Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a presentation given by Andrew Taylor and Allie Taylor on the challenges facing business owners as they sell their business or transition to the next generation.  Andrew and Allie provide a unique perspective on the issues facing these owners and focus on areas that are rarely addressed through this process, and are often the primary obstacles facing the owner and preventing the process from moving forward.  This was a valuable session and would be beneficial to any professional or business owner involved in these types of situations.

– James McColl, Jr.
Financial Advisor & Principal, Alliance Bernstein

Allie Taylor is one of the most insightful speakers on entrepreneurship that I have ever heard. Too many so-called experts ignore the one factor that has the greatest impact on entrepreneurs’ ability to achieve their goals, namely, their own psychology. This is where Allie excels. She has an uncanny grasp of how entrepreneurs think and feel, and the changes they go through–what drives them, what holds them back–at every stage of a business’s lifecycle.

– Bo Burlingham
Author and Speaker

Senior partners – Allie Taylor and Andrew Taylor – are sought after speakers adept at blending their academic research and extensive business experience into memorable thematic presentations. Audiences are enriched with an engaging, informative, and compelling experience that provides practical insights. Their speaking services are well suited to corporate in-house events and conferences, as well as industry associations and gatherings.

Topics include:

Audience: Advisors to low-to-mid market business owners

We often hear advisors to business owners say, “I should get a fee for counseling services”. It reflects the common experience that the exit/transition process is at its core, a profoundly emotional event. The tangible result of the owner’s emotional angst is often resistance, self-sabotage, deal failure, and the destruction of wealth and legacy.  This phenomenon is not new, but there is very little accessible research and knowledge to help advisors navigate the waters of owner psychology. As a result, many advisors are interacting with owners in ways that are the equivalent of waiting for the cat to sit, stay, roll over, and bark.

Our PhD research provides advisors with fresh insights into the mind of the owner. On a very practical level we will discuss how these insights can help the advisor increase the potential for moving owners to action and increase their ROI at the same time.

Audience: Advisors to low-to-mid market business owners

Low-to-mid market business owners have proven they have the right stuff to succeed at the great game of business. And truth is, their psychological profile is quite distinct from that of the general population. They are in a sense, wired to succeed.

Unfortunately there is an often hidden side to this success. That is the historical success of the business owner can in effect create a psychological castle that with time begins to prevent them from hearing from others or responding to changing circumstances. This paradox of success can become a critical point of failure for key liminal moments in the business owner’s career – such as designing an approach to their own exit or leadership transition.

Audience: Low-to-mid market business owners

Identity is an existential construct that we rarely explore with any intentionality. Yet, our self-identity forms the basis of how we interact with the world. Successful business owners (and others in positions of power) can experience something called “Role-Identity Fusion”. When the boundaries between a person’s self-concept and their role-identity become blurred or at the extreme indistinguishable, the person has little or no concept of who they are and how they can engage with the world apart of their role. Fusion occurs subtly over time and as it does the person’s ability to receive meaningful inputs that foster openness and change are eroded. The keys to helping entrepreneurs overcome these challenges reside in helping them discover how to leverage their strengths and view their potential in new ways.

Audience: Wealth management firms and advisors

Successful business owners are essential creators of wealth in the US economy. As such they are highly prized clients for wealth management firms. Most often, however, the majority of the business owner’s wealth is tied up in their business. Many of these business owners are baby boomers on the verge of exiting their business.

The average wealth manager recognizes this . . . and leads with a strategy for “diversifying your asset base” and thus, completely misses the point and only creates resistance from the business owner.

We present a new approach for wealth management firms and advisors that puts the business owner truly at the center of the puzzle. Rather than taking a direct, technical expert approach, we suggest an oblique approach that focuses more on the holistic needs of the business owner. In so doing, advisors learn how to increase their AUM and gain new client leads.

Audience: Low-to-mid market business owners.

The vast majority of successful business owners fail to sell their business and move on to a life of satisfaction and significance. In fact, even those who do sell their business fail to live a life of satisfaction and significance beyond their business. However, it is possible to join the few who do finish big.

Building on the work of Bo Burlingham in his book “Finish Big: How Great Entrepreneurs Exit Their Business on Top”, this presentation introduces business owners to the four critical stages that each owner must go through to join this rare group. Rather than solely focusing on many of the standard questions such as “how much is my business worth”, we introduce business owners to the psychological strengths that led to their success and how to leverage them to achieve greater transition success. This approach consistently produces light-bulb moments for owners that inform both their current and future business practices.

With this understanding and validation in hand, we peel back the layers and help the owner see when and how their historical strengths can sabotage their exit and transition. Owners receive unique and powerful insights into who they are, why they do what they do, and how they can practically ensure they have the best chance at transition success.

Ask about having us speak at your corporate or association event!