Entrepreneur? Or Business Owner?

in LeoFinancelast year

The last couple of weeks I have been doing some soul searching.

If you’ve read my introductory article, you will recall that my professional development has been less than stellar. And most definitely not straight forward.

“Retired” at 38 from a “safe and secure” job, I went the entrepreneurial route. That is to say I started my own investment advisory business.

After a few years of struggling alone, I joined up with two partners who were supposed to make up for my own shortfalls. Mainly selling and administration.

Well, the admin guy was good. The “sales guy” did even less sales than I did.

And so it continued for the next decade and a half through a few other ventures of mine.

Hence my soul searching. Over the last year we moved continents (from Asia to Europe) and I need to get my act together.

Age does not stop for anyone!

The Numbers

Looking at the numbers, about 90% of all start-ups fail. In the first year. Maybe I have learnt something after all. It took a few years each time….

The great realisation is that I am a statistic. And being a numbers guy, now that I have realised this, I should really be able to turn this to my advantage.

The Question

Do I want to be an entrepreneur, someone who starts new companies and drives them to success?

Or should I learn from my failures, change horses, take a short-cut and become a business owner?

As a quick aside, in the crypto space we usually talk about entrepreneurial start-ups rather than established businesses. And we tend to forget that the large part of the economy actually lies in established businesses rather than crypto-related start-ups.

The shiny object syndrome at work?

The Business of Business

If I become a business owner, not an owner operator or a professional manager with a share of the ownership but an investor with strategic overview, and make the business of business my business, then my chances of success should improve.

Businesses with a 10-year or more track record are more likely to keep going than start-ups.

How to find a suitable business though?

More Numbers

Using US statistics as a guideline, there are 50 million Baby Boomers looking to retire in the next 10 years.

Of these, 12 million own businesses. Many of these businesses will be passed on to family members.

However, many will not.

The best guess is that around 4.5 million businesses in the US are looking to change hands over the next decade because of retirement and related reasons.

That means there is a huge opportunity for interested parties to buy these existing businesses.

The interesting thing to know though is, about 80% of all businesses offered for sale do not find willing buyers and have to simply close down. This is likely to be an even worse financial option than selling the “going concern” to a third party.

This should result in quite a few “motivated sellers”.

My Decision

My decision in the end was an easy one.

In my corporate life, I considered myself an ok manager. My staff always considered my “too stand-offish” as a manager though. Not good for performance evaluation time!

Not surprising though given that I am an introvert.

My investment decisions are no worse than most professional investment managers out there.

Although as a more value-focused investor I would have likely underperformed during the bull market. And would be significantly outperforming in the current environment.

And I am not afraid to make unpopular calls. Being a contrarian. That is my main distinguishing feature compared to “the market” where the main focus always appears to be “index-hugging”.

As the saying goes, in finance it is better to fail conventionally, than succeed unconventionally.

My mind is thus made up. I will become a business owner whose business is to own other businesses.

I am currently making sure my acquisition criteria suit my abilities and know-how. No point buying a business where I cannot add value!

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Good luck in your search for a business. I am sure you will find a good fit.

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Thanks! I intend to write about my progress. Let's see if I can meet my timeline!

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I know for a fact that I am not management material either. I was forced into it in my corporate job and failed miserably. I like what I am doing online as a small business owner. I guess that's what I am. I look for things to do that don't involve managing other people. I still interact like I am here but I don't want to have to train anyone. Or have any partners either. I like doing things on my own time table.

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Good luck in the future mate, you were on the right track putting a team together it really depends what exactly it is you want to do.

Affiliate or network marketing is low cost, many you can start from free and build slowly with most companies but it also gives you the opportunity to diversify quickly.

Buying a business can be expensive and less flexible.

Plus you work from home so plandemic proof just choose a niche and hit it hard and consistently.

Thanks for sharing on Listnerds😎

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The team will be key, @benthomaswwd. I have flirted with affiliate marketing and intend to use it once I have my platform company.
Structuring deals is in my comfort zone and as such a matter of negotiation with the "motivated seller".
I expect the hard work to be educating sellers on how to value their company.

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Wishing you the much success my friend

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Super interesting perspective, I didn't think about people retiring as an opportunity in that way but it makes sense. Hope you find some good businesses though... Sounds promising.


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Thanks! The key will be figuring out how to keep a good deal flow coming. The goal is to have at least 1 good prospect/actual acquisition every quarter.

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Great thoughts! I think now, with that experience and thought, you are ready to be the business owner you want!

Good luck in your search for a new business. I know you will find a good fit.

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Interesting to think about. There is a sewing shop for sale in my community. I just don't want to deal with all the insurance and tax accounting.

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