So the two things that we teach the founders is there like essentially a ability gap and a motivation gap. So ability gap is like the actual things you need, right? Like you don't know about add backs, you don't know, like the process of going through this thing. So we like teach you that. But then the motivation gap is like, the limiting beliefs like now that you know that it's possible what's in my head that's stopping me from doing this. And we tell ourselves all these stories, but the reality is that there have been many hundreds 1000s of people who've done this before you. And so by getting access to that information, like you don't know what you don't know, but when you do know, you can't unlearn it. Hello, and welcome back to since 3000. I'm your host, Danielle Leslie, and I'm so glad you joined us today. I'm really excited to welcome today's guest, I know you are going to love him. As much as I do. He's already making funny faces. Go mol Connor is the founder and CEO of Connor Inc, an online consulting company that helps ecommerce founders scale and exit their brand for maximum profitability. His own ecommerce brand, launched alongside with his brother scaled from zero to $60,000 a month within just a few months of operation. And it was recently acquired by a company that he actually wrote down. Like the day he started the company. So you're gonna hear about that journey. And a lot lot more come off. Welcome to since 3000. In New York. I'm so excited to bring you today's episode. But before we do, I need to make sure you've heard about member up. So community driven products are the future. But Facebook groups are a thing of the past. And after 10 plus years in the online education space, I've taken all my learnings and I've built this incredible platform member up. It's a customizable easy to use all in one platform where you can build a premium course community or membership site without the tech headache, gone are the days of having to duct tape together, your content, your community, your payments, all on different platforms, I want you to do me a favor, do yourself a favor and head over right now to member up.com Ford slash Danielle. And you can get started for free today. I promise you, I can't wait for you to see this platform. It's beautiful. Okay, the design is amazing your community is going to feel at home here and you are going to take pride in your online business, it is the place to start, head over to member of.com Ford slash Danielle. Now let's get into the episode. I want to start with this new lease on life you seem to have there was a book you posted. And it was called wanting and it was on mimetic desires. I want to get into that in a second. Before we get into that, and how that actually transformed the way I was relating to my life. I want to first just talk about this new lease on life that you seem to have an I know that you just sold your business fresh heritage. So we're going to start there, and then we're going to work our way back. So tell us about what that even means to sell a business. What was fresh heritage? What was that whole process? Alright, so fresh heritage was this econ brand, my family and I started and the five seconds version of it is we started from scratch, got it up to like 60k per month in our first three months, and then ran into a bunch of issues. foundationally learned a whole lot. But over the next four years, we got up to a few million dollars. And we got acquired by a large competitor that wanted to figure out our secret sauce. Wow. And so what was it about because usually when there's a company that acquires you, I know they're like financial acquisitions and strategic acquisitions. And so what do you think it was that got the attention of that brand that bought your business? So very interesting story. I actually spent time in m&a before on the sell acquisition side so my job was like go out and find targets. A bunch of stuff happened that made me realize I wanted to be on the other side of it. So day one, I wrote a one page business plan to get acquired in three to five years. So you wait, what year was that when you started the business? 2017 2017 And was this your first business that you started? No, this is like business five. Okay. Was this your first time setting the intention to get acquired correct Wow. So day one you write this plan on how you're going to sell the business in three to five years I would have done it in year three but COVID Half Year Three winning been a better year to to sell but there's a lot of uncertainty people didn't know how people were gonna respond to online shopping what the economy was gonna be like so we realized we would get a better valuation like waiting it out. And so we waited up, but it's crazy because we talked about manifestation and all that stuff kind of being the future you now and all that. I actually wrote down who I wanted to acquire my business and intentionally built it in this way that I like, if I do these things, this person would be attractive to it and see the value. And I didn't think I did it. But what happened was the team that was at that company moved over to this new company, and they acquired it. So technically, I sold my business to the person I wrote out on the plan for years before. Whoa, that is wild, crazy. But I didn't realize it until after we closed and I was meeting the executive team. And they're like, Yeah, you know, we used to work for XYZ. That's part of the reason we love your brand. I'm like, You gotta be kidding me. I went back and read my Google Doc. I'm like, yo, this is nuts. Whoa, it was intentional. Oh, my God, God is good. I love that. You're like, it was intentional. This was planned. It was designed it already happened. So what was your secret sauce. So they were so attracted to I like zigging when everyone's like sagging. And so contrary to thinking, right, which is kind of like this less is more thing. So part of what we figured out with when we're in m&a is that this whole concept of strategic value, so most businesses are based on a financial multiple, right, whatever you make, it's like the lotto like would you rather five years worth of profits all now or you keep the business so they usually figure out what you make in a year, there's a couple of other things you can do. And then they'll pay you five to 10 years forecasted just in cash. So what you're saying is annual revenue times five, or times 10 is usually like the range of the style of business that you've had, or annual profit, depending on the type of business. So different industries or revenue, different industries or profit, okay. But then there's these strategic buyers that they don't care what your money says, because the thing that you've built in their hands is worth more. So I often give examples like Amazon moving in and buying whole foods at the time, they overpaid, they paid like $13 billion. It didn't make any sense. But Amazon wanted to get into grocery delivery. And big companies suck at being founders. They don't know how to start ideas, they overcomplicate things, right things, they can't just like put a two man team in, it doesn't make sense for what they like to do is wait until something has traction, see the strategic alliances and then just acquire them and then plug them into their big ecosystem, right. And so what happened was Amazon did that. And shortly after COVID happened, and then online, grocery delivery blew up. And if Amazon would have tried to like launch from scratch, figure out figure out vendors source like 1000 Different catch ups and all that stuff, they would have missed the boat, but they bought Whole Foods who had money in revenue from day one, and just plugged them into their 200 million Amazon Prime users and got their money back instantly. So that's one thing. Another reason strategic acquisitions happen is like arbitrage which essentially, like if you're small, you trade on a five to 10, multiple, but if Amazon buys you, they trade on a 20 to 30 multiple. So even if they pay you 15x, as soon as they now own you, you're worth more, and they can go get leverage from the bank at that higher multiple. So they pretty much buy companies for free, because they pay you in cash and then go get the money back, oftentimes double from the bank. And so it's like a free transaction. Whoa, essentially, it's more you know, it's over simplified. But yeah, yeah. So this is interesting, because I went to baby bathwater last year. And the My biggest takeaway was this possibility of building a business to sell. And so like few years before I started my business, or a few years into my business, rather, I read, like build to sell. And so that's when I started learning about or at least, like realizing, Oh, I could build a business to sell. So going to baby bathwater was great because he talked about an example of he started like a clothing line, you know, it was an REI Rei, he ended up getting it acquired, and it was a strategic acquisition. And the example he used was it was like an adjacent industry. So the company that acquired your brand because you had a lot of like beard products. So I'm assuming that like this company was not a company that was in like the beard product vertical, or maybe even so strategic value is super important. Like you could think of it in a bunch of different ways. So as a small business, right like less than 250 employees, you have a lot of value the biggest value you have over a larger competitors you could build community. You're close to this the founder story people buy into you all these like indie brands, they blow up and they have like, cult like followings, right? No one's doing that over Johnson and Johnson products, right? It's like whatever. It's like the next thing on the Walmart or Target shelf. So oftentimes, like building community, in our case, like we built we are brand made grooming products for black men. And like the legacy products were like selling in Walmart, and like hair stores, and just their business model is sell wholesale. So you make a product for two bucks, you sell it for four bucks. Walmart sells it for 10. I went like contrary and I said you know what? I think I could get that same thing. Add different value to it. Meet people in a different place, go after a different consumer and sell it for 25 bucks. So my margins were nuts. So like I can I can disclose this, like our margins are over 40% at scale when we sold and compared to like the average ecommerce, product based company that's less is more. When you say less is more, what do you mean? Really, you could do more with less. So I use, I started the brand thinking like the way to do this is to scale top line, which is like, you know, what, everyone's flashing and like this whole wanton thing, I realized, like, I didn't realize how much of that played into my strategy of growing the company. But the reality is, I'm a bad manager of people. And I was building this company, they ended up forming like a golden prison, right? It was like what I wanted, I got the accolade, Shopify recognize me all these like awards podcast, but I hated it, because I was managing, you know, people who I didn't want to manage. And I was doing things I didn't enjoy. So one time, I was really just like scaling this thing up, and I lost my ad account. And I got stuck with all this overhead, like, you know, like $100,000 a month bills, and like all this stuff, and I'm like, I'm doing this wrong, I don't enjoy this, let me like, figure this thing out. So I had like two months worth of cash left to like, save the business. And I decided to just use that two months to do something completely different. And I rebuilt it with the idea that I can get more from my existing customers. And I enjoyed the money I made when I was like doing multiple, like six figure months. But I didn't like the responsibilities that came with like all the employees, because ecommerce isn't scalable, like it scales, but it's the expensive scale with the revenue. So unlike software or digital products, where you know, the products made, it's all about ad spend, well, if you go from like 100 grand to like a quarter million dollars, you need bigger warehouse, more fulfillment people, more products, you know, your inventory orders have to be bigger. And if you order in with E commerce, if you want to like double your revenue, you have to buy double the inventory now and today's profits, because it takes eight weeks to get it. So you got to do all this stuff. And I'm like, I don't want that. But I like the I like the profit of that. But I don't like the headache. So I just reverse engineered away to like make the money I was making at that scale. But with the problems and headaches and overwhelm of like, you know, making 100 grand a month, like what I was the life I was enjoying the workflow work life balance I was enjoying at that scale. So I just kind of figured out how to do it. I love that. Wow. And then would you say that that was the time that helped you rebuild the business so that it was more attractive for the sale? Correct. So what I realized, and what we built was like, you know, we had I really focused on I like thinking kind of outside of the box. So I'm like, What are other industries doing that I can adopt? And at the time, I really wanted to focus on repeat revenue. So we had an initiative to do more with less. And so it was like, If I could only grow my business with the existing customers. How would I do that? And I'm like, What can I do to get more of my past customers to buy more and spend more with me, so it's like, great customer experience, amazing product, and also just like using psychology to like incentivize them to want to come back. So we ended up launching a membership program. And I could talk more about that if you need to. But we got like 3000 people signed up on our membership program. Whoa, that's huge. What was the monthly amount? Anywhere from like, 25 bucks, like 55 bucks. Wow, when you got the 3000 monthly members at that time? How many customers unique customers did you have over the lifetime? I don't remember. I remember at that time, but at that time, I am like, you know, there was churn and not everyone was on at the same time. But I was just tracking total people signed up for a membership and we got over 3000 Which was cool because and I just kept maximizing that like how can I get these people to do things so like our biggest customer bought 46 times from us over like a two and a half year span. Right? Wow. Are they doing gifts? Like did you do you know what they're buying for? So we started like, you know, the best customers early on we started like getting on the phone and talking figure this stuff out. So it was so what we would do is like what we realized is that that was our best way to grow right like oh, what's your beard looks nice. What are you using Oh, this and then making that exchange beneficial for both parties. So we had like incentives for both people to refer and they started gift giving they started gift getting in so they were buying for every like men and whoever in their family so it got turned into a good thing. Wow. No, I love the you're talking about the monthly membership. I'm actually going to be working with a monthly membership platform member up just seeing the importance and the value of just like cultivating community and I love your lens of it is about asking ourselves how can we create a more expansive, more enjoyable customer experience, which does lead to that monthly, you know, recurring revenue, but really like the original question is how can we create a better experience for our customers? And a lot of times yeah, a lot of times it lends to a community and it lends to a better here's a better packaging where you're going to want gonna like gift it to people and you're gonna want to send it. So I love that origin question. So I deviated from your original question. I didn't answer it. Essentially, that's the answer. So the value we built was building community, I'm having a way above higher margins, essentially, the community building was a big piece, and direct to consumer model. So we kind of built this company, no, there's a ton of companies who are in similar industries, or people who are because of COVID, pretty much before COVID 16% of all shopping was done online. And in six months of COVID, like it doubled to 37. So and because big companies don't know how to innovate and be founders, they were just acquiring so we're like, aren't How can we position ourselves to be attractive? And what can we do that in the hands of like $100 million company, like that margin live from like, 15 to 40%, reverse engineer that and $100 million organization would be really attractive. So at this point, it's not like what are we doing on paper? It's like, what is the framework with the process? What's your secret sauce for doing that, and having us plug our secret sauce into a bigger company. So that's what we're trying to focus on. Wow. And what I love is you're now teaching others how to do this, right? So I think you started a program recently, and I would love to hear about it and who's like the ideal person to be a part of your program, I think you've always been pretty transparent in your journey, which is what I love about you. And your lie, let me let me just tell you like this will happen. You're not like a keeper of secrets. So I love that you're doing a program because one of my takeaways, when I went to the conference, I went to and heard other people speaking about having your business acquired and building to sell is there was no one who looked like me who was in the room and who was talking about this. And I thought back and I was like, Actually, I haven't really seen conversations amongst us on that. And I'm like, this is a great way to build wealth, if you're able to build something of a lot of value and sell it and you know, cashed out structured the deal in a way, like, that's a great lump sum that you can put into, even if you put it into the lowest performing mutual funds, stocks, whatever it is, and you live off the interest of that, like, and that's like, throws off 100k a year, whatever it is, and then you have a side business you run that makes the difference up. Like, that's huge. So I love that you're going to be teaching others, it really is. So that program is exit blueprint. And I went through a lot of things to come up with this. So we took a sabbatical, my wife and I ran the business, she was like the ops and I was like marketing and finance. And she has a background of like corporate managing teams of like, 100 plus people. So that that's like the integrator and I was the visionary to ask, like, how that dynamic was because I know there are couples that, you know, navigate working together. So we're gonna circle back to that. All right. And so she kind of challenged me to like get let's take a sabbatical. So it started off as three months, and it turned into red once and around that time, it turned into six months. And in that time, I went through a roller coaster, some of you real, it's not all highs, right? A large part of my identity up until this point, I was like, you know, partner with Shopify, on these podcasts. People introduced me like, Hey, that's my buddy with this, or here's my buddy, he's, he did this, right. Yeah. And then now I'm no longer that. So Wow. And then for like, the past four years, I had this one page goal, that I was gonna do this thing, and I did it. I did it. And I'm like, What the hell do I do next? Who am I now? And so it wasn't all like, you know, celebration. I was. It was weirdly, the President's a strong word. It was weirdly, it was an introspective experience. And it wasn't all positive emotions. And so in that I'm like, Alright, let's like see it for what it is I accomplished something I said it was gonna do. I got a lot of support. But realistically, this is something that not a lot of people have done. So what am I supposed to do with this experience? Not right. And so I sat in that for six months, and I realized, like wealth creation, or liquidity events are the the leading wealth creation tool. But no one really talks about oh, like, you know, the top 20 richest people in the world, Bezos, whatever, Elon Musk, he built in exited PayPal, rolled that money into something else. And there's public and private liquidity. So the top 20 are like largely public liquidity. So they liquidate their assets on the stock market IPO. But there was a ton of private liquidity events. So Elon Musk built PayPal, PayPal Mafia, Mafia, and he sold it and like, roll that into other things. So realizing that that's a tool, even real estate, right? Like people build up assets, the value of what you have is when you sell it to someone, right, and that you can like cash out. So this whole concept is really simple. By own equity and assets, grow the value of the asset, sell some or all of the assets. It's like really simple, but no one's doing it in business. And oftentimes, as founders, this is our largest asset that we own more so than our stock portfolio or homes, whatever. We know how to exit or liquidate that but we don't know how to liquidate our most valuable asset. I was in a unique experience to do that differently, and to do something that not a lot of people are talking about. So I accepted the responsibility. What came up for me as you were talking And I was like, oh, it's interesting, because I think that having a startup tech background, there was this, this, this simultaneous existence, you have a startup, which you build, you get investment, and you build it to scale quickly. And then to go public or sell. And then you have a lifestyle business, which is funding or lifestyle. And so that is, you know, cash flow, high margins, and there's no intention to have that liquidation event, because it's funding your life. And I think that because of maybe social media, there are different messages, there are businesses built around personal brands, I think there is a lot of maybe a lack of awareness that those are different types of models. And maybe some of us don't realize, oh, yeah, yes, we can build a lifestyle business. And also, we can build this other type of business where there is an exit a liquidation event. Yeah, you're 100%, right, you see those memes? It's like, would you rather $10 million today, or 100 grand for like the next whatever amount of years? And everyone's like, 100 grand, or a million, whatever the the large lump sum is? Or the lotto even right, would you take the one sum payment or the annuities, everyone picks a lump sum, that's essentially what it is. So like, you have this cash flow business. And so I focused on helping ecom founders who were like past the kind of 40 50k Mark, and they have something of substance, but now they're like overwhelmed all over the place, or the bottleneck, help them put systems in place, identify strategic value, like maximize that, so that you become attractive to a buyer. So since this year, I've been advised in about four people who opportunities like offers to buy them just popped up. So collectively over $20 million across those like founders. And so what always happens is, you're never ready, when the offers come, you're just doing something good, you catch the eye of someone. And it's like a first impression, if you mess that up, you're probably never gonna get to offer that good. So like you got it, you got to stay ready. So you don't have to get ready. I was curious about how your company who acquired you even found you being on the radar. And but when I was intentional about it, so there's a couple of ways you can prepare. And they could just like show up and ask you or I actually made a list of based on the type of company I was building. And the strategic value I knew I could articulate and quantify this type of business is the best type of company to see and appreciate that value. So for me, it was like people who are traditionally in retail, with like lower margin, and did not know how to build community, and people who are already selling similar products, because it was like, kind of, you know, apples and apples comparison of like, what the future their larger company could be. And so I made a list of top 50 people and not like specific names, but like, I had a customer persona of a buyer. And then I went and found those and I went to market with a broker business broker, which they kind of manage the whole process of like putting our deck together, bringing us out to market interviewing people. And why that's important is because when you go through this process, you're like running two businesses, you're running like your day to day operations. And then you're running the business you're trying to sell to customers, you're selling to to customers, and it's so time consuming. Like they literally everything you do over the past four years, you just kind of do it right. We're like our own decision makers. So like, why you spent five grand on this thing? Like you just justified it right? Your CPA says a tax write off you do it. But when you have a buyer is like, Well, why did you spend five grand on this? You gotta go back, remember what she did three years ago. And so this broker kind of plays quarterback. And so in our first week of going to market, we had over 200 requests to learn more about our business. I didn't have the time for that, right? Well, oh, and then he kind of knew what we're looking for. and fine tune that to like 20 of the best people. And then, you know, we did all the interviews and stuff like that, and fine tuned to the people who we got offers from we got like half a dozen offers, like serious offers. And then we kind of negotiated and they got into a bidding war. So we kind of got better terms than we initially had. And then we selected somebody. So I didn't have time for that. So I kind of knew who would value me and the person who we sold to was on my list that I created. And then kind of handed it over to someone to do the work for me. Did that happen in 30 days? Yeah. So like the go to market 200 offers to settle on the one we want to go is 30 days. Whoa. And then because I like I spent time in m&a and like I was intentional about building my company up into a over the prior to yours. The once we got under contract, it was literally like, you know, another 20 days or something like that 21 days that we like execute everything that's been gotten in the bank. Wow. So we're prepared that we're working on this thing for two years. I was saying no to everything, like amazing opportunities with Jump up. And my Northstar was exit and I'm like what this deviates me from like the story I'm trying to tell so this is an amazing opportunity, but no thank you. Like we had an opportunity to list on Amazon and be a part of like a pre Your product and get like free ad spend and all this stuff. I'm like, Well, my value is that I'm direct to consumer. And we kind of talked about earlier before we started if I launch on retail, and then I don't hit what I'm saying I can, it can only go down like there's no upside in doing this. And so like the bigger opportunity is keeping my stuff where I'm at where I am and having an expert launch into retail because I wasn't an expert. So I said no to everything that wasn't in alignment to like the Northstar. If you are a creative entrepreneur, and your business is unique, why are you working with a generic accountant? One of the best decisions I made was who I would partner with on my taxes and my accounting. So if you're creative entrepreneur, you are growing your business you're scaling your business, I want to introduce you to revel. Revel is a firm that can help you whether you're looking to prepare your taxes, or you're looking for that year round support. 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So she's created a program where she shares her system on how to overcome procrastination. And it's based on emotional intelligence, neuroscience and accountability, she's going to show you step by step how to overcome negative feelings. So you can start taking action and start seeing a difference from day one. So text this number right now to schedule an appointment with Patti and her team to see if this is right for you, and what steps for you to take to overcome your procrastination 813-789-1097. And again, the number to text right now is 813-789-1097. Let's all overcome procrastination together. Now let's get back to the episode. So I love that how I'm seeing you is, as I described before this like new lease on life. And you recommended a book called wanting and just posted on your story. And I was like, Oh, this looks interesting. But then he said a boob first recommended it to you. And I listened to it when I was in Mexico City. I guess it's been a few weeks now. And it was their friend's birthday. And after the birthday party, I remember just walking the streets of Mexico City listening to it, I was journaling. And I consider my life transformed. Like when I came back home after listening to that book, and it's things that were already percolating. And I think the book is was the final thing that gave me permission, because it helped give me language around what I was feeling. So it talks about mimetic desires, I would love for you to explain what that meant for you what that book did for you. And then I would love to hear about like, who is Gamal? Now, great question. And that book did similar things for me, and I read it at the right time. So like it shows up in people's lives when like when you need it, right, which I can appreciate. So I learned about it after we exited. And then I was trying to figure out like what my new future based goal is right? Like, who am I now? What am I going to do? And in that moment, so we were living in this place on the beach. And when I read the book, I realized so mimetic desires is essentially how your decisions and what you do are not really your own actions, right? You're like you're being influenced consciously or unconsciously, or subconsciously, by other people by other desires specifically for me, it was social media. And so I remember specific things and it talks about like, hey, you know, an example of this is like, all your friends start buying sports cars, and you're like, Oh, I'm not gonna buy a sports car. I'm gonna buy a Tesla, but essentially, like, they're influencing you to go and buy a car to keep up right? Keeping Up with the Joneses. Before what I realized is like your influence was like your five closest friends. But now social media, you're friends with like all these random. And so your mimetic desires, mine specifically was on steroids. And then on social media, you don't really post the real like, right? You only post the highlights, and so you have a distorted reality of life and you start second guessing or I turned into like a perfectionist, and that was already a part of me, like overthinking I kind of perfectionist but that took me on overdrive. And then I realized that we got this place and I was like day one in the place. Oh, this would be a great photo to post and What I realized before we sold is that I wanted to make that decision without, like, I'm like, what I sell this company, what were the deal of this company? Would I take this if no one ever knew about it, and then like a month later I read will make desires. I'm like, This is what I was trying to explain. This was what I was trying to figure out. So it was good for me, because I had like, pretty much released me from giving into social norms, or doing things for other people. And it like helped me become like a real authentic version of myself. So that's what it did for me. Wow. And so I would love to hear this like shift in identity. So there is Jamal who is running for shared edge as the co founder, managing people, managing the operations, the probably the branding, marketing, all of that. And then there is Gamal post that who is, as you mentioned earlier, is no longer necessarily intertwined with this other brand. And with the story and all of that. Can you tell me a little about who was Gamal before? And then how would you what's the identity of Gamal now? Alright, so that was like, maybe my fifth kind of startup, right? And the best ones that I've done, or the ones where I didn't have to manage people to scale so I did affiliate marketing back in like the 2013 2014. Oh, gee, like, I'm just gonna like five grand a day on Facebook since like, 2014. That is why so like doing six figure months, there was like, one little VA that was like, my jazz, right? Wow, this other reality, like trying to keep up with social like, you know, you got screenshots of all this stuff. So I'm like, Yeah, I don't enjoy this person. During that time, I was always stressed, exiting my business. And having that, like, that financial, like impact was the only time as an entrepreneur of five brands that I actually felt comfortable, even though I was doing like, well, there was always like, something a part of me was like, Yo, this isn't gonna last or what happens on my Facebook ads go down or some freakout event. Like I actually took six months off and didn't do anything. I've never done that since I started, like being an entrepreneur since 2014. So the new version of me knows that everything will be okay. Whereas I told myself that but I don't think I believe that before. Now that I don't need to just do things for like, Yo, let me be ROI off for this. I can invest in like the long term idea, like what kind of impact do I want to have, and for my wife, and I, we want to have an impact of like helping founders become equitable, helping busy founders who are successful enjoy being founders more, and escaping that golden prison. So that's like, where we're at now. And it's not like revenue focus versus like, impact focus for us. Because we have the flexibility now, to be able to just put the best thing out there, get the best results, and then like, build something more long term. So it's a good place. I love that. Wow. So I guess you and your wife are going to be partners in the course business in the program that you're running. So I'm curious, what is it like working with your wife? How is that I'm kidding. But like, what I realized early on is that a friend of mine, Kenny Conwell, he sent me this thing, where it was like, you know, a lot, a lot of successful businesses have a visionary. And then they have an integrator to roles, right. Visionaries, like marketing and relationship stuff, strategy, big ideas, a bunch of different ideas, right. And then what happens is, I was also trying to do the implementation. And I would start on stuff, finish projects, like I would never finish stuff. And then there's these other people, like my wife, or they're just natural project managers, they just execute like, we would start things. And she would finish and like half the time, but that'd be too busy, like perfecting little details, right? She just like gets it done. And so she's starting to help us hard time. And then it got to the point where I was like, yeah, there's way more value. And she had a lucrative like, six figure job. And she managed like a team of like, 107 people. She was like, she was like a bus. So Mike, look, you got some good stuff going on over there. Part time help stuff you do ROI, like 40 hours a week over here. Wow. So we made the decision together to like, walk away from her job. She put in her two weeks notice, like 2019, January 2019. And then we just like went in. And so how it works is we bumped heads initially, because she's used to like managing people telling people what to do. I used to imagine myself managing people, and having the final say, so then we got to go home and be happy. So what we realized was that it really sucked. And we had to figure this out. So I'm a workaholic. And she is like, you know, five o'clock I'm out like because that's how she worked for like 10 years. And then when you say a workaholic, what does that mean? I think it looks different for me. So very, very good point. So I enjoy the work that I do. Okay, and so because I enjoy it and I realized the impact that I have when I'm not doing everything I can to do the work Could I do? I don't feel good. So actually enjoy like Saturdays I'd be working on the thing I'm working on. And so to like modern society, it's like, yeah, you're working too much. But it's like no, this was put on earth to do so like, why would I spend every time doing it? That's a separate story about like, the meaning of that. But I would do that I already saw like way the Superior Man masculine feminine, like those roles, but Correct, correct. So that's an amazing book. So what we decided to do is much easier to just say what, what we couldn't do. So I can work whenever I want, but not this time on Friday, or this time when Saturday. So instead of her like, you know, bothered me, Hey, let's go do this. And I'm like, you know, having this conflict of No, I want to do this, or I don't want to choose between that are doing you. She also read The Way of the Superior Man and realize like, this is a disservice to the world and myself and her. If we deviated from my bigger purpose in life, right? Like, we got to this exit, now I'm able to impact so many other people. Like if I would have taken away these hours from perfecting this thing, like we wouldn't be here wouldn't have this message wouldn't have this impact. So we got it. So it was like, alright, let's just set time to do things together. Other than that, like, go do your thing. And on topics related to this, like you have the final say sale and topics related than it is. I have the final say so. And then we tried to disconnect when we went home. It was not about work. It was really about. So that worked for us. I love that. Yeah, I think because of online online businesses, we're seeing more and more couples, you know, working together. And I think it's great to have conversations about it and learn from others, you know, who have done it is it is a lot of trial and error, depending on your genius zones in your existing relationship. So that's good to hear. And it's good when like you have too high performance people Oh, yeah, that's like the execute on a high level, that so you like you match each other's energy. And so that's also important in like selecting a spouse. We didn't know you're working together, but we just happened to Oh, so we're going even in selecting the spouse, yeah, or significant other seriously, because if like your your definition of like, this is the effort I'm going to put out doesn't match up with your significant others, there always be internal conflict. Because like, good enough, isn't good enough, right? But it is for one person. And so you want to make sure like you're in alignment all the way around, if you're gonna like, you know, do a life with somebody. I love that. You mentioned this, like six months sabbatical. There was the Gamal who was the workaholic. And then there was a six month six month sabbatical. And I want to know, you know, what did you do on a sabbatical? And what does your day to day look like now? Alright, so what I did on the sabbatical and what I, the main thing I got from the whole six months of the sabbatical, so we were fortunate, we had a place right on the beach, and we just like did nothing. I wasn't able to do nothing before. So we had like, one or two times a week or would do something with our daughter, one or two times a week where we would do like, explore the city to like dates. And we got a full time nanny. So that was like one of the things we splurged on full time. Spanish speaking nanny. Oh, in our like, teacher, daughter, Spanish and now she's like, bilingual. That's amazing. Do you speak Spanish or your wife? Okay. No, like five words. Okay. Milk, okay. Okay. Okay. I was like, Okay, you're moving on to the next one. Okay. So our daughter only speaks back and like the five couple words we know. But like, she like, has one conversation. And then how old is she now? One and a half? Oh, wow. nanny for like, over over a year now. So that like freed up a bunch of time. And so we pretty much just did like introspective work. Like we read a lot of books, like, you know, just like therapy kind of work. And just figured out like, you know, what are we going to do next? What do we want to be known for what's like our new future based cause? What impact do we want to have? And so that kind of takeaway from this is I had a childhood friend. I've known him since I was like, 10. And we reconnected maybe two weeks after we reconnected, he died. He coded, fairly healthy guy. He said he coded. Yeah, so like flatlined in the hospital. He collapsed at home went to the hospital flatlined. And then the doctors brought him back flatlined again. And so he was dead for like, 11 minutes, like, technically, and they're like, look, we could try to bring him back. But the reality is, he's probably going to be a vegetable, probably going to be paralyzed or like, significant brain dead. So they brought him back, miraculously, right. It's like a miracle. And then he was in a coma for a number of days. And I saw him in the hospital, like, why on earth did I just meet this guy? Because we hadn't connected in over a decade. And then shortly after we did this happened, I'm like, What's the purpose of this? And he was at the gym a week later, he went from like, certainty of paralyzation or like some sort of significant brain damage to at the gym. Well, that taught me a lot of things like largely what he said had to happen from this was like he made such an impact on other people. And so I realized that sometimes things happen to you where it's not only for your own purpose, it's to serve other people. That was a big lesson. The other lesson was sometimes we we all know, like, I'm pretty clear that I know that I have a purpose on this world, right? Everyone does. But we think that we have 10 or 20 years to do it. What I do something differently, if I realize I only had a year to do it, or a month or a week, what is the most amount of impact we can make if we don't have infinite time and on Earth? And so it just kind of changed my perspective on things. And so I kind of have this new, like more, how can I do more with less. And so what we've settled that is realizing that there's a lot of resources around like startups getting started marketing, and all that stuff, and you build these businesses. But when I was building this, when we got to like that 50 to 100 grand mark with like marketing per month, I didn't know what to do. Like I didn't, I was overwhelmed. I built this golden prison for myself, right? I couldn't manage people I couldn't delegate. I was the smartest person in the company, not like intellectually, but I was like the subject matter expert at all these things. And so if something needed to happen, I was the person who oversight. So I, like built this thing that I wanted, I wanted the like, million dollar company or whatever, the podcasts and the magazine features. But I didn't know what was going to come at the expense of that. And so I was trapped. And so I'm like, What can I do for those people, because there are a lot of people who are there that no one's really paying attention to. And so in the media, it's like the startups or these big exits. But there are many other people, especially founders, who look like us, that have things that are worth one 510 $15 million, like, what can I do for them. And trust me, if you get like a million, the first million or $10 million in your bank all at one time, that is life changing your set. And so like the impact we want to have now is like working with those founders who have some success, but they're burnt out, and they're either gonna walk away from this thing or just like, not be able to manage it. And so what we found is that the majority of businesses who are successful, like 60, plus percent of them don't have a succession plan. And when they get tired of it, or overwhelmed, a large number of them just walk away from the opportunity, they don't even know that they can sell it because you're only hearing about these Walmart exits or these Amazon exits. They don't know that there's like trillions of dollars, wait, oh, marketplace, trillions of dollars, there's more money than deals, there were 207 people wanted to buy our company we went to mind is wild, there's like a 200 to one ratio of like your, your half a million dollar idea, your $5 million idea. There's 102 100 people right now who want to give you money for it. And so you don't have to keep yourself trapped in this prison. There's other options, you can cash out, and then really go do something that you enjoy. And this time you're doing it from experience, you're not doing it from scratch. So you make decisions better, right? You do things intentionally, that's in alignment with what you want to do, versus building and doing things out of necessity, because you got to cover your note, and you got to cover your bills. So I feel like that's the biggest like impact. And that's what I want to be like focused on and known for over the next five to 10 years. And that's an alignment with what my wife wants to do, too. So we're doing it together. Because I'm like the visionary in this thing. I could talk market and finance and, you know, maximize and building membership programs and all that stuff. And she can talk about how do you get your uniqueness and your genius out of your head? How do you delegate? How do you become a better manager, so that as your business skills, you don't crash, right? As your business skills, you can actually take time and enjoy life now and not be in a golden prison, but really be in something that you're happy to own? So that's what we're doing now. Okay, I want to ask you like, a specific case study question, because I have a business that is built around my personal brand. And it wasn't necessarily by design, like I did it that way. Because I knew telling my story well, for when it came natural, just telling, like, here's my story, here's what I've done. And also it worked, right, I'm able to connect with people. And so I know that there are a lot of other people watching who also have personal brand based businesses. So I'm curious if there were people who have businesses built around their personal brand, and it's a online course coaching that space type of business. I mean, some people say, you know, it's gonna take a lot for you to turn that ship around, because it's built around your personal brand for you to make it sellable for a high enough multiple. But I'm curious, like, from your experience, because I know, you know, a lot of us, you know, who have these types of businesses and even on the other side of the sale, what would it take for someone with a business built around their personal brand? Is it possible for them to sell and what would they need to shift to do that? Yes. So the two things that we teach the founders is there like essentially a ability gap and a motivation, gap, ability gap and motivation gap? Correct. So ability gap is like the actual things you need, right? Like you don't know about add backs, you don't know, like the process of going through this thing. So we'd like teach you that. But then the motivation gap is like the limiting beliefs like now that you know that it's possible, like what's in my head that's stopping me from doing this and we tell ourselves all these stories But the reality is that there have been many hundreds 1000s of people who've done this before you. And so by getting access to that information, like you don't know what you don't know, but when you do know, you can't unlearn it. And so what happens is, that's how 95% 100% of brands start as a personal brand. But there's things you could do to purposely shift. And I see you doing it already. So I don't know if you realize that, but let me know, your design frameworks. Think about like Dave Ramsey, right? And like the wealth snowball, right? That's something he created. But he's not he's not in his coaching sessions, right? He could license those that framework. So exiting your brand can mean like selling 100% of it, a licensing agreement, sending selling 51% of it to another operator, right? Like for like, let's think course business, right. Kajabi would love right? To have this framework of teaching people how to launch online courses, and being successful with it, because they're in the business of supporting coasts, of course creators? What if they had a marketing channel, a marketing system, to help all their failing course creators be more successful at it keep their membership longer, right? But what if they just came in and operated your brand with all the framework course and all that stuff that you already have, because you have coaches teaching it, what you should do is just have a name, image and likeness agreement separate from a purchase agreement. So you grant them access to keep using your stuff on your ads, to keep using your name and the emails, but they're running the ads, they're doing all that stuff. And you have already outsourced your framework to coaches. So you can sell your brand and people don't even know because you still show up on the ads. There's like five different ways to skin that. And quite frankly, that's what i do i because like my origin story of my brothers traveling to Africa, and all this stuff is so important. And my consumers are essentially like a mirror of who identify us, it made sense for me to one sell the company and then have a separate name image and likeness agreement where they can still use my images, my name, image and likeness, subject to like approval within like parameters to continue to grow the brand, but I don't have to operate. I don't have to be in the day to day decisions. Because you put systems in place. So it's very realistic, very doable. And it's happening more often than you think, wow. Oh, I don't know. But it's kind of like that. I'm like, yo, why? Why did I go through this experience? It's so I can share this with other people, right? You don't you can't want what you don't know exists. So that's like, part of the thing. And so like Beyonce says, I know you're not the biggest fan of her. But you know, she once said, you can't be what you can see. That's, I got a bar from maybe. Who knows. But that's exactly it. And so like you can't want what you don't know exists. That's like, very impossible to do. But once you know the reality of it, it gives you it's like, you know, the four minute mile, right? Or like, all right, it sounds impossible to sell 20 million in courses, being a founder of color until you know the person who doesn't, right. Yeah. And it's like, wow, I have access to that person. I can see what she did. I can avoid the roadmaps. And the reality is the process to do that build something and sell it is filled with landmines. But if you follow someone and get guidance from like, I don't do that it seems attractive. But here's what's really going to happen, or I've made that mistake before that was 100 grand mistake, don't do that. It increases the likelihood of more founders who look like me being in a place that they can have exits, and be able to, like, you know, just change their family's trajectory for the rest of their life. So that's how we're here. I love that. So we're going to time travel into the future and or whatever dimension has everything about timelines, let's say 10 years from now. I would love to hear what gamal's 10 years from now. version of him is doing. When you wake up? What are you looking at? And it could be 10. It could be 20 years, sometime in the future. When you wake up, what are you feeling? What are you seeing what's going on in your life? What's your day to day? What's happening? Well, we own different different things like we move in to shake like what's happening. So 10 years from now, I'm doing what I'm doing now. I just have been doing it longer. So I the new purpose and like our new future based cause is to bring the reality of like m&a to people who don't get taught this right. Which is how I learned it. I was at a networking event, some random black dude jumped out of Ferrari. And he was Jamaican, I'm like, Oh, yeah. And then he just sold like a business for $900 million. Well, what are you doing? And he was like, oh, yeah, man, private equity. And he raised like $300 million from Goldman Sachs and did all this stuff. So he was my first mentor that expose me to this. And I worked with him to help them to play $50 million. So I had that once in a lifetime opportunity. And so what I'm doing now is creating a version of that where one we are creating an ecosystem where founders like myself can get exposure to how to have liquidity It's and build businesses that they can exit, some or all of it. And then I and our family holds like Minority interests, and you know, 1020 companies, where I'm able to like put my skill sets my experience coupled with an operator who has a great idea to like, take these things to the next level, where I'm facilitating multiple exits. So that's like the plan now to create this ecosystem of good founders invest in the ideas that are close to us. And we see like, the founders has like what it takes to get to the next level, and partner with founders to have other exits and just continue to build and spread awareness. I love that. Wow. And then, okay, where are you living? We just got home in Florida in the west side of Florida. So we're on the beach for like two years. And then the baby was like, tearing up the place I might have. Like, more space. So we bought like, you know, the whole house. I love it. Officially a family. Okay, I know. Right? It's like when you get that home, so you feel like it would be settled there for a minute. Yeah. Okay. Okay, we're in Florida. So if you're ever down, let's kick it. Yeah, absolutely. Oh, my gosh. When I met you for the first time you met at BYOB, and, you know, you came up and we like talked. And then I was like, afterwards I was like, oh, and then the more I learned about you, I was like, wait a minute, like, he's dope. I appreciate and you're just so I would say like, very just like humble, balanced, chill. And then you give people space to thrive. I've never seen you like overpowering a conversation or feeling like you need to insert your expertise or your opinion, especially in like groups of women, I've seen you, like really, like, give us the space to like shine and even like, you know, uplift, like so I really love that about you. And I'm really glad that, like, I got to lecture this sofa with you to give you like, hear more, you know, because I know like we only heard like this much. And there's way way more. So I know that after saying yeah, no, totally. After seeing this episode, I know that people are going to want to know where they can find you learn more about you, your program, your journey, where's the best place to connect with you? That is something I'm working on sharing my journey more because I realize in sharing more and my experiences, it can help. And so I'm coming out the shell and like doing more doing things like this. So I appreciate you having me. But it's very simple to find me right. I'm not overcomplicated Gamal codnor and Instagram, or codnor.co. That's where everything is how we're helping people how we're serving people. And that's the best two places to find me. If you want to work with me or connect. Amazing. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for being okay, it's okay, let's go. 3000 Yeah, thanks for having me. Thank you for coming. Listen, sometimes life be life in and we do not know what's coming down that road next. Well, that's what happened to me in 2016 when I was unexpectedly laid off from my job. And I was six figures in student loan debt. I had no savings. And I didn't know what was going to happen next. Now luckily, I had this little voice inside of me at that time that I couldn't ignore, and it was telling me to take the leap. It was saying use this as your opportunity to build your business. Use this as your opportunity to create your dream life. And so I believe that life happens for us, not to us. And that nudge in my spirit, I should listen to it. Luckily I did. Fast forward to today, I have a business that's made over $20 million. And I've helped over 10,000 people create their online businesses and their dream lives. So do you want to learn how to turn your story into an online product and launch in 30 days, head on over to course from scratch.com Ford slash since 3000. I want you to join us on this journey so you can listen to that little voice inside of you too. So go now Do yourself a favor course from scratch. att.com Ford slash since 3000.