Intentional Growth

Intentional Growth™ is a podcast for entrepreneurs and business owners wanting to clarify a path to ... more

Latest Episodes

December 02, 2021 01:12:34
#277: Lead from the Core: The 4 Principles for Profit and Prosperity with Jay Steinfeld, Founder of Blinds.com

#277: Lead from the Core: The 4 Principles for Profit and Prosperity with Jay Steinfeld, Founder of Blinds.com

Blinds.com founder, Jay Steinfeld, bootstrapped his company — with only $3,000 in 1996 — to a sizable competitor of the big box shops like Home Depot, who acquired the company in 2014. Jay was an early adopter of this thing called “the internet” and transformed his small retail business into the world’s #1 online blinds retailer as well as the leading e-tailer of hard-to-buy custom categories of home goods. Jay intentionally designed a successful exit to Home Depot that included him staying on to run Blinds.com for an additional six years after acquisition. Jay is a passionate advocate and frequent speaker on how company culture and authentic core values drive profitable growth. Throughout his journey, Jay identified four principles that guided his decision making in every aspect of business and life which lead to his continuous happiness and success. He calls them the 4Es: evolve continuously; experiment without fear of failure; express yourself; and enjoy the ride. Jay just packaged up his experience and the 4Es into his new book, Lead from the Core: The 4 Principles for Profit and Prosperity which was just released. He thinks business owners need to stop asking themselves how little they can do for their employees before they quit and start wondering how much more they can do, and why this is a smarter strategy. This is an amazing episode that shows how caring for the people in your company will scale your business to heights you never thought possible.   What You Will Learn How Jay shifted his mindset in his business after a personal tragedy Why it’s super important to understand what your employees want (including their personal goals) The four Es that that turned Jay’s business into ...

Listen

November 25, 2021 01:09:48
 #276: Branding for Buyout with Ted Schlueter

#276: Branding for Buyout with Ted Schlueter

This week’s guest is the award-winning, brand-building entrepreneur, Ted Schlueter. Ted is the Founder and CEO of The Grist, a Boston-based brand and marketing agency, and is a pioneer in the world of pre-exit branding. Ted created, developed and refined the Branding For Buyout method over two decades and used it successfully on high-profile exits including Pop-Corners to PepsiCo and Embotics to swedish software enterprise, Snow. He just launched his book Branding for Buyout (which i loved and used the word intentional 3 times in the first 20 minutes) This episode is about a blind spot in the M&A market: branding. Ted Schlueter is an award winning, brand building entrepreneur. In this episode he talks about how increasing your EBITDA and multiple  is how your company is valued when valuing it through the lens of a financial valuation, but branding for buyout is how you are perceived to the market if you’re selling to a 3rd party, and increasing the perceived value your brand plays in the market can alone can raise your sale price when talking to third party buyers. Ted's work is all about branding for the future, looking at micro trends and positioning his clients as the authority in the space for the purpose of a buyout. Some companies will acquire others for their cash flow but some companies will purchase a company purely for their position and message in the marketplace. Ted thinks this is the future of M&A… listen to this interview and get exclusive insight on how to raise the value of your company through branding.   What You Will Learn Branding for buyout versus marketing business as usual What aspect of business Ted thinks is missing from ...

Listen

November 18, 2021 00:58:21
#275: Peter Lehrman - Founder of Axial: The M&A and Capital Raising Platform for the Middle Market

#275: Peter Lehrman - Founder of Axial: The M&A and Capital Raising Platform for the Middle Market

My guest today is Peter Lehrman the Founder and CEO of Axial, and we’re going to be talking about the market of buying and selling privately held companies, the inefficiencies as well as the progress. Peter is CEO and founder of Axial, responsible for delivering the company’s vision to become the trusted platform where private companies and their trusted advisors connect with capital. Prior to Axial, Peter worked in private equity at SFW Capital Partners and was part of the founding team at Gerson Lehrman Group, where he helped to build the company’s global technology platform for on-demand business expertise. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and received his MBA from Stanford Business School. He lives in New York with his wife Eve and their four children. If you’re a business owner thinking about selling for the first time, and you have no idea where to start, this episode is for you. There’s a ton of information out there about how and when to sell your company, but not all advice is weighted equal. Bad advice goes a long way to souring your view on selling your company. Let’s turn to a market expert who will share how to find and assess M&A advisors that align with your goals. Peter Lehrman is the Founder and CEO of Axial — a marketplace where small businesses can find their next M&A advisor, investor or buyer — and he’ll help clarify what areas you need to educate yourself in and how best to achieve that education in time to make a positive difference in the sales process. On today’s show, we talk about inefficiencies between the buyer and seller, ...

Listen

November 11, 2021 01:02:22
#274: From 0 to 13 Ace Hardware Stores and an ESOP: How Gina Schaefer has been Enjoying Work, Making an Impact and Creating Wealth by Being Intentional

#274: From 0 to 13 Ace Hardware Stores and an ESOP: How Gina Schaefer has been Enjoying Work, Making an Impact and Creating Wealth by Being Intentional

Gina Schaefer is a passionate entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of 14 Co-op Ace Hardware stores located in Washington DC and the Baltimore area. Gina founded her business after noticing that there was a shortage of hardware stores in the lower income, urban neighborhoods of DC. After 18 years of growing her business to 13 stores and employing over 250 people she decided to sell her ownership to her employees via an ESOP. Gina was a brand new entrepreneur when she opened her first store- formerly in SaaS - when she started in her early 30s. This is a great story of someone who saw opportunity in a low income place and created a mission to change the lives of people through “a few cool hardware stores.”   What You Will Learn Why Gina went left tech for Ace Hardware retail stores How Gina found a need in her community and leveraged it to create her hardware empire The difference between a co-op and a franchise How and why Gina made a mental shift from working in the business to working on the business - and what that means to her How Gina realized her core values - and specifically trust - were crucial when expanding and hiring Why hiring recovering addicts became part of Gina’s hiring and growth strategy How Gina’s hiring model can increase retention within a company Why trust is so important when scaling and what you can do to get past those barriers How realized she needed to start thinking about exiting her business and why the thought was surprising The power Gina gained when she started to understand valuations and more specifically the value of her business The reason Gina chose an ESOP compared to Private Equity or ...

Listen

November 04, 2021 01:01:50
#273: Marketing Doesn't Have to Feel Like Hocus Pocus and Pixie Dust: Demystifying Marketing and the Role of a CMO with Jennifer Zick

#273: Marketing Doesn't Have to Feel Like Hocus Pocus and Pixie Dust: Demystifying Marketing and the Role of a CMO with Jennifer Zick

“Marketing is just hocus pocus and pixie dust” — does that feel familiar? Most of us are tired of wasting time and money on the latest marketing strategies that never seem to work. Jennifer Zick of Authentic Brand shares why one of her clients said this (and why it’s one of her favorite quotes of all-time) on today’s show. Not only did her company coin the phrase “Random Acts of Marketing,” Authentic Brand provides fractional chief marketing officer (CMO) services that get businesses back on track and making better marketing decisions for the long-term. Jennifer’s mission is to help bring big company marketing resources and planning to the middle market, so tune in to learn a few things about strategy and team alignment to achieve your sales and clientele goals particularly in the B2B space. We go over how to eliminate the random acts of marketing, including all the associated costs, headaches, and — most frustrating of all — lack of progress that comes with them. Authentic Brand’s unique approach combines marketers, methodology, and mindshare to deliver real revenue results for any business owner.   What You Will Learn What makes an elite fractional CMO Why the key truths of marketing hasn’t changed with new tools and technology The questions you have to answer when marketing - and why they haven’t changed What random acts of marketing means and why most companies are doing that When to use an agency versus a marketing leader How marketing helps the long term view for all divisions in a business How sales is different from marketing and how they are similar How to identify proof points - how to know if a plan is working when community building How to ...

Listen

October 28, 2021 01:06:32
#272: Paper Wealth & Lottery Tickets with Andres Moran

#272: Paper Wealth & Lottery Tickets with Andres Moran

On today’s show, we’re going to dive into Andres Moran’s entrepreneurial journey and the lessons he learned from three exits, particularly as they relate to the various roles an owner can play. Currently he is the head of a division at WunderKind which is a SaaS company that helps ecommerce companies decrease their bounce rates and shopping cart abandonments. Prior to WunderKind Andres was the co-founder and Head of Business Development of Fundera - which was sold to NerdWallet. Fundera is a SaaS platform that compares multiple small business loan options at once (think Kayak for business loans). Andres had two businesses prior - his first company was a medical spa in Miami that he started with his sister, which was acquired several years later. His second venture was an online exercise rewards company called Earndit, which was acquired in 2013 by Higi, a company that measures and attaches a score to your personal health. We’re going to be diving into Andres’ entrepreneurial journey and the lessons he’s learned. One theme that continued to resurface was how important it was to understand the different roles we all play as business owners and entrepreneurs - and that is the difference between the job we have (our management role) which we get income for performing compared to our ownership role (our equity as an investor) and how these two roles need to be separate and dealt with differently. Both of these roles need to be designed based on the stage of the company and the personal needs of the founder. They need to be aligned with the future potential for value creation in the company (what Andres refers to as a lottery ...

Listen