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The Good, the Bad (and the Ugly) Of Selling to Private Equity

May 14, 2021 |  

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Marc Elkman built Fresh Meal Plan, a meal delivery service for healthy eaters, from an idea to $20 million in annual revenue in just three years.

Still in his twenties, Elkman earned a #70 spot on the Inc 500 list of fastest-growing companies in America. Then he caught the attention of New Heights Capital, a private equity group focused on the fitness industry. New Heights acquired the controlling interest in Fresh Meal Plan in 2016 and Elkman continues to hold a minority stake.

This interview is jam-packed with goodies, including:

  • How Elkman leveraged gyms as a distribution point.
  • The importance of your network in getting a deal done.
  • The biggest mistake Elkman made in negotiating his exit.
  • Why Elkman’s deal was re-traded and how he will defend against re-trading next time.
  • A definition for a syndicate.
  • How sophisticated angel investors structure their deals.
  • Why getting “deal committed” can be dangerous.

Show Notes & Links

Fresh Meal Plan

(04:22) LPGA

(09:09) John Warrillow: “a Built to Sell Radio episode I did a couple of weeks ago, a guy named Greg Alexander, who quickly shared equity with his co-founder, but it was kind of Greg’s idea and Greg was the driving engine of the thing.”

(13:58) Marc Elkman: “Dave Long, founder and CEO of Orangetheory Fitness”

(20:32) John Warrillow: “three years later you’re number 70 on the Inc 500 and 20 million in top line, that’s crazy. That’s incredible growth.”

(30:18) Marc Elkman: “I have no idea what I’m getting myself into. You learn about terms like re-trading.” Article: Do I Need a Broker to Sell My Business?

(32:20) Marc Elkman: “Even having done that now, if I go into a large sale again, I’m going to have a banker there. It’s sort of like selling your house without a realtor, right?” Article: When Should I Hire a Business Coach?

(33:38) Marc Elkman: “my banker could handle it differently, say, “You know what, we got so many other groups that are interested, maybe this is not the right fit for you,” right? I mean, I wasn’t prepared to do that, they saw how committed I was to the deal, and I think it was used against me.”

(34:16) Marc Elkman: “Grant Cardone.

(51:20) Marc Elkman: “Tamiami Angels down here in Naples, these guys are, I mean, they function more like a private equity group than an angel group.”

(52:35) Marc Elkman: “I am a huge fan of Clubhouse.”

About Our Guest

Marc Elkman became an 8 Figure Entrepreneur in his 20’s via: Food Tech – Founder/CEO of Fresh Meal Plan, at 24 years old. 2015 & 2016 – INC500 (# 70 Fastest-Growing Private Company in the U.S, 200 employees). Sold to Private Equity firm in 2016 – raised money from all tranches of capital at a 10x multiple.

 

Marc is an Orangetheory Fitness Owner/Operator in the South Florida Region (8 units) since 2013.

 

He is also an Owner at NobilitySettlementFunding.com

Helping people every day cash out a portion or all of their structured settlements/annuities so they can buy a home, start a business, invest, and overall improve their quality of life.

Marc is a Private Hard-Money Lender, real estate asset-based lending.

 

He is also a Private Equity – IMPACT INVESTOR:  “I vet and invest in businesses that I can add value and resources towards enhancing asset value.  I Never invest my time or my money in anything that I’m not truly passionate about.  I’m connected with several angel funds, private equity groups & access to the right people.  My wheelhouse is anything health & fitness, CPG (consumer packaged goods) via major distribution outlets, and direct-to-consumer strategies.  Sales & Marketing is my highest and best use in an organization.  I’m a natural-born leader and most comfortable when the pressure is on me!”

 

Connect with Marc:
On Clubhouse

Watch the interview

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Transcript

John Warrillow:

Hey guys, it’s John Warrillow. So after five years of hosting Built to Sell Radio, I’ve distilled the secrets from the most successful founders into the ultimate field guide. The Art of Selling Your Business: Winning Strategies and Secret Hacks for Exiting on Top is now available. The Art of Selling Your Business is a playbook for punching above your weight in a negotiation to sell your company.

Now, you may still be years away from selling, but there are actions you can take now that will make your business irresistible to an acquirer in the future. And in this book, you’ll get answers to your most vexing questions, like when’s the right time to sell? How should I value my business? What are the biggest mistakes owners make when they sell? How do I get multiple offers? How do I attract an offer from an acquirer without looking like I’m desperate to sell? How many companies should I approach? How do I separate real acquirers from tire-kickers? When in the process do I reveal my numbers? When and how do I tell my employees? How do I avoid re-trading when the buyer drops their price during diligence? And the age-old, how do I avoid an earn-out?

Along with actionable answers to the questions, you’ll also get a playbook for defending yourself against the dirty tricks used by the most unscrupulous acquirers, including how to defend yourself against re-trading, acquirers who intentionally set unattainable earn-out goals, financing an acquirer’s business, becoming a prop deal, strategic pacing, competitors posing as acquirers, accepting illiquid or overvalued shares for your business in lieu of cash, and giving away your retained earnings as part of your deal.

You’ll also get easy-to-understand definitions of some of the most bewildering terms acquirers use in negotiating to buy your business, stuff like tipping basket, covenant, down stroke, escrow, indemnification, earn-out, Q of E, reps and warranties, churn, I’m just about to throw up just using all this industry lingo, but you’ll get a definition for each of them, in an easy-to-understand package. If you order The Art of Selling Your Business today, you’ll receive a collection of thank you gifts to enjoy alongside the book. Just go to BuiltToSell.com/Selling.

Have you ever received an offer from a private equity group? My guess is in the last year or two you probably have. Low interest rates are really fueling an entire army of private equity groups that are rolling up and buying up small, mid-sized businesses, including my next guest’s company, Fresh Meal Plan, which was run by Marc Elkman. It was one of these food delivery spaces where they were dropping off fresh meal kits, if you will, to fitness enthusiasts in South Florida, to begin with.

The business was a huge success, went from zero to 20 million, if you can imagine, in just three years, which is around the time Marc agreed to sell a majority of his shares to a private equity group, and here to tell you again, the good, the bad, and the ugly associated with that deal, is Marc Elkman himself.

Marc Elkman, welcome to Built to Sell Radio.

Marc Elkman:

Thanks for having me, John.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, no problem. So let’s talk about Fresh Meal Plan. I think a lot of people have got a sense of these meal delivery services now, but you were one of the pioneers. Take me through the story.

Marc Elkman:

So just to give you a brief background, I grew up in a fitness household. My mom played on the LPGA. I was the kid behind the gym desk at three years old while she was working out. She’s taking me to Whole Foods and all these farmer markets, I never really quite experienced fast food, right? So that’s where it all began. I got into baseball, I was a collegiate athlete. Had a scholarship, academic, athletically. Always had a passion for weightlifting and weight training, so I became a personal trainer, got into bodybuilding shows, naturally, of course. Won one, and I kind of packed it up at that point.

But I did have a massive network of people who were into fitness, right? I had so many friends that were trainers, and we all had so many clients, so on, so forth. I was always looking to see what I could do coming out of college. So as I was getting nearer to graduation, I was a business major and a hospitality major, I was like, “What am I going to do? I want to work for myself, I could take risk, I’m 23 years old, I don’t have dependents.” So I was like, “I’m going to do something in fitness, naturally.” I don’t know if I want to run a gym, I don’t see how that scales, unless you have a bunch, right? A lot of employees.

One day I was picking up, at a gym, a brown bag of food, I was subscribed to a meal plan company. I was going to this gym locally, and I’d pick up this brown bag, it had 10 meals in it. The food was frozen vegetables, very bland chicken, and very bland rice. But at the end of the day, I was eating for macros, I was eating for results, not necessarily for flavor.

John Warrillow:

Food is fuel, as opposed to enjoyment-

Marc Elkman:

That’s right.

John Warrillow:

… whatever. Yeah, I got it.

Marc Elkman:

Some people-

John Warrillow:

I know guys like you, I hate guys like you. I’m like, “Ah, man, it’s not fuel.” I’m kidding.

Marc Elkman:

That’s right, people eat-to-live, and others live-to-eat, right?

John Warrillow:

That’s right.

Marc Elkman:

I’m eat-to-live, that’s the household I grew up in. I was working at a country club at the time where I live in Boca, it’s one of the largest clubs in the country. I was doing personal training, getting my degree, and I was friendly with the executive chef there, and he had a really incredible background. I brought this brown bag of food to him one day, and I said, “This is what I’m eating. I can’t believe that there was 50 bags sitting in this fridge, I’m paying $100 a week, that’s $5000 sitting in that fridge. And this guy just told me, he has this relationship with 10 other gyms, so I started doing the math.”

I said to the chef, and I remember to this day, about 10 years ago now, I said, “If you can give me better food, I can get everybody to eat it.” And he took the food out, this guy with this big chef hat, and the whole deal, he goes, “Mark,” he laughed, he goes, “I’ve been waiting to get out of the country club for a while now,” he goes, “I’m in.”

So sure enough, we went and got a little Quizno’s shop a couple miles away, and we started making food, I started going to my trainer friends-

John Warrillow:

Quizno’s, you mean like it had closed down, you [crosstalk 00:07:07] kitchen-

Marc Elkman:

It closed, yeah.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, okay, not a-

Marc Elkman:

Old Quizno’s, yeah.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, old Quizno’s, retired Quizno’s, okay. I’m with you.

Marc Elkman:

Had the basics, did the tip of the toe in the water strategy, I’m still training, he’s still a chef. I immediately went to my close contacts, I’d wrote a list, I’m like, “These 20 people I can count on buying and supporting me,” right? That list quickly turned into 100 and 200 people, all paying $100 a week. So very quickly in, 60, 90 days in, we picked up a couple hundred customers. Now we’re busting out the seams of this Quizno’s. We then found this commissary 20 miles away, and-

John Warrillow:

What’s a commissary? I’ve heard that word, but I’ve never understood what it is.

Marc Elkman:

Sure. So a commissary is essentially a turnkey operation where you can go and produce a product, right? So I didn’t have to-

John Warrillow:

Like a kitchen?

Marc Elkman:

A kitchen, yeah.

John Warrillow:

Okay.

Marc Elkman:

So this place had the hood systems where you can cook under, it had the refrigeration to store your food. If you had to go do that yourself, you’re talking about a lot of cap-ex. I mean, this particular commissary probably cost two, $3 million with all the equipment there, and I just had to pay rent.

John Warrillow:

And Marc, how did you and, Patrick was the name of the chef at the country club-

Marc Elkman:

Yeah.

John Warrillow:

… right? How did you guys divvy up the equity? Did you both put in cash, or-

Marc Elkman:

We did.

John Warrillow:

… how did that work?

Marc Elkman:

So this is one of the feel-good parts of the story. We both put $10,000 in and we never had to look back and reinvest. With $20,000, we turned around and built a $20 million company.

John Warrillow:

So did you guys go 50/50 on your equity, or-

Marc Elkman:

We did, we did.

John Warrillow:

Wow.

Marc Elkman:

Yeah, so he’s like, “I’m going to cook the food, and you’re going to sell the food,” right? So it was a very symbiotic relationship, which from my experience, you always want to look for that when finding a partner. The less overlap the better, right? So overlapping skills leads to arguments down the road, from what I’ve experienced.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, so, okay, so let me just challenge that and tell me your thoughts. Challenge is not the right word. I guess there’s been some situations, I can think of a Built to Sell Radio episode I did a couple of weeks ago, a guy named Greg Alexander, who quickly shared equity with his co-founder, but it was kind of Greg’s idea and Greg was the driving engine of the thing. Anyways, he ended up selling it for a truckload of money and kind of, in retrospect, said, “Did I have to give away half the business? I don’t know.” Have you had any of those thoughts, that maybe it wasn’t right to go half and half, and maybe I should’ve hired someone if I could afford it? How do you feel about the decision to just split it half and half with Patrick and go, given everything that’s kind of gone on since then?

Marc Elkman:

In this circumstance, it was a phenomenal deal. Patrick could’ve been my father’s age, he has kids my age, well-respected guy in this area, and he delivered 50%, I delivered 50%. I’ve had other relationships and business dealings, I’ve had several other businesses, can’t quite say the same every time. But if I could have every partnership mimic the partnership I had with Patrick, I would be in great shape here. So great-

John Warrillow:

Sounds like you guys were yin and yang, right, you had very clear lines of … swim lanes, you knew what you were doing.

Marc Elkman:

Exactly, yeah.

John Warrillow:

That makes sense. So you get the commissary, you rented the space, so you didn’t have the capex of buying all the-

Marc Elkman:

Right, right.

John Warrillow:

That’s awesome. How were you winning customers, like how did you go beyond your immediate network to sort of expanding that?

Marc Elkman:

Right, so at the time I wasn’t really an expert at digital marketing, but I was definitely an expert at marketing myself. So what I did is we went into all the gyms in South Florida, the CrossFits, the Orangetheories, the local, whether it be LA Fitnesses, and we went in there, and it was such a symbiotic product in fitness, right? I’ve got healthy food, you’re running a fitness establishment, wouldn’t we all agree that if everyone ate healthy and worked out, that they’d all be in shape? You can’t argue that theory, right? Food is, they say, 70 to 80% of the overall result achieved in your overall look and wellbeing, and everyone agrees with that theory. You really can’t out-train a bad diet.

So it was easy to go into these fitness facilities and say, “Hey, can I sample and give away food to your members, add value to your fitness establishment for free, and if they want to sign up, would you allow that? Would you allow them to subscribe to my service?” They’re like, “Let me try the food, let me see if I agree with you.” They all tasted the food, and like, “Wow, great food, great price, come in.”

John Warrillow:

So the mechanics were, you sampled for them, how did the sampling work? Did you literally cook up some stuff and had people grab half a burrito or whatever on the spot, or did they get a free subscription, or how did the sampling piece work?

Marc Elkman:

So what we would do, our typical display is we’d bring several meals, so you would see what a full-sized meal would look like. We had stuff like a paleo program, a vegetarian, so we were focused on the fitness consumer with cutting edge products. We’d bring meals so they could see what they’re getting, but in preparation for the event, we would have little mini sample cups. The chef would provide 100 samples, we’d bring a six foot table, open it, everyone would sample the food when they’re done the workout, and they’d be on their way. We’d like to sign people up on the spot, and we were very successful at that, but this was purely grassroots, as you can tell.

John Warrillow:

Did the gym take a cut of the subscription, did you pay per [crosstalk 00:12:39]-

Marc Elkman:

That’s later in the story.

John Warrillow:

But that, it evolved to that?

Marc Elkman:

It evolved to that, but day one, no. Day one, we were leveraging food, because I didn’t have a margin to give away. So I’ll let you, Mr. Gym Owner, “I’m a new company, you like my product, we all agree,” I had no competitors fighting for that gym space at the time, back in 2011, “I’ll give you free food worth 100 a week.” Typically these gym owners are into working out, into fitness themselves, they’re like, “Wow, that’s really valuable to me,” right? So that worked out extremely well, and it got us a long way. We built a great company utilizing this one strategy.

John Warrillow:

Got it. So the gym owner got the free membership or subscription …

Marc Elkman:

Correct.

John Warrillow:

In addition, the gym members, the people that kind of came and went, they got some free sample, and if they wanted to sign up, they could sign up directly.

Marc Elkman:

Absolutely. And we’re adding value to the experience of working out. Imagine owning a gym, which I happen to own several, and at the end of your workout, you’ve got someone that wants to give you a free massage, you got somebody that wants to give you XYZ, gyms love the added value. So we definitely, I would say we’re the highest value add to any fitness establishment down here in South Florida.

John Warrillow:

Got it.

Marc Elkman:

So that’s where it all started, and I ran into a gentleman by the name of Dave Long, founder and CEO of Orangetheory Fitness, he was at the early stages of building that company, he had about eight, nine stores, and I became friendly with one of the guys that was opening a club here in Boca, and I said to him, I said, “Can I cater your event?” I knew Dave was going to be there, I knew the executives were coming, and I wanted to put on a show.

So Patrick, being that he’s a country club guy, we were searing sliders, and it looked like a full-blown event, right? I met Dave there, and he said, “Would you do this for all my openings in South Florida?” I said, “Absolutely.” So from there, I ended up actually buying a few Orangetheories and get involved in the brand myself, but we integrated ourselves and the brand, and that brand grew to 1500 stores today domestically, and 3000 internationally. Those were the type of alignments that I achieved early on, right?

John Warrillow:

So the 1500 stores, so when you started with Orangetheory, there were like nine, and you went all the way to 1500?

Marc Elkman:

Yeah.

John Warrillow:

So you catered the opening, and then picked up subscribers at every opening, I’m assuming that was the [crosstalk 00:15:03]-

Marc Elkman:

Correct, absolutely, yeah.

John Warrillow:

And so the mechanics of that is did you do the opening for free in return for the-

Marc Elkman:

We did.

John Warrillow:

… subscribers on the backend?

Marc Elkman:

Yeah, in return for marketing, right? You’re going to do this outreach and event, you’re going to spend money on marketing, include that Fresh Meal Plan is going to be there catering and giving free food. And then they come there, they taste our food, we blew them away with hot food, and we are signing up 10, 20, 30 people an event at $100 a week, and our customers are staying for a few months on end. So cost per acquisition, low, cost of food, right? And lifetime value, high. So that’s a great combination, right?

John Warrillow:

Yeah, for sure. How long did you get the average subscriber to stay for, like what was the tenure of a typical subscriber, what is the tenure?

Marc Elkman:

So without pausing, we were getting three, four months.

John Warrillow:

Got it.

Marc Elkman:

And then they would pause, but we were getting a lot of reactivations and coming back three months later, or next year, right? There’s a typical avatar of a client we have that will join January 1, and when that New Year’s resolution dissipates at the end of the first quarter, they’re gone from our service, but we’re definitely extending most people’s New Year’s resolution. I think that the average resolution is somewhere around three weeks, we’re at least turning that into three months.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, yeah. And so they spend about $100 a week?

Marc Elkman:

Correct.

John Warrillow:

About $400 a month, so, just doing the lifetime value, so like $1200, and you’re picking up 10, that’s $12,000 of lifetime value on the back of one catered meal. How did you scale that in different parts of the country? Are you flying a chef to Boston when they’re starting an Orangetheory in Boston or Knoxville, or how does that work?

Marc Elkman:

So we were doing all the openings in south Florida. Our relationship changed as the brand grew. We turned that into a digital relationship where we were doing essentially webinars with franchisees throughout the country, teaching them about the product, sending them collateral for in-store, they were doing the messaging directly to their members, we scaled it and we did very well at it. And we grew, with the brand not quite as fast as they grew, but that’s just one of a few relationships.

We became the official meal plan provider of the Miami Dolphins down here in South Florida in year one, so I was there pre-game feeding the athletes, post-game, feeding the athletes, taking pictures and using that to promote the meal plan. And again, if the Miami Dolphins are eating Fresh Meal Plan, it’s good enough for me, right? So we gained that type of traction early, we were sponsoring the CrossFit Games when CrossFit was exploding down here in South Florida [inaudible 00:17:43] regionals, and there’d be 200 gym owners, and I’m meeting every single one, and all the athletes are eating Fresh Meal Plan, right, because [crosstalk 00:17:51] sponsor.

John Warrillow:

The gym membership, sort of the gym partnerships, it sounds like, evolved.

Marc Elkman:

Right.

John Warrillow:

I’m guessing competitors came in and said, “We’ll give you a cut.” How did it evolve, do you remember what the kind of fork in the road was that made you have to start giving the gym guys part of the deal?

Marc Elkman:

So there were some competitors that came in South Florida, only a couple of them really had it together, right? So there’s a low barrier to entry to get in this industry, but a large barrier to growth. Logistics, marketing, delivering a fresh product to your home, overnight, there’s a lot of challenges, and growing to several hundred thousands of customers does become challenging. From the outside looking in, it’s like, “Oh, I could go cook food for 20, 30, 50 people,” but can you do it for 500 or 1000? And that’s where Patrick brought tremendous value as we grew. I would’ve been relying on somebody to do that, I wasn’t comfortable.

So what we did, I brought a, again, network to me is massive, and I brought somebody that’s a fitness guy, built a telecom company, and he came to me and says, “Marc, I used this program for telecom years ago, I think it’s really well-suited for Fresh Meal Plan, let’s give them a residual.” So what we do is, and what we did from that point forward, we gave all the gym owners a percentage of the customer, as long as they’re a customer of ours, and again, these people are spending four, $500 a month. So when you’re getting eight, 10% of that per customer, you’re making 40, $50 on that customer a month. You end up with a couple dozen customers or 30, 40, 50, as a gym owner, you’re passively, now, eating food that you believe in and making money, and we’re doing the work. So that was, it was a phenomenal business model, and that gave us major trajectory. When I then gave them a product they believed in and money? They loved us.

John Warrillow:

[crosstalk 00:19:52]. I bet. And was there anyone else doing that as the time? Like were there any other meal delivery services offering some sort of residual, or cut of the deal, whatever?

Marc Elkman:

Not like us, not like us. We grew much faster, we had more to give. So they were trying to give a little spiff bonus, one time, whether it be $20. We were giving the money ongoing-

John Warrillow:

In perpetuity, ongoing.

Marc Elkman:

In perpetuity, right, it was residualized income. And that incentivized the gym owner to ensure that they’re checking in with the customer, “How are you enjoying Fresh Meal Plan?” Because they’re incentivized now, right? The longer they’re on, the more I’m making money. So let me [crosstalk 00:20:27]-

John Warrillow:

I love it.

Marc Elkman:

… food, right?

John Warrillow:

And this business was a rocket ship. Like you started it and three years later you’re number 70 on the Inc 500 and 20 million in top line, that’s crazy. That’s incredible growth. How did you finance that, what was … Originally you and Patrick, you kicked in 10 grand each, but I got to imagine there was some more financing along the way to keep that growth going, how did you structure that?

Marc Elkman:

So we really bootstrapped the company, John. We put the $20,000 in, all of our marketing was organic, and we had a healthy food cost, because Patrick had relationships with all the vendors here, so we’re getting bottom line pricing, because he was purchasing large volume at the country club, they grandfathered us in. Every customer I was getting was my sweat, and then we started to hire people. So we never had to go back in and finance our growth, we’re finding kitchens that have all the equipment there, and we’re buying a few things for a few thousand dollars, so we always avoided the capex. We never had anything that was capital-intensive until IT kicked in, and by that time, when we really needed to get away from Google Docs and Excel, the company was significantly profitable.

John Warrillow:

Give me a sense of how big it was top line, margin, if you can, net profit margin at that time?

Marc Elkman:

Right, so in 2015 we were in Inc 500, we were just shy of 20 million at the time, and we were doing it profitably. Single digit, in the seven figure EBITDA, which is healthy, right? It’s healthy for a food establishment. It’s not easy to make money with perishable food, I could assure you of that. And most the people in this industry that were building were building and collecting data, not building and collecting money, right? And to me, I’m not really into trying to build something so large to hope that one day to sell it for data. I mean, look, there’s many companies that did it successfully, but I didn’t have the wherewithal to go in that direction, nor, at 24, 25, 26 years old, did I really understand how to go and get money and do all those things, I was just putting my head down and building a business and a company that [inaudible 00:22:43], but I was very limited in my skillset, except I was a living testament of the product, I was fit, and I had something that people wanted.

And that caught major momentum. Now, today, there’s companies like Freshly, direct competitor of ours, they’re a billion dollar company. You see all these meal kits that were acquired for hundreds of millions of dollars, we were there right at the beginning before some of these people. So right place, and I don’t say right place right time, I say the right place too early. I was there trying to talk about meal plans, people weren’t even wrapping their heads around it. Now you fast-forward 10 years, it’s well known and an extremely large sector in the food space.

John Warrillow:

And so what made you decide to sell, what triggered that?

Marc Elkman:

So in 2015, after completing that great year, as I’d mentioned, I had this strategic alignment with Dave Long from Orangetheory. I found out that-

John Warrillow:

Was he a shareholder, or just a partner?

Marc Elkman:

Yeah, that’s a great question, great place to stop me. Dave and I built a great relationship, and he saw and was interested in the company. And I use his story when I talk to young entrepreneurs, because I’ve done deals since then, I’ve invested in companies, and I’ve had partnerships since then. I gave Dave a piece of the company when we were doing $20 million. We were pretty good size, making money, and I gave him sweat equity, because I knew the way that he was growing Orangetheory and the value he could bring to me.

And people at the time would be like, “Mark, why would you ever give something of that size?” And I said, “Listen, it’ll come back to me.” And sure enough, the next year, Dave was doing a deal. He did a private equity deal, a tremendous deal with a company in Atlanta, Roark, Roark Capital, they own Orangetheory Fitness, a large majority of the company. And he says, “Marc, this is my banker, this is the guy that’s doing my deal for me. He’s really interested in putting together a group, a syndicate, of individuals who are highly influential in fitness that could help you doing what you’re already doing so well, you’re leveraging fitness. Let’s go own the fitness consumer, let’s not go compete online with dollars and clicks, let’s just go focus and own the fitness consumer. This investor owns that brand, this investor owns that brand.”

So I said, “Okay, great. Makes sense to me. It’s working, let’s amplify the strategy, let’s add fuel to the fire,” right? So they put together a group, and that’s how the value came back immediately to me, because I don’t think that I would’ve got that deal done without Dave, the CEO of Orangetheory Fitness’s endorsement.

John Warrillow:

The consortium, maybe I’m struggling to understand this. Are you referring to just a group of loosely-affiliated partners, or is this a private equity group that is buying companies in the fitness space?

Marc Elkman:

So the group that invested is a syndicate, they come together-

John Warrillow:

I see.

Marc Elkman:

So they’re not a fund sitting on money, they’re a syndicate that they find an investment and put a strategic group to do that particular transaction.

John Warrillow:

Isn’t that interesting? I’ve never heard of a syndicate before, like that’s a first for me. And so this is a group of people that come together to invest in a specific business.

Marc Elkman:

Right.

John Warrillow:

And there’s a lead sort of banker that stitches this entire syndicate together?

Marc Elkman:

Absolutely, exactly.

John Warrillow:

And he or she makes a bigger cut, I’m assuming.

Marc Elkman:

Absolutely, yeah. And then they could choose to stay in the deal or just make their money and get out of the deal, but this particular situation, this banker who’s doing Dave’s deal says, “I’ve got the perfect group of investors, let me stitch them together,” as you’ve just said, “And we’re going to put this really valuable group together that’s going to help explode the company,” and that’s how it came together. And those guys have done other deals like that as well, and invested in other companies, and, “Hey, I got this great deal, you want to get in?” But there’s all sorts of regulations when having a PE group and sitting on money, versus saying, “I’ve got this great deal that’s come together for this particular transaction.” So that’s how that group operates.

John Warrillow:

Got it. So let me see if I follow the trajectory. You guys have an amazing three year run, you’re at 20 million, single digit EBITDA on a percentage basis. Dave has been a huge partner, mentor, it sounds like, to some extent, so you give him a little bit of equity. He then turns around and says, “I’ve got this syndicate that might want to effectively buy the majority of Fresh Meal Plan, are you interested?” And have I got the kind of narrative about right?

Marc Elkman:

Yeah, that’s about right. And at the time I started getting some interest from PE groups, and we skipped over a portion that I’d raised money from angel investors. I was out there pitching and getting out in the community and found a great angel group very shortly into starting the company, just a couple years into starting the company.

So Dave says, “Look, I know that people are talking to you. Before you do a deal, let’s talk to Brian, and let’s see what he’s got to say.” I trusted Dave. So we turned around, put a group together, and consummated a transaction in the middle of 2016, and at that point, the whole concept was is let’s go leverage fitness. Let’s go meet with this brand, you’re going to meet with the owner of the company, let’s go leverage their customers, they have a bunch of stores, and this brand and that brand. That was the thesis, that’s why they invested. They saw what we were doing good, and they’re like, “Let’s go own fitness, let’s be the at-home meal delivery company for the fitness consumer.”

John Warrillow:

Got it. So I understand the acquirer of Fresh Meal Plan was New Heights Capital, have I got that right?

Marc Elkman:

Right, yep.

John Warrillow:

So is that the name they kind of put on the syndicate? New Heights Capital, or-

Marc Elkman:

Well, they had already done deals in the past, with different investors for particular deals. But the main principal of New Heights built the name for himself by walking into this chain of gyms up in Connecticut, and they were doing okay, and he came and just flipped this thing around and turned it into a powerhouse, and then they sold it to a private equity group. So that’s what put him in business, and he made a name for himself, right? So from there, he had a network of people, and he saw this particular deal, put the network together, did the deal, and since then has done similar type of transactions, and finds people within his wheelhouse and they go and do their deals, instead of just sitting on money like the traditional PE groups do.

John Warrillow:

Yeah. And so the business model I’ve seen with these sorts of private equity investments is that they take out most of the founder’s equity, but they ask the founder to stay on and roll 20, 30% into a new entity. Is that sort of the model they used with you, or can you share a little bit about the structure?

Marc Elkman:

Sure. So they bought a controlling interest in the company, and the whole concept was is, we’re going to buy control of the business, we’re going to put money on the balance sheet, we’re going to amplify the growth, amplify what you’re doing, and we’re partners, right? And I did this interfacing with very phenomenal bankers and guys that have been doing this for a long time, I’m in my mid-20s, right? So I have no idea what I’m getting myself into. You learn about terms like re-trading. Here’s the deal, and, oh, we saw something we didn’t like, [crosstalk 00:30:32] new deal, right?

John Warrillow:

Did that happen?

Marc Elkman:

It happened a few times, yeah, it happened a few times.

John Warrillow:

What sort of things came up that caused re-trading?

Marc Elkman:

I mean, look, you look under the hood, you take a look at the business, and we expanded to the Northeast, we opened a kitchen up in Edison, New Jersey, and we’re early into that endeavor, and it wasn’t going quite well at the time. So there was business risk around that. Are you going to go up there and build FMP, Fresh Meal Plan the same way that you did in south Florida and Florida? If so, great, if not, this could be a liability. So we were early on, we weren’t producing cash flow at the time, so they viewed that as business risk and logistics, and how to expand that. And we were operating down here out of south Florida. So little things like that change the deal. You go from a great conversation of, “Hey, here’s where the company is from a 30,000 foot view, but here let me see all these documents, and oh, okay, well, I view this as risk, so let me change the deal a little bit.”

And then they’re like, “Okay, fine, I’m okay with that,” and then, “You know what? I saw this too, let’s change the deal again,” right? So you start to get worn out a little bit, and you get deal fatigue. Me as a young entrepreneur, I’m like, “Oh, they gave me an LOI, this deal is as good as done.” That’s not the truth. The deal’s not done until the ink is drying, and from my experience, now putting myself back in the position with other companies, I’ve learned a valuable lesson and would like to share with everybody listening, is the value of having somebody on your side talking to the other side is you always got to give something up, right? You have to give a few points of the equity of the sale, it’s all negotiable, but that’s important.

Even having done that now, if I go into a large sale again, I’m going to have a banker there. It’s sort of like selling your house without a realtor, right? I mean, sure, I could sell my house without a realtor, but then, everyone who walks in my house, I have to vet, make sure that criminals aren’t walking in where my kids live, right? That’s the job of the realtor, or same thing, you wouldn’t go into litigation without an attorney and represent yourself. It’s the same thing, from my experience, what I went through in selling a business.

John Warrillow:

And so you would use a mergers and acquisitions professional, investment banker, business broker, like that, somebody to represent you, effectively-

Marc Elkman:

Right.

John Warrillow:

… if you were to do it again.

Marc Elkman:

I would, I would.

John Warrillow:

And your primary reason for that, and I think that’s sage advice, I share that a lot, but your primary reason is this re-trading, that you think they could’ve perhaps controlled that a little bit more [crosstalk 00:33:17]-

Marc Elkman:

Definitely, yeah.

John Warrillow:

How many times did you get re-traded on, like how many different re-trades?

Marc Elkman:

A few times, yeah, it happened a few times.

John Warrillow:

A few like …

Marc Elkman:

As in three.

John Warrillow:

Three? Yeah, yeah.

Marc Elkman:

Yeah, a few as in three, and yeah, I mean, listen, if you have the banker on your side, and essentially their banker is calling my banker and said, “Hey, we don’t like this,” my banker could handle it differently, say, “You know what, we got so many other groups that are interested, maybe this is not the right fit for you,” right? I mean, I wasn’t prepared to do that, they saw how committed I was to the deal, and I think it was used against me. And things like that, of that nature, I took a look back after, I’m like, “Wow, this,” from where it starts to where it ends, and you hear the horror stories in dealing with private equity groups, and how very few and far between can a group of individuals with strong personalities work together? I speak to Grant Cardone periodically, and we talked about a particular transaction, he says, “Marc, sometimes there’s too much firepower at the top,” right? And I think this was a classic case of, there’s sometimes too much firepower at the top.

Or, another one of his quotes that he gave me is, “The only thing worse than a bad general is two good generals,” and I think that’s what happened here, is you come in, you invest in founders that they built this company, and then you come in with this vision of how you see the company, and then you’ve got to align the two. And if it happens, great, but if it doesn’t, then it doesn’t work out. And in this particular situation, that’s how that happened.

John Warrillow:

You characterize your friendship with Dave Long as that, right?

Marc Elkman:

Right.

John Warrillow:

You are very tight, close. Dave was the one that brought the deal to the table. Did your loyalty to Dave affect your willingness to negotiate when the re-trading started happening? Like, “I don’t want to piss off Dave by pushing hard with this great group that he’s brought to the table,” was there that sort of loyalty that came into effect?

Marc Elkman:

No, it didn’t because Dave was on my side, right? Dave was a shareholder of Fresh Meal Plan, he wanted the best deal for us. He was sitting on calls and he was listening, giving advice, but a busy guy, right? So building a billion dollar brand simultaneously. But he was on calls with me at midnight, and the whole deal. But no, I mean, listen, this was a scenario of let’s do what’s best for us, at the same time, I wasn’t prepared for how this all played out, and I didn’t know how to compose myself in my mid-20s, knowing that I’m about to do a good-sized deal that could change my life, effectively, and they saw that. They saw, when they’d deliver news, like, “Well, hold on, hang tight,” and that’s viewed as weakness, right? Whereas if you have somebody in the middle to kind of buffer the scenario and play a little hardball, I didn’t play hardball. I was a pushover, right? So it was my first time doing it, and didn’t have the experience. But absolutely a learning lesson, and wouldn’t have changed what I’ve done, because it absolutely built momentum for me financially, doing that transaction, and built a phenomenal network, and I’m going to put myself back in that position, luckily, many times again, I’m 34 years old.

So that’s the good news, right, is I don’t look backwards, I don’t regret. It’s not good, it’s not healthy. You close the door, you learn, and you move on, and you say, “I’m going to be here again, and when I’m there again, I’m going to do it bigger, I’m going to do it better, and I’m going to learn from these mistakes, and here’s how I’ll do it differently.”

John Warrillow:

So the re-trading, having an M&A professional represent you so that you didn’t … Victimize is probably too strong a word, but you didn’t get affected by re-trading. What else might you do if you had the deal over again, again, I’m thinking of other entrepreneurs listening to this thinking, “I’m about to do a deal with a private equity group, they want me to roll 30% of my equity into a new entity,” any advice or maybe do-overs that you might share?

Marc Elkman:

Well, we had a holding company, so nothing got rolled over essentially into a new entity, a holding company was just created where everything gets shifted over there. So that part wasn’t uncomfortable for me. The part that was most uncomfortable is I was selling control of the business. And I didn’t realize, when you sell control of your business, you’re selling your business. You’ve sold your business, and whatever you got that day for selling control of your business, could be the last dollar you see from your business. And that didn’t quite resonate with me well enough. I didn’t realize that I don’t make the decisions anymore. I thought I was still going to make decisions and they came in to support me as the founder who grew this business, and that’s the part that my lack of experience in being in that position sort of backfired on me.

And that set in over the next few years, and had I really understand that better, had I understand that better, I don’t know if I would’ve done that deal. I don’t know if I would’ve. Like I said, I don’t regret what I did, but I think that I could’ve continued building the business from where I was, and I think that I was the best decision-maker for the business at the time and would’ve continued to be for many levels to come. And again, when you do a deal with these guys, you have a lot of different personalities, a lot of different opinions, but I was the expert in the space.

And I look back and I say, “Wow,” because I want to be in private equity, I essentially am in private equity, in the sense that I use my own money and I fund deals, but I don’t run a fund, let’s say, but that’s private equity, right? When I give somebody money, and I were to invest in a company, I would be certain that the first thing I’m going to do is ensure that I make the person I’m investing in, the company I’m investing in, comfortable. How can I help you, how can I … I put this money behind you, so how do we work well together? How do we get the best out of this relationship so I can make a return on my money for myself and all of my investors?

Whereas for me, it was a combative relationship, not a cohesive relationship, and I sit back and I say, “Wow, if I wrote somebody a check, and I infuse this kind of capital into someone else’s business, boy would I be protecting it.” And if I find weaknesses, because I’m more experienced than Marc, as the CEO, and he’s a young CEO, I would find ways to plug those holes, right? And I had weaknesses, but I had a lot of strengths as well. And I felt as if my strengths were overlooked, and the weaknesses were not essentially filled, but just, essentially, trampled over.

And to this day, I don’t understand. I’m like, “Wow, you had a business with momentum in 2015, ’16, an opportunity to take a company at least to nine figures,” or 10 figures, like we’ve seen a few times since then. No question the people were at the table in order to do that, all the firepower was there. But in this instance, it was too much firepower. If you look at our board of directors, I mean, it was powerful. You got a guy, ABC Financial, they’re the largest CRM platform in fitness. They control the billing portal, they have all the information of the majority of fitness. Then you’ve got Dave Long, and you’ve got the bankers who banked the largest transactions in fitness and know all the operators and the founders, I’m like, “This is a 100% lock-solid thing that we’re going to explode this company,” and it just didn’t happen.

John Warrillow:

Wow. So what happened, what gave you … So you sell the majority of the shares, what was your first inkling that, “Maybe this isn’t what I thought I was signed up for?”

Marc Elkman:

During the transaction. Before the deal closed, I saw that there was definitely personality conflict, and I-

John Warrillow:

Between you and somebody, or …

Marc Elkman:

Yeah, between me and the other side, essentially, me and the group coming in. I was so deal-committed, though. I was deal-committed, but I started to have this gut feeling, I’m like, “This doesn’t feel right, I feel like we should be getting along better.” But I kept saying to myself, “When the transaction’s done, then we’ll all be on the same team, though. So at that point, they’ll put their money in, and things are going to change.” It didn’t change. It simply didn’t change, it was a continuation. I’m like, “Wow, this isn’t going to last too long,” and sure enough, I stayed on as the CEO for two more years, until the middle of 2018, and then from there I was no longer the CEO. I stayed on, I was essentially a VP for the company, helping business development, ongoing relationships with big brands, brought a few other big brands to the table myself, executed on that.

And when we got hit with COVID and that whole boots on the ground strategy came to an end at that time, I stepped away from the company and was no longer day to day. So early 2020, I just held my seat as a board member, and that’s the position I’m in now. And just watching a company that could’ve and should’ve, right, could’ve and should’ve been, but at the same token, there’s no regrets. I built a phenomenal Orangetheory Fitness portfolio by knowing Dave, invest in a few other great companies that I’m building and having great success with. So there’s no regrets, but I look back and I say, “Had I done these things better, or had I known these things, this company could’ve easily been a nine figure company, so I’ll just use that as a lesson to help me get these other businesses to that level.” So now I know what I didn’t know then, and I’m still at a young age, so …

John Warrillow:

And do you still own part of Fresh Meal Plan?

Marc Elkman:

I do. Yeah, I’m still a large shareholder.

John Warrillow:

Okay. And what is the prospect for getting liquidity on that ownership piece?

Marc Elkman:

So the prospect is is we have to become very strong at digital marketing. I never really focused too heavily on digital, I was the boots on the ground guy. I was building relationships, I never sat there and learned how to monetize a customer online, because I was doing so well at what I was doing at that moment. But I do regret it, because had I done what I did on the boots on the ground and been strong at digital, we would’ve been a powerhouse. And that’s the lack of my experience. I wasn’t experienced in digital marketing. I was a personal trainer in my mind, and was just, again, at the right place, early, with a phenomenal product. And it just, it made sense. No one thought that my product wasn’t great, and no one thought it was overpriced, no one had anything really negative to say about the product, so winning customers was easy.

John Warrillow:

Yeah. I’m so surprised there was tension. We don’t know each other beyond our conversation today, but you seem like a super affable guy, friendly, outgoing. You obviously are really good with people or you wouldn’t be able to sign up all these gyms, and personal training. I’m like, how on Earth did you have, what did you guys disagree on? That’s the part that I’m lost about, because you just seem like a good guy to hang out with. I can’t imagine them being frustrated with anything.

Marc Elkman:

I think that if we were just hanging out with them, that we would be hanging out. I think that there’s no personality conflict, I think that it’s disappointment in execution in certain areas for me. Like I wasn’t wonderful at managing technology, so that created tension in the relationship instead of, “Hey Mark, you’re not doing well at managing this project, let’s bring someone in to manage it. Go focus at building relationships, because we know you’re great at that.” And that’s, it was continuing to force me into doing something I wasn’t good at, so it was letting them down, I was letting them down in certain areas, and that’s not the best use of my time.

But look, at the end of the day, we just kept pushing and pushing and saying, “Just go and push and push,” but I wasn’t doing well there, and it was taking time away from the things I was excelling at. So to me, that was a lot of the conflict, is I was great at a few things in the company, but there was a few things in the company that I was not great at, but I was still managing those things as well, because look, that’s the role of a CEO, right?

John Warrillow:

Sure.

Marc Elkman:

The CEO needs to oversee all elements of the company, and I just was having trouble figuring out the technology. Look, there was no platform that could run this business soup to nuts, it was built from scratch. And there was a lot of disappointment in the technologist I hired. You know what they say, “The greatest salesmen are the easiest people sold.” I believe in that-

John Warrillow:

I’ve heard that before, and I totally agree with you.

Marc Elkman:

I mean, these technologists come in and they look the part, they just are saying big words, I’m like, “Great, you’re hired.” And a few months in I’m like, “Wait a second, this is nowhere where it needs to be.” I didn’t map the project out properly, I didn’t know anything about process mapping and doing all the things that I know now, and, “Here’s the whole project in paper, now go execute it.” It was very haphazard, and I wasted a ton of money. Ton of my own money before they came in, and a ton of money after they came in, and I think that instead of saying, “Hey Marc, go focus on these things, we need you as part of the company,” it was more of like, “Listen, COVID’s here, the relationships on the ground is no longer a part currently, this doesn’t make sense for any of us right now,” and it didn’t, it truly didn’t.

So the company shifted, and now it was purely focused on digital marketing, and the CEO currently running the business looks like he can take the business to the next level digitally, but at the end of the day, we do want to own the market we’re in, which is Florida. We want to be the winner in Florida, we want to be the ones that own the state, and we have to do well with digital marketing, and I think that I’ll see the second bite of the apple at some point down the road. So that’s my focus now is being a board member, contributing however I can, and I’m actually working on a couple projects with the company, bringing some celebrity personalities to do a couple things that’ll help grow the business, because I’m incentivized to do so. [crosstalk 00:48:27]-

John Warrillow:

Yeah, because you’re still a shareholder.

Marc Elkman:

Yeah.

John Warrillow:

How much of your equity did you sell versus keep in the business?

Marc Elkman:

They slightly bought a controlling interest, yeah, just, they [crosstalk 00:48:36]-

John Warrillow:

More than half?

Marc Elkman:

Yeah, just over half, yeah. So still plenty incentivized, my founding partner and I.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, I would think so. And I know we can’t get into specifics on the valuation, but can you just give us a rough idea, how they valued the business?

Marc Elkman:

Sure.

John Warrillow:

As a multiple [crosstalk 00:48:54] EBITDA?

Marc Elkman:

Absolutely, yeah, nah, no problem. I want everybody to kind of understand. And look, at the time, food tech was hot. I mean, just saying the word food tech, people are throwing money at you. It sounds so good. At the end of the day, I was a meal plan company, but really, technology, marketing is what drove the business. Food was just the byproduct. So the valuations were rich at the time, I mean, high single digit multiples of EBITDA was really the benchmark at the time, and I even did better in the angel round. I did in the double digits of EBITDA with my angel group. Because it was so hot, I was executing and making money. The difference was is people were growing top line, but they didn’t understand bottom line. Keeping my cost per acquisition low was giving us a nice bottom line return, and everybody was thrilled to see that. Because it’s not easy to make money in the space. Most don’t.

John Warrillow:

No, because of the hard costs and the perishable inventory, and …

Marc Elkman:

Yeah.

John Warrillow:

So how did the angel investors make out from the deal? How did they end up faring in the transaction?

Marc Elkman:

So I did my transaction, they got their money out first, we call that the 1X provision, right? Money out, and then they convert to shareholders.

John Warrillow:

Sorry, I don’t understand what you’re referring to. So what is the 1X, like how does that work?

Marc Elkman:

Yeah, so I mean, some groups operate this way where they’ll give you an injection of capital, and once they get all of that money back, they’ll convert to a shareholder.

John Warrillow:

So they’re effectively giving you debt?

Marc Elkman:

I mean, it’s not debt on the books, because it’s their own cash, but let’s say, for example, using half a million dollars, 1X would mean here’s your half a million dollars, but when the business sells, if it sells, I get my half a million dollars out first. I get my half a million first, and then I then have this equity component based on what we valued the business at, right? So if it’s $10 million and they got 10% of it, they get their half a million first, and then their 10 million. Or their, apologize-

John Warrillow:

Their 10%.

Marc Elkman:

Their 10% of the 10 million, yeah.

John Warrillow:

Got it. And is that a standard angel round structure, is that like a-

Marc Elkman:

It’s semi-standard, yeah, it’s semi-standard. Yeah, I spoke to a few angel groups, and this group happens to be a phenomenal group. I mean, I wouldn’t even mind mentioning the name, the Tamiami Angels down here in Naples, these guys are, I mean, they function more like a private equity group than an angel group. I mean, Naples is a hub for Fortune 500 CEOs where they go and retire, I believe that Naples has more Fortune 500 CEOs than any part of the country, or up there. Was, at least the last few years, and boy do this group operate like a big fund. So yeah.

John Warrillow:

That’s really cool. So the angel guys and gals, the investors, they got their money out, and then, do they get a return after that, or how did it work for them?

Marc Elkman:

So they sit on the cap table with me, so we’re all-

John Warrillow:

Oh, I see, so they’re still … I see. So when you ultimately sell …

Marc Elkman:

Yeah, yeah, they’ll get their piece, yeah.

John Warrillow:

Got it. I love it. It’s fantastic. Well, I feel like I’ve learned a ton. I’ve learned what a syndicate is, I feel like I now understand angel investing more effectively, so that’s great. I know people are going to want to reach out and say hi, what’s the best way? Are you a LinkedIn guy, a Twitter guy, where can people find you?

Marc Elkman:

So I use Instagram mainly for family, so I keep it private, but I’m more than happy to accept people who are reaching out. To be honest with you, I don’t know if you’re using it, but I am a huge fan of Clubhouse.

John Warrillow:

Oh, are you really? You’re the first person I’ve actually met, other than celebrity people I follow on Twitter or whatever that actually use it, so that’s interesting. What are you getting out of it?

Marc Elkman:

I’m on Clubhouse and I’m in these rooms, and I’m essentially moderating rooms, I’m on a panel, and we’re bringing up people, and we’re in these pitch rooms, and I’m doing deals, I’ve done a couple of deals on Clubhouse.

John Warrillow:

Really?

Marc Elkman:

People come on and say they got this great product, I go into diligence with them. I’ve met partners who I’m doing business with, I’ve met-

John Warrillow:

Wow, okay. So I don’t know anything about Clubhouse. I downloaded the app, I know nothing about it.

Marc Elkman:

Get it.

John Warrillow:

So where can people reach you on Clubhouse? Do you have like a handle, or what [crosstalk 00:53:16]-

Marc Elkman:

Yeah, so if you type in my name, Marc Elkman, M-A-R-C E-L-K-M-A-N, you’ll find me on Clubhouse. I’m there, and you can, same way, find me with the same name on Instagram as well. So those are the two main ways of finding me.

John Warrillow:

You’re making me feel old, man.

Marc Elkman:

Nah, no, you got to get on Clubhouse. I’m serious.

John Warrillow:

You’re making me feel old. This is terrible.

Marc Elkman:

Yeah, we’d have a good time. I think you should sign up. What’s cool about Clubhouse is you actually need to be accepted. So-

John Warrillow:

Recommended, or … Yeah, right?

Marc Elkman:

Yeah. You sign up for it, and it’s not like you’re in. People that are in that have your contact will be alerted, and they’re like, “Yeah, I’ll accept you or I won’t.” And that, to me, was pretty exclusive, actually Facebook was similar back when it started, you have to have a college address to become-

John Warrillow:

I remember that, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Marc Elkman:

So it was exclusive, and Clubhouse has that exclusivity, and I mean, I’ve never gotten more out of a platform than Clubhouse, and I’m by no means on their payroll.

John Warrillow:

Oh, that’s cool. Okay, well, we’ll look you up, Marc Elkman, Marc with a C, M-A-R-C, on Clubhouse or Instagram.

Marc Elkman:

Yeah.

John Warrillow:

Thank you so much for doing this, Mark.

Marc Elkman:

John, it was great connecting with you.

John Warrillow:

Hey, if you liked 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’ve expected. I was curious to understand the tactics and strategies of 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 order the book. Just go to BuiltToSell.com/Selling.

Built to Sell Radio is produced by Haley Parkhill. Our audio and video engineer is Dennis Labattaglia. If you like what you’ve just heard, subscribe to get a new episode delivered to your inbox each week, just go to BuiltToSell.com.

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