Growing and Selling a Business with James Kademan

Reading Time: 33 Minutes

Ever dreamed of selling your business and starting a new one (or two)? James Kademan of has done it! In this video he shares stories and advice from his journey.

After the Interview

About James Kademan

James has owned businesses since 2006. He’s  started, grown and sold businesses.  He has mentored countless business owners and people considering starting a business for the first time.

James Kademan has owned businesses since 2006 and has mentored countless business owners and people considering starting a business for the first time.

Read the Transcript

This transcript was auto-generated from the original video recording using Otter Voice Meeting Notes. While the transcript has not been human edited, we hope it will still help you to quickly find or reference useful information from the interview.


Hi, I’m Allison Dunn, host of Deliberate Leaders and today we have author and business coach, JamesKademan. He is the owner of Draw In Customers business coaching in Madison, Wisconsin. He is the author of the bold business book.


You have a copy? That’s awesome.


I do you sent it to me and I even have it signed, which I love. Yeah. Thank you very much. And he has a blog called where you have lots of tips and tricks and tools and all of the good stuff for your listeners. So I understand you do a podcast as well, right?


I do. It’s called Authentic Business Adventures, and we just hit Episode 103 shows.


Congratulations. Awesome. Well, James, thank you so much for being here with us today and speaking with us. Fantastic.


I’m glad to be here. Thanks for inviting me. You bet. My pleasure.


And so I, I have my own copy. I love the fact that it is that you sent me the hardcover. So thank you very much. Who did you write the book for?


Oh, boy, that evolved. It turned out to be mostly myself. Really. It was one of those, like, I’m writing this you got to get stuff on paper, you know, the entrepreneurial mind like you have, you just have so many ideas and suggestions for people. And so I put them down on paper, and eventually, I was blogging a lot, and that evolved to the point of a book. And then you’re like, oh, who’s going to buy this thing? So as initially geared towards startups, but it evolved into business owners in general. And the reason that it evolved that way is because I have another business which was on call, we answer phones for small business owners and I would run into People that I was trying to sell, that they didn’t have their business for decades, you know, 20 years. And they’re still making the same mistakes that I made when I first started my business. Like, when I was in its infancy, right? Always guys making these mistakes. And it’s just I think people just getting their groove. And either it’s lack of hair or complacency, or maybe they’re not even aware. And so a lot of the book kind of evolved into like, hey, maybe this is something to consider. And I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback from it that way. So yeah.


Is this the first book you ever wrote?


This? Well, technically, it’s the second book, okay. However, however, the first book was called You got this. It’s a motivational guide to achieving your dreams. And all it says is you got this on every single page. And then the last page says, No, get to work. So it’s 250 pages of saying you got this so I can send you a video on that. There’s a couple of reviews on Amazon, where I didn’t make it clear that it said the same thing on every page. It’s meant to kind of be a play on motivational books. Yeah. So I’m like, if you really think that a book is going to motivate you, like you can start to finish. At the beginning, I’m going to read the book, and I’ll be unmotivated. And at the end of the book, I’m just going to be like, Yay, super motivated. It’s probably not going to happen. So because motivation is not an internal, right. So the whole point of this book is like, it’s kind of poking fun at motivational books, and it’s meant to be a gift. But some people, my sister, one of my sisters, oh my gosh, she bought the book, and she’s like, James, she sent me this text. She says, James, I got your book, and I was like, oh, what do you think of it? Like I feel like overpaid. That’s like I put a video of it on Amazon. So I didn’t mean to surprise anyone. But So to answer your question, that was technically the first book, but the reason that I put that together as one for fun, and two second goes through the self publishing thing with kind of an experimental book instead of going through it with this book that I spent two years writing, and thousands of dollars editing or having edited instead of learning on that one I learned on this other one also.


So I’m so I’m curious, having gone through publishing your two books? What is your biggest takeaway of self publishing?


It’s easy, okay. It’s a there’s a time factor to it, but it’s not complex. So I meet a lot of people that say, Oh, I get this book that I’m thinking about writing or some people I’ve met that have even written a book. They’re just, they’re like, how did you publish it? And I’m pretty much like you create account and upload it just like you’re uploading a file on an email. I mean, there’s little more complexity to that, but not much. There’s like the third book I wrote, wrote, right, is the awesome book and that just says You were awesome on every page. The last page it says so freaking awesome, right? So that one was another one. situation I had a friend that wanted me to help her publish her book. So I’m like I am published a book in a year. And Amazon’s always tweaking their stuff. So I use the same template for you got this, put together the awesome book, which is a side tangent. You awesome book is outselling the bold business book, which is frustrating but cool in its own way, it just gives you more credibility.


Yes, I feel bad saying that.


Yeah. So let’s talk a little bit about sales and marketing. I’m sure I am. I’m an active user of LinkedIn. I see your stuff all over LinkedIn as well. And so I’m just curious, has that been a good platform for you and what’s your strategy?


Yeah, it has been a good platform, because I feel like then like LinkedIn doesn’t have all the junk that a lot of other social media stuff has junk entertainment stuff, whatever LinkedIn. I feel like most people keep it more or less professional. So it’s very focused, I guess, for that. So it’s been good that way. Um, as far as a system, I try to upload something at least once a week, though, sometimes when I’m really pushing something, then I’ll do more than that. Like, tomorrow we have this business Expo in Madison, you probably saw a bunch of stuff on that. So it doesn’t apply to you. And that’s okay. I’ve been pushing that. And people reach out to me, you probably get this a lot to where you have people that say, I can promote your business and whatever. We’re business coach growers, and all this is like you probably, I don’t know, what do you get a dozen of those a week or something like that? Yeah, it’s crazy. It’s insane. I’m like, you can’t possibly be health coaches, but whatever. So there is a little bit of junk but outside of that, it’s fun. It’s good. It’s worthwhile. Cool.


Yeah. Has, have you. So how long have you been doing your podcast? You’re at 100 episodes, which is impressive.


It’s once a week, so a little over two years.


Okay, and what is the focus of your podcast? I have been a guest on it. So I have. So I’m asking it from a broader sense of, you know, so that our listeners know what your podcast is about.


Sure. So essentially, the point of the podcast is to get the story from business owners, kind of from beginning when they were thinking about starting their business, up until current and then maybe where it’s going in the future if they have any idea, because I feel like a lot of business owners have a story. A lot of business owners have multiple stories, they really don’t get told us that there’s the overnight success. And I don’t believe in overnight successes. I feel like there’s a lot of work that goes on for sure. And a lot of entrepreneurs just don’t get a chance to tell that story. And other entrepreneurs can benefit from hearing those stories from other entrepreneurs that they know they’re not alone kind of thing and like this is a struggle sometimes Give me a challenge. And but a lot of entrepreneurs want to put the face forward that it’s totally easy. It’s a super great, I’m super awesome. I can do anything. And they don’t show that challenge. And so I think when new entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs to be see that and they start the business and they have challenges, they’re like, in Miami the only one that’s having this rough time, and you’re not everybody’s having a rough time. Totally employee challenges. Just stuff right. vendors, whatever we know is immune to it for sure.

Unknown Speaker  8:33 

Yeah. Yeah. problems don’t go away. So that was your idea and getting the podcast started. And yeah, and what and all of your episodes are focused, are they typically focused on a local business story of some sort?


Generally speaking, I have a few national ones I would consider you a national one. I had Howard Burnamessup. His last name is Howard. He was the world’s fastest reader. He was interested thing. Okay, yeah, I had no idea who he was cool. He reached out to me. So that was super cool. But generally speaking, very broad. I like to have people in the studio because sometimes people are telling stories and I can see from their body language, just the intensity of the whole how deep I can go with the questions. Were over the phone sometimes it’s not that easy, very difficult.


Yeah, this the studio that I use natural radio studio for their equipment is way better than what I could want to have in my office. It’s huge.


I was I was lucky enough to do a radio show here locally for five years and it was a blast and on similar topics, you know, bringing in local success stories and getting real about it wasn’t always perfect, right. You know, and having great share, like, what they go through and what they’re learning from it. So I love, love, love that as well. Yeah, that’s cool cast. Um, how do you find your guests for your podcast? Like we got connected? And you know, call my arsenal, podcast which I love and right?


How do you find your, um, generally speaking, it’s just from networking, you have conversations with people or I’ll see a business that looks interesting. And I’ll just find the owner and just ask them. There’s a surprising number of people that do not want to share their story. I didn’t realize this until there’s a guy that I know I’ve known him for about six, seven years, something like that. He’s got an H HVAC company. And I see him every other week at this networking event. And I’m like, Dude, why don’t you want to be on the podcast? Like, it’s free marketing for you, essentially. And he’s like, um, maybe I don’t want to tell my story. And then it made me think step back a great and I was like, Oh, I couldn’t think of why you wouldn’t want to tell your story, but there’s all But privacy, you have to respect that. So yeah, in the end, you just have to ask a lot of people. And most of them say yes. So it’s cool. Yeah. I don’t know if you had that challenge when you were when you had your show.


And we had pretty good local reach. So when I ask people like, it’s almost you can’t say no, because it is such a great marketing opportunity. Right? Yeah, exactly. But I definitely, people are pretty uncomfortable in sharing their story in general, or they’re perfectly comfortable being honest and authentic about, you know, the bruises or bumps and, you know, sleepless nights and lacking financial wealth until it gets going.


Right. Yeah, I feel like going after.


We’ve been going now for 100 episodes. We have some traction though, where people understand it’s not just some, they understand that I’m not trying to sell them on anything on the understand like you can see on their social media. We’re not like Dude, perfect, bigger anything, but there’s enough of a following where you can see like, Okay, this isn’t just a joke or something this is serious. But there’s value to it, I guess value for taking the time to be on the show, for sure. So that’s what they think anyways.


In doing podcasts, what have you learned that, you know, I’m a beginner on my podcast, and I’m open. We’re on episode 16 or 17? I’d say What? Oh, sure. What tips would you give to someone who would be considering starting a podcast or me?


Boy, um, I’m going to be cautious answering that because I don’t think that I’m the expert in podcasting. I can tell you that. I try to get it on as many channels as possible. So we create a YouTube video out of it. We’re on Google podcasts, Apple podcasts. An Arizona radio station locally here in Sun Prairie. Great, we try to get a lot of reach. The downside with that is that because there’s a bunch of channels, people ask me, well, how many listeners do you have? We have a rough idea. We know what song we know. We know what’s more than none. Yeah, we just enough. And it’s interesting because you can see some guests that have a social media presence. That’s pretty strong following that is not necessary. That does not necessarily equal more listeners. I have learned that if you interview someone that has anything to do with animals, dogs, um, there’s just for some reason, they get hundreds, hundreds of lessons, dog daycare, all that kind of stuff.


I’m going to be interviewing a new dog training company.


Just put a picture of a dog in the in the podcast thing. It’s insane.


So I maybe I should name my podcast after my dog Sailor and just put her.


Totally It’s weird. It’s like the magic pill. I don’t know there’s something there. Okay. It’s weird. Because there’s no like, there’s no discernible difference in the business itself. Just people are like dog. Gotta go listen.


Awesome. All right, well, that’s a good tip. I’m going to  get on that one right away.


Sure, just have your dog in your lap during the podcast, you’ll have millions of views. I can tell you just some other quick side things. I use a store on Amazon s3 cloud storage and I use blueberry, blueberry without an E at some hip name. But he’s that software on my website to help distribute it. Okay, it’s, it’s, um, it’s less expensive than using a ram CloudFlare No. What is it SoundCloud? SoundCloud? Yeah, yeah, SoundCloud. Like that wasn’t built for a podcast because we do a one hour podcast. So the storage for one hour podcast is just, it’s not realistic, right? I’m from my point of view. Plus, I didn’t want to upload all my podcasts is something that I didn’t have control over. So the Amazon s3, those are my files and I can distribute them as I need as I want, where with any of those other things, you’re uploading them to their website and involve a sudden they decided that they want to close up shop, your scramble and find something. So I wanted as much control as possible. But that’s just me being weary of the world, I suppose. But that’s what I would recommend. There’s a little more there’s a little more tech stuff that you have to do on the back end but it’s not terrible. To get going. It’s easy.


Do you have a listeners come from a more from a certain channel over another one because you said you were on Apple, and you listed two others. So, where are most coming from?


Yep. So that is through? Yes through the blueberry. Oh my gosh, I can’t think I think it’s blu and then Berry. Um, that is a free plugin for WordPress website. They have a you can subscribe if you want to get statistics and more stuff, but I found that I was never taking the time to look at the statistics. So cuz I’m like, I’m not going to stop doing it. So we’ll just move along. Maybe when it comes to the point where you start monetizing it, but I’m not to that point yet. Let’s just one more.


Is that ever your goal to do that?


I mean, I guess, right.


Yeah, I wouldn’t say no to it. However, I look at sometimes the information that I want, whether it’s on YouTube or podcasts or something like that, I get annoyed with the ads. So I feel like unless you reach that threshold where you can actually make a living off the ads, what justifies it? Sure, but until that point, I feel like I’d be doing a disservice to the listeners by having ads. Like I don’t need to pay me $5 a month or something. I thought Tim Ferriss podcast, I looked at advertising on there. It was a minimum hundred thousand dollar spend. Okay, if I’m to that point, right. Yeah, yeah.


Well you better hope so for that kind of gamble. For sure. But yeah, I’m not there yet.


What’s your favorite podcast to listen to?


Oh, boy. Up there. I’m going to blush saying this, but there’s a podcast called sex with Emily. Okay, I love it. It’s six of them like she’s been doing this for I think she’s been doing it like 12 years. But it’s interesting to listen to her in the beginning. And then now the contents is kind of fun. It’s interesting. Just sex with Emily’s.This is woman talking about relationships and stuff like this. But it’s interesting to watch her evolve and get better at podcasting. And sometimes she has guests like she’s to the point where she has producers and all this kind of stuff. So it’s, it’s a very well done podcast. It’s interesting. It’s probably shorter. I want to say they’re probably 20 minutes or something like that. But I just landed on her. I don’t know how I ended up on her. If you just look up best podcasts or something like that something broad. Because I started listening. I started listening to Howard Stern. I’m not like routinely or anything like that. But I figure he’s the guy that’s been around for a long time. Yeah. And he’s grown a following a very strong following. Like, I think I’m serious kind of bank him. Like so I’m like, okay, here’s a guy that’s essentially doing the same thing that we’re doing right. He’s interviewing people and we got to see Just watch what he’s doing right? What is interesting that when you watch him or listen to him really, um, he does some crazy research on his guests. He like he knows backstories before the guests come on, like he’s doing a lot of homework. And I decided, I don’t want to do that much homework. And I don’t know that I could find that much information in the people I’m interviewing, right? When you’re interviewing the plumber down the street, like how much you’re not going to find out how many kids he has, or take the time to do that. It would be creepy, but it’s interesting how when he’s interviewing people that are very famous that he pulls out like, oh, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, your 17 illegitimate children or whatever. And they’re like, how do you know that? Right, like MIT interview, so it’s kind of cool to pick up on stuff like that. Instead of saying like, oh, here’s the shock jock or something like that. Like he’s actually doing some work. That’s impressive. Yeah.


I know that you’re all throw you off at the sex No, I’m if she’s doing it. Well, I’ll check her out. That’s great.


And so, you are also a business coach, correct?


I do. Yep. Yep. Okay, what type of clients? Do you look?


Sorry? You’re breaking up over that question. I’m sorry.


That’s okay. I understand.


That’s all right. I typically work with service clients. Okay. So service businesses is generally speaking 30 employees and less okay. And service businesses where they’re plumbers, electricians, there’s a couple food carts. It’s people. I guess, you could say food isn’t the service necessarily, but there’s a customer service aspect that not everyone gets that has a restaurant. But generally speaking, it’s service businesses, and that that’s where I have my experience from my previous businesses, and the clients that we have with calls on call just working with them, but I feel like with smaller services, Businesses that I can, I can help a lot. They’re very easy to find success with. They usually have zero systems, they’re terrible at customer service. They have employee issues. And they’re still making money. So at that point, you’re like, Oh my gosh, we can totally help you. So plus, they’re fun.


You mentioned that you come from a service background. So what is your background? Can you share?


Sure, sure. I started doc jams printer repair in 2006. So before that, I was a mechanic I fixed printers for, I don’t know, seven years, something like that. Went to school for graphic design. So I combined mechanics and graphic design ended up fixing printers. And then I decided, hey, I’ve always wanted to start my own business. What should I do? And I remember making a list like what am I good at? What can I make money at in printer repair was it so I own that business for one month shy of eight years? sold it. That was awesome. One of the best days in the world. Totally recommend selling a business if you have a chance to do it.


Oh my gosh, because of that business is I learned so much from that business. Um, I remember sitting across, I went to coffee with a life insurance salesmen. So you go to these networking events, right? And they’re like, Hey, you meet this life insurance person, because they’re everywhere. Life Insurance person’s like, hey, let’s meet for coffee. I want to learn more about your business, which means they want to sell you life insurance, but I was too naive to know that. So I meet him for coffee. And I’m like, this guy’s an idiot. And then I thought, I said, Hold on a second. I’m not going to buy life insurance from you. But I want you to just throw some numbers at me. If I were to buy life insurance from you, let’s just say this $500,000 policy or something like that? What does that mean to you? From a commission point of view, and then residuals, and he’s telling me He’s like, okay, you’re not going to buy life insurance from me. I get it. And he was open about what Getting for commission. I thought, holy cow, this clown is making way more money than I am. And I’m working way harder than this guy is. And he’s selling something that he doesn’t really know that much about. like, Okay, wait a second, this guy’s an idiot. But then I thought, is he an idiot? He’s making more money and working less hard. So I can’t say that he’s an idiot. I could say that maybe the idiot is me. So, I’m like, okay, we get to find a multiplier when we’re not trading time for money, which was my printer repair business besides my technicians, I was totally trading time for money. For Mike, we gotta get rid of that. That’s no good at all. Plus, the printer repair business is kind of dying, so we won’t, it won’t die completely. But it was getting rougher. We’re making half of our money off of consumables, ink and toner and all that jazz. And then so 2006 Amazon wasn’t much like they were selling books. Stuff like that. But then eBay came on and they start, you know, people have toner and ink that who knows where they got it, but it’s available. Amazon comes on and they start selling everything. They’re probably sold jars of dust for all I know. And you can’t compete with that is interesting, sweet. I mean, I’m getting way down the rabbit hole over here. But we were paying Xerox to be able to sell their printers, right. So in order to have the ability to sell their machines, and to be able to service them under warranty, you have to pay them something, then you have to take all these tests. So I would see what Xerox would sell me the printer for and then I’d go on Amazon and see it cheaper. I thought, well, Amazon, I don’t have to pay to do business with them. And I don’t have to take a stupid test. Like, this is terrible. So it was just like you’re getting, you’re getting beat up from all angles. And so eventually I learned it’s just time to pull the chute. So you sell it and made some money. So it’s cool.


Eight years later. You’re all beat up and have the opportunity to sell it. Well congratulations on that. I am super curious because often most businesses don’t get to market to be actually sold. So that’s great. So congratulations. Um, how did you how did you meet your buyer? How did that all happen?


So then I’m going to chalk up as luck. Okay, I love so there’s um yeah, I would love to say there was mad skills but here’s the situation the story I guess. I was kicking around selling the business. So at this time, I have calls on all so I have someone answering the phone. So when someone calls in says, hey, my printer is broken, somebody’s there to answer the phone. So the front end was taken care of ahead technicians to actually do the work of repairing the printer and I had systems in place so that my crew at calls on call could order toner and get that all taken care of at a delivery driver. So really, I thought I just That’s the position the business that I am not needed. And so I was doing everything I could to pull myself out of the business, because then you actually have a marketable business. I didn’t want to sell me, I want to sell the business and I can just walk away. So my main technicians said, James, I gotta leave. His wife was made, can bank so he really didn’t have to work. And he had a bad day. And he decided that, what am I working for? His mid 50s, early 60s, something like that. And I thought, oh, that sucks. You want to be done that day. And I talked him into giving me two weeks. So he left if there. I talked him into two weeks and I thought, Okay, what do you want to do? Do we want to find another technician train that technician and go down that whole road? Or do I want to make some phone calls and try to see if we can sell this thing? So I said phone calls. So I call this company that I was that we would do business back and forth with they were a Copier Repair Company. So they would send Some stuff to us little stuff they didn’t want to deal with. And we would send stuff to them. That was bigger stuff that we couldn’t deal with. So I called up the owner of that company. And I said, Hey, Gary, how’s it going? This is a Friday. He’s like, It’s going great, James, how’s it going with you? And I was like, you want to buy business? And he’s like, Oh, this is a perfect part. This is what set me up for knowing that I have a shot. He’s like, James, how long you’ve been in business. I said, you know, at this point, it was seven and a half years. And he said, We’ve been in business 42 years, and your name is normal, more well known than ours. Because we push the marketing we had cars lettered up and hold a bunch of stuff that we did to push the name. And I was like, Oh, yeah, the name has value. So then that triggered Okay, let’s set a meeting. Six months of dinking around negotiating, we finally set it up. So I did. I met with two other companies that I was just feeling out like, Is this legit. But the company ended up selling the to this first guy. I think knew his new his business acumen was good. And I knew that for the most part, his customer service was good. Because these are customers that followed me from job to job to my business. So I hit him. These customers have had for not all of them. Some of them we had for 14 years, something like that. So like, I didn’t want to just leave them like, Hey, sorry, see you later. I’m going to go by a beach somewhere. So you got to take care of them. They’ve been with you, right? There’s loyalty. Yeah. So I hit met with these other companies. I’m like, you guys are clowns. I can’t leave my customers with you. I’m doing a terrible disservice to them. And Madison, where I live it’s not the biggest town in the world, right? We’re 100,000 people or whatever. It’s like, I didn’t want to be rude. So if we don’t, if we don’t, there’s a lot of dinking around but it worked out.


Did you both cut. Well, I mean, obviously you settled on a selling price. But were you guys close? Or were you know, ends up this way. Did you meet in the middle that negotiate It must have been brilliantly.


It was. That was one of the longest days of my life. That was a 12 hour meeting. The last like that when everything was signed, because it was, it was me, him. His daughter was part of the business as well. So that was that was a little frustrating because she didn’t really know what she was doing. But she was still a decision maker. Just whatever you do with it. And then he had an attorney that was on the phone, and then he had an accountant. So he had this team of four, we’ll call it and then it was me. And then I had an attorney. That would essentially, when once we agreed on something, then I could present that to my attorney. And the attorney was essentially on call in my attorney, he was young, or is young. He was young, smart and efficient. Their attorney was old. He had to be semi smart because he was an attorney, but I felt some of the mistakes he made were not ideal and He was slow. Like, oh my gosh, the amount of money that they pay their attorney was more than the difference that we were fighting over. So, yeah, it was like it wasn’t a huge nut. But we’re just like from a practicality standpoint of what we just have the attorneys look at everything to make sure it’s legal. But from a pricing standpoint, we don’t need to think around with this. But he still wanted his professionals poking at it. So Oh, he had one other person. He had another friend that buys a lot of funeral homes. So he had five people on his team. Oh, it was rough. It’s frustrating, but we made it happen.


Did you feel under represented or actually was that to your benefit?


No, I would say it was to my benefit because my attorney was not suggesting my attorney was more like dotting eyes and crossing T’s. He was not saying James you shouldn’t do this or James, you should do this or that’s a good deal. So he was in it purely from a legal standpoint. So I was going essentially off of gut. And I had met with a different coach to help me get a ballpark price event with score. Something some kind of retired executive. I met with them. That was kind of cool. Side tangent, I go with this table with these lectures for old guys are on the table, right? I get four different answers is the value the business? Something like okay, that give me some perspective that there’s no like, this is the price and that’s what it is right? Like, okay, this gray area, what is the value to this? And from my point of view, I thought, okay, we’re in negotiations, there’s two things that I like to do. One is I like to look at it from their perspective. Right? So what are they getting out of this? And two is I like to not fall in love with the deal. like not even like until the money’s in your bank, don’t fall in love. I tell people that with cars with employees just like don’t fall in love. I’m not romantic love. I guess we’re going on mixed Don’t mess that up. But you know what I mean? Yeah, I totally Yeah. Okay, so, um, so they don’t fall in love. I was already in it kind of deep. But I because I knew that if the deal didn’t go through, I’d have to go through hiring an employee and tinkering with all that and finding another buyer. We’re talking. We were six months already invested right years before you found another buyer.


Yeah, that would be in that ideal, right? So he had some leverage there. But I also knew, we have strong marketing. It’s an easy layup for him absorbing our business. Um, so there’s no other offering, like sometimes the girl business, it’s better just to acquire. So and there weren’t a ton of me or chefs like mine running around. Plus, I mean, I feel like I was doing a super awesome job at the sense with customers and stayed with us. And I think there’s value to that, that he understood. So, yeah, it would have sucked if that meeting to Ffnished well, but oh my god, I don’t think I’ve ever been that tired ever. After. That’s what we’re meeting you’re just like I think we got a beer afterwards it was all good.


So how long is that since you’ve sold?


Five years? Five? Yeah, it’s been five and a half years. It was September.


And then since that time you I understood you have a coaching business and you also have a customer service calling business.


Yep. Calls on Call. Yeah, so Calls on Call we just entered this is your number nine. So that was that overlapped? Because I had duct jams printer repair. And I learned that your cell phone is not a great way to run your business when you want to grow your business. Because although you have the ability tool wise to answer your phone, you do not have the ability from a freedom point of view. Correct your meetings and fixing printers are you only net employees or something like that? Sorry about that. And that’s okay. Um, So it wasn’t practical. So I needed to solve that. I tried to solve it by finding a company that could do what I wanted. I couldn’t find that company. So I just created the company. So yeah. So I started with a business partner on almost nine years ago, and then I bought her out. One year ago, was today, probably about one year ago today are ready to run.


Congratulations. So now it’s all yours. It’s your baby.


I hate no, no, I want to pause there. Because I won’t say it’s my baby. I will it I pause there I would sell. I would totally.


That’s a good clarification.


It’s a we’ll call it a nice car. Something like that. I don’t know. Some better analogy, not baby. No.


Yeah, but I understand what you’re saying.


That’s fun. In this conversation, what would you say have been some of your biggest missteps that you see that you’ve done or that in the companies you’re helping do today.


Um, that’s a there are a lot of them. Um, I would say we got systems, it took me a little while to realize that systems were a thing. Um, I just somebody had handed me or told me to check out the EMF book that you have. Yep. And I thought, but I assumed he was for entrepreneur and myth, from my point of view was just like, Don’t do this. I was like, I don’t want to be told not to do this. I’m not going to read that book. So a few years in, I decided, Hey, I’ll read this book. And it was all about systems creation. I thought, Oh, it gives you a different perspective. Right. Then, my wife pointed out something that I was never home. And at the time, we didn’t have any kids. So I didn’t think that was a big deal. But it turns out, it is So I learned like, what are you working so hard for? Right? Like you could work at a job, probably make more money at the time, and be able to take vacations that were actually paid, and stuff like that have insurance. And I thought, oh, okay, what am I doing all this for that you think you have to get a better return on your investment. If you’re going to take the risk of starting a business, you got to get a return. So that means you got to be able to take time off you have the freedom you want, is making money that you want. And if at any time you want to walk away, and it’s not fun anymore, you have to be able to walk away. So it took me a long time. took me a long time to learn that. But I did. Yeah.


That’s it. You help other people with now? Right?


Yeah, the rule is, yeah, more time. More fun. More money. Yeah. Not in that order, necessarily. But right. Yeah, I see a ton of people you probably see this too, right. People that are working 12-14 hours. days. I mean, maybe they’re making decent money, right? Let’s just assume that they are. But they’re never home. They don’t see their kids. And they’re constantly doing work even on weekends and stuff like that. Like, what’s the point?


It’s making me recall that I don’t think I put mine on Do Not Disturb. But your phone’s ringing off the hook, aren’t you? Don’t you on call service answering these for you.


I do like that’s an office line that no one has that number except for my crew. And my crew knows that I’m in here. So I’m assuming that’s a telemarketer as somehow landed on that number. So that’s great. That’s great. That’s the one number that they don’t have transferred over to calls on call. Ironically, or coincidentally just shows up here. Sorry. There we go.


How do you select your clients that you work with or you know what’s your process?


Sure clients for driving customers. Yeah, sure. So but generally speaking, I want to see someone that has shown some signs of growth, okay. So whether it’s adding in employee names, they added a van, maybe they lettered up their van, or they invested in a website or I see their ads, or you get those mailers that they actually they put their name in there something like that. So from that point of view, my perspective is that they, they’re interested in growing, they’ve invested money and or time in growing. There’s a lot of companies that I’ve talked to that did not, they just, they’re happy where they’re at, and coaching. I can give you another specific example. I got a buddy of mine that has a print shop. And when I first started coaching, I thought I’m going to get 10 clients and I’ll just offer them coaching for free, because that’ll help me get my feet wet and learn a system and then I can help them in the process and everybody wins right? their investment is time. My investment this time and you could argue money because I’m putting stuff together. I met with him we’re meeting once a month for six months or something like that. And through month five, he had done some of the changes that I recommended him to do. But there was a big one where his back end his paperwork was a nightmare. So Matz is one of those people that I asked him, Hey, are you making money? He didn’t know. Because he was so far behind on paperwork that he didn’t know. And I thought, how can you not know if you’re making money? Like that’s a big deal. What are you in business for? How do you know if you can stay in business or for business? So, um, this session number six, I said, Hey, man, I understand that things are challenging stuff like this. You got to understand this has got a known since high school. I worked at this print shop and I was in high school. He worked at the print shop when he was in high school, started college. Then he ended up buying the print shop. So he from just the least some, some background. He is one of the people that takes the path of least resistance. Okay, right. He bought his job is essentially what it comes down to. So I’m super nice guy, one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, but he’s a path of least resistance guy. And I’m a guy that likes the bush, like, instead of just falling the river down the Grand Canyon, I’d probably try to carve another Canyon, because you never know what might be cooler. Right? Right, everybody else is seeing that river. So sometimes the way that I take initially is more difficult. But the end result is you have your own Grand Canyon. So he was trying to push him a little bit. And it came to the point where he didn’t want to be pushed, right. And that was well, I started drawing customers almost immediately after I sold doc jams, so called Five whatever years ago, So currently, same revenue that he was doing before. He has the same One employee as he did before, it’s the same business. It’s a mirror from five years ago to today. So there’s nothing that I could have told him that would have helped him grow, because he had zero interest in growing, right. So I have to look for people that have that are driven to grow, and maybe they just need some guidance. So I tell people, like I’m not a chiropractor, I’m going to try to sell you on needing me forever. You just use me for a few times. And after that, you probably get on your own. Maybe come back every once in a while. We need a refresher, but for the most part, you can you just need me to guide you a little bit. Most people know what they have to do. They just for whatever reason, don’t do it. It’s like losing weight, right? Like there’s no secret about losing weight, just Nope. Run 20 miles a day and you’ll figure out right you don’t need to buy DVDs or get us some weekly subscription plan or something like that. Just move into secret. That’s it. So yeah, I don’t know. If that helps or not, but totally, I don’t know what you do. You look for growth of some kind.


For sure. And I would completely agree with that. There’s lots of businesses out there that I could do magic in their business, and I’m sure you could too. But if they don’t want to, or if that’s not totally already, right, then coaching you probably doesn’t make any sense, right? Because it’s not going to be fun for me. It’s not going to be fun for them.


Right? It’s frustrating, right? Yeah. Yeah. It’s frustrating to see because you’re like, Oh, my gosh, you Oh, I tell people sometimes. It’s like, I’m in this boat that’s headed towards this island, and the islands far away and the person that I want to help us swimming, and I’m like, hey, and you can tell that they’re tired out, and they’re running out of breath, right, and they still got another mile swim to go. And I’m like, you want to get on the boat, right? We could totally help you on the boat. And they’re like, I can’t go on the boat because if I get on the boat, I’d be changing direct, which is 90 degrees. I’m going for that island. Let me give you a change in direction, 90 degrees for about 10 feet once you’re on the boat. We can just power through that. We’ll be there in 10 minutes, but they still they don’t want to change that direction their soldiers set in their ways. So it’s frustrating. So you’re like, I don’t know how to help you. Sorry.


That is a good analogy. I like it.


Are you okay? If I asked you for some insider trade secrets about how you find you get. Do you have inbound leads coming into your business?


I do not. You do not know. Okay. No, I don’t. I don’t pay for any anyways. Okay. Um, most of its referral. Okay. And I would say half referral, and half me. You just meet someone and you mention, sometimes I’ll toss him a book. And then six months, three months later, they’ll say like, Hey, can we just meet for coffee and pick your brain? And then they become clients. There’s a I guess, I’m just like with you, right? There’s a trust factor that has to be set. In some bold promises. Yeah. You’re making some Bold promises, and you have to show kind of prove that you can deliver on them. So yeah, I don’t pay for any inbound leads, mainly. Because I’ve a lot of other stuff going on with calls on call and self that I haven’t pushed the business coaching thing as much as I’d like to come, yeah, find a business in in absorbing what my partner was doing took a little time to get on track. And so I would say up until, I don’t know, up until a month ago, really. I was still learning what she did or didn’t do. So, yeah, all better.


That’s awesome. Well, it sounds like you have exciting stuff on your Horizon. Yeah. And that you bring some true expertise to business owners who need it, especially having gone through a sale like that education. That was I’m sure like, you help so many people work through that process.


Yeah, actually, I helped another guy sell his business. He sold the thing for way less than he should have. But he was it was a business that he was making. He was making six figures working 20 hours a week. It was a commercial cleaning business. And he just wanted out the 20 hours a week, sometimes or at three in the morning, because if he had an employee not show up a lot of the places he was cleaning or bars, right. And so he’s like, I just want to be call it three in the morning just to go clean up you. So I’m like, I get that I found a buyer for him. It was so cool. But I’m like, dude, you could sell this for triple what this guy’s willing to offer you. But he knows this other guy to his benefit was using the leverage that this guy just wants out. So I helped him I think we sold that thing in less than a month. But and he’s happy.


Yeah, totally. Yeah. It’s like how do you define success, right. It’s different for every person.


Thank you for just sharing .We have covered many different topics. Right?


Absolutely. I do want to make sure that my listeners and have the best way to be able to follow you and or hear your work. So what would you what’s the best way for people to connect with you?


If they go to, hey, I have links on there, then it has links to you can either download it directly from there, or it has links to the Apple and the Google podcast and all that jazz. On my blogs on there. There’s tons there’s links to videos on YouTube. See, just look up drawing customers all one word, you’ll find me and I try to just I don’t know, you could argue that I give away too much information. But in the end, I absorb a lot of information from the internet. So I feel like I’m just giving back. This is fun. Yeah. That’s awesome. That’s Yeah. And then Calls on Calls, they need answering help or something like that. Okay. Is there a business that needs answering help, which arguably, most of them do.

47:16  Ssure. Maybe that’s another podcast day to talk about just that element of how businesses could grow that just that one strategy.


Oh, my gosh, you know, it’s funny. I was just I don’t know how much time we have. I was just at a place today that I’m getting some work done on my truck, right. So he’s, he’s been in business 25 years. And he’s been kicking tires, what Calls on Call and I’m like, he’s like, what kind of pricing are we talking about here? And I said, You know what, depends on volume, blah, blah, blah. And I talked to him about contingency ring, right? We can bring to him first. And then if he doesn’t get it comes to us, right? And he’s got employees and all that jazz. So I said, what kind of call volume are we talking? Right? He’s like, we probably don’t answered 10 calls a day, like 10 calls a day. That’s how many you’re not answering, sir, like, okay, you know, in a month, let’s just say short month, that’s 40 calls a month that you’re not getting some, like, what do you do with those calls? He’s like, wow, sometimes I call him back. Like sometimes when I thought Hold on a second Now, let’s just say he pays us in the neighborhood of 500 to $1,000. Right? Whatever it would be, because call mine, it figured it out. Let’s just say in the high end, thousand bucks, right, which is be way higher. And let’s just say that. So we have to come up with $1,000 for him, right? So his, I figured the average ticket is probably a neighborhood of 500 bucks. Well, we figure he’s probably got a margin of around 20%. So how many jobs do we have to get him for him to break even right? We’re doing this math. Now. Right? And then we thought, well, we’re not in the business even right. So we want to triple that. So in order for him to put money in his pocket, right, give us 1000 bucks in exchange, he makes 3000 This is how many Money, services essentially that we have to schedule for him. And with 40 in a month, and if we schedule a quarter of those, it’s easy money, easy money for him. So I’m like, I’m essentially asking you to trade $1,000 in exchange for $3,000. I will make that trade all day long. If somebody says, Hey, if you give me a grand, I’ll give you three grand. I’ll be like, as fast as I can get that grand out. I will make that thing. But this guy’s like, Huh, huh? What I mean, hmm. From a business perspective, you’re like, Okay, you’re still not sure because it’s spending money, right? You see that as money going out? You haven’t been guaranteed money coming in. When we get that? Well, there’s also the customer aspect. There’s tons of reviews for businesses where people will say they’ve never actually done business with the business that they’re reviewing. They just call the never going to call back and they’re upset. I get upset too when I call business and they don’t call me back. Right. This guy was even complaining. He’s like sometimes people call if we don’t answer, they’ll call again and again and again, like we’re going to answer later. Like, are you listening to yourself, man? These people are literally asking you if you will take their money and you’re like, man, maybe later.


Ah, frustrating.


Sounds like the perfect client James perfect client.


Oh my gosh, I thought so easy layup right it should be totally easy layup but I joked with one of myadmins. I was like, I feel like I’m trying to make this is not an easy layup. It should be. But if you look at making a half court shot with a beach ball. This is way more difficult than it should be. But yeah, I’ll come around eventually. They’re smart. They do.


Isn’t it is a choice, right?


Totally a choice and I can’t make it for them. So it’s the same thing with coaching right?


It is for sure I can lead you to water.


It has been such a pleasure to with you this afternoon, thank you very much for your time. And so I try to kind of wrap it up and cap it. You said the best way to reach you is where you have all of your tips and tricks and tools and resources and videos and blogs. That’s awesome.


Everything. Yep, extra phone. There’s that you want to call that will answer it. You will. So we will totally answer. We better answer.


That’s great. James, thank you so much.


Thank you. Awesome. This has been fun. Awesome. Have a great day. Cool. Yeah. us well. Thank you.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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