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10 Things Most Celebrity Entrepreneurs Won’t Tell You About Building a Business

March 26, 2021 |  

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Jim Estill is one of the most successful entrepreneurs you’ve probably never heard of.

In 1975, Estill started EMJ Data, a technology distribution company, from the trunk of his car and grew it to $350 million in sales before taking it public.

In 1997, Estill joined the board of Blackberry and stayed through the company’s heyday that ushered in the era of the iPhone.

He then became a partner at CanRock Ventures, a venture capital firm.

In 2015, Estill bought Danby Appliances, the company he currently runs, and has grown it to $400 million in annual sales.

Estill has invested in more than 100 start-ups, and his latest side hustle was an innovative company called ShipperBee.

The best way to think about ShipperBee is to imagine an Uber for your packages. Instead of calling a courier company, a business schedules a pickup with ShipperBee, and it dispatches someone from its network of independent drivers to pick up your package. Those drivers use a chain of lockers ShipperBee calls “hives” to get your package to its destination with a lower carbon footprint than the traditional courier companies.

Estill started the company in 2018. He invested $5 million of his own money and quickly raised another $25 million from friends and family. Over three years, he grew ShipperBee to 150 full-time employees before he sold it in January 2021.

Despite his incredible resume, Estill approached this interview with surprising candor and humility — even sharing a couple of his mistakes in negotiating his exit from ShipperBee. In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How Estill built ShipperBee from the ground up to sell it.
  • Why Estill raised money for ShipperBee despite being able to finance it personally.
  • The critical role patents can play in the value of your business.
  • The choke point in a three-sided market.
  • A nasty trick some acquirers play to attempt to gain leverage over you.
  • A simple strategy to ensure your company is ready to sell at a moment’s notice.
  • The difference between a financial and strategic buyer.
  • The biggest mistake Estill made in selling ShipperBee.
  • The ever-so-fine line between running an assertive process to market your company and overplaying your hand.
  • Why it’s almost always a mistake to name a price for your business (and when it might make sense).

Estill invested more than a million dollars in protecting ShipperBee’s intellectual property by filing a series of patents, giving ShipperBee a competitive moat. We’ll help you figure out how to differentiate yourself from competitive threats in step six of The Value Builder System™ — complete step one for free by answering the Value Builder Score questionnaire. 

Our guest

Jim Estill is CEO of Danby Appliances, a niche manufacturer of specialty appliances, which manufactures and distributes over 2,000,000 appliances per year. Jim Estill is leveraging his tech background to create new markets and products for Danby such as the Parcel Guard.
Jim is a Canadian technology entrepreneur, executive, and philanthropist. He started his first computer distribution business from the trunk of his car while in university and grew that business to $2 Billion in sales. Jim is also the founder of ShipperBee.
Jim has invested in, mentored, and advised over 150 technology companies including Blackberry. He joined their board before they went public and served for 13 years.
Twitter: @jimestill
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimestill/

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Transcript

John Warrillow:

Hey there, it’s John Warrillow. Listen, if you’re brand new to Built to Sell Radio, welcome, it’s good to have you along for the ride. We’ve been doing the show now for five years. I’ve interviewed literally a different entrepreneur every week for the past five years. I’ve taken some of their best practices, their tips and tricks and negotiation hacks, and distilled them all into a field guide. It’s a book called The Art of Selling Your Business. It is a little bit of a recipe card for you to punch above your weight when it comes to negotiating with an acquire.

John Warrillow:

You can get it at builttosell.com/self. Do you remember back in high school when you got busted for not doing your homework? Well, today, I got thoroughly busted because as you’re about to hear in this upcoming interview, I had no idea who Jim Estill is and was. When I actually got into this interview, as you’ll hear, I got really caught off guard by how much he invested in starting this little company we’re going to talk about called ShipperBee. Well, I then came to learn about Jim’s resume and it is … Blow your mind incredible.

John Warrillow:

He starts a company called EMJ Data, builds it up to $350 million in annual revenue before taking it public and ultimately getting it acquired by another Fortune 500 company. He then goes to sit on the board of BlackBerry around the time that Barack Obama is starting to use the BlackBerry device. He, literally, ushered in the entire iPhone era of using smart devices. He is a venture capitalist. He’s invested in more than 100 businesses. He’s also bought Danby appliances, which today generates some $400 million in annual sales. That’s not the company we chose to talk about.

John Warrillow:

Three years ago, Jim had a little idea and it was to start a company called ShipperBee, and I’ll let him describe the business to you. He went from a standing start three years later to 150 employees when he decided to sell the business. To hear the entire story, is the one, the only, Jim Estill. Jim Estill, welcome to Built to Sell Radio.

Jim Estill:

Thanks for having me.

John Warrillow:

Tell me a little bit about ShipperBee. What does this company do?

Jim Estill:

ShipperBee is a courier business, but it’s a new courier that uses technology to deliver parcels. It’s just like UPS or FedEx ordering business to consumer products.

John Warrillow:

When you say technology, my mind, all of a sudden, goes to drones. I think of Amazon and the drones dropping off the parcel on the doorstep and flying away. Is that the technology you’re talking about?

Jim Estill:

No. I mean, ultimately, I suppose it could be drone ready, but no. The technology is rather than going hub-and-spoke, which is the old courier model, someone picks up a parcel in Guelph, it goes to sort center in Mississauga, then back to Kitchener. Rather, we put a whole bunch of mini sort centers. We call them hives, because the name of the company is ShipperBee. Things simply hop from hive to hive to hive, as opposed to going to a sort center. The computers do the sorting and the tracking instead of people doing the sorting.

John Warrillow:

Okay. This is interesting. Because I’m a little familiar with the kind of FedEx business model, where they have these regional shipping hubs where stuff gets … I go back. What’s the Tom Hanks movie, we get stuck on the island, The Castaway?

Jim Estill:

I don’t remember.

John Warrillow:

Okay. I go back to that. Well, there’s a movie called … I think it’s called Castaway, Tom Hanks. He’s like a FedEx guy and they walk through these distribution centers where they’re taking all the parcels and moving along with conveyor belts and stuff like that. I’m starting to get a little sense of what it does. These hives, are they physical locations that you …

Jim Estill:

Yeah. They’re physical hives. They look a lot like Amazon lockers or lockers that people put things up. When people see them, they instantly think, oh, you’re a locker company, you’re for me to go pick up my parcels. No, we’re not a locker company. In this case, the lockers are used as transfer points so that the driver drops off parcels and other driver picks up the parcels and it works a little like a pony express. Doing it the way we do it, we could actually save 71.3% of the greenhouse gas per parcel ship. There’s a greenhouse gas savings.

Jim Estill:

We’re not backtracking like normal hub-and-spoke. Hub-and-spoke was invented, I think, in the ’60s or ’70s, and it was revolutionary. Then all of a sudden, but that technology back then didn’t have the ability to do what technology can do now. Everything right now is an app, and every driver has an app. We also use gig economy drivers. That’s another part of our model, which is not normal in the hub-and-spoke model. You could be a driver, drive for two hours later in the day whenever you want it to.

John Warrillow:

Got it. What was the business model? How did you guys make money?

Jim Estill:

We would sell to businesses who we pick up 50 parcels at a business or 100 parcels at a business and we would distribute them to hives and then drivers would pick them up at hive, deliver them to other hives, some would pick up from those hives and deliver them to the end customer. All the customer knows is you place an order on a dotcom site and you got your parcel the next day, just like you do when you order from Amazon or whatever. We were just moving the parcels differently. It was mostly business to consumer, some business to business.

Jim Estill:

I could ship you a product that could be picked up at my business, go to your business, but it’s not consumer shipping. You would not ship … We’re not going to pick up something at your house. We only pick up from businesses.

John Warrillow:

Got it, okay. Let’s say I’m a swimming pool manufacturing company and I ship pumps to all my swimming pool retailers. I might use ShipperBee to ship the …

Jim Estill:

That’s exactly …

John Warrillow:

… pumps through the network. One question I have is, there are all these points of failure along the way or, in my mind, potential points of failure where you have these hives that are different drivers along the way and not all ShipperBee employees. Was that a risk that you thought about in terms of like …

Jim Estill:

Well …

John Warrillow:

Do you know what I mean? Do you know where I’m getting at?

Jim Estill:

Of course. That was an objection to the business. It’s the same as FedEx. FedEx driver that picks up at your office is not the FedEx driver that delivers it to the end destination. It gets picked up by one FedEx driver, drop to a hub, which gets sorted by other employees, which, again, you don’t know it goes through multiple hands. It may go on to a transport truck that goes to another mini sort, then it goes to a truck and gets delivered. It’s already going through the same number of hands, often less hands, because we’re shortening the distance.

Jim Estill:

People also try to make this a distinction. Our gig economy drivers go through the same background check as you do, as a FedEx driver. Why would a FedEx driver be more honest than a gig driver? There is no reason. You have the same thing. Plus in a new economy, drivers all get rated where I’m not sure that FedEx has the ability to rate to say, wait a minute, this truck driver seems to have greater loss than this other truck driver. The grading also happens, starts right at the business that ships.

Jim Estill:

They say, yes, the driver is polite and all the way through to the consumer who gets this, says, yes, the driver is polite and did a good job on delivery. Grading has been shown to create a better quality of employee, which when Uber started, that’s why people say, Uber, they’re pretty polite. They get graded, like how come the taxi driver doesn’t keep their taxi clean? Because it was kind of a monopoly they didn’t need to. Now you don’t be really getting an Uber that’s not pretty clean, because they know that I’m going to give them bad rating if it’s trashed.

John Warrillow:

These hives are in relative anonymity, right? Because if I’m the swimming pool company, I can, I guess, rate my driver who picks up the pumps and says, yeah, you look like a decent guy or gal or whatever. Then it goes to a hive, which is then not topical object like it’s not a person.

Jim Estill:

That’s correct. The Hive has the camera on it, so we can see the driver drop it off. The hive has a check weigh system. The hive says, oh, you dropped off a 10-pound parcel. Then the next driver picks it up, they scan the parcel, but it says you picked up 10 pounds. The hive beeps, the screenshot says, wait a minute, you didn’t pick up 10 pounds, you picked up 12 pounds. There’s camera continuity. We GPS track the driver so we can know exactly where your pool pump is along the 401, which is better than most couriers right now. It actually is less hands touching the parcel because they didn’t want soiling their parcel.

John Warrillow:

I love this business. You’re blowing my mind right now. I feel like I’ve never heard of this technology. You’re blowing my mind that it’s such a thing. This is great. Because, of course, I’ve heard of Uber and Airbnb and all the other gig economy apps out there. This is really for business-to-business shipping. It’s very equivalent.

Jim Estill:

It’s this business to consumer.

John Warrillow:

Wow.

Jim Estill:

It’s delivery to consumer. The hives are located all along the interstate. The hives are located on the 401. I would say, on my app, I’m going to Toronto. I would, say, pickup at Highway 6 in the 401, pick up 14 parcels and I’m going off of Mississauga Road. Going off on the off-ramp, drop off these 14 parcels to a hive. Someone would say, I’ve got two hours to kill, go into their app, and they say, great, pick up 42 parcels at Mississauga Road in the 401 and deliver them to these subdivisions.

John Warrillow:

I love this. Jim, where was ShipperBee operating? A lot of our listeners are outside of … They’d be in different places all around the world, and some mostly in the United States. Some people won’t know these references to Mississauga and 401, even though we know those, because we both share the same geography. Where was ShipperBee operating?

Jim Estill:

Geographically, we were Greater Toronto Area.

John Warrillow:

Got it.

Jim Estill:

Because you are in Toronto, you will know when I say Oshawa through Barrie, through Niagara Falls, through London. That was the geography that we were doing, but it’s the Greater Toronto Area. It’s what we were. The plan is and was to spread that across North America, because the same technology, the beauty of technology, once you’ve got the technology, it doesn’t matter whether you dump it in New York City or Cleveland, it’s all the same. We learned that the technology or that this solution works best in suburban areas, best in the suburbs.

Jim Estill:

It doesn’t work as well in the metro areas. Because you might be in downtown Toronto, but you probably don’t want to deliver parcels in Downtown Toronto because you have to find a place to park and [inaudible 00:11:53].

John Warrillow:

I would need to drink heavily.

Jim Estill:

Exactly. This one is good where if I have to live in the suburbs and this little community at Guelph and you just park on the curb and drop the parcel at my house and park at my park driveway and [inaudible 00:12:07], right?

John Warrillow:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it. Okay. Now I’m clear on the business. That’s cool. It sounds expensive to get off the ground. I think about these other gig economy companies like Airbnb, Uber. I mean, they have raised truckloads of money to create what they’ve created. What was the capital structure of ShipperBee like? How did you accumulate the money to get this thing off the ground?

Jim Estill:

I put $5 million in and we raised another 20. We had about 25 million in capital to launch and do the business. That was the capital structure.

John Warrillow:

That’s a big nut, that’s a big check for you to write. What was that like? Have you ever written a check that big to fund an idea effectively?

Jim Estill:

I have. I started my first business from the trunk of my car, and I grew it to a couple billion in sales, and I sold it. Then I did a lot of angel and venture capital. I’m comfortable. Entrepreneurs take risks.

John Warrillow:

Sure.

Jim Estill:

This is calculated risk. We’re doing what we said we were going to do. The way calculated risk works, some of them work, as you know, and some of them don’t work. You’ve got your winners, you’ve got your losers, and that’s just the nature of entrepreneurship.

John Warrillow:

You had $25 million dollars as a startup capital, 5 of which you kicked in. The other 20, was that VC or …

Jim Estill:

It’s kind of angel capital, but it was largely for friends and family. It’s largely friends and family. There was a couple of VC firms in it, but I wouldn’t call it a traditional VC route, if that makes sense.

John Warrillow:

Okay. You’ve obviously had tremendous financial success. Why not do it all yourself? If I’m your friend or family member and you come to me and say, hey, I got this idea for ShipperBee. I know you’ve had success in the past.

Jim Estill:

My main …

John Warrillow:

Did you get people turn around and say, hey, Jim, if you think that’s such a great idea, why don’t you take the flyer on it?

Jim Estill:

My main problem, again, being an entrepreneur’s I’m basically fully invested. I bought my company Danby appliances about five years ago, and that used up almost all of my working capital. Because Danby appliances, which is a business which I currently run today, currently have today, it’s a $400 million manufacturer of appliances. You realize the amount … Well, I can let you figure out the amount that I would have paid for that is not insignificant and the working capital required to run a client’s company is not small either. Basically, I had most of my money tied up in this. For what it’s worth, I’ve seen so often that most entrepreneurs do have a lot of their money and a lot of their resources tied up.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, yeah. Got it, okay. You got this nest egg, $25 million to build ShipperBee. The economics here are the individual business pays ShipperBee to move the package through these hives to their end. It’s a per shipment payment?

Jim Estill:

Yeah, yes, exactly.

John Warrillow:

How big did you get this business? How much revenue did you have? Or give me a sense of a proximity for how big it became.

Jim Estill:

We were moving about 6000 parcels a day. We have 150 employees. I can let you do the math on it. I mean, parcels sell in the $10 range, a little bit less. We’ve scaled at some, but not massive. It had the ability to scale in a massive way because the parcel industry is growing in leaps and bounds. There’s not enough capacity in the parcel industry. The parcel industry needs capacity. I mean, that’s the other beauty of that business. Unlike my Danby appliances, if I want to sell more bar fridges, then you have to buy less LG and Samsung bar fridges. It doesn’t tend to be a market where there’s unsatisfied demand. Actually, that’s not true. Appliances, right now, you can’t get fridges and freezers because everyone’s pandemic, but that’s another story.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. I’m doing the math. 6000 parcels a day, is that what you said? 6000 parcels a day?

Jim Estill:

Yeah.

John Warrillow:

Ballpark, 10 bucks a parcel, $60,000 a day, 1,000,008, if I’m doing my math right, I was never that good in math, a month, 20 million a year. If we want to just be ballparking it, if …

Jim Estill:

Ballpark-ish, yeah.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, okay, got it. That’s super helpful. My grade eight math teacher is clapping right now. He’s saying, see, buddy, I knew you could do it. 150 employees, are those contract employees moving stuff through the hives? Are those full-time employees working in the technology and stuff?

Jim Estill:

That was full time employees.

John Warrillow:

Got you, okay. How long did you have the business from startup to the point where you grown to 20 million or ballpark 150 employees?

Jim Estill:

Three years. It took us three years to grow to the size we were before we sold.

John Warrillow:

I feel like you’re the Elon Musk of Canadian business that I’ve never heard of you. Why is that possible? How is that possible? You have a $400 million appliance company, you scaled a business like 250 employees in three years. Am I living under a rock? Or do you keep a low profile intentionally?

Jim Estill:

I don’t know whether I do or not. Well, now that I’m on your show, you see that will change. What I’m doing is not Elon Musk scale. I’m doing things on a much smaller scale. There’s gazillions of us out there that do think that.

John Warrillow:

Well, I think it’s incredible. Three years, amazing. Okay. I mean, as I hear the story, part of me is thinking like, this is a game-changing technology. If this works in the Greater Toronto Area, there’s thousands of Torontos out there. They could equally work as well in the San Francisco Bay Area or the suburbs around New York. I mean, this could scale. You said that was part of your vision? What changed? Why sell, I guess, is my question?

Jim Estill:

Well, I guess I could say we built the business to sell. I always knew we would sell. Because as I said, I have Danby appliances, I already have my $400 million company. I built it deliberately, but it’s a spin-out of Danby appliances. Danby appliances makes a product which is a smart personal mailbox. When you get a parcel delivered to your front porch, the UPS driver puts it in, it sends you an email or a text. They can look on the camera and see who’s there. That same technology is what we used in the hives. The hives have the same camera, same much of the similar.

Jim Estill:

It was incubated at Danby, but it’s a completely different business. We’re not selling appliances. We’re selling shipping. It was deliberately set up to do that. Although you say, oh yeah, $25 million is a lot, but you acknowledge that Airbnb and Uber had many, many multiples of that. That’s what you would need to scale this across North America or even across Canada. You need multiples of that, because the hives are not free to build. I mean, they’re a few thousand dollars, $3,500 each, and to do North America, 10,000 eyes.

Jim Estill:

I mean, pretty soon, it adds up to … You can blow through $100 million pretty easily, $200 million. The other issue in all technology companies is speed. ShipperBee was enough out there that enough people could see and someone could say, hey, I’m going to go and do this in Minneapolis. Then you need to figure out how do you make a hive and you have to … You’re best at when you’re on a technology company to make it, so that your technology is big, broad, and pervasive so that someone can’t go and copy you. Another part of our business is we had many patents.

Jim Estill:

That’s another attraction to a company buying a company like a ShipperBee. They don’t to run into the patents to say, oh, I when we go to do our little transfer mailboxes, we’re going to hit a patent.

John Warrillow:

What did you patent?

Jim Estill:

Well, we patent the process. We patent many points around the hive. We patented multiple things. We have 20 patents in the works.

John Warrillow:

What did you spend on creating patents? If you could ballpark it, are we talking hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars? Ballpark it for me.

Jim Estill:

Little millions.

John Warrillow:

Little millions, yeah. That was clearly something you were focused on. Was protecting some of the methodology associated with the hives?

Jim Estill:

Yes. Because when you sell a company like this, one of the things you sell is you’re selling your intellectual property. Because any company is buying to say, well, we don’t want your company, we’ll just go do it ourselves. Then you say, oh, we’re going to go do it ourselves, but then someone’s going to sue us for patent infringement. Oh, we’re stealing these ideas, we can’t do it. In a way, it’s a barrier. It’s only one thing, but it’s one thing in addition to all of the other things that people want.

Jim Estill:

The number of parcels we’re shipping per day is actually not that meaningful, that someone’s going to say, oh, I want that revenue. Because 6000 parcels, it’s just not that meaningful, especially for a big courier company. If you said that to UPS or FedEx, they’d say like, that’s a big yawn, right?

John Warrillow:

Right, right. Okay. Back to my question, which I’ve forgotten your answer to. That’s my bad. What was the impetus to sell? You mentioned you were always building to sell. Was there a straw that broke the camel’s back or something that happened that made you want to sell?

Jim Estill:

Okay. Part of our issue, we, obviously, hit COVID. COVID changed the model and made it shortened our runway, because our costs went up. That was an issue. The other thing, when you go into business, you make a lot of assumptions. What we learned is some of our assumptions were not right. It was going to take us longer to get past those assumptions. The biggest assumption in the parcel delivery business is density. You make very, very good money if you deliver 100 parcels in Woodstock. You don’t make very good money if you deliver three parcels in Woodstock.

John Warrillow:

Woodstock, by the way, for folks listening is a tiny little outcropping between Toronto and London, Ontario, I think. Anyways, doesn’t matter. It’s a small town.

Jim Estill:

Population of 30,000 to 35,000. It’s a nice small town. Bottom line is, parcel density allows you to … It’s one of the assumptions. We did not get to the parcel density we wanted to. The other reason to sell is the speed thing, as I said, speed and cost scale. In the case of selling Torstar, Torstar is a perfect buyer because they have excess resources. They have trucks driving with newspapers that are half empty. Well, they can put parcels in them. They have trucks coming back empty. They can put parcels in them.

Jim Estill:

They have 1500 gig economy people delivering newspapers. It makes sense for them to get those people more work. They already had a lot of core already built that we could leverage on where … It’s just a win-win.

John Warrillow:

For folks listening, Torstar stands for Toronto Star. It’s the largest metro newspaper in the Toronto Area. It’d be like just a big news metro newspaper trying to reinvent itself in many ways given the digital adoption.

Jim Estill:

Torstar owns I don’t know how many. I’m going to say 60 or 100 regional newspapers.

John Warrillow:

That’s right.

Jim Estill:

They own newspapers right across Canada, that they are delivering to home residential addresses. This business can scale for them right across Canada. Of course, the traditional newspaper business is under siege, under fire. It fits that they would …

John Warrillow:

Gosh.

Jim Estill:

… logical that they should do something more.

John Warrillow:

What a beautiful little strategic fit. When did you come to think of Torstar as being a natural acquire, having that strategic rationale or thesis, if you will? When did you come to think about that?

Jim Estill:

They were not even on my radar when we started the business. I always thought we would exit to either a FedEx or UPS. I thought we could exit to an Uber, because Uber has a lot of gig economy people, thought we could exit to Airbnb. Those sorts of players could exit to an Amazon. Torstar announced, I think it was in October or November of 2020, that they were entering the parcel business. They only said they we’re going to enter. When they said they were going to enter, I said, well, sure, that’s very entrepreneurial for a very large newspaper.

Jim Estill:

I have no idea how many employees, but you’re talking 500 or 1000 employee. It’s very, very entrepreneurial of them. It made total logical sense. Our system works even better for them than any other courier because they’re just starting and they’re open. One of the problems you have is people don’t tend to disrupt themselves, because they’re already doing things a certain way. It’s not easy to embrace some new way of doing things. Where Torstar, they weren’t as ingrained doing what they do.

Jim Estill:

One issue that we had in our business is … Part of the problem is you have a three-sided marketplace. One side is the shippers. You need to have enough shipping volume, but you need to have enough drivers. Because if you signed you tomorrow and you’re going to ship 1000 parcels …

John Warrillow:

Sure.

Jim Estill:

… and you don’t have enough drivers, so you have to balance those two sides. The third side is hive placements. Do we have enough hives in the right places? Well, Torstar also has places where they already dropped their newspapers with relationships with various landlords, so it fits well also from that point of view. Because their trucks already dropping newspapers somewhere to drop some parcels, to pick up some parcels, and the hive is perfect for them. Because unattended …

John Warrillow:

Sure.

Jim Estill:

… standalone units with the cameras and stuff like that. See, a lot of the newspapers right now are dropped on someone’s porch. They’re dropped where someone essentially could steal them. You’re not going to do that with parcels. You want to have more security.

John Warrillow:

Sure. I want to put things back in reverse for a second because I want to go back. Because we’ve gone down the route of talking about Torstar strategic rationale, which I think is beautiful. Man, it’s like peanut butter and jelly fit. Before we dive too far into that, I want to go back. You mentioned COVID was a game-changer. A lot of these business-to-business shipments, I guess maybe I don’t want to say that. In what way did COVID impact the business?

Jim Estill:

Well, when COVID happened, we turned over almost 100% of our drivers. Most of our drivers were retired people, and they signed up for what they thought was a safe gig, go make a little bit of spending money, and then all of a sudden, you said, ooh, there’s might be some danger here because you’re doing that. We had a challenge with COVID, just the same as other business had a challenge with COVID. There was lots more parcels out there that are being shipped, of course, but at the same time, parcel prices did not go up much.

Jim Estill:

We ended up with higher costs to deliver parcels. I mean, one of our assumptions was, if you get a background check, which costs almost $100, that you’ll deliver 1000 parcels over the … That assumption was wrong. If you only get your background check and deliver 50 parcels, in which case, all of a sudden, it costs a lot per parcel.

John Warrillow:

I mean, I’m assuming the business at this stage is still bleeding cash. It’s only three years in. You’re growing like a hockey stick. You’re not profitable, are you, at this point or …

Jim Estill:

No. I’m still losing money.

John Warrillow:

Okay. You’re bleeding cash. Were you at a point where you had to make a move, either raise more money or did you still have tons of money in the bank? Where were you at financially at this point?

Jim Estill:

We still had money in the bank. We had what we always call, what’s our runway? We had almost a year runway that we keep going, but we couldn’t sustain our growth rate and still have a year’s cash. I know enough about raising cash. You don’t want to raise cash when you need to raise cash or else you’ll be in trouble. You don’t actually want to sell when you need to sell or else you’re going to be in trouble. Because if I couldn’t sustain it for another two weeks, then the buyers going to buy it for nothing because … Not only that, the buyers, when they buy, they have access to this stuff. There’s Data room and they can see what your finances are …

John Warrillow:

Sure.

Jim Estill:

… and they’re not stupid. As a matter of fact, one trick that buyers often I’ve seen done is they look at, and so you can only last another two months. We’ll just slow this down and wait until you crash into the ground. That’s where I had to speak with bravado. I’ll just keep funding this thing forever, and check me out on the internet. You’ll see I can do that. Get that one off the table. That’s not a negotiation point for them.

John Warrillow:

Love it. Love it. Okay. Let me see if I’m hearing you correctly and just feel free to correct me if I’ve misunderstood. You grow like crazy. You have this idea, you raise money given your pedigree and all of … You put in your own money and raise additional money. The business grows really, really fast in three years. You reach a bit of an inflection point where you realize that potentially you made a bit of a miscalculation in the importance of density in the model. Equally, COVID comes as a black swan, totally unexpected, and your drivers turnover. There’s turmoil. You look ahead and say, I’ve got a year’s worth of money here, I could continue on. You must have also felt a bit of uneasiness about continuing on. Maybe help me …

Jim Estill:

Possibly, there’s uneasiness [inaudible 00:31:12]. Part of the issue is a years’ worth of runway when it’s January 1st, no company in this business is going to buy anything in January, February. Because December is the biggest month. They’re coming off of September, October, November, December, and then all of a sudden, sort of rest in January. That’s why the timing of this. We would have had just barely enough cash to live to an exit in January of 2022. That’s one issue.

Jim Estill:

The other thing, when you build a business with the purpose of selling, I don’t have the same attachment that many entrepreneurs have to their businesses. Because I don’t even live and breathe this. I’m CEO of Danby appliances and I happen to be CEO at ShipperBee. I don’t know. My job, my ego, my life doesn’t change a lot because I’m not CEO of ShipperBee, I was always CEO of Danby appliances. That’s a difference between my business and someone else’s. I was deliberately building this to sell right from the start.

Jim Estill:

When we build a business to sell, we also build it in such a way … For instance, we had the Data room fully operational every single month. Anytime there’s new articles on the company, new leases sign, new anything, then everything goes in the Data room. When it’s time for someone to do some due diligence, it’s like, yeah, here’s the keys to the data room, because it’s current. Where when I’ve sold other businesses in the past, it’s like, oh, no, now we have to go and find all of our employment agreements and all of our leases and all of our legal agreements and all of our file, our financial statements, and everything.

Jim Estill:

Let’s build the data room. It doesn’t sound much, but it can take a month, it can take six weeks, who got this agreement, who’s got that agreement. If you’re not building the business to sell, you can also end up with some ugly stuff that’s in the middle of things, if that makes sense. Because you’re just doing things entrepreneurially and you may be doing things that aren’t right on target, if that makes sense.

John Warrillow:

Sure. I just want to go back to something you said earlier, the best time to sell a business like this is December. Just want to clarify, were you saying that most M&A deals, irrespective of industry, get done in the fourth quarter, or in your case, because of the way the shipping is going?

Jim Estill:

No. I couldn’t say that you can’t sell a business in the fourth quarter in the parcel shipping business. Because in courier business, the parcel volume is so high in the fourth quarter. Everyone’s spending their time on that. You could sell it in the first, second, third quarter. You can’t sell it in the fourth quarter. We were going to run out of cash about the fourth quarter. You’re kind of the whatever. To some extent, you’re also coming off pretty good numbers because you just came off by December, and look at our parcel volume in December, where we knew and know sales or parcel volume is going to be down in January, February, March, because eCommerce sales are down in January, February, March.

John Warrillow:

Again, prior to COVID hitting and the drivers turning over and the discovery of the density issue, did you have any sense of what it might be worth? Were you working on any assumptions relative to a multiple of revenue that you were … Nah, maybe we could get X? Did you have any sense of that?

Jim Estill:

Well, the problem you have when you’re selling a business, you always have lofty valuations and the ranges are incredible, from not much to a lot a lot. There are some multiple of revenue. There’s a multiple of number of customers or number of parcels in the parcel industry, because it’s parcel industry. Multiple patents or multiple R&D is another way that some companies are sold. It really depends on the buyer and how they choose to value.

John Warrillow:

I mean, you’re admittedly like a highly sophisticated business person, you must have had some sense of how the company would be valued. Did you think it was going to be a multiple patents or were you thinking of multiple parcels shipped? You must have had a sense of that.

Jim Estill:

My sense would be it would be at multiple parcels shipped. Multiple R&D cements it a little bit. Whenever I sell a business, I always look for a synergistic buyer …

John Warrillow:

Sure.

Jim Estill:

… as opposed to a financial buyer. We could sell to a private equity firm, who then goes … Then what they’re going to do is they’re just going to try to make a markup by selling it to a strategic buyer. A strategic buyer, like in this case, Torstar, we’re able to use capacity that they have that surplus, that it’s just so win-win, so easy-easy for them to do things at a lower cost than what we could. As a seller, our job is to try to get them to pay some of that value, as opposed to them taking all of that value.

Jim Estill:

Having synergies also allows you to not fight over the little stuff, if that makes sense. It’s like if I can buy your house, and I know I can turn it into a hotel and sell it for $20 million, and I’m not going to sweat that you’ve got a little leak in the roof because like that … Okay, great, we’ll fix that. It’s going to cost …

John Warrillow:

The roofs giving up, anyways.

Jim Estill:

Exactly. Exactly. I’m a big believer in selling to a synergistic buyer as opposed to a straight financial buyer.

John Warrillow:

Got it. When we get to multiple of parcels shipped, what were you seeing from other deals that you might have as a multiple parcels shipped?

Jim Estill:

That’s another issue. In our industry, we didn’t see very many companies sell. There was not a good guide on even a multiple of parcels or multiple of R&D. I guess, to some extent, I even changed my story here, we sold on synergistic value. What’s the value to the buyer? How much can they turn this into how quickly? In the end, all valuations come back to some discounted cash flow, except as you point out, we weren’t making money. A synergistic buyer can easily and quickly make money, because they don’t have to do more background checks on their 1500 drivers, which they already have.

John Warrillow:

They already have, yeah.

Jim Estill:

They don’t have to add more cost to drop these parcels at hives because they’ve got trucks that are driving by anyways. They don’t have to pay much for the space for the landlords to place the hives or the transfer points because they already have relationships with them. There’s so many synergies that they have and expenses that they don’t have, which they can use. There’s other synergies that a newspaper has. They’re actually in the newspaper business, they’re in the flyer business. They can actually go to Best Buy and say, oh, we can ship your dotcom shipment [crosstalk 00:38:13] …

John Warrillow:

Sure, there’s tons of [crosstalk 00:38:15].

Jim Estill:

… full-page ad in our newspaper and this was over from our full-page ad in the newspaper doesn’t cost that much. They had a lot of synergies on the selling front as well.

John Warrillow:

Yup, I can see that, for sure. Just to go back to this valuation piece, my sense is, again, correct me if I’m misinterpreting, is that you were very much taking the view that let the buyer arrive at a valuation that there just weren’t benchmarks for you to work from to the extent that you felt …

Jim Estill:

That is correct. You had asked me what mistakes do we make in the negotiation, and one mistake that we made in the negotiation, this is a tough one, when you suggested price, that is often an anchor that people use. Our mistake was making the anchor price too low.

John Warrillow:

Okay, that’s interesting.

Jim Estill:

I mean, the house example is a perfect example. You say you’re going to sell your house for a million dollars, that’s my anchor price. I might come in and say, great, I’ll offer you 1.1 and know that the deal close are close. Okay, I’m going to lowball you. I’ll offer 950, and then you say, but that’s the range. It would be highly unlikely that you’d say a million dollars for your house. I say, oh, great, I’ll pay you two. It doesn’t work that way. Now, it is possible though, if you say, oh, you want to sell your house for five million, I’d say, okay, John, maybe I’ll just go look at any of the other thousand houses because that’s not even happening.

Jim Estill:

You could scare the buyer away by too high of an anchor price. I believe, in this case, we anchored our price too low, partly because the synergistic values were not … We had not thought them through as much until we start drilling into it. Right now, I explained it to you and say, oh yeah, I get it. You should have known all of that. You’re right, we should have known all of that. It was not as instantly apparent as it became over time on what their synergies are.

John Warrillow:

Okay. I want to get into that, because I think that’s a really meaty piece to dig into. Prior though, there is an obvious question that is coming to mind, which is, how did you raise 20 million bucks? Which to a lot of people listening to this be like, wow, that’s a lot of money to raise. How did you raise money without some form of benchmark valuation in mind without saying, and we can, by the way, exit this business for Y dollars down the road because this is the valuation in the shipping game. How did you raise money without a sense of what companies were going to trade at down the road?

Jim Estill:

Well, back then, you’re basically selling off a PowerPoint. You’re saying, here’s what we’re going to do. Then people say, well, the reason that we think you’ll do it is because you’ve done it before, and you’ll do it. As it turns out, one of the slides in the deck is, if we got 1% of the increase in the shipping volume, not 1% of the shipping volume, 1% of the increase in shipping volume, for three years, it’s a billion dollar company, billion dollars of sales company. That was enough to anchor that this is going to be a big play, not a little play.

Jim Estill:

The investors that go into something, if I’m selling you something based on a PowerPoint, you are not going into it and saying, okay, great, you’re going to make a 12% return, you’re going to make a 6% return. No. 6% return is when I show you real estate play or something that’s boring in slow growth and has revenue and whatnot. The investors were, I’m going to say largely technology investors, largely high fliers find the next unicorn, not just single digit returns, they were …

John Warrillow:

You are shooting for the fences, and they were like …

Jim Estill:

They’re shooting batting for the fences, exactly.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, yeah. Okay, got it. That’s super helpful. You’re figuring you don’t have to sell, but one option is to sell because you’re going to run out of cash by Q4, and that’s not a great time to sell. What did you do next? I mean, did you hire an M&A advisor? Did you shop it yourself? What was the next step you took?

Jim Estill:

I did not hire an M&A advisor, and yes, I shopped it myself. However, I’m not sure I would recommend that for everyone else. I just happen to have bought a lot of businesses and sold a lot of businesses. I have a lot of experience in buying and selling businesses. Of course, I might have done better using an advisor, but I did not use an advisor at all.

John Warrillow:

Who did you go to in the long list of folks you approached? I’m assuming you went to the shipping companies.

Jim Estill:

Yes. We went to the shipping companies. We got down the path with a number of them. What happens when you go to sell a company? You get the door slammed in your face quickly by some companies. If you ask what are some of the mistakes we made, we might have done better had we left the doors open longer. We were an assumptive sales and we are going to sell the company. Here it is if you’re interested in talking, talk, if you’re not interested in talking, then we didn’t try to sell them into this. That’s how we did that.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, it sounds like you almost gave him an ultimatum. You played your hand fairly forcefully, as opposed to, hey, let’s do a partnership.

Jim Estill:

We played our hand forcefully. I think to some extent, helps if you have credibility, you say you’re going to do it, then they say, oh, well, you’re going to do it. You say what you’re going to do, you’re going to do, and that’s better than playing poker and thinking, well, maybe he’s bluffing.

John Warrillow:

In a way, they called you. Some of these guys said, okay, Jim, you’re so confident you’re going to sell. Well, go sell it. That was their reaction?

Jim Estill:

Exactly. I found also selling our business to traditional couriers. Often, people don’t want to disrupt themselves. If I said, oh, here’s a different thing that’s not called podcasting that’s completely different than what you do, that might not best thing to sell to you just because you’re so used to doing podcasts.

John Warrillow:

Sure.

Jim Estill:

I think that I hadn’t fully calculated that in the exit plans.

John Warrillow:

Okay. The shipping companies were one constituency. Who else did you go to on the long list?

Jim Estill:

We went to some of the parcel people that ship parcels as well and a couple of the gig economy people, but we didn’t push much at all. If people would talk, and I went to people that I had warm intros to, not necessarily just completely wild out of the blue. It wasn’t almost always have one entry. We got into conversations with a few different parties. Although we sold Torstar, the interesting thing is we’ve retained some of the intellectual property that we may sell again to one of the other courier companies, which is extremely win-win. I love it when you could sell a business twice.

John Warrillow:

Yeah. That sounds great. How many folks did you get into some … Let’s call them serious conversations where you signed the NDA and you’re sharing …

Jim Estill:

We got into conversations with three parties.

John Warrillow:

Three, okay. Did you get all the way to a letter of intent from three?

Jim Estill:

No. Got into a letter of intent with one. I’m sure Torstar is going to listen to this, but, yes, we got into a letter of intent with one. I would have preferred to have more buyers. We retained with some of the intellectual property, which means we are … It’s interesting, because we actually have an ability to sell some of that again and that’s very win-win for us.

John Warrillow:

For sure. With these three folks, you’re obviously having conversations. Torstar is the one that presented their LOI. You mentioned this mistake of anchoring your price. At what point in the conversations with Torstar did the specter of valuation come up? How did it come up that you would put a price on the business?

Jim Estill:

It comes up relatively quickly, and that’s healthy for both the seller and the buyer. Because you don’t want me to come in and inspect your home, send my home inspector in, come back with my wife, come back with my kids, come back and visit it 18 times, and then find out, oh, you want five million for your house. I thought we were going to buy something for 950. Sizing it up front, it’s worthwhile for both parties to at least know you’re in the range, that you’re going to have a serious buyer who is willing to pay the price, and you’re going to have a willing seller.

Jim Estill:

I don’t hide the price much. It comes up pretty quickly, and that actually did shut down some buyers as well. Some buyers, you go in, you put a price on, and then they say, oh, thanks, but we weren’t thinking of that kind of price tag. That’s good to know. Because otherwise, they waste our time, they waste their time. It’s just not win-win, plus there is some confidentiality. I like not sharing all the confidential information with people who are clearly not going to buy.

John Warrillow:

Yeah. How did you arrive at a valuation for the company? Where did your number that you shared with Torstar come from, if you know what I’m asking?

Jim Estill:

Well, I’d like to say that it was scientifically derived, but it wasn’t. It largely came from the air on what I thought I could sell it for. It was largely what we thought we could sell it for. Like I said, I lowballed, partly because I didn’t want to scare people away from the table, partly because I also wanted to do the deal relatively quickly. Selling a business is disruptive to a business, it’s disruptive to the staff. It’s time-intensive for management. There’s nothing good about it.

Jim Estill:

I actually believe the longer a negotiation drags on the lower the value is, because the more … I mean, you’re going to lose good people. They’re going to say, oh, well, the company is being sold, I might not have a job. Everybody was catastrophizing, thinks the worst thing.

John Warrillow:

Sure.

Jim Estill:

They don’t think the best thing, oh, great, I’m going to have a better boss, I’m going to have a better opportunity. I guess I like things to move at a pace, and that also like my technology background. Technology companies move fast.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, yeah, for sure. You have this number that you think you can get forward. Tell me about the investors. Were you in any way trying to keep them whole, get them a return? Was there any attempt to back into a valuation based on what you wanted to get them as a return on their investment with you?

Jim Estill:

Yes, absolutely. Because as an entrepreneur, the people I raise money from, many of them are my friends and family. I want them to be happy with me.

John Warrillow:

Sure.

Jim Estill:

My reputation is on the line. Absolutely, that droves a part of the expectation for sale found.

John Warrillow:

I mean, I go back to the time that we … Certainly, March of 2020, I mean, we didn’t know what the world would look like. Now, as we record this in March of 2021, we’re still in a pandemic. I think at least we know what we’re dealing with to some extent, how it travels. If we go back to March, April, I mean, do we get it from picking up a grocery bag or like … We had all these just … It was a very traumatic time. I guess it’s my way of saying, had you been able to keep your investors whole and not get them a return? I would have thought as an investor, I would have been happy. Were you trying to get them a return? If so, are you able to share what kind of return you were hoping to get them? Go ahead.

Jim Estill:

Now we’re getting into areas that we’re not willing or able to share, because of the confidential agreement. Suffice it to say, yes, you absolutely have the interest of your stakeholders, which shareholders are one of them at heart, and you’re trying to get them the best return you can. I guess the only comment I will make is, when we started this, we thought this was a unicorn, which would be a next Uber, Airbnb. When we exited, which is not, did not, it became evident that we were not going to be able to do the unicorn on this. Given that you can’t do the unicorn, then you’re basically trying to get investors appropriate return, but you’re not going to be 1000 to 1 or you know what I mean, on money.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, yeah. I don’t mean this in a negative way, but I can’t think of a better way to put it. I’ll just attempt to do this without sounding offensive. I mean, you’ve got this incredibly successful business in Danbury appliance, a lot of money tied up. Was this like … Fire sale is not the right word, but I can’t think of a better way to say it, but in a way, the world is blown up. COVID has just made this entire business … It’s disrupted the entire business. Let’s just get out with our … and live to fight another day. Or were you thinking more, no, no, I might re-up and put more money in Q4 and go again? Did you have that as an option? Or was it like, I’m out, let’s get the best I can and move on. Does that make any sense?

Jim Estill:

It does make very good sense. I think knowing what I know now, we were not willing to re-up. If you’re not willing to re-up, then it’s time to exit while you still can. That was more of the thinking. Because when we first started, we legitimately thought this could be a unicorn, take it North America wide, it’d be the next Airbnb, it’d be the next Uber, be the next unicorn, BlackBerry. Then it became evident that, no, we’re not going to be able to pull that off. Let’s just pull off an acceptable exit. Shareholders don’t object to that.

Jim Estill:

They’re actually happy that you have an exit, that when they learn they’re not going to have the unicorn. They don’t even judge you that you didn’t have the unicorn because the investors you get, they’re mature and they expect that. What it’s worth, many of those investors will walk away from many other investments with zero.

John Warrillow:

Sure.

Jim Estill:

I’ve invested in 150 startup ventures, I have exited from 25 of them. That means I’ve got zeros on about 100. I’ve got a few others that are still in the hopper, but you still have 100 zeros and it’s a 00. I know, as an investor, if you get some return, you’re never thrilled. If you’re expecting hundreds of percent return, but you’re still thrilled.

John Warrillow:

Speed is important, right? Your capital is not locked up for 20 years and then get to whole. You’re in and out in three years.

Jim Estill:

Exactly.

John Warrillow:

That makes good sense. What was I going to ask you? With regards to Torstar, and again, the reason I asked this question is I think a lot of entrepreneurs, and it relates back to what you said was your “mistake” or one of the things that you might do differently, this anchor pricing thing. I think a lot of entrepreneurs get asked the question, okay, Jim, well, what do you want for it? I’d be curious to know how it came up in conversation. Did you preemptively say to Torstar early in the conversation, and we want X dollars for it? Or did they make the first move and say, okay, Jim, we’re notionally interested. What do you want for it? Who made the first move on valuation?

Jim Estill:

We basically ping them and said, are you notionally interested? They said they’re notionally interested. Then I put the price relatively quickly, just made sure that they were serious and willing because the last thing you want to do is to have something kicking the tires that just is sitting there thinking it’s going to be nothing. You’re basically checking the seriousness of them.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, yeah. What was the reaction? How many days went by between you emailing them the price and their response to that?

Jim Estill:

That would have happened within days, one day, two days. Everything is, oh, you’re interested? Great. You’re interested, okay. You know that it will be somewhere in this price range, it’ll be in this price. They said, oh, yes, we can understand that. That’s okay. Then we get them all the data and whatnot.

John Warrillow:

Got it.

Jim Estill:

Then we say, what’s the next step? We were on pace of meeting twice a week, and we were probably talking almost every day. They’d send us a list of questions. We would hop on a call, answer questions. Of course, then you, at some point, get to the lawyers and legal and they have to have one version, and that gets turned by another lawyer that bounces back and forth two or three times. Then it gets … We really shook hands on the deal. The lawyers really legalized and it wasn’t one which I do not like. I’ve sometimes had it where the lawyers try to negotiate it …

John Warrillow:

Got you.

Jim Estill:

… or redo the deal. No, the deal is here’s the deal, we agreed to this, we shook hands on it. I said we didn’t shake hands because we’re all doing virtually.

John Warrillow:

Yeah. Warren Buffett is a big fan of that. You should be able to write down, in plain English, the deal terms in one piece of paper.

Jim Estill:

That’s right.

John Warrillow:

Don’t send the lawyers in until the one piece of paper is clearly agreed to. I mean, that’s a Buffet playbook piece. I want to just understand, at what point did you realize or come to the realization that maybe you left a bit of money on the table by throwing out the price? At what point in the process did you think, oh, man, maybe I’d like to do that again?

Jim Estill:

I would say fairly early on. This is probably almost advice for not the sellers, but the buyers. That is, whenever anybody gives you any price, you need to choke on it, even if the price is a great price and they didn’t choke hard enough is the problem. Does that make sense?

John Warrillow:

Yeah. Yeah. They didn’t choke, so you thought, oh.

Jim Estill:

Exactly. It’s like me saying, “I’ll sell this pen” and you say, “Great, I’ll pay you $20 for it.” And I say, “Sold.” Then you think, “Oh gee, I could have gotten it for 10.” What do you mean 10? $20 for this pen, look, it’s a gorgeous pen. It’s silver. It’s my favorite pen. I’ve signed the big deals with this.” Then if I sell it to you for 20, I’m happy, you’re happy. They didn’t choke enough. That’s my concern.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, yeah. Well, it’s fantastic. I know your time is precious and I want to be respectful of that. Where are you at now? I mean, Danby is this hugely successful company where you continue to operate. You’ve got, as you say, other investments. Tell me a little bit about the book that you wrote and what inspired that. What else you’re doing these days?

Jim Estill:

I mean, I’ve written a couple of books one on time management, one on marketing. This is well preceded, any of this and go for largely marketing. Most of my focus right now is Danby appliances, which is freezers, fridges, wine coolers. We also have an air conditioner, dehumidifier business, selling through Costco and Home Depot and Lowe’s and all the big guys as well as Amazon and online. Danby appliances has done well through the pandemic because everyone needs more freezers, everyone needs more fridge space, and even people are improving their homes, so they buy more wine coolers.

Jim Estill:

We’ve been very fortunate through the pandemic to thrive and do well. As a business, I fear what’s going to happen over the next three or four years because governments have run up this huge deficit. The public is not willing to pay more taxes. I’m worried that the government has to print more money, it’s going to be inflationary, and does the economy go into the dumpster. Right now, the economy is not the dumpster at all for Danby appliances.

John Warrillow:

Certainly for any home appliances and so forth. Last question, what will you do differently when selling Danby that you learn from selling. I’ll just pick, ShipperBee is one company, but I know there are many others. This is your baby now. I’m assuming that you might change something or do something differently when selling Danby.

Jim Estill:

I think the main thing I had sometimes entertain … If I was ever going to sell Danby, I might look at financial buyers as well because Danby has EBITDA and you could sell on a multiple of EBITDA and stuff like that. I always thought, well, maybe a financial buyer would do it. I’ve learned that a synergistic buyer will give a much better price. That’s what I will do with Danby, is look at a synergistic buyer if I were to sell Danby.

John Warrillow:

Well, we’ll be watching and you’re welcome to come back anytime and tell me all about that story too. Where’s the best place for people to reach you? Are you a LinkedIn guy or …

Jim Estill:

I’m big on LinkedIn. Reach out to LinkedIn. I say yes to most people and if you say you [inaudible 01:01:03] in the show, I’ll definitely accept your …

John Warrillow:

That’s very kind, Jim. It’s Jim Estill, we’ll put the spelling of your surname in the show notes at builttosell.com. This was great. I feel like I’ve met the Elon Musk of Canada and I’m feeling good about that.

Jim Estill:

All right, thanks, John.

John Warrillow:

Hey, if you like today’s episode, you’re going to love my new book, The Art of Selling Your Business. The book was inspired by the cohort of my guests over the years who’ve been able to negotiate an exit far better than the benchmark in their industry, sometimes two or three times more than I would have expected. I was curious to understand the tactics and strategy to these entrepreneurs and what they do differently from average performers. The result is a playbook for punching above your weight when it comes to selling your business. To learn more, go to builttosell.com/selling, where we put together a collection of gifts for listeners who ordered the book. Just go to builttosell.com/selling.

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