Chad Peterson is an entrepreneur like you that has been through the self-employment trenches. Chad was not born with a silver spoon – he had humble beginnings. Like all of us, he had plenty of reasons to fail, but he chose the same path you did: to succeed.
Through innate tenacity, determination and grit, he bootstrapped himself through commercial airline piloting school, and then on to become successful multi-business entrepreneur. Having built and sold several businesses of his own, he has a unique background that translates to real world application to help business owners like you sell your business.
Peterson Acquisitions is unlike any business broker you will ever meet. We are tough, we are full of grit and drive. We are serious about selling businesses. We are not for everyone. Our clients are those who are just as serious about selling their business as we are.
Brad Burrow: Welcome to the In a World with Real Media Podcast. I am here with Chad Peterson. Chad, how are you doing? Great to have you here.
Chad Peterson: Thanks for having me on, Brad.
Brad Burrow: So I want to tell everybody a little bit about, you and I have known each other, I’m trying to… I remembered how we met. So I’m driving down 991st Street out here by my building and I see this a sign that says, you’re interested in selling your business.
Chad Peterson: I was panhandling. I was just trying to get some change on the side of the road. You thought I needed a friend and here we are.
Brad Burrow: That’s exactly right but I saw that and I’m always prospecting. I’m always thinking about, “Hey, I wonder if they need some video work.” I saw that, I thought I’m going to give this guy a call.
Chad Peterson: Bums need help too Brad, bums need help.
Brad Burrow: Bum is right. So I think you thought I wanted to sell my business, but I didn’t. I really just want to do video work for you.
Chad Peterson: That’s right.
Brad Burrow: We hit it up been friends ever since then and I’ve tried several things. I remember you and I tried to get together the, what did we call that? It was a group of people we were going to do a subscription model with.
Chad Peterson: Yeah, it was a virtual executive board.
Brad Burrow: Yeah, exactly.
Chad Peterson: What we’re going to do is we’re going to bring the best of the best to the table and all form an elite group where if those that were self employed wanting to go out and make sure that they were successful, they had an advisory group of top notch professionals to advise them. Problem is we couldn’t get the dream team to play together and that’s why we couldn’t get anywhere with it.
Brad Burrow: That was a great idea, still today that would be a great idea. So we should patent that or something.
Chad Peterson: Yeah, I would love to do it as long as we could get everybody on the same page.
Brad Burrow: Being a small business, you need people. People that are running small businesses and I’ll use me as an example, we don’t know a lot of things. We know some things really well, but there are a lot of things that we don’t know and that idea, not to get off on too much of a tangent, but that is such a good idea for helping people really know how to run their businesses the right way.
Chad Peterson: Yeah, and not only that, but it’s one thing to have an accountant. That was one of the arguments that came up among the group. Well, Chad already have an accountant. Why do I need this accountant? Well, yeah, you might have an accountant, but your accountant isn’t sitting next to the financial planner sitting next to your attorney, sitting next to your video guy, sitting next to your marketing guy.
Chad Peterson: That’s a mastermind group. So what people do out there is they have various arms of their business, but it’s not all in house. So the idea was to make a mastermind group to make sure that anybody, they came in our presence had the opportunity to get a wealth of knowledge and become massively successful because as you and I have discussed in the past, there is safety in the multitude of counsel, especially if your counsel is all in the same room and that the idea.
Brad Burrow: Well, someday, maybe someday.
Chad Peterson: Maybe someday.
Brad Burrow: So Chad, tell me a little bit about your background. So did you grow up in Oletha? I know you [inaudible 00:03:04] high school.
Chad Peterson: I did, Kansas city native. I grew up right off of College Boulevard in between Povera and Flom directly across the street from Johnson County community college. Believe it or not I’m a 1978 model, so I’m almost 41 years old. I’ll be 41 in two weeks or so. But I literally went to school in a bus on dirt roads right here in Johnson County.
Chad Peterson: That was how undeveloped it was. Flom was a such a skinny road and it was dirt and gravel that if the buses weren’t careful, they would slap mirrors passing each other, going back and forth to school and I went across to… I was a little boy. We get stuck in a mud sometimes it rained too much. So if you look at where we’re at now in the landscape, it’s absolutely phenomenal what this city has done to become what it is. Flom looks like a four lane highway now.
Brad Burrow: Unbelievable. Was Johnson County community college there?
Chad Peterson: Yes, it was.
Brad Burrow: It was, and that was good. We’re going to build way out South away from the city.
Chad Peterson: It was probably, because it’s a planned community, it was probably planned that way. They got all sorts of incentives and [inaudible 00:04:14] to do so I’m sure.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. I remember as I lived in Olatha, my first house was there in I35, there was a big truck stop there and you’d get off on the right and go under and now that’s all gone. That’s where all our were our home Depot and all that.
Chad Peterson: The plain community, they wanted to make a statement and they did. But yeah, I’ve grown up here born in Missouri and raised in John’s County, Kansas. I was raised in the less affluent part. I wasn’t raised in the nicest parts of Johnson County, but that served me well over the years because those who aren’t given much have all the reason to go get all they want. Sometimes those that are given everything, don’t have any gumption to go do anything. So it served me well. Was that your question?
Brad Burrow: Yeah, where you’re going it’s crazy where I wanted to take this too is, you’re an intense guy. It takes, you have a business, which we’ll talk about Peterson Acquisitions, helping people buy and sell businesses. That is not a business for the faint of heart. You are a person that doesn’t give up. You’re the dog that don’t let go of the bone. That comes from your upbringing, I would say.
Chad Peterson: Yeah. You’re exactly right. Selling businesses and being in multimillion dollar transactions where everything’s on the line and it’s not just done on Excel spreadsheets and with lawyers, it’s a very human game. There’s a lot of emotion into it. There’s a lot of psychology. There’s a whole lot of fear. There’s a lot of emotions that go into the transition.
Chad Peterson: People letting go their business, it’s their baby, it’s their child. It’s an adoption process. The worst part of people come out in these transactions, a lot of anger, a lot of contention. So I’m in the mouth of the dragon when I do these things, it gets hot. I am often the person who is either loved or hated in the transaction. By the end of it, most people look back and say, “Man, he knew what he was doing. I just didn’t know how this was supposed to go.”
Chad Peterson: To your point, yes, my background has shaped me to be that way because most of my life, because I come from a pretty tumultuous background, I’ve had to be centered in my thoughts, focused on what I’m doing, deliberate with my actions and thinking about my intentionality for the proper outcome. I won’t get into too much of that to get too personal, not that I mind, but I don’t think that’s what we’re here for. But I had to be very vigilant with my thoughts and make sure that I was very intentional with what I did and it served me well now, not only in those transactions, but also how I approach life.
Chad Peterson: I’m very intentional about what I do, defining my goals, defining my outcome, taking massive action towards my goals, putting massive intentionality into what I’m doing. Even if I fail or, like we said earlier, we try to do a virtual executive board. Well, it’s not a failure. It’s just it didn’t happen then, but I’m not giving up on it. If it comes up again, I’ll put as just as much force under that as I do everything else.
Brad Burrow: I want to talk about some more of your history, but I think about you as a business broker, that’s why would anybody want anybody else but you to sell their business. You’re going to go in there and fight for every last inch of ground and I love that about what you do.
Chad Peterson: Not only that, but when it comes to doing what I do, I have a lot of bedside manner too, because there’s a lot… I’ve built businesses and I’ve sold them and I’ve done it a lot of times. I’ve been successful at doing it myself. I’ve had some not so successful ones, but as far as the transactions themselves, I’ve gone through so much of this in my life and I understand what everybody’s going through.
Chad Peterson: So not only do I make sure that people are following the right path and the procedure and they’re stepping information to get us to a successful outcome, but I’m helping people with the psychological and emotional process that you go through when you go to either buy or sell a business and bottom line, I don’t really have competition.
Chad Peterson: The reason I don’t have competition is because these guys that I compete against, these brokers and I hate to stomp on the people that are in my industry, but I just have no respect for them. They have not built and sold several businesses. They don’t know what it’s like. They might’ve gone somewhere and gotten a degree and gotten out in the real world and had some C level executive job or something, but they haven’t been in the trenches of being self employed and that’s what separates me from them. I can do circles around my competition and they don’t work a fraction of his heart of it as I do. I work nonstop.
Brad Burrow: Yeah and that’s what a lot of brokers do, is they see how many people they can sign up and say, I’ve got all of these businesses that are for sale, but they’re really not working on selling those businesses.
Chad Peterson: To the listeners that are listening to this podcast, if you’re thinking about selling your business, typical brokers, there is no downside to bringing you on. It’s just a little bit of time for them. So it’s all upside. So it’s a commission-based sale. They’ll tell you whatever you want to hear, bring you on board, not actively market, not put the work in to do what it takes. Like I said, that’s what separates me from the rest of the pack.
Brad Burrow: I want to get into a little bit of your history in the workforce. So you are a pilot and I’m a pilot. I don’t know if you and I have talked about that.
Chad Peterson: We have talked to briefly.
Brad Burrow: So I had a Mooney and M20c.
Chad Peterson: See if I fit Mooney’s better. I would have one. No kidding fit in really well I would have them.
Brad Burrow: You’re sitting in a thing and it’s like your shoulder, your to shoulder with the person next to you and it’s like a little race car. Those are great planes [inaudible 00:10:29].
Chad Peterson: They’re efficient. They’re fast. There are little bullets. So the most efficient small aircraft, I think that there is as far as speed and fuel consumption and altitude as well. Some of those Moonies I think the 250s and maybe the 305 rocket, which is an upgrade. I think you can get up to-
Brad Burrow: Pressurized, I believe yeah.
Chad Peterson: I didn’t get up to 20,000 feet with those and if you catch some good winds aloft, you can probably get in a 350 mile an hour range with those planes.
Brad Burrow: Well, I had an M20C that was in 1967. So it had the landing gear was Johnson with a couple of Johnson bars, so when you took off, went like this, you can’t see this on the podcast, but you pushed down and then you push the Johnson bar down. That brings the gear up. So the first time when you’re learning how to fly one of those, what happens is you go to put the gear down and you forget that your hands over here on the yoke and all of a sudden you pull back on it. He was like, you’re about to stall on takeoff. So you got to learn how to not pull back when you’re pulling the [inaudible 00:11:29].
Chad Peterson: Right, you got be very mindful.
Brad Burrow: That was great. So what made you get into flying?
Chad Peterson: Now that I’m thinking about that real quick, so you’re probably taking off, your wheels are spinning, so you actually have to hit the brakes first. You have to hit the brakes first to make your wheel stops [inaudible 00:11:45]
Brad Burrow: I never did that, but it pulled back and the front gear came up and the sides went in and but I never worried about that side of it.
Chad Peterson: So what was your question?
Brad Burrow: Well, so you’re a pilot. What made you get into flying?
Chad Peterson: Well, I just loved the idea of flying. I think it was a little boy thing, really some people get it with the fire trucks and some boys get it with being an army man. To me it was the aviation thing, flying a plane plus I love to travel. If there’s one thing I love to do is travel and eat. I’m a foodie and a traveler. So if I could get paid to travel the world, that’s what I wanted to do. Really, I’ve always been almost phobic, literally using that word, purposely phobic of working for somebody else because I don’t necessarily play well with others all the time.
Chad Peterson: I want to do what I want to do. I don’t want to… I’m not here on earth to be stifled by other people’s limitations or their confinements. I never wanted to work for anybody else, but I thought if I could go do something for a job that didn’t require a lot of management of me and I can just work on my own and travel the world and get paid to do it, aviation, that’s what it was.
Brad Burrow: There’s something about flying too. If you’re not a pilot, you won’t understand this, but when you’re up in the air and it’s just smooth, you’re looking out over, that’s an unbelievable feeling.
Chad Peterson: It’s zen man zen.
Brad Burrow: I remember one time I played in bands and stuff and I was before I was married and we were flying back from a gig. We were out in Western Kansas and I had one of the guys in the band with me and it was midnight, 1:00 in the morning, crystal clear, high pressure. The moon was full and we’re just flying back to Kansas city and you can see, with the moon full, you can still see the ground pretty well. There was no turbulence whatsoever. So it was like you’re sitting on a carpet. That was unbelievable, I think that feeling.
Chad Peterson: I love it. I really do. For those that aren’t pilots, there is no real glory in flying. You think you’d get up there and there’s a bunch of glory in it and it’s really not. It’s a very mindful thought driven process. Procedures, maps, navigation.
Brad Burrow: Yeah, you got pay attention, man.
Chad Peterson: Yeah. It’s like watching a rockstar, a hammer that guitar, it might look easy, man, but there’s a lot going into it. So flying is definitely a thoughtful, mindful, intentional process to be safe. The better a pilot you are, the more fun it is because the better you are at it, the more comfortable you feel, the more safe you feel and it becomes enjoyable.
Brad Burrow: That’s right. It can get a little dicey if you get in situations that.
Chad Peterson: Sure. I’ve been in them. I’ve been in them. I became a commercial pilot in 2001 before 9/11, I became a commercial pilot about three months before 9/11 happened and I was in the aircraft. I was flying a plane coming in over the Gulf of Florida and that was when 9/11 happened. Of course, when I was in the plane flying, I didn’t have any idea as to what was going on. But Florida is such a narrow state that whenever you’re flying, people don’t know this, there’s more aviation traffic in Florida than there is in any other state. So there more.
Brad Burrow: Everybody’s over the land basically, or?
Chad Peterson: Well, and it’s just an aviation state. There’s more here, there’s more air traffic in Florida than there isn’t any state out there. Not only that, but there’s a lot of military operations down there. So at first I was told to land immediately and I thought I had done something wrong. I thought I had flown into military operation space, which is a big no, no, especially in Florida and I just didn’t know what was going on. I was clueless. I’m grabbing maps and, I let go of the yolk and I’m looking at everything and going, well, what the hell, what did I do wrong?
Chad Peterson: Then the airwaves lit up and for the first time I believe in FAA history, they were talking to all pilots on one channel.
Brad Burrow: Is that right?
Chad Peterson: Yeah, because they were given instructions to clear the airways. So I was in the air and all of a sudden it was being broadcasted and the instructions were not to reply back only if absolutely necessary for emergencies. So the FAA had given instructions on how to handle this probably by the White House because George W. Bush was parked at Orlando international. That’s right and that was headed-
Brad Burrow: That’s right far from there, either were you?
Chad Peterson: … I was headed right towards it. So it was a hot airspace. There were fighter jets in the air. People say there weren’t. There were. I was told to land immediately and they rerouted me because I was headed to Orlando International. They routed me towards our Orlando Executive.
Brad Burrow: In what kind of plane were you in that had to be?
Chad Peterson: At that time I was in just in an Aztec, I was in a multi engine, a six seater Aztec. There was three of us in the aircraft and I was flying and was being sent to Orlando Executive and because there was so much commotion because for all non pilots out there, you’re given instructions to usually come on a crosswind or a final to prepare for landing and depending on traffic but at this point, everybody was coming into one airport without any kind of process.
Brad Burrow: No aircraft control?
Chad Peterson: No, it was everybody head towards the numbers. So there was so many planes flying at each other.
Brad Burrow: Amazing, there were no airplane crashes.
Chad Peterson: It was amazing because what they did is they said, everybody turn on your navigation lights, your landing lights turn on every light you have. As soon as this pilots turned on all those lights, it looked like fireflies in the sky all coming in at the same runway. The controllers, said, I’m going to tell you your town number once land immediately. Again, I didn’t know what was going on. Nobody gave us a fore warning. There was not even a ten second blur planes are getting slammed in buildings, planes are being taken over by terrorists.
Brad Burrow: You had no idea.
Chad Peterson: No idea. So as well as I do, whenever you land a plane, you can’t land in the wingtip board of C’s that are coming off the plane in front of you because it can flip your plane. The way that they were having us come in the landing was very turbulent because you could feel the wind coming off the plane that was in front of you.
Brad Burrow: Wave turbulence.
Chad Peterson: Yes and that turbulence was scary and landing that close to another airplane, knowing that you were landing in the wind coming off those wings was scary.
Brad Burrow: Because really on that situation you’re supposed to land way past where they land to overcome that, right?
Chad Peterson: Yeah. Way past and timing is everything. If their wings have been down on the ground for a little bit, the winds gone and you’re okay. The wingtip vortices. But in this case we were landing on right behind each other and it was very scary. I walked in… I tied up the plane, I was sweating like crazy. It’s Florida. It’s hot. I get up to the briefing room and I saw the plane and the Pentagon and there was, I don’t know how many pilots, 60 or 70 pilots in there.
Chad Peterson: You could cut the air with a knife of[inaudible 00:19:38] because you knew that something was… Because we’re all getting ready to be shipped off to go to American Eagle or wherever we got picked up by to go fly for our first job and you knew that things weren’t like they were, our lives had been changed forever as pilots. I lost my window to fly for American Eagle and went through, I would say I went through a depression over the deal. I had just worked my ever-loving ass off to get where I was at and sacrificed a whole lot to get there.
Chad Peterson: I didn’t just go to aviation school. I went to a military, ran corporation type flight school where you were held to the highest of all standards of flying. So I really put myself into an intense situation to become the best that I could and lost my career and went through a pretty rough time because now I’m looking at whatever I’m going to do. I’m like, what am I going to do now? Plus I had a baby on the way and so I had to figure out life pretty quick and go back to my self employed roots after that.
Brad Burrow: There was no, after after 9/11 I ran my business the only way we made it as I had gotten line of credit, which I was going to use to try to grow our business and then 9/11 hit and that’s how we made it, honestly. There was no selling any video production for six, eight, nine months probably.
Chad Peterson: I don’t know that I want to dive off into this subject too much, but it might be of interest to your listeners. People don’t really realize, and now I’m getting older, which it’s all that’s all relative, you’re older than I am, but now I’m older and I’m finding it odd that I’m talking to some people that they weren’t even able to know what 911 was. To me that’s strange. But for those that don’t really remember right after 9/11, it was a, I’m going to call it a recession.
Brad Burrow: [inaudible 00:21:33].
Chad Peterson: Maybe a depression. It was a small recession. I remember right after that was the whole hanging Chad ballot box issues. So we had 9/11 and the hanging Chad issue of the false, the messed up voting process. So it was a dark time after 9/11, not only because terrorism had finally hit the Homeland of the United States, which other than Pearl Harbor and it never had done that. People were awakened. People were shocked, people were scared. The economy, clammed up, money got tight and it was a dark time. Everybody remembers ’08 how dark that time was because it was horrible. But ’01 was not too far off of it.
Brad Burrow: Yeah. I’m pretty proud. We as a business, we’re 22 years old. We made it through two of those somehow.
Chad Peterson: That was I was going to say, I don’t know if I want to get too far into that but maybe your listeners want it. For those people, you included my hats off to you because it changes you as a person. If you think it doesn’t, man, you’re fooling yourself. You go through an ’01, which I did, think about it, 2001 I was a commercial pilot flying a plane while 9/11 happened with a career on the line. I lost everything. I lost everything I’d ever worked for. Then in ’08 not to jump subjects, but ’08 by then I had built a multimillion dollar mortgage company. I built the largest mortgage brokerage out there and I got crushed, absolutely crushed like a car smasher does at a salvage yard. I got crushed in ’08.
Brad Burrow: There’s no doing any mortgages after 2008, was it?
Chad Peterson: There was nothing left. It was like they turned off the faucet. So in ’01 they turned off the faucet and aviation for me and really late ’07, ’07 started to get a little tight late ’07, then ’08 it was over.
Brad Burrow: You couldn’t even prepare it for that really, could you? There was no way you knew that was going to happen.
Chad Peterson: There was no way that I knew it was going to happen, no doubt. But more than that, that’s where really my business Peterson Acquisitions was really born because my business, even on an auction block was worth eight to $10 million had I been able to predict it. Some people say that they knew it was coming. I don’t know that they did. Times were going well, rates were great. Mortgages were being sold, the products were being given by the banks. I had a 120 people that were pushing those products. People blame the mortgage people. It’s like, come on. These are the products that the banks were pushing. We’re helping customers obtain them.
Chad Peterson: Long story short of it is, that’s where my business was born because in 2006, actually 2005, I was offered money for my business and I said, I asked myself the question, why would I want to sell my business? I’m making tons of money. Well, I answered my own question. Whenever the market fell out and I could have sold my business on an auction block for eight million to $10 million and I was left with roughly a zero after ’08 give or take a dollar. Roughly zero is what I was left with.
Brad Burrow: Mortgage companies weren’t worth anything after that, were they?
Chad Peterson: No. In fact, I had to let everybody go. We went down to a skeleton crew for a little while because we thought that-
Brad Burrow: Might come back.
Chad Peterson: … something would back. We thought something might come back. Skeleton crew just paying all my overhead. I had five locations that I had just renewed. I had five locations with three year leases that I had just renewed. You can’t just call them and say, “Hey times have changed and I don’t really want that lease anymore.” So I had bills to pay and even though I was making tons of money, if you shut the water off like it did and it’s all over, what do you do then? So my point is that it changes you.
Chad Peterson: You get, I don’t care how brassy you are, how big your balls are, it doesn’t matter. It changes you. You start thinking about how to spend your money, you start thinking about how to grow your business or how not to you start thinking about should I expand my staff? Is there a recession coming? Is there a winter coming to this economy? It changes you and going through it ’01 and an ’08 I believe it’s almost like a soldier having PTSD. If you’re in the self employed world and you’ve made it through ’01 and ’08 you’ve got some PTSD man.
Brad Burrow: Thanks a lot man. That just makes me feel so great right now.
Chad Peterson: Well I think, isn’t that true?
Brad Burrow: Yes you are. It’s exactly right. Because you want to, like right now we’re in it. We’re in a good run right now. But you think about what’s around the corner, what’s around the corner. Am I prepared for that? By God’s grace, have we made it through? I’ll tell you that right now. There is no other way that we made it through. It ain’t because I’m some smart dude cause I’m not, he provided a path forward so I would just being completely transparent, I’d say faith has a big part of what we do here because I know it, I know it’s, it’s happened. I’ve seen it happen over and over again. But man you better just be watching your back if you’re running a business because, “Hey, be happy that the good times are happening, but be prepared because they’re not always going to be that way.”
Chad Peterson: You know how a football rolls down the road and you just don’t know which way it’s going to go?
Brad Burrow: Yeah.
Chad Peterson: I think entrepreneurs are always trying to look at that football and trying to predict which way it’s going. There’s no way to know. It could go left, right straight. It could and you want to predict in the future. You want to say what’s going on and what’s coming up here. Like the Trump bump. We had the Trump bump and everybody knows whether you’re on the left or the right, doesn’t matter.
Chad Peterson: I’m not going there folks. What I’m saying is everybody knows that as soon as Trump got in office, this economy woke up and then it turned from the Trump bump to the Trump train. We’ve been on the Trump train for a long time. Again, don’t care if you’re on the left, don’t care if you’re on the right. But the bottom line is that this economy is screaming right now. How long can that go? Every economy is due for a correction of some sort. I’m not here to predict anything, I’m just saying it’s like watching the football run down the road. You just don’t know which way it’s going to go.
Brad Burrow: It’s going to go one way. We know that and we just don’t know which way it is. So talk a little bit about Peterson Acquisitions. You’ve been through these incredible experiences very unique to you. The background that you’ve been raised in and now here you are helping guys sell their businesses, helping guys get out of corporate America to run their own business. You changed their life, hold their own destiny in their hands, that kind of thing. It’s really amazing. So what made you think, okay, was it the mortgage experience that made you say, I’m going to go do this for myself?
Chad Peterson: Well, it was part of that. It definitely was part that whenever I got my ass kicked by ’08 and I went from being worth eight or $10 million to being totally broke, less than, $0 million, if not less than. Like I said, those words still echo, why would I sell my business? I’m doing so well. Well, the answer is you. You sell your business, when you’re doing well, okay. When you’re doing well is the time to sell. So yeah, passion was that-
Brad Burrow: You learned that lesson the hard way, did you?
Chad Peterson: … I learned that the hard way. You talked about faith earlier. Faith is not always… Faith is seldom painless. The lessons of, and what you’re being prepared for is seldom, if ever painless. So if I look back on my path, to answer your question authentically, you look at my path, my upbringing, and what I’ve been through, and I always put myself in the toughest positions possible. I’m going to challenge myself at every turn, I’m not going to take the easy road.
Chad Peterson: Well, that comes with its lashings and that comes with its pain and it comes with its lessons. I’ve won and I’ve lost. When you talk about failure, I’ve never ultimately had a failure. That’s God’s plan right there. Because all he was doing was preparing me for something else. When I lost that mortgage company because of ’08 when I lost my career in ’01 the pain was tremendous. But all it did is sharpen iron because iron sharpens iron, and it sharpened me to where I’m at right now.
Chad Peterson: So what makes me, who I am is a much greater story. But what makes me passionate about what I’m doing now, which is helping people sell their business, is because I’ve been in these things and they haven’t been, I’m like the guy, they can take you through a walk in the Amazon jungle where there’s snakes and crocodiles and spiders and everything else. I can get you through that jungle safely because I’ve been through it so many times and I’m their guide to get them there. So I’ve been there. I know what I’m doing.
Chad Peterson: I also have gotten a lot of praise for my expertise and I think that keeps people going. You know you’re doing something right whenever people recognize it and tell you, “Hey, you’ve done a really good job for me and you really know what you’re doing.” More than that, whenever you get third party people, like for instance, art Fillmore, who does deals like this for people all over the, he calls me probably quarterly and says, Chad, I just thank you for your expertise and knowing how to do these deals because anytime I do deals with anybody else, they don’t know what they’re doing. I just think I have.
Brad Burrow: He’s see that firsthand.
Chad Peterson: Firsthand. So I’m able to take a buyer and a seller and get them through the process successfully. There’s always bumps and bruises and there are sparks flying and there’s all sorts of stuff. But in the end, people like what I do and I love doing it for them. It’s because of all my experiences. It’s five lifetimes of experience that I’ve got bottled up that I can offer to people and I think I can come to the market with something far greater than my competition.
Brad Burrow: What’s interesting to me is that you go into these situations where expectations are very out of whack it seems like, right?
Chad Peterson: Yes.
Brad Burrow: As business owners, we always think our businesses we’re way more than they probably are. As a buyer, we think of is, is worth way less than we should be paying a lot less. So you’ve got these two sets of expectations that really aren’t right for me there either side, but yet somehow you have to bring those people together in a fair way that when you walk away from the transaction, both parties feel like they got a fair deal. That’s you said impossible.
Chad Peterson: You said it beautifully, and I can’t say it any better than what you just said it, let me tell you where it gets sticky. Where it gets tough is whenever people start relying on their CPA and their attorneys, because what will happen is I’ll talk to a buyer and a seller and I’ll tell the seller, hey, your business is worth, let’s just use $1 million as a round number. Your business is worth $1 million. Oh no, it’s not. My business is worth one point $1.7 million. My accountant said so. Okay.
Chad Peterson: So you called the guy that you pay every year to put together our profit and loss statement and tax returns. Because he says you think it’s worth that? Yeah. What happens whenever I go to the buyer’s accountant? The buyer’s accountant says no, that business isn’t worth that. That’s that business is the one worth 800,000. So what I have to do is, again, I have to use all my knowledge and expertise. Remember I own a mortgage company, so not only that, but I had my own warehouse line.
Chad Peterson: I’ve been a lender before. I understand I have a strong banking background. So what I do is I run numbers and figures and show them how it debt services and all how all the SBA guidelines and the calculations work. Then I have to get somebody who puffs out their chest, adjust their tie and barks at me and says, I got the greatest accountant and the greatest attorney ever. They say that my business is worth this amount and I have to get everybody talked off the ledge to get down into reality. It’s not always fun.
Brad Burrow: Man, you need to have a psychiatrists degree or something like psychology degree to be able to do that.
Chad Peterson: Yeah [inaudible 00:34:46].
Brad Burrow: The mental, their pride and everything, like, this is our baby, we’ve built this baby and you’re now telling me that my baby’s not worth anything or work worth as much.
Chad Peterson: Right. So the secondary part of that is I have to get them past this price tag. So let’s just say you built your business and I tell you it’s worth $1 million and that’s the only thing the SBA is going to stand by. That’s the only number that the bank is going to lend on. Well that can be a sticking point, but if that’s the final deal and that’s all that it’s worth, I have to start getting that person just start thinking about their next adventure.
Chad Peterson: We can’t get stuck on this price tag. So if I gave you $1 million what would you do next? You’re 45 years old. I’m selling your business, I’m putting $1 million in your pocket. How can we take that million dollars and go get you into another business that’s making you $3 million a year? I can do that. So I have to get them past that price tag. Really what it is, is ego and they’ve built it and as their baby and they’re just like, I’m not taking less than X amount. It can be very destructive. It’s a very destructive mindset to have whenever you go to sell your business because it’s only worth what it’s worth.
Brad Burrow: Do you find yourself kind of looking at a seller and evaluating their ability to actually go down the right path in those situations? Like say, look at somebody and say they’re not going to come down on the price. We talked about a company up in a well up North of Kansas city, a restaurant, and a year later they come back to you and say, “Hey, I should listened to you.”
Chad Peterson: Yes, that happens. I want to answer that question this way. People don’t know this, but I fire clients and they never know they’ve been fired. The reason is because I’m going to pick a certain point where I can no longer argue with you. Then I’m just going to agree with you so you can walk off into the sunset and go learn your lesson the hard way. Because if I’m going to tell you what your business is worth, and this is what I do every day and I know the banking guidelines and I know the market, I know how to market them.
Chad Peterson: I also know the dark spots of your business. Every Christmas tree has a Brown spot and every Christmas tree has a spot where you put that corner towards the wall. We don’t look at that side of it. Well, every business does too. I know what holes need to be filled. I know how buyers are going to look at it. I know how banks are going to look at it.
Chad Peterson: If I tell you what it’s worth and we can’t get past that point, I don’t want to be in bed with you, so to speak for the next six months while I sell your business because you’re being so obstinate and petulant about something that you shouldn’t be, that I know I’m not going to build a deal with you for the next six or seven months and get you through a very rigorous, emotional, psychological taxing process to get you through, to sell your business, to get it successfully sold to another buyer and make sure that that buyer is happy and successful.
Chad Peterson: Because remember, when you sell your business, you have to make sure that the buyer has a successful path after you sell your business. If you don’t do that, you’re putting somebody else in peril. I am so, what’s the word? I’m so prideful, so full of pride that I’ve never had a failure. I’ve never had a buyer come to me and say, man, I’m bankrupt. I can’t.
Brad Burrow: You really screwed me on that deal.
Chad Peterson: They’re taking my houses. They’re taking my house, my rental house, my wife and I are divorcing. I’ve never had that. So when you think about somebody who approaches it so militantly about I’m going to take this price, I’m nothing else think what they’re trying to do or how about this, if you think about brokers that are out there trying to promote that they’ll bring in the highest price possible.
Brad Burrow: Which happens all the time, right?
Chad Peterson: Yeah.
Brad Burrow: Every broker says that.
Chad Peterson: Every broker is out there and we’ll get you the highest price possible as because they’re cheap snake oil, cheap suit salesman trying to get you to come in, sign something that says that they’re the only ones that can sell your business and they’re fooling you into a super high price tag scenario. Bottom line is the buck stops at the bank and the bank is going to do what they want to do and you can’t get over it. You can’t get past that. So you’re better off hiring somebody who’s going to shoot you straight to get it to a buyer who’s going to have a successful transition and just watch that legacy grow and get past this huge price tag thing.
Brad Burrow: So we’re going to wrap up here pretty quick here. A couple more quick things here. Let’s say I want to sell my business. What advice would you give to business owners out there maybe hearing this podcast and they’re saying, well, I would consider looking at that or what do I need to do to prepare my business to be sold? You probably hear that all the time.
Chad Peterson: Yeah, I do. The main thing is you want to contact a trusted broker to give you a value today and then look at your business. To make it real simple and easy to answer your question, look at your business and see how you can improve the numbers because it ultimately does come down to the numbers of how much money you’re making. Let’s just say you have too many assets, too much equipment maybe you’ve got some other fat that you could, cut off, like employees that aren’t doing what they need to be doing.
Chad Peterson: Shave some expenses, get lean in Maine. Those kinds of things can come in handy whenever you go to sell your business because if you go to market and you don’t have everything tight, you’re not going to get what you want out of it. So I would just say contact Peterson Acquisitions. We’ll tell you what it’s worth today and to all the audience, to all the listeners in the audience. I’m not in the right now business. So when you go to think about selling your business, it doesn’t have to be right now.
Chad Peterson: It could be in a year from now, but you don’t want to wait too long because you want to know what it’s worth today and you want to not only look at what it’s worth today, but you want to weigh that against your passion. So if you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, you’ll begin to lose profits no matter what you do. If you’re not aligned with what you’re trying to do in your business and you don’t have the passion, the profits will start to slip on the profit and loss statement. It’s almost unavoidable.
Chad Peterson: So I would tell people to call me before they’re ready because what sellers do they’re like, well, I’m not ready yet. Well, if you’ve thought about it, you’re probably ready enough to call me to make sure that your passion is in line with this business and the numbers are there. Because if you wait too long, and this is what people do, they wait way too long and the profit and loss has shown the loss of their passion and now they want me to sell something with declining revenue and that’s tough to do. So call me before you’re ready.
Brad Burrow: Is there a fee for that? How does that work? Tell me how the process works there.
Chad Peterson: That’s a such a wonderful question. It’s probably the best question asked yet. There is no fee and you want to stay away from brokers who charge you upfront because that tells you they don’t have a good enough business. They don’t have a good book of business that they’re asking you to cashflow their operation. I don’t charge you anything.
Chad Peterson: I do all that work for free. I look at your books, I analyze the bankability of it. I give you the cashflow numbers, I give you an appraisal value and I do all that for free. I do probably four or five of them a week for free. I’m not here to run a nonprofit, but what I am here to do is give everybody the fairest shake I can and let them know what their business is worth and what they need to do to get it more sellable and that’s my contribution to those that are looking to sell their business to put my best foot forward.
Brad Burrow: It’s a big risk on your part too. That’s a lot of work you’re putting into somebody that you don’t know if they’re actually going to work with you.
Chad Peterson: Sure. I think that that gives me a window of time to let them know who I am and give them my advice and I don’t charge for it because I want to be somebody who’s viewed as somebody who wants to help them. I don’t need to make all the… I want make my money off of doing good work for good people. That’ll come as long as I do the right things along the way.
Brad Burrow: Yeah, that’s great. I do want to tell everybody, Chad has got a new website done by our buddy Phil Singleton KC Web Pros Web Design and in all transparency we’re doing a lot of video work together and which we’re excited about that. So anyway, you go to the website, petersonacquisitions.com, check it out. There’s a lot of content there to see other testimonials and things that have people that Chad’s worked with. Also, there’s going to be a lot of content on there talking about different aspects of why you should sell your business, different things. So there’ll be more content coming. So check it out. Subscribe. I think you got a new podcast coming out to soon too, right?
Chad Peterson: Yeah, I’m doing a podcast. I’m going to start doing that. To your audience, I’ll give you a little plug here too. It’s no BS. Brad is the top of his game of what he does. If you want to do some storytelling, some branding, some direct messaging to your target audience the highest quality video you can find, a fantastic man, a godly man, and you’ve got you’ve got everything you need here at Real Media, KC, and with who we just mentioned earlier with Phil Singleton between these two, they are, in my opinion, the most powerful marketers on the planet.
Chad Peterson: At least the two most powerful marketers that I have ever met. I’m in business all the time. I’m seeing people and their marketing teams all the time. I have never met such competent, intentional people that are good to their core as Brad Burrow and Phil Singleton and success as almost eminent whenever you start working with these guys. I encourage your audience to start coming to you for all their marketing needs.
Brad Burrow: Well, I appreciate that. Here’s that 20 bucks that I told you I was going to give you.
Chad Peterson: Yeah, I’ll put that in my pocket here.
Brad Burrow: No, problem. I won’t say anything about that. Well, there you have it. It’s Chad Peterson, Peterson Acquisitions and great stuff. I learned a lot about you today, so that’s really, really awesome. Thanks for joining us. It’s a, In a World you want to give me the In a World.
Chad Peterson: I’m not good at that stuff, it’s not a must but.
Brad Burrow: So just try.
Chad Peterson: In a World.
Brad Burrow: Perfect. So there you have it. It’s In a World with Real Media, we’re on iTunes and Spotify and Stitcher and all the major radio.com even we’re on all the major podcast platforms, so be sure to subscribe and that way you’ll get notified when we have new content coming out. So we will talk to you next time. Thanks.