83 episodes

Hosted by Scott Couchenour, Serve Strong Finish Strong explores the entrepreneurial and business landscape through engaging with today’s leaders. Learn more at https://missionmatters.com/scott-couchenour/

Serve Strong Finish Strong Mission Matters Network

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 12 Ratings

Hosted by Scott Couchenour, Serve Strong Finish Strong explores the entrepreneurial and business landscape through engaging with today’s leaders. Learn more at https://missionmatters.com/scott-couchenour/

    The Art of Letting Go - Succession Planning for the Future-Ready Founder - Steve McKee

    The Art of Letting Go - Succession Planning for the Future-Ready Founder - Steve McKee

    In this episode, we dive deep into the pivotal moments of business and life transitions with insights from retired founder Steve McKee, who recently embarked on a new chapter after selling his company of 27 years. Steve shares his enthusiasm for what lies ahead and reflects on the critical principles of navigating turns in both business and personal spheres. The discussion emphasizes the importance of preparation and recognizing the opportune moments for change, shedding light on how these principles have guided Steve through his career and into a promising future. Additionally, we explore the intertwined nature of career success, identity, and the journey towards the next decade of life, offering listeners a comprehensive view of the challenges and triumphs faced by those at the helm of their businesses.


    The conversation shifts to the nuanced topic of succession planning, where we delve into the psychological and practical aspects essential for a smooth transition. We discuss the significance of starting the succession planning process early, ideally 6-10 years in advance, to ensure the longevity and success of the business. By focusing on identifying and developing a successor, even without immediate plans to sell, business founders can prepare for a future where their legacy thrives beyond their direct involvement.


    Steve McKee is the recently-retired co-founder of McKee Wallwork, a nationally recognized marketing advisory firm. He is the author of TURNS: Where Business Is Won and Lost, a groundbreaking book on change management, When Growth Stalls: How it Happens, Why You're Stuck and What to Do About It, an award-winning business book now published in four languages, and Power Branding: Leveraging the Success of the World's Best Brands, which one New York Times bestselling author called “the definitive book on modern branding” that “should be mandatory reading in every business school in America.”


    Steve’s firm made the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America its first year of eligibility and has twice won the prestigious Effie Award for marketing effectiveness from the American Marketing Association. The firm has twice been recognized by Advertising Age as Southwest Small Agency of the Year and one of the nation’s Best Places to Work, and also won the publication’s National B2B Campaign of the Year award. 


    Steve was a Businessweek.com columnist for a decade and currently writes a popular monthly column for SmartBrief on Leadership. He has been published or quoted in The New York Times, USA Today, Forbes.com, Investor's Business Daily and The Los Angeles Times, among others, and has appeared on CNBC, ESPN2, CNNfn, Bloomberg, and network television affiliates across America. 


    Find Steve here:
    https://www.stevemckee.com/
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevemckee/


    To learn more, visit:
    www.servingstrong.com


    Listen to more episodes on Mission Matters:
    www.missionmatters.com/author/scott-couchenour



    Practice Partnership: Monetizing Your Dental PracticeDoctors – are you interested in building long-term wealth and continuing on as an...Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

    • 30 min
    A Holistic Approach to Business Valuation - Ash Atkinson

    A Holistic Approach to Business Valuation - Ash Atkinson

    In this episode I chat with Ash Atkinson about business valuation, growth strategies, and exit options. Ash discusses the importance of considering more than just revenue when valuing a business, including strategic, organizational, employee, customer, financial, and what he calls ESG factors. He emphasizes the need for documentation to support all aspects of a company's operations and values. 


    The conversation covers how business owners can increase their options beyond just an exit by focusing on improving different value pillars over time. Ash also addresses common mistakes owners make when scaling, like failing to establish a cohesive company culture and clear key performance indicators. 


    Overall, the discussion provides business owners with a more well-rounded perspective on increasing their company's long-term value and sustainability for potential exit or growth opportunities.


    Ash Atkinson is a seasoned professional with a globe-trotting career that spans from the equestrian breeding facilities of Germany to the competitive horse arenas of Mexico, and into the dynamic US real estate market. Starting his career in Germany, Ash developed a knack for sales and management, building an extensive international network. His journey took a significant turn in Mexico at La Silla, where he delved into the intricacies of competition horses and the Latin American market. Upon moving to the United States, Ash transitioned into the real estate sector in Southern California, leveraging his equestrian connections to navigate the high-end luxury lifestyle market, specializing in exclusive jet and yacht charters and sales.


    Now residing in Wellington, FL, Ash is a pivotal figure among ultra-high-net-worth investors, focusing on alternative asset investments and business development. His passion for helping SMEs to grow, scale, or achieve a successful liquidity exit is evident through his innovative approach to optimizing business operations, identifying efficiencies, and unlocking capital to maximize profit margins. Ash also plays a key role on the investment committee for a Real Estate Multifamily Fund and holds several key licenses in Florida, including Real Estate Sales Associate, 214 Life Including Variable Annuity, and 240 Health Insurance. With expertise in working with high-net-worth individuals, private jet and yacht sales, equestrian markets, and US-based private equity and real estate funds, Ash Atkinson is a visionary in business development, dedicated to steering businesses towards growth and success.


    You can reach Ash here:
    https://arcadvisoryco.com/
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ash-atkinson/


    To learn more, visit:
    www.servingstrong.com


    Listen to more episodes on Mission Matters:
    www.missionmatters.com/author/scott-couchenour
    Practice Partnership: Monetizing Your Dental PracticeDoctors – are you interested in building long-term wealth and continuing on as an...Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

    • 35 min
    Standing out - Professionally and Personally - Paige Arnof-Fenn

    Standing out - Professionally and Personally - Paige Arnof-Fenn

    Do you want your business to thrive without you?
    Are you considering launching something new in your 4th quarter?


    In this episode, my guest, Paige Arnof-Fenn and I dive deep into the world of branding and how that can help you succeed professionally and personally. 


    Our conversation highlights branding as a promise of a consistent experience, vital for making a business stand out. We discuss the significance of both personal and corporate branding, conducting a communications audit and SWOT analysis to understand brand perception and its position in the market. Personal branding is a key theme and is essential for anyone looking to differentiate themselves and establish a strong online presence.


    Paige Arnof-Fenn shares a bit about how she established her company name and the importance of creating a memorable business name and understanding customer psychology for branding success.


    Paige Arnof-Fenn is the founder and CEO of Mavens & Moguls, a global branding and digital marketing firm whose clients range from early stage start-up to Fortune 500 companies including Colgate, Virgin, Microsoft and The New York Times Company.  She was formerly VP Marketing at Zipcar and VP Marketing at Inc.com. Prior to that she held the title of SVP Marketing at Launch Media, an Internet start-up that was later sold to Yahoo.


     Arnof-Fenn has also worked as a special assistant to the chief marketing officer of global marketing at The Coca-Cola Company and held the position of director of the 1996 Olympic Commemorative Coin Program at the Department of Treasury.


    Arnof-Fenn is a founding Board member of Women Entrepreneurs in Science & Technology and she is the past Board Chair of the Alumni Board of Stanford University.  She was the Appointed Director for Harvard Business School on the Harvard Alumni Association Board, which governs all the schools across the university.  She is also the former Vice President of the Harvard Business School Global Alumni Board and the only woman Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Sports Museum at the Boston Garden, is an advisor to several early stage private companies and non profit organizations and is also a 3 time past president of the Stanford Club of New England which serves alumni in a 5 state region.  She holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


    You can connect with Paige here:


    https://www.linkedin.com/in/paigearnoffenn/


    https://www.mavensandmoguls.com/


    To learn more, visit:
    www.servingstrong.com


    Listen to more episodes on Mission Matters:
    www.missionmatters.com/author/scott-couchenour
    Practice Partnership: Monetizing Your Dental PracticeDoctors – are you interested in building long-term wealth and continuing on as an...Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

    • 37 min
    The Balancing Act - Operational Performance and Legacy Building - Mike Provance

    The Balancing Act - Operational Performance and Legacy Building - Mike Provance

    This episode is a thought-provoking conversation with Mike Provance, focusing on the challenges and strategies of managing business growth and operational performance, especially pertinent for mid-life business owners. We talk about the complexities that growth stage companies face, emphasizing the need for stability and predictability which often gets overlooked in the early stages of business development. Mike highlights the significance of adaptive planning, echoing Mike Tyson's famous words about the unpredictability of plans.


    We also dig into the nuances of operational debt versus surplus, with a particular focus on the importance of building absorptive capacity in a business. We explore how neglecting long-term goals for short-term gains can lead to significant challenges in business growth. 


    Among other topics included in this rich conversation, my guest advocates for the synergy of combining the wisdom of seasoned leaders with the energy of younger ones, stressing the tragedy of losing valuable experience through mandatory retirement. 


    Mike Provance is a dynamic leader in technology commercialization and growth-stage operations, serving as managing partner at Alpine Growth Partners. He specializes in assisting small company founders and lower middle-market firm CEOs in overcoming challenges in operations, innovation, and technology governance to achieve their business performance objectives. His expertise spans strategy, operations management, innovation, data governance, and technology commercialization. Mike's influence extends across various industries, including financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, and even within the U.S. Department of Defense, contributing to over $200 million in value creation and multiple successful exits for investors.


    Holding a Ph.D. in Innovation Strategy and Management from George Washington University, an MBA from Penn State, and a BS in Management Science from MIT, Mike combines impressive academic credentials with a fervent passion for community improvement through entrepreneurship. He has mentored over a thousand individuals in their entrepreneurial journeys and plays a crucial role in the governance of several private companies. Residing in Chapel Hill, NC with his wife Anne, Mike continues to leave a significant mark on the technology innovation landscape.


    You can connect with Mike here:


    Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/provance/
    Website: https://alpinegrowthpartners.com/


    To learn more, visit:
    www.servingstrong.com


    Listen to more episodes on Mission Matters:
    www.missionmatters.com/author/scott-couchenour
    Practice Partnership: Monetizing Your Dental PracticeDoctors – are you interested in building long-term wealth and continuing on as an...Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

    • 35 min
    The Art of Strategic Branding - Lysle C. Wickersham

    The Art of Strategic Branding - Lysle C. Wickersham

    In this episode my guest, Lysle Wickersham, and I dive into the pivotal role of branding in business performance. We discuss how branding, more than just a logo or slogan, is a strategic foundation that connects emotionally with audiences, significantly impacting a company's value. More value, greater options for an exit down the road.


    The discussion then shifts to the relationship between branding, business strategy, and market research. It underscores the necessity of aligning the business owner's vision with market expectations, and the impact of this alignment on brand perception and business outcomes. Wickersham stresses the emotional aspect of consumer behavior and the importance of expert involvement in decision-making. 


    The episode concludes with insights from my guest, founder of Brand Think, on strategic positioning for business owners in their 40s and 50s. Wicker's expertise underscores the importance of consistency, clear positioning, and a well-defined branding strategy for long-term business success.


    Lysle Wickersham heads BRANDthink, a consultancy that enhances business brands for higher performance and value. With 30 years of experience in brand development, investment banking, and consulting, he has built and sold a $170M agency, worked with tech startups, and established an M&A firm. Lysle applies a unique blend of creative and analytical expertise to boost market performance and increase intangible equity value. His firm supports SMBs and investment portfolios in realizing their brand’s potential, crucial for enhancing market cap in various financial transactions.


    You can find Lysle here:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wickersham/
    Website: https://brandthink.biz/


    To learn more, visit:
    www.servingstrong.com


    Listen to more episodes on Mission Matters:
    www.missionmatters.com/author/scott-couchenour
    Practice Partnership: Monetizing Your Dental PracticeDoctors – are you interested in building long-term wealth and continuing on as an...Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

    • 29 min
    Intellectual Property Insights for Entrepreneurs - Matthew Asbell

    Intellectual Property Insights for Entrepreneurs - Matthew Asbell

    Are you nearing your 4th quarter of life and looking to secure your business legacy or start a new venture? Understanding and protecting your intellectual property (IP) is more crucial than you might think. 


    In this episode, I talk with Matthew Asbell about the complexities of IP in the business world, a topic that holds real significance for entrepreneurs over 50. We discuss the essence of IP, encompassing creative works and branding, and its critical role in ensuring the value and uniqueness of a business. This knowledge is vital not just to safeguard your life's work as you approach retirement, but also for embarking on new endeavors.


    The conversation also includes the practicalities of protecting intangible assets like expertise and knowledge. The hosts stress the importance of legally documenting intellectual property, cautioning against simplistic methods that might not hold up legally. For seasoned business owners contemplating the sale of their ventures, or those venturing into new business ideas, understanding the nuances of IP rights, especially in the context of international expansion, becomes critical. We talk about the necessity of a strategic approach to IP, aligning with business growth and planning, especially in the later stages of your career.


    Matthew Asbell is an attorney practicing intellectual property (IP) law. IP is the one thing that ties together everything that he is passionate about, whether media and technology, entertainment and publishing, the natural sciences, or international culture, language, and travel. 


    He believes IP is about encouraging, protecting, and monetizing creativity, whether in the form of an artistic work, a business venture, or a technological invention. As an attorney handling U.S. and international rights, he also greatly appreciates the opportunity to work with people from all over the world, and to practice his Portuguese from time to time!


    Matthew is also the host of the INTANGIFY podcast about the intangible aspects of business. http://www.talkradio.nyc/shows/intangify


    You'll find Matthew here:
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/masbell/


    To learn more, visit:
    www.servingstrong.com


    Listen to more episodes on Mission Matters:
    www.missionmatters.com/author/scott-couchenour
    Practice Partnership: Monetizing Your Dental PracticeDoctors – are you interested in building long-term wealth and continuing on as an...Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify
    Top Software Engineers from Eastern Europe | IT Staff Augmentation | Money Back GuaranteeBoost your tech team with top IT talent, risk-free hiring, 10% off with code ECHO PODCAST.

    • 41 min

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12 Ratings

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