Finish Big: How Great Entrepreneurs Exit Their Companies on Top
When pioneering business journalist and Inc. magazine editor at large Bo Burlingham wrote Small Giants, it became an instant classic for its original take on a common business problem how to handle the pressure to grow.
Now Burlingham is back to tackle an even more common problem how to exit your company well. Sooner or later, all entrepreneurs leave their businesses and all businesses get sold, given away, or liquidated. Whatever your preferred outcome, you need to start planning for it while you still have time and options. The beautiful part is that if you start early enough, the process will lead you to build a better, stronger, more resilient company, as well as one with a higher market value. Unfortunately, most owners don't start early enough and pay a steep price for their procrastination.
Burlingham interviewed dozens of entrepreneurs across a range of industries and identified eight key factors that determine whether owners are happy after leaving their businesses. His book showcases the insights, exit plans, and cautionary tales of entrepreneurs such as
- Ray Pagano founder of a leading manufacturer of housings for security cameras. He turned down a bid for his company and instead changed his management style, resulting in a subsequent sale for four times the original offer.
- Bill Niman founder of the iconic Niman Ranch, which revolutionized the meat industry. He learned about unhappy exits when he was forced to sell to private equity investors, leaving him with nothing to show for his thirty-five years in business.
- Gary Hirshberg founder of organic yogurt pioneer Stonyfield Farm. He pulled off the nearly impossible task of finding a large company that would buy out his 275 small investors at a premium price while letting him retain complete control of the business.
Through such stories, Burlingham offers an illuminating and inspirational guide to one of the most stressful, and yet potentially rewarding, processes business owners must go through. And he explores the emotional challenges they face at every step of the way.
At the end of the day, owning a business is about more than selling goods and services. It's about making choices that shape your entire life, both professional and personal. Finish Big helps you figure out how to face your future with confidence and be able to someday look back on your journey with pride.
"I love Burlingham's quest to understand why some entrepreneurs create a meaningful life after exiting their businesses while others suffer and wander without purpose. Practical and profound, fast-moving and thought-provoking, masterful in its clear prose and compelling stories--Bo Burlingham has once again done a tremendous service in deploying his craft."
--Jim Collins, author of "Good to Great" and coauthor of" Built to Last" and "Great by Choice"
""Finish Big" is for all those founder/leaders who want to do more than take. . . . It is for the ones who want to leave something behind."
--Simon Sinek, optimist and author of "Start with Why" and "Leaders Eat Last"
"Bo Burlingham is a liar. He advertises this as a book about entrepreneurs exiting their companies. Instead it is a book about doing business well and living a life of value. Remarkable research, remarkable prose, remarkable book. Bravo!"
--Tom Peters, coauthor of In "Search of Excellence"
"This book is a gift, a must read for anyone who has even an inkling that it might be helpful. It will reward you with both peace of mind and a significant ROI."
--Seth Godin, entrepreneur and author
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