Episode 147 – How to Recover from the Unexpected Departure of a Key Employee – Member Case by Phillip Acosta

Small service firms are overly dependent on a few key employees. The departure of one can cause much pain for the Founder and impede the progress of the firm, especially if it was unexpected. Attend this session and prevent this trouble from stinging you.


Greg Alexander [00:00:10] Hi, everyone. This is Greg Alexander, the host of the Pro Serve podcast, brought to you by Collective 54, the first community dedicated to the boutique professional services industry. On today’s episode, we’re going to talk about key person risk. Key person risk is when a small firm is overdependence on a person or a small group of people. And that increases risk in our firm because if someone leaves, it tends to create a large gap inside of a small firm, and then we find ourselves in panic mode to try to improve that. And we have a member with us today. His name is Phil Acosta. And Phil recently experienced this and significant successfully navigated his way through it. So I thought he could share with you what he shared with me because as much to be learned in his story. So, Phil, it’s good to see you. Would you introduce yourself, please? 

Philip Acosta [00:01:08] Hey, thanks for having me. My name is Phillip Acosta. I am the principal here at GuROO LLC. We’re an enterprise I.T. company, primarily based in the DC area, but providing support all across the lower 48. We also have a virtualization platform that’s a SAS offering called Ibos. So that’s kind of what we do. And I’ve been running this company for about a decade. 

Greg Alexander [00:01:32] Got it. So Philip, why don’t we start off with telling the audience what happened? 

Philip Acosta [00:01:38] Okay. So basically I have had the same structure of how we’ve been run the company corporately probably for about the last 5 to 6 years, and that is myself. And then I had a number two as an operations manager, and then we had some people beneath that, but it was mainly me to him at the top. That person told me that they were going to be retiring at the end of 2024. So I kind of had a plan for that, but they moved it up to the end of this year. So 20, 23 calendar year. And I found that out a couple of months ago, three March, April. And so from that period, I started thinking, okay, what are we going to do here? Are we going to just replace the person that’s in that spot, which I think would be impossible because of the institutional knowledge and stuff like that that’s been associated with that. So, you know, you could get pretty close, but probably not a perfect fit to replace that, or at least it would be challenging. Or I looked at it as like, okay, we are in the forties going into fifties at that point. Now we’re over 50. You know, maybe this is an opportunity to restructure the company for the next stage of what we’re going to do here, because even if that individual had stayed, we probably couldn’t around the company the same way for very much longer. I chose the latter, and now I’m in the process of implementing that change. You know, the new person as a board and the person that was here prior, they’re still here overlapping currently. But you know, like as Greg was saying, we’re we’re making that transition. And so far it’s it’s going okay. 

Greg Alexander [00:03:15] So that’s it’s a great story. Thanks for sharing that with me. And I think it’s very real. I mean, I think, you know, this has happened to several of our members and, you know, what are you going to say to somebody when they want to retire? I mean, they they’ve done a great job for you. I’m sure you’ve got a great relationship and you want them to have a happy retirement. So it’s a it’s a tricky situation because on the other side, you got you got a business to run. And this creates creates a gap. Tell me short term, so you get deliver this news. You know, now you’ve been able to digest it, remove emotion, think logically, make a sound business decision, which we’ll get to in a moment. It sounds like that’s working out. But in the moment when that happened, you know, was there any fallout? Was there you know, did the business take a hit? Was there a lot of stress placed on you? Kind of bring us back to that moment. 

Philip Acosta [00:04:05] Um, yeah. I don’t think the business necessarily took a hit. There was a lot of stress placed on me. 

Greg Alexander [00:04:12] Yeah. 

Philip Acosta [00:04:13] You know, it goes. You know, the timing is just, um, you know, not to get into my personal life, but I have a bunch of small kids that I just, you know, I just had recently disasters in our family, so you got to know the personal side of it. But, you know, I try to have some structure in how I do things. And I had a plan to start this process at the end of 2023 and basically to give myself the whole calendar year of 2024, to make this a smooth thing to, you know, you know, go out, interview, look for people, figure out the right, do the integration and it kind of crunch that entire timeline. So I was a little upset initially. And I think one of the things that I’ve tried to do is not take one moment, which I kind of looked at, is like you told me you would do one thing and now you’re kind of going back on your word. I tried to do that. Take one moment and allow it to define what is a 19 year working relationship with this person, which is mostly been really good. And so to me, I wouldn’t want to take that moment and allow that to, you know, you know, take away from all the good things that have happened over the years. So I’m not going to lie. I’m an imperfect person. It took me time to process and get to that point to be able to look at it that way. But, you know, that is the way that I’ve helped myself get through it. And then, you know, it’s like, okay, now we got to refocus and figure out how we’re going to do this. Yeah. 

Greg Alexander [00:05:42] Well, it’s very mature of you, and I appreciate you being honest and vulnerable. I mean, I’ve had this happen to me before in the past, and I reacted very emotionally initially. And then, you know, once I said, okay, it is what it is, I got to deal with it. You know, I brought some clarity to the situation. And listen, we got to acknowledge that we are people and, you know, emotions are going to be part of it because the implications of this, as you just mentioned, not just professionally but personally, you know, can be traumatic. You know, you’ve got a plan and all of a sudden the plan goes up in smoke and that can be very, very disturbing. So you talked about your two options and the criteria upon which you made the choice, which, if I repeat back, was you didn’t think that you could replace this person as is because of all the institutional knowledge. And that would be really tough to replicate. And then you were peeking into the future and you’re saying we’re a 50 people now in a few years will be at 500 people, like what do I need going forward? Which is a very good set of decision criteria. Sometimes there’s a third choice that people consider. And I want to ask you if you did consider this and why you ruled it out, and that is you could promote somebody from within. And that sometimes works because that tribal knowledge issue, that institutional knowledge is less felt if it’s an internal promotion. So did you consider that and why did you decide against it? 

Philip Acosta [00:07:01] Yeah, I did consider it. I think the problem is that and it’s a it’s a fault of something we’ve done here. We didn’t build anybody to take that role and we should have done that. And I won’t make that mistake again because like you said, it makes it easier to have an internal hire. But when I look at the things that I needed, there was nobody that had been dealt to take over in that capacity. Yeah. Without creating a hole in some other area and then basically just playing, you know, whack a mole of replacing people. So to me, that’s the reason that we didn’t go that route. Yeah. 

Greg Alexander [00:07:39] So, so the lesson for members is the talent supply chain concept, right. Which says you should be developing, you know, everybody along the chain, if you will. So if one person leads, another person steps in. But that Whac-A-Mole concept we are creating holes throughout the org chart isn’t an issue because, you know, everybody gets pulled up accordingly. Now, listen, I understand how hard that is. I know we’re all super busy and it sounds great in theory and it makes a ton of sense. Meanwhile, you’re working 50 hours a week, running around trying to serve clients like it’s hard to compartmentalize these things. But if you’re learning anything from Phillips story is it’s really important to have that talent supply chain in place so that if something like this was to happen again or happened to you for the first time, it’s not that big of a deal. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to promote from within, but it means you have the option, it’s a viable option. And then you can compare the internal promotion to the external recruit and make a good choice. So I just wanted to point that out. So let’s move to the the external recruitment. So this is a big job that you’re you’re filling. This person is going to play a huge role in your success going forward. So how did you find this person and how did you decide on who to hire? 

Philip Acosta [00:08:50] So I really turned to people that I knew in the industry that were either mentors or, you know, I know had had this experience in prior, you know, interactions because honestly, it was brand new territory for me. You know, I’ve made a bazillion hires in this company, but I’ve never hired someone to kind of run the company. And so trying to figure out the right choice for that was challenging. So I reached out to people that, like I said, that I trusted. I asked them if they knew people in the market. That’s another thing is it’s kind of a word of mouth thing, not saying you can’t go higher. A CEO often bandied, but it’s certainly not as common as like going and hiring a network engineer. So, you know, you kind of want to ask what they’ve done in the industry and be able to vet some of that stuff. So, you know, with the person that I ultimately landed on, you know, it came from a source that I trusted that I felt like it just didn’t work out. I could hold accountable. And it also, you know, I vetted a lot of their there are folks that they gave me and asked them about background, you know, not really to ask them, was this person good for the job? Because anybody you put down for a reference, I got selected for the job or probably shouldn’t put them down for reference, but I just tried to pull out of them, you know, what they had done and line it up against what I thought we needed and wanted it to be clear on a theme. One of the big things I wanted to hear is what their growth story where had taken a division and grown it and how they scaled that, what they did and what they left in place and how they got there. 

Greg Alexander [00:10:24] What was the pitch to the candidate? Because it sounds like these are big shoes to fill and how did you convince them to take the job? 

Philip Acosta [00:10:34] Oh, well, I mean, he actually really liked the company, so, I mean, it was helpful that, you know, when I presented what the company did, he thought it was attractive. He thought it was ripe to go for. But, you know, I did One of the big things that I told them is that, you know, you know, I’ve ran this company even though I had a number opportunity before. It’s kind of been like my way on everything for a very, very long time. I’ve kind of been the driving force for this company. I said, But I’m not looking for someone to come in and report to me. I said, I’m looking for someone to be a partner and grow with me. And I am willing to step back and embrace your ideas and not be saying, Well, that’s not how we do this here. So I think part of what made the job attractive was how open I was to new things. And, you know, that’s I mean, I’ve talked with Greg about it and that’s proving hard so far and practice to do. But but I mean, I’m working at it. I’m trying not to, you know, get in the way too much. 

Greg Alexander [00:11:32] Well, good for you for being aware of that. That’s an issue. You know, entrepreneurs and I’m one of them. We all struggle with that, right? It’s the control issues. And in order to get a company to a certain level, you have to have talented people and empower them to be successful. And it’s really hard to let go. So and it’s not like you flick a switch and it happens overnight. Just it’ll happen over time. And then once this new person and underline the word new, that’s the issue. Once they demonstrate their ability, your your trust in them will go up and up and up, not the you don’t trust them now. I’m sure you do, but it’ll be an earned trust and you’ll sleep better at night knowing about your delegation decisions. All right. My last question would be, so you have somebody leaving in the next six months and you have somebody who just started within the last two. How have you structured their relationships so that the transition goes as smooth as possible? 

Philip Acosta [00:12:24] And so one of the things I did immediately is I wanted them to marry up and spend a lot of time together. In fact, as we’re doing this podcast, they’re in the conference room right now. We’re working on some stuff together. So I told them basically in week one, I said I just kind of wanted them to spend time together because I had talked a lot with the candidate before he ever came here. So he kind of knew what I wanted. And I also had the benefit of I’m probably going to be here for quite a long time and I want to make sure that we get as much done in figuring out a transition prior to them. You know, with us having our person that’s in place moving on. So they’ve you know, I’ve encouraged them to go out, have lunches together. They seem to genuinely be getting along and doing well. I think another bonding point is talking about me, not necessarily in a bad way, but, you know, things like, hey, does this, you know, kind of the challenges of working with me or the good things and, you know, different stylistic things that I like to see. I think they’ve kind of bonded over that. But I’ve tried to make sure that they spend a lot of time together. And I said, I had this person that’s taking the job now that’s been in place. I had these two talking throughout the interview process, so they already knew a bunch about each other before the job, so were accepted. 

Greg Alexander [00:13:44] You know, and it’s fortunate that it was a retirement situation which gave you some runway. It gave you an opportunity to have the retiring person participate in the interview process. But imagine a scenario, listeners, where that’s not the case. You show up for work one day and your key person walks in and gives you two weeks notice now. So it’s a it’s a very different situation in that. And that that just puts you puts an emphasis on bond. This key person risk issue and making sure that you’re building that talent supply chain. So, Phillip, we’re out of time here, but I appreciate you sharing your story with us. It’s incredibly relevant and I appreciate you being in the community. Every time I speak to you, I learn something. So. So thanks for being here today.

Philip Acosta [00:14:29] Oh, thank you so much for having me. She has. Have a good day. 

Greg Alexander [00:14:33] All right. Couple of calls to action for listeners. If you’re a member and you’re listening, look out for the meeting invite. So Phil will do his Q&A session with us. If you’re want to be a member and you’re not yet, go to collective 54 dot com and fill out an application or get in contact with you. And then if you’re not ready for either of those two things, you just want to learn more. Go to Amazon. You can find my book. It’s called The Boutique How to Start School and Sell the Professional Services Firm. Okay. Thanks, everybody. Take care.

Episode  124 – How a Marketing Agency Has Removed The Founder Bottleneck – Member Case by Eric Weisgarber & Adam Diesselhorst

Power members Eric Weisgarber and Adam Diesselhorst have implemented succession planning at their marketing agency, inspired in part by the Collective 54 book The Founder Bottleneck. As a result, they have identified their high-potential employees and are preparing them to take over the firm upon exit. This has allowed them to scale smoothly without the employee headaches and drama found in many firms.


Greg Alexander [00:00:10] Welcome to the Pro Serv podcast, a podcast for leaders of thriving boutique professional services firms. If you’re not familiar with us, Collective 54 is the first mastermind community focused entirely on the unique needs of that boutique pro serve firm. My name’s Greg Alexander. I’m the Founder and I’m going to be your host today. And on this episode we’re going to have a conversation around succession. It’s a very important issue for professional services firms because we’re people-driven businesses. So as a firm scales and maybe someday exits, you know, the baton has to be handled from Gen one to Gen two or from one leader to the next. It’s really important that this gets done correctly and we’ve got a wonderful set of role models on the call today who I’ve recently got to know, and they are very deliberate and intentional about their approach and that’s why I asked them to be on the show today so that they can share with you our members what it is they’re doing. So we have with us Eric Weisgerber and Adam Diesselhorst, how’d I do with those pronunciations? 

Eric Weisgarber [00:01:21] You nailed it. Well done. 

Greg Alexander [00:01:23] All right. Very good. All right. Would you mind introducing yourselves and your firm to our audience? 

Eric Weisgarber [00:01:31] Sure. My name is Eric Weisgarber. I’m the CEO of Analytics, Marketing and Growth. Everybody calls us. That’s our DBA. Everybody calls us the AMG team. And I started the business that we had and kind of followed opportunity and to the point that we’ve had been about a 22-year-long success before we got to where we are today. And and Adam came along about seven years into my journey. And I’m Adam Diesselhorst. I’m the current president of the AMG team. 

Greg Alexander [00:02:03] Okay, very good. So guys, let’s start at a high level. So when I spoke to you, it was obvious to me that you were thinking about succession very early in your journey. So how did you have the foresight to know that that was an important thing to think about that early on? 

Eric Weisgarber [00:02:22] Oh, well, Adam and I were in a different business model. We incubate, incubated what we have today inside of an older business model and found our way to pull out what we had incubated into the agency that we have today and knew that we wanted to grow it over the next 8 to 10 years and sell it and hand it off to the next generation, as you stated. And a dear friend of mine who’s a member of Collective 54 introduced me to you and your content and and told me that I had to take a look at it and get involved and get going on it. So I did. 

Greg Alexander [00:02:56] Okay, very good. And tell the audience a little bit about how you divide up your responsibilities currently. 

Eric Weisgarber [00:03:03] Sure we use similar to in your new founder’s book. One of the chapters, I think it’s maybe nine or ten where you’re talking about the responsibilities and you need to teach people. It kind of follows the same path as Dave Ramsey’s KRAs – key results areas, and we write KRAs for every position in the company and divide them out. And so I’m the CEO. I manage the business with about 20% of my time. And Adam is in the business with about 80% of his time, and he leads the sales portion of our organization. 

Greg Alexander [00:03:47] Okay. And. That determination as to how you’re going to divide your responsibilities. Was that determined based on the skill set that each of you brought? Was it based on your prior working history in the old firm? Was it based on what the needs of the business were like? How did you, how did you land on that? And I’m asking this question because when our members are attempting succession, succession excuse me, they’re struggling with it because people aren’t staying in their lanes, so to speak. They get the concept and everybody says, okay, here’s how we’re going to do it. And they end up with a lot of conflict because everybody’s doing everybody else’s job. And I’m trying to help them stay away from that by studying how you guys are doing it. 

Eric Weisgarber [00:04:30] Yeah, I think I can answer that. It’s a combination of what you had mentioned. It’s all of it. I mean, so I think when I was younger, I used to hire really great people that I thought would fit the job, but I hadn’t really done what you teach, and that is to hire for their potential as well. And I started doing that. So I have both. Everybody is really built for the role that I have available and and where I made the mistakes when I was younger was I’d hire, you know, kind of one of the first two or three candidates I had available. And then we just keep molding the positions around them. Yeah. And developing the positions and hiring the right person, end of them. And if you have the the people on the team that don’t fit it, don’t try and keep them, you know, let them go, be successful somewhere else and hire the people that you need. And that’s what we do today. 

Greg Alexander [00:05:25] Okay. And is there an age gap between the two of you? 

Eric Weisgarber [00:05:29] Seven years. 

Greg Alexander [00:05:30] Seven years. And is there a timeline as to when you’re going to retire and Adam’s going to take over it? Have you built it out to that degree? 

Eric Weisgarber [00:05:40] Yeah, absolutely. So we have we have an executive team in place and and a couple of high potential people that are going to replace us. We expect that Brooke Thompson on our team has been with me for 17 years. Adam and I have worked together for 16. Then she’ll actually wind up being the CEO and we’ll put her in that spot in about 2028. Adam will become an almost an interim CEO in about two years or so. And then we have a high potential on Adam’s sales team that we believe will be the president of the company that does really the role that he does and leading that portion of the the organization. And we have a couple other players that are high potential as well that are being apprenticed right now. So we we intend to sell the company, start the process in about eight years and hope to have that done two years after that. 

Greg Alexander [00:06:38] Okay. So you have a very deliberate and intentional schedule, which is great. How did you come up with those dates? 

Eric Weisgarber [00:06:47] I’m just. What I think we can do within that time period with a little bit of conservative conservative amount of time built in there for messing up and then just desirous, I don’t think Adam and I are guys that are ever stopped working, but we’d like to get our our large one off from our core business. This when I’m about 58 years old and and Adam wants to exit when I exit. 

Greg Alexander [00:07:14] Okay. So it’s a stage of life scenario as opposed to some something happening within your industry sector. Is that fair to say? 

Eric Weisgarber [00:07:24] Yeah. I mean, we’re built the last 50 years. 

Greg Alexander [00:07:29] Yeah. And Adam, you’re in the president role and you’re very patiently going through that. Sometimes the the number two, the person in the president role gets a little impatient and the succession planning process doesn’t go smoothly because the younger gentleman wants the old fart to get out of the way. So how are you remaining patient and being so accommodating? 

Adam Diesselhorst [00:07:58] Well, I think I have you know, Eric has done a really good job in leading in myself, I believe, leading also to our our particular departments. But seeing a vision. It’s helped me a lot, you know, knowing those steps that are in place and have that clear picture painted for me. You know, I’m naturally a sales person, so I don’t have a very good patience. But I do understand the value of of the succession of me going from president to kind of the interim CEO and then that version of the founder where Eric and I can exit together. And, you know, Eric and I have come up with some clear there roles for me as we go through this process. And the other thing I think that will help me too, is Eric is ahead of me in the process. And like we always kind of like to say with each other as is, I’m about two years behind him so I can we’re going to do this and then about two years later we’re going to do it again. And so I’ve got Eric as somebody kind of as the lead for me to follow in behind. 

Greg Alexander [00:08:58] Okay. And the high potentials that you mentioned earlier that are going to come up behind the two of you, are they aware that they’ve been deemed the heir apparent and I guess the same patience questions would be applied to them? 

Eric Weisgarber [00:09:14] Yes. In fact, when I told him that we are we had joined Collective 54 on what we were doing Adam and I visit for an hour and a half on your content every Monday afternoon and go through a chapter together in our notes. And we we take the task separately and then we compare notes on the tasks and talk about what next steps do we need to take and where does this fall into our plan. And we started in December. So for us, that was maybe four and a half months ago. And they came to us, both of them, and said, you know, what does this look like for you guys? Where are you guys going? And when are you leaving? And we explained it to them and talked to them about them being high potentials for us. And it was great that they came to us because they were our high potentials and they said, Where do we fall in line with this? And so I already had an outline for them and and laid it out to them as to what they thought about it, and then moved it to a next formal step and took them out to dinner and kind of did the steaks and wine and and long term vision and what needs to happen between now and then in these segmented periods of time to evolve to that place. And they fell in love with the idea. 

Greg Alexander [00:10:26] You know, that’s the thing with high potentials, their high potentials for a reason. You know, they they’re proactive. They came to you. They can understand and buy into our vision. They can play the long game practice, prudence, you know, delay gratification for something bigger down the road. You know, top performers, very valuable for sure, but different than high potentials. It’s a little bit more of a what have you done for me lately kind of mentality? Yeah, a little bit more mercenary in nature. So you’re fortunate that you have these high potentials and congratulations on you and and treating them properly and nurturing them and showing them the vision of the future that’s that’s inspiring them. And high potentials want to be motivated. They want to see a vision. They want to know they have a future. 

Eric Weisgarber [00:11:10] Yeah. So we laid out to them even the the path of you had thought on one of the classes. Adam and I don’t really miss the classes. That’s part of a nice apprenticeship. As we take notes, we listen to it and watch in separate rooms and then we compare notes afterwards and. And stuff. So. One of them you had talked about, you know, you go from salary to and increased salaries to, you know, bonuses to, you know, be built in on the profits. And so we did that with one of the the person that’s going to wind up being CEO already. And and then we talked about the warranties that come after that. But really Adam’s the only person that whatever that I’m ever going to give equity to outside of myself. So but the warranties were a great piece of communication. Um, where, where does that fall in line if they hit their benchmarks along the way? And so they, they see the big picture and the rewards from it as well. 

Greg Alexander [00:12:09] Yep. And for those that are listening that might not be familiar with that concept is, is if you don’t want to dilute yourself by distributing equity, there’s a financial mechanism called the warrants or sometimes referred to as warranty and it is what it sounds like. You tell an employee, Hey, someday if we sell the firm, you’ll get X percentage of the sales price or here’s how you’re going to contribute. And it’s the same exact vehicle. You know, it performs the same way, I should say, and that they’re they’re being rewarded for helping getting the firm to the exit stage and for helping the exit happen at a big dollar amount, etc. That’s a very effective way to retain and motivate high potential employees. I’m really happy to hear that you all have embraced that. Something that’s interesting about your story is that it sounds like the two of you are going to exit at the same time. And that’s unusual. That’s very unusual. Not under normal conditions. And I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, just acknowledging that that’s a little different. Under normal conditions, what would happen is one of you would go first and then the baton would be handed to the person who’s staying, you know, with the full understanding in the acquirer’s eyes that a year or two later than the next person would go, and so on and so on. Like when I sold my firm, it was kind of a first in, first out type mentality. Have you thought about that and was there a decision to exit together for a particular reason? 

Eric Weisgarber [00:13:39] I think it was really just we pulled this out of the old business model the way we wanted to. We had the same dream of getting out the same time. I think we’re fortunate that we have Brooke and Layne and others on our team that are already leaders and a couple of people that fit this. Being able to lead the business and already be able to be seasoned enough and in that spot for 2 to 3 years before we get to the beginning of selling. And and so it’s really like I think it’s better for us. I mean I get to practice really, having done this to Adam and how well did that happen and lay down the grass that way and then and then watch him and support him and doing that again with Brooke when she becomes the CEO. So and we’ll be able to demonstrate that to somebody who would buy us that, that, you know, we’ve done this twice already. Yeah. 

Greg Alexander [00:14:36] And over an extended time period. Right. Which will make the buyer feel really comfortable that you were that you really took your time to do as well. Okay. My last question before we run out of our time here, is any any kind of gotchas or landmines you want to mention to help our members avoid paying any unnecessary dumb taxes? 

Eric Weisgarber [00:14:57] Great question. I would just say that you you do say it in these meetings that we have on Tuesdays and Fridays, and you say it in the book quite a bit from time to time on both books, really, that you cannot do it all at once. I do think you need to read the you know, I think it’s chapters seven, eight, nine and ten of The Founders Bottleneck and you got to read that book like you’re studying for an MBA. If you’re in my role and that you have to get an A-plus on this test and take notes in the margins, I mean, I treat this thing like it’s a Bible and I have my notes and then I go back and work on my plan and Adam does the same thing. And so we work on it together and we take it one step at a time, although we do move and it’s a there’s a phrase that a mentor, Greg Taylor, taught me that you need to move slower to grow faster, and that’s the methodology to doing that. And, and it works. So just don’t do it all at once. Yeah.

Adam Diesselhorst [00:16:03] And I think for me, Greg, it’s really the being somebody in a position of always been in sales and business development, business development, you know, really getting to a place where I value my time and I itemize that percentage of time of value that I’m doing to where I’m making this transition and figuring that part out of it. So I don’t know if that’s a gotcha moment, but it’s definitely something for me that has been a big step. But, you know, one thing that I learned. Eric mentioned the old model we ran. I used to always tell Eric all the time that I didn’t think we could ever charge people certain amounts for things. And I’m seeing that differently in a professional services business, not in a transactional marketing place I never thought was a reality. So to me I have the proof and this book’s been a fantastic guide for both of us to make sure we kind of see the vision.

Eric Weisgarber [00:16:57] Yeah, 100%. 

Greg Alexander [00:16:59] Yeah. Well, guys, we’re out of time here. It was a great conversation. I’m so looking forward to a private member Q&A with you. When we schedule that, I know our members are going to have a ton of questions. This is a very hot topic right now, and there’s so, so much to it. So you’re a shining example of how to do it correctly. And I appreciate the enthusiasm upon which you consume our material and and your willingness to give back to the community as well. So on behalf of all the members, thanks for being here today. 

Eric Weisgarber [00:17:29] Thank you, Greg. We both agree remarkable and appreciate and are grateful for everything you’re doing.

Adam Diesselhorst [00:17:32] Thanks, Greg. 

Greg Alexander [00:17:34] All right. Okay. A couple of calls to action for listeners. So if you are a member, be sure to attend a Q&A with these guys and get your questions ready to ask them about succession. If you’re not a member, I encourage you to consider joining. You can go to Collective 54.com, fill out a form, and somebody will get in contact with you. If you want some additional content. A couple of resources for you. So the first would be Collective 54 Insights. That’s a weekly newsletter, and we published blogs, videos, podcasts, charts of the week, etc. I think you’ll find helpful. And then of course, we have our books, which is The Boutique: How to Start, Scale, and Sell a professional services firm. And then when you join, there’s a member-only book called The Founder Bottleneck: How to Scale Yourself, which lays out the case for succession planning, which is what we talked about today. Okay, that’s it for this episode. Thanks for listening. And until next time, I wish you the best of luck as you try to grow, scale and sell your firm.