Sep 18, 2018
What does it take to Finish Big and what makes a Small
Bo Burlingham joins us this week on the Catalyst Sale Podcast to
discuss two of his books - Small Giants & Finish Big. We also
discuss the importance of knowing what question you intend to
answer when conducting research, the importance of understanding
this question for your audience, and where community fits.
- What inspired you to do the research for Small Giants?
- What is the Small Giants Community?
- What compelled Bo to write Finish Big?
- How do you know if you have asked enough questions to get to
the root of the story?
- Why do founders try to manage the exit on their own?
- What does research mean to Bo?
- Zingerman's - 2003 coolest small company in America
- Small Giant's have a quality - MOJO - which is the business
equivalent of charisma.
- Most companies lose their mojo as they get larger.
- Bo started with what do these companies have in common.
- Run by people & started by people who had a clear idea of who
they were, what they wanted, and why.
- Reflected the community where they started.
- 1:1 relationship with customers & suppliers.
- Employees come first.
- Financial/Business models.
- Focus on gross margins
- Healthy balance sheet
- Need to have a business model that can change with the
environment & times
- Crazy/passionate about what the company does - over the
- Things change when a company grows. It is no longer
possible to operate the same way when it was smaller.
- You have a choice - there is nothing in business that requires
that you build a large organization.
- The reason we tend to adopt quick fixes is that companies are
so focused on growing big fast.
- Go to smallgiants.org to connect with others who are interested
in building Small Giants.
- When researching Finish Big, he found a tremendously high
percentage of the people were unhappy about their exit.
- People were willing to share more than expected. They
wanted to help other people.
- People were willing to let Bo write about mistakes
- A good exit
- People could look back on the process, and feel it was a good
- People could look back on what they have done, and feel they
created something of value.
- People could look back and say that the others who joined them
on the journey benefited.
- That the business continues to go on & do better.
- A bad exit missed one of the above.
- Entrepreneurs like to feel like they are in control.
They forget that do not have the experience in managing the
- They will make mistakes through the process.
- Some of the best people to ask to help you with an exit are
those who have done it. They understand the mistakes.
Find an exit advisor who has been through it.
- Entrepreneurship is not a construction project. It is a
journey that includes building a company, but it also includes
leaving the company.
- An exit is not an event - it is a stage of the business.
- Stage 1 - The education phase
- Stage 2 - The strategic phase
- Stage 3 - The exit
- Stage 4 - The transition from being an owner to whatever comes
- The business tells you what the next thing is that you have to
do - the exit or lack of structure after the exit can be extremely
- Failing at the exit is a tragedy - Don't Fail Alone
- A book (or research) starts with a question.
- Once Bo has the question, then he knows how to do the
research. The most important thing is to understand what is
the question you want to answer for your reader?
- Peer groups are important - the best advice you will get is
from people who have been through the journey.
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