Because he really is brilliant. He and his wife are both brilliant. And I said, Steven, I thought you didn’t have the business acumen to grow your company. And he’s like, Well, you know, I’ve learned a lot. I said, no, Steven, you’ve always had it. It’s always been there. But when you’re in the fog, it’s foggy. When you’re in the middle of the chaos. Everything is chaotic, and it’s hard to see the forest through the trees, right? You need an outsider’s perspective, to read the label. So anyway, so that’s a great story because at my birthday party his wife spoke on my behalf and had tears in her eyes because they said not only did Michelle saved a business, she saved the marriage.

Brett:

My mind is blown, and I’m sure our listeners are too Michelle because that is truly transformational for the family, for the business, for the employees. And yeah, in a sense, you helped him get freedom from the business without having to kill his business or get or leave the business, right? From the day to day of how small it was and how he couldn’t get out of his own way. And, and he’s brilliant, but at the same time, business acumen and marketing and scaling, he needs help, right. And so you help them scale so that now he gets freedom from being in the business, can work on the business, create more ideas, grow even more, and a fair summary.

Michelle:

Fair summary, and you know, it’s kind of like a computer, right? If you have all the programs open, what happens, your computer really slows, slows down, slows down, and eventually dies. The same thing with a business owner, you got to close some of those loops, and you got to work on your business, not in your business, and you got to hide strengths. I’m sorry, hide weaknesses, focus on your strengths.

Brett:

Beautiful. So well said. So let’s talk about that. So because I think that’s probably the number one thing for folks that are challenged is delegating, giving up control, right? Having these false beliefs that no one’s gonna do better than him, or no one’s gonna care as much as them and I’m reading a book called Mentor To Millions by Kevin Harrington. And it’s actually had him on the show here.

Michelle:

It’s funny that you mentioned that because he wrote the foreword to Exit Rich.

Brett:

Small World, Michelle. And so part of what he says is, you know, have a plan and 70 to 80% plan it, and then go do it, right? And I’m having to practice that every day with, I mean, I have a small team, and I’m having to give up even more and more and more, right, and I, I know I need to, but it’s hard to get sucked back in and, and I also hired coach and masterminds to help me get through all of it. Because it’s not easy, especially when we’re creatures of habit, right? Doing things one way. And we are stuck in that, you know, that routine, we’ve got to get outside help. So you got to get people like Michelle, to help coach, maybe even partner with you, right? I love the way that Kevin Harrington and Mark Cuban, and everyone does it on Shark Tank, they say, hey, look, if I want to invest in that, you know, I’ve got to have ownership because it’s not just, hire me for one thing. So talk about ways that business owners can structure their businesses in a way that gets that buy-in from their team members, whether it be profit sharing, whether it be equity ownership, whether it be stock purchases, how do you help those that are 10 million and above structure in a way to make this thing fly? Maybe what their employees, employees partners yourself? Like, what are the best ones doing to make sure that there’s that buy-in? And that ownership?

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Michelle:

Yeah, so you know, when you mentioned that from the beginning, employees, something came to my brain automatically. And that’s Jeff Hoffman, who was one of the founders of Priceline and also founded the airport kiosk. He said, the best way to get employees to buy in, is to really figure out what employees want. And by doing that, it’s not so much about the hourly rate or the salary, but it’s what really goes back to the wants, finding out what people want. And Jeff is probably the master at this. So when he interviews people when he interviews prospective employees, he asks them all these questions, and he gets down to the nitty-gritty about what is that person’s why what is so important to them. And I remember his story, he was telling me because he was on my podcast not that long ago. And we spoke on many stages together. He said that he interviewed this gentleman that said, Look, I just want to make enough money to buy my mom a house. So everybody has every employee has a different reason they have a different, you know, something different that motivates them. And so what he did with that employee says, Okay, let’s put that up on the wall. So he takes their why wherever their motivating factor is, and puts that on a wall in the office. So the entire team is invested in making sure that everybody on the team gets what they want. And it’s not even for him, it’s for his mother. So everybody on that team is participating, working towards one common goal to help the employees get what they want, which also helps the company get what the company needs, wants, and needs.

Brett:

It’s so simple. It’s so profound, right? It’s exactly right, helping people get what they want. You can have everything you want. So why aren’t we, you know, the people that are most important? Which are our team members? employees, right? They’re with us. If they, A, don’t know their why or B, don’t know their why, or we’re not sharing that why, right? Where’s the inspiration coming from right? Maybe coming from our own why, which is only, you know, small. But when you can help enough people get what they want, and you share that together? Why can’t we all grow and succeed? Is that a fair summary?

Michelle:

Absolutely. And like I said, I think Jeff has a master that it sounds so simple, but it’s much more complicated. And the problem is employers get stuck in their heads, and just do everything that needs to be done and they don’t really take the time to figure that out. But I mean, Jeff even found out that one of his employees needed his cleaning picked up, Jeff went up to pick up his cleaning. This is a multi-multi multi-millionaire, that so companies for millions, billions, you know, so I think it’s about that. And then the other answer I want to give you is, I see so many consultants that go in and charge these ridiculous fees. And like, I don’t wanna say anything negative about consultants, but they’re charging, whether they get results or not, and are charging, you know, $10,000 a day, or $100,000 a year or up whether they get results or not, I would like to encourage some of them to do what I’ve been doing. And that does not charge these big, huge fees, but more importantly, take equity in the company. So you’re vested in the company, you’re vested in our success, but they don’t want to do that, because they want the big money. They don’t want to just take equity, they don’t want to share. Any upside is sharing the risk. They just want to share in the upside.

Brett:

Yep, yep, very well said that answered a question. It totally does. That’s a great answer. So let’s move into the biggest frustration and it pertains to capital gains tax deferral. So like, we just closed the deal, it was a $2.6 million business sale, a couple of partners, you know, three total

Michelle:

2.6 million or billion

Brett:

2.6 million. And the liability’s about $600,000. And so, you know, two of the sellers didn’t want to sell the business, the other one did, so they end up negotiating, or the two about my client, and it was unique about it is, is he saved the 600,000 using our deferred sales trust, but then he was able to go build us the equity to go build another business, which is multi-family development, all tax-deferred. So he had that flexibility. So it wasn’t just the transaction meeting, oh, defer the tax, right. But it was, oh, what does this lead into the next chapter of my life? And for him, it was like, hey, Brett, I’m in my mid-40s. I’m so young, I’m a high-income earner, I’ve always had this dream of building. So in Tennessee, he’s building 80 units. And he goes, Oh, this is so cool. Because I just deferred the tax that I would have paid. Now I can move it into this next chapter and use those funds, I call it go fund yourself, right? Instead of Go Fund Me or VC capital, you can literally use the funds to set your next business venture. So speak to not only just tax deferral challenges, and how it could you know, hurt a deal or not make a deal work. But then the next chapter, right, which goes into the transformational part of oh, what is this going to do for your next part of your legacy?

Michelle:

Right. So you know, it really does go back to where the client is in the stage of their life, though, right? So a lot of our clients are typically 60,65, 70, 75, 80. We have one client right now that we’re selling our business, and between the 60 to $70 million range, and he’s 80 years old. And he doesn’t want another business. But it just goes back to what do they want to do? So we do work with a firm like I talked about before, that one of the first things we do when we sit down and do seller strategy, and we do the valuation, we do projections, who also sit down and look at okay if we get you within this range, what are the capital gains going to be? What does that look like? Um, I’ve had some clients say, don’t bring me all cash, you know, write me so much upfront. And then we’ll do seller financing. I’ve had others want to do a trust where the money goes in where the proceeds of the sale goes into a trust, and at the first taxes and they take money out as they need it. I have like I said, a really good firm that I work with, that is pretty brilliant. At allocating purchase prices, allocating the purchase price, putting more towards goodwill, allocating more towards goodwill, to try to reduce the taxes and then follow those taxes for three years for and they’ve been able to save my clients. I mean, the last client that they worked with, I think they saved $1.8 million in taxes. If there’s a real estate component, and the owner wants to maybe 1031 that into another real estate, producing property, we’ve done that before as well. So, you know, we also reach out to our resources, like I said, with a law firm with a trust, and different things like that.

Brett:

Yep, very well said. And likewise, it’s all stuff we do as well. We just have found something that’s really interesting. I think after the show, we will exchange notes on the differences in different ways. In the meantime, though, I want to focus on the estate tax, you mentioned 60 to $80 million sales, you know, in that one of the biggest challenges that people don’t look at or aren’t as focused on is the estate tax, which is anything above 22 million and you’re married, or 12 million, you’re single, that’s inside your taxable estates can be hit with a 40% death tax, has nothing to do with the stepped-up basis. Okay? And has nothing to do with capital gains tax and everything to do with inside your taxable state. So would you walk us through perhaps some strategies or some thoughts, when it comes to estate tax for these ultra-high net worth clients that you’re serving.

Selling 500+ Businesses With Michelle Seiler Tucker

On selling businesses. “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal. People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going. You become what you think about.” – Earl Nightingale

Michelle:

That’s when I turned it over to accounting. The one thing that I’ve really learned in my industry, is to try to shy away from giving legal advice and accounting advice. And that’s why I bring on this M&A firm early on that specializes in M&A transactions. They do everything from the legal documentation, their due diligence, to closing to, you know, taxes, etc. And that’s when I typically bring them in.

Brett:

Yeah, well said, and for our listeners, you can go to capital gains, tax loosens calm. And you can learn about how the deferred sales trust can, you know, literally in one transaction move, not only defer your capital gains tax, move it all outside your taxable estate, without having to give it all away to charity, which is cool, but most of our clients are charitable Michelle, there’s not 100% charitable, so we have a cool way of doing that. That being said, Are you ready for the lightning round?

Michelle:

I am. And I would love to have you on my show to talk about your strategies. 

Brett:

It would be my honor. So let’s see what is some of the best advice you’ve ever received.

Michelle:

The best advice I’ve ever received. Lots of advice, your past doesn’t define you. Your past doesn’t define you. Your network equals your net worth. You want to be rich, hang around rich people. You want to be successful, hang around successful people. You want to be broke, hang around broke people.

Brett:

People knowing what you know, now, if you go back to your 25-year-old self, what’s the one Golden Nugget that you would make sure you would do?

Michelle:

Start earlier, not marry my first husband and start earlier?

Brett:

I like the honesty. Start earlier on the business and maybe wait a little longer before you get married? Right.

Michelle:

I’ll start early. I mean, you know, Xerox was a great learning experience, because they have the best training in the world. So that was a great learning experience. I wouldn’t change that. But I think I would start hiring mentors earlier. You know, start businesses earlier. I think that’s what I would change.

Brett:

Beautiful. What’s the one book you’ve recommended or gifted the most in the past year?

Selling 500+ Businesses Michelle Seiler TuckerMichelle:

Oh, my gosh, well, I recommend Exit Rich wants to build a sustainable, scalable business. But there are so many books out there and it depends upon what you’re struggling with. You know, one book that I really like, which is by Garry Williams Keller called The One Thing that is really great with business owners because business owners, entrepreneurs have that shiny, Penny syndrome where they go, “Oh, let’s chase this rabbit. Oh, chase this rabbit. Oh, let’s chase this rabbit”. Well, the one thing really focuses on what you should be doing right now. Selling 500+ Businesses Michelle Seiler TuckerThere’s another book called “Who” but I forgot who the author is. But if you’re struggling with employees, if you’re struggling with finding the right people, “Who” is one of the best books out there for that. I love Think Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I love the entire series. I love Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. I love The Art Of The Deal by Donald Trump rather, whether he’s our president or not going forward.

Brett:

Yeah, we’re recording as of today where it’s all the votes being counted. And it’s, it’s not looking so good. Let’s just say that for Mr. Donald Trump. So President Donald Trump, so. Excellent! Um, what are you curious about right now?

Michelle:

What am I curious about right now? What’s gonna happen going forward?

Brett:

Yeah. COVID-19 Yeah, the election changes everything. COVID-19

Michelle:

Yeah, election. In fact, COVID-19 will go out after the election. But I’m really curious about what’s going to happen next, you know if Trump doesn’t get in office.

Brett:

Likewise, likewise, with that being said, this is our last question, and this is gonna wrap it up because we’re running out of time here. So, you know, after all your success, Michelle, and all the people you’ve helped on the businesses you sold and businesses you’ve owned and operated and is the business doctor, right? How do you stay centered in your values? And how do you stay encouraged to reach for new heights?

Michelle:

Yeah, so that’s, that’s a great question. I think, you know, the best way I say to stay centered in my values is to have habits. And one of the biggest habits I have is before my feet hit the ground, is to give gratitude, you know, show gratitude, pray, you know, pray for what I’m thankful for, and really have gratitude for everything and all the blessings in my life, I really teach that to my daughter, to every night to pray for what she’s thankful for. So I think that’s a big way that I stay grounded is just by giving gratitude every day. Um, as far as what was the second part of that question?

Brett:

And then how do you stay encouraged, you accomplish so much, and then you like, keep you encouraged to go for that next big, big challenge.

Michelle:

I’ve always been so competitive. And I’ve always been like, I want more, I want to do more, I want to accomplish more, I want more, you know, and I’ve always just wanted to make sure that my life means something. And that is not for nothing, that I helped somebody, I helped a business owner, I saved the marriage, or I saved somebody’s house, or, you know, I’ve always wanted my life to make an impact on someone else’s life. And I wanted to make sure that my life is not just for nothing.

Brett:

So well said And with that, I want to first thank you for being on the show. And I want to encourage you to keep using the gifts and talents you’ve been given to be a blessing to others, and helping them create and preserve our wealth in their businesses and also their family, their leadership, it means so much here that you added tremendous value for us, Michelle. And with that, I’ll give you the last word and remind our listeners again where they can find you.

Michelle:

Sure, the last word. Never give up. Never give up. When there’s a will, there’s a way. No matter how bad it seems. There’s somebody there to help lift you up and help support you and carry you through this pain. Things are temporary. The epidemic is temporary. Pretty soon it’ll be a distant memory. This too shall pass. And where can they find me? They can find me at an exit rich book calm. While I would encourage everyone to go out and buy exitrichbook.com because number one, it is the blueprint Steve Forbes says if you want to build a sustainable, scalable, and saleable business, and Kevin Harrington said it’s a must-read. When your listeners go buy the book, they receive several bonuses if they go to exit Rich book.com. Number one, they get the digital download number immediately. Number two, they get a free book membership and to exit rich and that has lots and lots of video training right do deep dives into all the strategies and techniques about how to build your business to sell. Plus, I have document downloads. I have an employee handbook organization in charge, due diligence checklist, sample LOIs Letter of Intent sample Purchase Agreement sample closing documents, and they get access to club CEOs for 30 days for free. And we do masterminds hot seats question Q and A’s to help build their business. One question one answer could really change the trajectory of someone’s business

Brett:

Amazing! Thank you, Michelle. Thank you so much. Make sure to go to expertrichbook.com and also if we can help anyone else who’s selling highly appreciated business, real estate, cryptocurrency, primary home, deferring capital gains tax, go to capitalgainstaxsolutiions.com and if you’re a business professional listen to this, you’re a business broker, financial advisor, luxury realtor commercial real estate syndicator, go to experttaxsecrets.com to learn how the deferred sales trust can grow your business with that everybody we so appreciate you please rate reviews subscribe, and until next time.

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About Michelle Seiler Tucker

Selling 500+ Businesses With Michelle Seiler Tucker

Michelle Seiler Tucker is a Mergers and Acquisitions Master Intermediary (M&AMI), Certified Senior Business Analyst (CSBA), Certified Mergers & Acquisitions Professional (CM&AP) Certified Business Broker (CBB), Panelist for M&A Source, Keynote Speaker.

Michelle is also the Best-Selling Author of the book “Think & Grow Rich Today”“Sell Your Business for more than it’s Worth”, and her latest book “Exit Rich” is available now for purchase. In addition to being featured in INC., Forbes, and USA Magazine, Michelle makes regular radio and TV appearances on Fox Business News and CNBC.

She’s personally sold over 500 businesses and her company has sold over 1,000! For more than 20 years, Michelle’s been in the trenches helping hundreds of business owners build a scalable and sellable business. She helps owners create a business that works for them, rather than the other way around, and has helped thousands exit rich!

Michelle specializes in identifying a company’s ST 6Ps™ checklist and has assisted in driving the business to run on all 6 cylinders, all 6Ps. She has increased their profits and help formulate their ST GPS Exit Model, their build to sell model, so when the owner is ready, they too can sell for their desired price tag!

She has taken her extensive knowledge, experience, expertise, and proven formulas with buying, selling, fixing, and growing businesses and packaged it into a step by step process within EXIT Rich.

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