On November 18, 1973, wide receiver Elmo Wright scored a touchdown and became the first professional football player to dance in the end zone. You don’t have to be a sports fan to feel the emotions and celebration of a really good end zone dance. Interviewed more than thirty years later, Elmo Wright said, “I’ve accomplished a lot in my life, but what happened in the end zone is what defines my career.”
If you own a business, you have something in common with Elmo. Business success already may have brought personal satisfaction and financial rewards. But what happens at your inevitable exit–in your end zone–likely defines your career too. An exit that falls short can cause financial disappointment, family strife or lost self-esteem. Success at exit is the crowning achievement of a career, fulfillment of financial and family dreams or the start of your business legacy.
If you own a business, this book will change your perceptions, and give you insights on why much of the conventional wisdom regarding how to plan for exit is wrong. Exit planning is not about some distant transaction but rather it’s making decisions today that build a better business and position you for success. Dance in the End Zone incorporates the author’s more than twenty years exit planning experience. It reveals the Seven Essential End Zone Questions, provides more than fifty wisdom-based tools and tactics—the plays for your playbook—and shares the real world stories of dozens of business owners like you. Whether your ideal exit is soon or many years from now, this book is a must read so you too can one day dance in the end zone.
“This is an excellent book, none better for a business owner looking to exit at some point.”
“I wish I had read this years ago! This book has been discussed frequently in our Vistage (CEO) group. The concepts come up in various aspects every month, but this is an excellent A-Z format that lays all the exit options and issues out succinctly and in a way that’s easy for most owners to understand. We have learned much of this on the ropes with potential buyers and sellers, but this is a much more organized approach and incorporates tax issues. My only suggestion now would be a follow-up book (or series) that explores each topic in more detail. Most CPAs and investors are conservative and this helps the CEO sort through ideas they can discuss with their advisors to arrive at the optimal exit strategy and time frame.”
“A must read for every private business owner. A thought provoking book which make you a bit uncomfortable when you consider the planning you haven’t done vis a vis exiting your business. Very sound, practical, usable advice and tactics.”
“Great book. Every business owner should read this book! It is a wonderful guide, thoughtful & clear. The earlier in the life of the business these strategies are employed, the smoother the exit will be.”
“A true exit planning book. Dance in the End Zone may be the only true book on exit planning. Most books in the genre deal with succession planning. Some companies will deal with succession, or leadership change. ALL companies will be exited at some time by the owner and that ownership will pass to some other person or entity. Mr. Ungashick identifies that there are four, and only four, ways to exit your business and amusingly tags each one with a memorable catchphrase. You will pass it to family (Passers), sell to an insider (Innies), sell to an outsider (Outies) or “milk it” (Squeezers). More important, each selection or exit strategy has different decisions to be made along the way and tax ramifications to consider… many long before the actual event. This is a MUST READ for every business owner. Follow the ideas and steps suggested by the book and you will not only have an exit plan but you will have a much more profitable business while you own it!!”
Are you interested in booking Patrick as a speaker for your business-owner group?
In 1991, I graduated from college and immediately joined my father’s financial services firm in New York City. I found myself a junior associate to Peter Collins, who ran the firm’s investment banking department. My arrival doubled the team size—previously the investment banking department had consisted of Peter, his computer, and a laser printer (in 1991!). I spent five years working under Peter, helping him to help business owners sell their businesses. During those years, I watched again and again owners experience deep stress, high costs, while struggling to maintain control over their desired outcomes. During those years, a thought began to grow inside me—if achieving a happy exit is so difficult for nearly every owner, there must be something wrong with the conventional methods. Frustrated for all of these business owners, I thought there must be a better way…
It was for that reason that I became a business owner myself, and ultimately created NAVIX. At NAVIX, we intend to change the world for business owners. After watching countless owners struggle to achieve successful exits, we have developed that better way. Using our proprietary process, we strive to create a world where owners achieve financial freedom, create a sustained business legacy, and exit at a time and manner of their choosing.
A Tale of Two Owners is the fable of Al Beaman and Robert Gilmore, co-owners of a highly successful IT services company. As is the case with so many business co-owners, they eventually realize their exit goals are incompatible. Al reaches a point where he wishes to sell the company for top dollar, while Robert not only does not want to sell, but desires to pass his ownership to his daughter, Jessica. For the first time in their 17-year partnership, Al and Robert find themselves butting heads on the direction of their business.
It’s a fable that deals with a critical issue—how can one owner happily exit, when achieving his goals means denying a successful exit to the other? In the second part of this book, Al and Robert are provided with “The Guide to Creating Co-Owner Exit Alignment,” which will ultimately lead both the business co-owners and readers to enlightened insights into the ways to plan for and achieve successful exits.
“Must read for the partners of any closely held company. I coach Owner/CEOs as a Vistage Chair. I had Patrick in to speak to my CEO groups, and then I read this book. I am watching this book play out multiple times, and not necessarily in a good way! This is a must read! I ran VC-backed companies in my career where exit goals were clear as a bell. But Patrick just gave me a major education in the nuances of preparing for an exit in a closely held company.”
“Own a business with a partner, or about to ... you MUST read this book! Someone mentioned this book at a seminar recently. So, I was in a situation so similar to this story, about 10 years ago. Great partner, high trust, had a previous working relationship, etc. But as time went on, things changed. Spouses changed, kids changed, our views changed, and especially our vision for the future changed. Where was this book when I need it?! It would have saved me and my partner – and a bunch of money – had we read this book, and shared it with our respective families. Bottom line, it you own a business and have a partner or two ... GET THIS BOOK. Oh, and the back of the book has an amazing self-help, easy to understand and implement, self-help section to help prevent and fix your possible situation.”
“Real life co-owner challenges you must address prior to your exit. Great read here. Tale of Two Owners tells the story of two owners that face "real Life" challenges. These challenges that I face with my other co-owners and wish I would have addressed these years ago. We have found many of these issues do not takes months to address but years. Again, great read! Highly recommend to all business owners out there.”
“Must read for anyone with business partners. A Tale of Two Owners is a well written and engaging story detailing the challenges of owning a business with partners. As an owner in multiple businesses with multiple owners, I believe this is a must read for anyone with partners. The time to identify, discuss, and resolve issues is well before they become problems.”