John founded a professional services company in 1984 focused on energy conservation, inspections, and design work for large companies. He eventually grew the company to 43 employees and $13 million in sales and sold to Eclipse Combustion for $10 million in 2011.
Since selling the business, he has taken on specific consulting projects to keep himself active and in the loop. I met John at a happy hour gathering in Akron, Ohio, of small business folks on Twitter and around Ohio. We shared a beer and chatted all things building a team, growing a business and life after a sale.
His journey of being a founder and selling his business is the other side of the table from many of our podcast guests who acquired the business they run. John’s story is filled with all the trials and triumphs of growing a business from scratch and creating a life changing outcome for your family. And I had a lot of fun recording this conversation. Over the course of the episode, we talk about reinventing yourself repeatedly, creating a saleable business, courage as a muscle that can be developed, and a few horror stories.
(4:11) – John’s background and career
(12:05) – What does an energy conservation audit look like?
(13:11) – How long were you working before you could bring in a team to help you?
(15:09) – Was there a point where you could accelerate the growth of your team?
(24:29) – How did your day to day and the perspective of your business change when you hit that period of hyper growth?
(29:03) – Courage is a muscle that can be developed over time
(33:26) – John’s Pivot into creating a Sale-able business
(41:32) – What changes occurred in your life after selling the business?
(48:52) – Horror Stories of the business
(53:59) – What college class would you teach if it could be about anything?
(55:31) – What’s a strongly held belief you’ve changed your mind on?
(56:59) – What’s the best business you’ve ever seen?
(58:10) – Wrap up
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