Business owners are today’s American heroes. They innovate, they create jobs, they believe that they can CREATE a better future for their families and our country. So much attention is given the start of a business (the idea, the technology, and the fund raising). Yet much less to the exit – as if it will magically take care of itself. When they do exit the business, it’s a once in a lifetime event – there is no do over! Yet so many are ill-prepared to make the jump.The Ripcord Moment is a podcast focused on learning from those entrepreneurs and their team of advisors who have made the jump and sharing their best ideas with you. So when you are ready for your Ripcord Moment – you can execute and hit your perfect landing. Disclosure: Information presented herein is for discussion and illustrative purposes only. The views and opinions expressed by the speakers are as of the date of the recording and are subject to change. These views are not intended as a recommendation to buy or sell any securities, and should not be relied on as financial, tax or legal advice. You should consult with your attorney, finance professional or accountant before implementing any transactions and/or strategies concerning your finances.
How to Embrace Failure & Trust Your Intuition As a Business Owner | The Ripcord Moment (Ep. 31)
On this episode of The Ripcord Moment, host Joe Seetoo welcomes Julia Schieffer, founder of DerivSource. DerivSource is an independent information source on derivatives, post-trade, fintech, risk management and technology that she sold to Markets Media in 2021.
Julia encourages owners and leaders to listen to their gut. If you feel passionate about an idea, be persistent with your vision even if other people shoot it down. If it does not work out, know that trial and error are integral to finding success and creating uniqueness. Julia reframes failures as “experiments” and knows that they are for her ultimate good.
She also urges owners to detach themselves from their business when it’s time to let go. Although the business might feel like it is a part of your identity, many owners ultimately suffocate their company because they do not allow themselves to trust another entity or owner to give it new life.
Finally, Julia urges owners to know their worth and what they truly want. Write down a couple of your own goals (not what you think people want from you), and never waver from these core aspirations. She also encourages owners to build a strong transition team and surround themselves with a reliable team of lawyers, advisors, and other professionals.
How to Create Peace, Mindfulness & Direction in Your Life and Business | The Ripcord Moment (Ep. 30)
On this episode of The Ripcord Moment, Joe Seetoo welcomes Joel Sherwin, an experienced attorney and fintech leader. He is now Head of Legal at Galileo Financial Technologies and recently published The Path: A 30-Day Guide to Building a Meditation Habit That Will Change Your Life, a book on how he has become more present and peaceful in his daily life.
Joel emphasizes the importance of mental fortitude for entrepreneurs and business owners. He discusses the need to have self-trust and confidence as you develop your career and pitch ideas to peers; it’s natural to feel afraid sometimes, but Joel encourages listeners to trust that they can ultimately persevere even if they don’t have all the answers right now.
Furthermore, Joel shares his experience with meditation and journaling. These practices helped him manage his anxiety during the pandemic, leading to an incredible transformation in his mental health and perspective. He also highlights the importance of having a solid support system and keeping people in your life who can provide valuable feedback and support (both professionally and personally).
Finally, Joel advises business owners to define their core values as these shape not only their company’s direction but who the company grows with. He also reminds owners to evaluate what their market wants; sometimes, even a great idea that is executed perfectly does not get picked up because the audience or market does not want it. Make sure you do a proper analysis of the products your audience wants and the problems they most desperately need solved.
Finding My New Identity After Selling My Business | The Ripcord Moment (Ep. 29)
On today’s episode of The Ripcord Moment, host Joe Seetoo welcomes Tim Gaspar, CEO and Founder of Gaspar Insurance Services.
Tim spent 15 years building his company and began feeling uncertain how to continue growing within the insurance industry. In 2021, he decided to sell his business as various assets such as Bitcoin and real estate were experiencing high valuations. He considered the possibility that if he didn't sell his business at that time, he might regret it in the future when valuations could potentially decrease.
Tim acknowledges that selling his business had a considerable impact on his personal life, as he saw the business as a part of his identity. He emphasizes the importance of being mindful of how the transition can change your sense of self ahead of time and finding support from family and friends during the transition. Tim also finds fulfillment in getting involved with his local community and giving back. He says community work can improve one’s sense of ownership, accountability, and responsibility- and therefore their leadership skills.
Tim encourages listeners to take a leap of faith when they feel called, even if they do not feel “smart” or “ready” enough to. Many people try to put goals or tasks off due to the amount of time or energy it would take, but Tim says that time passes anyway and it’s better to start now and stop making excuses. He also suggests business owners to find wise people to learn from with a humble spirit.
Going Into Business With My Best Friend: Meli's Cookies | The Ripcord Moment (Ep. 28)
On this week’s episode of The Ripcord Moment, Joe Seetoo invites best friends and co-founders of Meli’s Cookies, Melissa Blue, and Melissa Mehall, to discuss how they started their gluten-free cookie company that now sells products in over 9,000 stores across the country.
Melissa and Melissa have been friends for 30 years. They say prioritizing their friendship over the company, finding mentors to seek advice from when experiencing tension, and realizing what areas are appropriate to compromise on have been critical for being able to maintain the closeness of their relationship while being business partners.
Melissa and Melissa explain that the pandemic had both positive and negative effects on their company. When the pandemic ensued, people began baking more at home, so sales went up. However, in-person meetings with buyers transitioned into Zoom sessions, and many buyer meetings have stayed remote, making it harder to sell their product since buyers cannot taste it.
A strategy that has helped Meli’s Cookies create more connections and find buyers is attending food shows and conventions. They also recommend business owners who may be minority-owned or women-owned to become certified, as this can potentially help them compete for federal contracts and gain recognition from stores who are looking to support minority and women-owned brands.
Melissa and Melissa also suggest listeners to consider raising funds earlier and working with people who have experience in their niche or industry. When starting a business from the ground up, you may not have time to train people to learn about the field. They say they have benefited the most from working with experts, mentors, and employees who are familiar with the food industry.
Check out Meli's Cookies here: https://melismonstercookies.com/
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Bootstrapping My Liquor Brand & Starting a Distillery | The Ripcord Moment (Ep. 27)
On this episode of The Ripcord Moment, host Joe Seetoo welcomes Aaron Bergh, founder of Calwise Spirits Co. Calwise is headquartered in Paso Robles and is home to labels like Big Sur Gin and Axe Hole Whiskey.
Aaron’s passion for spirits began in college when he learned how to make his own alcohol. Eventually, what was once a fun hobby turned into a calling. He attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, which offered an entrepreneurship concentration that helped him develop a business plan and connect with investors. After graduating, Aaron worked in a distillery, got his product started there, and lived out of his car for two years. Now, Calwise has been established for seven years and is available in Albertsons, Vons, Total Wine, and many restaurants/bars.
Aaron recommends other business owners to be open-minded enough to make changes to their product or brand based on what is or is not resonating with people, learn from mistakes, and stay resilient in difficult times.
Check out Calwise here: https://www.calwisespirits.com/
Building Trust and Finding Community as a NextGen Business Owner | The Ripcord Moment (Ep. 26)
African Family Firms, and host of The Connected Generation podcast.
Nikè Anani has first-hand experience with being a second-generation family business owner and knows how confusing and isolating a transition can feel. According to a study done by The Williams Group, only 30% of business transitions are successfully passed onto the third generation. 65% of the reasons why most transitions do not work out are due to lack of effective communication and trust and 25% was due to a lack of engagement in the next generation. Therefore, Lifetime to Legacy focuses on more qualitative and relational advice for how families can better connect, collaborate, and co-create the businesses of the future.
She also recommends NextGen business owners to have more empathy for their elders and to understand what their deepest anxieties and aspirations are. It is normal for younger owners to have their own ideas and potentially become frustrated with traditions and how things were done by older owners. However, Nikè says bringing your new ideas to the table with empathy and a reverence for the experience older people have can help the transition go more smoothly.
Nikè suggests family business owners to plan a family meeting and have collective conversations on the purpose and vision of the company and to join a community or networking group of other business owners who can act as a sounding board or a support system. She says transitions can potentially be a very stressful and lonely time for owners and it is important to have community.
Visit Nike’s website here to connect with her: https://nikeanani.com/
Great guests and helpful tips for selling your business!
Great guests, great host, always learn something new and insightful when listening. Keep it up.