[00:00:05] Jeffrey Feldberg: Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.
[00:00:10] This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience.
[00:00:16] Your liquidity event is the largest and most important financial transaction of your life.
[00:00:22] But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave anywhere from 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.
[00:00:43] I should know. I said no to a seven-figure offer and yes, to mastering the art and science of a liquidity event. Two years later, I said yes to a different buyer with a nine-figure offer.
[00:00:56] Are you thinking about an exit or liquidity event?
[00:00:59] If you believe that you either don't have the time or you'll prepare closer to your liquidity event, think again.
[00:01:05] Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event.
[00:01:13] After all, how can you master something you've never done before?
[00:01:17] Let the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our nine-step roadmap of preparation help you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.
[00:01:26] At the end of this episode, take a moment to hear from business owners, just like you, who went through the Deep Wealth Experience.
[00:01:33] Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.
[00:01:38] This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience.
[00:01:44] Your liquidity event is the largest and most important financial transaction of your life.
[00:01:50] But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave anywhere from 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.
[00:02:11] I should know. I said no to a seven-figure offer and yes, to mastering the art and science of a liquidity event. Two years later, I said yes to a different buyer with a nine-figure offer.
[00:02:24] Are you thinking about an exit or liquidity event?
[00:02:27] If you believe that you either don't have the time or you'll prepare closer to your liquidity event, think again.
[00:02:33] Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event.
[00:02:41] After all, how can you master something you've never done before?
[00:02:45] Let the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our nine-step roadmap of preparation help you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.
[00:02:54] At the end of this episode, take a moment to hear from business owners, just like you, who went through the Deep Wealth Experience.
[00:03:01] Welcome to episode 84 of The Sell My Business Podcast.
[00:03:05] Mike Acker is an executive and communication coach, a keynote speaker, and the author of four books, including the bestselling book Speak With No Fear which has appeared on numerous book lists. Even getting designated as the number one book on overcoming fear of speaking on forbes.com.
[00:03:26] Mike passionately coaches, business professionals, to lead and speak with confidence. In presentations, he entertains and inspires audiences using stories of growing up as the son of drug smugglers who turned missionaries. He retells and relates lessons learned on how to overcome insecurity and exclusion in a cross-cultural setting. And he unpacks the path from employee to manager to leader.
[00:03:53] Mike also enjoys rock climbing, wake surfing, skiing, church, building Legos with his son, and going on dates with his wife, Taylor. Mike believes in the power of prayer, exercise, journaling, and real community to counter the stresses of everyday life.
[00:04:10] You can find out more at www.mikeacker.com
[00:04:14] Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. And as usual, hang onto your hat, you are in for a real treat today. I have with us a bestselling author, a thought leader, and we're going to be focusing on a number of topics, but one of the topics that you should really care about when it comes to selling your business or your liquidity event. How do you prepare or how do you actually present?
[00:04:36] How do you sound? How do you look to those people around you? Hey, I didn't make up the rules, but within the first few seconds of somebody hearing you talk and looking at you, they've already made a decision. So, when it comes to your business and your future buyer, you want to have a favorable impression.
[00:04:49] And our guest today, Mike is going to talk to us a lot about that. So, Mike, let me not get ahead of myself here. Let's start from the beginning. There's always a story behind the story and I'd love to hear, what's your story? What got you to where you are today?
[00:05:03] Mike Acker: Well, thank you so, much for having me on the show, Jeffrey. I appreciate it. It all starts with my parents. I think everything starts with our parents and I saw my parents become serial entrepreneurs. And so, I had that in my blood to start something. I watched my mom, I watched my dad start different business adventures. I saw them sell their coffee company in about 1983’ish. Talk about a time that you probably should have held it a little bit longer as it was right up there with Starbucks back then. But really, I saw them do this, again and again, start and launch. The other part of that was, I had to overcome obstacles along the way. So, here I have this entrepreneurship within myself, something starting. And what am I going to start? Well, when I look back at my whole life, it's a, one of overcoming different ultimately presentation obstacles. I had a speech impediment when I was a kid, overcame that moved to Mexico when I was 10 years old. One of those things where it's not really planned to move, your dad comes home and says, hey, I quit my job as a lawyer and we're moving to Mexico.
[00:06:08] And we're going to live off our savings. That's all right. Okay. So, move to Mexico. Now I have to overcome a speech barrier, a different language. And then I moved back to the States and have to overcome a cultural barrier. So, once again, I have all these different obstacles that I was overcoming.
[00:06:24] Okay. So, fast forward, I ended up going into a whole life of public speaking. Then I went into corporate sales where I'm speaking and I got to the spot where on the side, I was starting something up on entrepreneurship, and what was I starting up? Something to help other people overcome their obstacles.
[00:06:43] It was really a hobby. I would just do it here and there and just make some extra money. It was great. One time we went to Vegas and we just took my proceeds that I was doing on the side. And we had a fantastic week. And then other times it was saving that for something. But eventually, I launched a book out of this and that book, Speak With No Fear went on to just get traction of its own. And it put my ideas out there as a motivational strategic book. And now it has almost 600 reviews. It's one of the top-rated books on communication. And I've worked with to your point, people selling their business. And being terrified about how to do that and how to get their points across and how to come across strong.
[00:07:27] Because even that perception of strength, besides just the numbers, which obviously sells, but your perception of strength is going to help you sell. It starts with really that combination, my story of overcoming something, wanting to help other people overcome that, and then knowing how to start something up.
[00:07:45] And that's where I'm at now. I've actually got a couple of different businesses, but the main one is speaking, coaching, and writing.
[00:07:53] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow, quite the story. And there's a lot in there to unpack. It sounds like from a family perspective, your parents were just instrumental in shaping who you would ultimately become today as a professional and as an adult and a member of the community all the way through your corporate training and then to becoming an author.
[00:08:13] I mean like so, many other business owners, and that's really what we are as entrepreneurs, we have this passion, helping people solving a problem, a painful problem. And so, Mike, it's interesting because the area that you happen to focus on, Speak With No Fear, your book and the thought of people publicly speaking, if I'm not mistaken, I believe that's right up there in terms of one of the top fears that people have.
[00:08:36] So, if I'm a business owner and I'm hearing you say, well, wait a minute, you may not have to present.
[00:08:41] I have to talk to people through the process. I'm a terrible speaker. Listen, I'm great in my business, I have a successful business, but when it comes to presentations, that was never my strong suit. Not really for me, I'm actually maybe a little fearful if I'm open and honest about that. Mike, what can I be doing for that?
[00:08:57] What would be some strategies that I should be thinking about of how to firstly overcome my fear?
[00:09:01] Mike Acker: First of all realize how important it actually is, cause it might not be a formal presentation in front of 300 people. But every single time that you’re leading a team meeting, that's a presentation, that's a speech. Every single time that you stand up in a chamber of commerce event, and you have to introduce yourself to that speech if you're going to join the yacht club, you're going to join rotary, that's a speech. Anytime that you're making a pitch to somebody or getting on to a podcast interview or getting interviewed by the newspaper or television or whatever it might be, that's a speech. And if you're pitching your company to be sold to another, that's a speech. One of my early clients before I really went full on out with this was a gentleman who had 48 different locations and wanted to be bought out by another company, wanted to sell out to another company. He had a great business plan, a great everything, and yet he couldn't make the pitch. He froze up. So, we were together and we worked through seven strategies. So, first of all, why are you afraid? A lot of people don't know.
[00:10:03] And so, they're tackling, how do I overcome this? But they have no idea what's going on in the inside. You know, what is it that a doctor does before he starts an operation, surgery? He's going to figure out, what in the world is going on as inside you? You would never show up at a surgeon and she comes out, great! I got a scalpel right here. Let's open you up and figure out what's going on.
[00:10:22] No, first they're going to diagnose. And before you try to fix the problem, what is the problem? And part of what I've found out and through coaching hundreds of people now is that almost every single person who's afraid of speaking in front of people, who just gets nervous, almost every single person has a reason.
[00:10:41] Actually, it's probably about two out of three from my experience. So, I can talk about this uncovering and cleaning the wound, get in there and get the dirt out of the wound so, that the wound can heal over and become a scar. And over the course of time, that scar can fade.
[00:10:56] But right now it's not a scar for a lot of people. Right now, it's a wound that is barely hidden. And anytime they go in front of people, it just triggers that event, so, that's my first strategy. I actually created a workbook and walk people through this. And I've seen some really incredible stories. I saw one-person, a high-level professional, literally break down in tears.
[00:11:18] In fact, that's not the only person, but when they get into it, sometimes it's at a dad or a parent or a coach or some failure that they just felt so, big. And if you're able to dive in there and figure out why am I afraid? Then you can analyze it and you can begin to dissect it and it can be able to get the right perspective on it.
[00:11:39] So, it all starts there, and then we have six more strategies. I won't go through every single one Jeffrey, but I think we could hit a couple of them.
[00:11:46] Jeffrey Feldberg: Oh, for sure. And for our listeners out there, you know, we'll talk about this, and I'll have this in the show notes. Get Mike's book and go through each of the steps that you can go through in detail that we don't have that luxury to do right here on this episode. But Mike let's go back and I love the question that you're asking.
[00:12:02] Well, why are you afraid? I mean, what a powerful question. What should I be asking myself? So, I'm sitting down, I have some quiet time now, and I've identified that yes, public speaking or presentations, whether it's to one person or three people or 300 people is just not my thing. I have this fear. What questions am I asking myself in addition to why to help get to that root cause of what's bringing this up for me to have that feeling?
[00:12:26] What are your experience when you're coaching somebody, will you be asking them?
[00:12:31] Mike Acker: Right. Actually, I have a whole list of them, but let me just give you a couple right here. When did this first start? Because the when often is shortly after a big event. So, when did this first happen? Oh, I launched a business. Okay. What was it that launching a business trigger this? Oh, my business grew to a hundred employees.
[00:12:48] Okay. What was it about having a hundred employees that all of a sudden you felt like this? I was written up in a news article or a magazine. Okay, so, figure out when, and then compare that trigger point to, okay what was that like? Okay. So, you're not leading a hundred people. What's a parallel situation?
[00:13:06] Well, I got up in front of a lot of them. It's back to high school and middle school. I got up in front of my club that I was leading and totally bombed, so, a lot of it echoes back. I've had people say it was, ever since I was seven years old because I found out what I actually sounded like, and I didn't like my voice, or it was the moment I became successful because now I had a weight on me and I saw that when I was a teenager, I had a weight on me and this is how my parents treated me.
[00:13:33] So, when, and then dive in with another question. And how does it show itself? So, understand the way that it's actually affecting you? Well, I hyperventilate, I get like blackout, I start sweating profusely because that right there tells you how deep it is. And so, you can judge it on a 1 to 10. How deep is this? What's happening inside of you?
[00:13:54] And then that helps you go back to the first question. Okay. When did that start happening? And then diving in and say, what are the different situations where I felt put on the spot and I wasn't ready? What are some pressures that I was put under that I felt like I failed at?
[00:14:09] And this is one of my favorite ones, who is someone that I look up to and feel like I'm going to fail or going to be looked down on if I don't do well? So, there's a whole bunch of different questions, but the ultimate one is keep on saying Why, When, Who, What diving into that I've even had people go to a counselor after saying, you know what, you're right.
[00:14:31] It's disproportionate and I've realized now it's not tied to actually speaking. It's tied to what speaking represents because most people aren't actually afraid of speaking. We do it all the time, but it's what speaking in front of that group of people represents for you. So, what does speaking represent?
[00:14:51] Jeffrey Feldberg: Fascinating. So, it's a whole system that you have there through the power of questions. It's like taking an onion and just peeling the layers so, you get through one layer to the next, into the next. So, Mike, I do this, and by the way, in your experience, how long would it typically take somebody on their own to go through those questions and get to what the whole root cause is from the first place?
[00:15:14] What would I be looking at time-wise?
[00:15:15] Mike Acker: All right. So, what would we look at? How long would it take? It really depends on how deep it is. And I think about it like this, if you got a tiny little wound that just a gash, you fall down and you skin your knee. But if you get it, I talked about this in the book where I got hit by a fin of a surfboard and dug into my foot and it got all the sand in there and that took a while for them to cleanout.
[00:15:37] So, depending on how deep it is, I was working with one person, super successful, super athletic, super everything. And as I'm working with her, as we started diving into this, she realized it came from her stepdad and what her stepdad said, so, that right there is going to take longer. And for me, I just had to say at that point in time, look, I'm not qualified to go into this.
[00:15:56] I'm not a counselor, but I would encourage you to get into that. And then there are other people who, when I asked him, what does it come back to? About one-third of people say nothing. I really don't know. I can't think of a time. I can't think of a reason. And so, even in the workbook part of this, I tell people analyze it.
[00:16:16] But in my experience, not every single person has it. So, if you don't have it, skip this strategy and go into something else, but it might take some people years because of how deep it is and because they don't want to deal with it and other people, it might just take, oh yeah, that's right. Oh, I'm an adult now.
[00:16:32] Okay. I don't have to worry about that and move on.
[00:16:34] Jeffrey Feldberg: Nice and so, let's go through this now. So, I've gone through these questions, however long it takes. And now I have this epiphany. Oh, okay. Right back in the day when this happened, that's why I become concerned or fearful or scared to speak. So, now that I've identified that, Mike, what do I do next?
[00:16:54] Mike Acker: Okay, so, now you've identified it. There's some healing, there's some closure. Now it's time to have some other actionable and really the way that I've even designed, the way that I walk people through this is that it starts with this kind of counseloresque part. And then it moves on to, through some different areas, through some different perspectives.
[00:17:10] And then it ends with more of a physical action of being present in the moment. But throughout the journey there's some things that you need to understand that's strategies that's going to help you. So, I'll walk through another one that you might move on to right after that.
[00:17:23] It's you learning how to be you and really a lot of people, the reason why they get nervous coupled with a couple of other reasons, maybe like a wound is because they're trying to be someone else. So, I had this person in the military, seek me out and wanted to work with me. And she said, I just get so, nervous and I don't want to be nervous.
[00:17:41] And I said, well what do you want to sound like? And she said you know what? I want to sound like this authoritative. I want a boom when I talk, I want people to listen. I want gravitas. I want to enter the room and command. Now I've been doing this long enough that I know that there's a reason for that.
[00:17:58] And I said wow, that's amazing. That sounds fantastic. Tell me so, who's someone that inspires you. And she said, oh, when I was brand new into the military, I had this guy come in and I said, well, tell me about him. And she said, well, I don't know, he's probably about upper forties. And he just was this like physically present person.
[00:18:17] And he had that gray hair and it was cut short. And I'm just asking her to describe it. And he's got this deep voice. Instantly, of course, I knew that what she wanted to do was be like him. And I said, oh wow, that's amazing. And who are you? Tell me a little bit more about you because we're still new to this.
[00:18:33] And she goes, oh, you know this, and I'm asking questions. And I said, it was, what are you like when you were with your friends? Oh, I'm the life of the party and I talk and talk and talk. And I get really excited and I could hear her pitch was going up. So, after I kind of walked her down this pathway, I said, do you see the difference?
[00:18:49] You want to be like this, but it's not you. You want to be like him that's the reason why you want what you described to me, but that's not your presence. So, let's focus on you learning some things that he did, some good skills, but let's focus on you being a great version of you. So, often in the business where we have an idea, like, I gotta be like, Jeffrey, I gotta be like, Mike, I gotta be like this guy I worked for this girl I worked for, I gotta be like my mom or my teacher.
[00:19:20] And we have in our mind, either a person or an avatar of what we should look like. And so, we try to shift our personhood is what I call it to become someone else. And we need to learn how not to be a poor imitation of someone else, but to be the best version of ourselves.
[00:19:41] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well said, Mike, I know one of your philosophies and maybe you can expand upon that. You know, when it comes to presenting or talking, it's not some magic bullet or some technique or some kind of skill that you can just internalize and do. It goes back to what you're saying. Just be you. You're so, unique.
[00:20:00] There's only one of you in the world and why not play to your strengths and build off of that. But how can I do that? So, again, I'm a business owner. I'm going to be having a liquidity event. I'm going to be speaking to all these people. How do I tap into what makes me uniquely me? Maybe I've lost my way along the way.
[00:20:16] What would be some strategies that you recommend of what I should be doing?
[00:20:19] Mike Acker: So, if I have a house in a huge open area and there's no houses around me, I know where the property boundaries are. But I don't really, really worry about it cause it’s just me. And so, I kinda know my property. I kinda know that tree is on my property line, I kinda know over there that stream crosses over, but it's not all mine, but I'm gonna act like it's all mine and I'm not gonna use part of my property and I'm going to use other parts that aren't my property.
[00:20:45] So, our boundary lines, our property lines become very vague, but here's what happens. If a sub development comes in like the largest builder in the United States, DR Horton comes in and they start, and they're very aggressive in their tactics at times. You all suddenly get very cautious about your property line.
[00:21:07] You're going to get a survey. You're going to make sure that no one takes your property and you're going to define your property. You're going to find your boundaries. Okay. Here's what happens. Most people are like that property with nothing else around them. They got to understand who they are. Yeah.
[00:21:22] Yeah. I'm kind of like that. I'm kind of like this, but they don't know who they are. Yeah, I feel like I'm like this. They could say, well, you know, I'm outgoing but it doesn't really matter, I know who I am. The reason why this becomes important is because the moment you're up on stage and you're in front pitching your liquidity event or wherever it might be, also you need to know who you are.
[00:21:46] You need to know your boundaries, you need to know your property. You need to know your lines. Because now you're around people and you're in front of people and there are edging you in and you're feeling that and you feel the pressure because you don't know if they're crossing into your area or if they're taken from it, or if you're trying to be someone you aren't.
[00:22:05] So, strategy number one on how to really be you, study yourself religiously. Do a strengths finder, do it in your gram, do the disc profile, do the Myers-Briggs, do all those vague ones that are out there. Every year I do at least one personality profile, I mean, sometimes we don't agree with them, but I found out things about myself through those.
[00:22:26] I think, ah, okay. That's not a weakness, that's a strength. Oh, that's how people perceive me. Oh, would I do that? So, study yourself, study how you come across, study the sound of your voice. Sometimes, I'll tell people after we record the session and I'll play it back for them. They'll say, oh, I hate listening to myself.
[00:22:48] I said, why that's your voice? They said, well, it's not what I hear. I said, yeah, because you're hearing, what's coming up through your jaw bone and you're hearing the external audio waves. Everybody else is just hearing the external audio waves. So, everybody else is hearing what's real. So, you need to hear what everybody else hears.
[00:23:04] You need to know yourself, you need to understand your voice. You need to come to terms with your voice, accept your voice, appreciate your voice. You can change a little bit of it, but ultimately the voice is your voice. I have listened to myself a thousand times and it might not be an Antonio Bandaras voice or Brad Pitt voice, or whoever you like voice Anthony Hopkins, but it's my voice. And to really understand who you are for you to be you understand your voice, understand your strengths, understand your style, understand your weaknesses, understand you. Paint those boundary lines clear so, that when you go on to the stage or in front of people, you're not waiting for them to define you.
[00:23:46] You've already defined yourself.
[00:23:49] Jeffrey Feldberg: Some terrific advice there. And for our listeners, I hope you're listening carefully. So, Mike, let me ask you this, at Deep Wealth, we are all about preparation after all. We have our 9-step roadmap of preparation for a liquidity event. And so, practice and preparation really come together to make the magic happen and get things going.
[00:24:09] So, you define the boundary lines and I've gone through to identify perhaps why I've been fearful in the past. I've done all that prep work. I'm now in a good position. And as I start to look to presentations, maybe it's going to be to my management team. Maybe it's going to be to the future buyer, investment banker, or whatever it may be.
[00:24:28] What can I start doing in advance to practice or to have that preparation that's going to have me in top form? Are there any strategies or different techniques that you can recommend?
[00:24:38] Mike Acker: So, sometimes those are very customized to the person I'm working with, but here's one that almost every single person can do. And interestingly enough, used to do for years, hundreds and hundreds of years, read out loud. Before this common modern area of technology, reading out loud was a very normal practice for people to do. You sit around the parlor room and read whether you're poor, whether you're rich, if you could read, reading was an event.
[00:25:07] And it helped a lot of figuring yourself out. You're talking out loud. So, I encourage people to grab a book, especially the type of book that's going to be similar to what they might be presenting. So, don't grab something super dry. If you're doing a motivation, grab some kind of motivational book, you can grab Speak With No Fear.
[00:25:24] You can grab a statistical analysis, something like what you’re going to be walking through and then stand and not sit, stand in front of the mirror and read and observe the commas and the periods and the paragraph breaks. Think about when you switch from a chapter to the end of the chapter, if you do this, it helps on so, many different levels.
[00:25:46] One, it increases your vocabulary because reading has been proven to do that. It increases your enunciation cause your purposefully reading and thinking about how you sound. So, you're stretching your mouth muscles. Three, you're going to practice your pauses cause that's what the comma periods and paragraph breaks are. So, you're not going to be using fillers.
[00:26:07] So, you're going to be practicing doing the right way. Why is it that you use fillers? Because you use fillers and what you do off stage then brings it onto the stage. So, practice offstage, what you want to do on stage, it's going to help you understand what you will look like and how you come across. I was working with one person and I said, so, go ahead and give me the speech.
[00:26:30] And he started going to the speech that he was going to give to his new hires. And I said, how do you feel about the people coming into this? And he says, they're great, love them. I said, that's what you said verbally, but it's not what you said with your body. And he said, what do you mean? And I showed him what he was doing with his body.
[00:26:45] And he goes, oh, so, when you stand in for the mirror and you read, you start seeing how you're coming across, do you look hottie? Do you look arrogant? Do you look down? Do you look depressed? Do you look sad? Do you look intense? So, read in front of the mirror. I customize this for different people when I'm working with them.
[00:27:03] But that's one that could be generalized. Just like walking is good for virtually every single person in a good, healthy way to walk 30 minutes a day, reading out loud for 5 to 10 minutes a day is your walk.
[00:27:18] Jeffrey Feldberg: I love that so, simple, but let's not confuse simple with simplicity, so, powerful and it just works. And really you can do that anywhere, you know, and, any time and really take your game to the next level. So, Mike, let's flip it here for a second because I'm a big believer that success is a combination of both knowing what to do, but also knowing what not to do.
[00:27:43] And so, up until this point, we've been talking a lot about, well, you should be doing this and thinking about that and asking yourself this in order to get into the best kind of form. So, you can be the best absolute communicator and presenter. But on the flip side from a high level, from all the people that you've worked with, what are some of the common mistakes that people are making, that they may not even realize that their making?
[00:28:06] Mike Acker: So, this is gonna sound odd because of what we just said there. But one of the common mistakes people make when it comes to pitching, presenting is practicing. They practice without any noise, they practice without any emotions, they practice without any kind of real-life situation. So, it is actually in the book, I call this imagining the worst.
[00:28:28] And when I wrote it, my content editor said, wait a minute, everybody says, I want you to picture the best. I said, yeah, absolutely. I want you to picture the best. I want you to visualize the best, but when you're practicing, I want you to imagine the worst. And the idea is this get rid of the sterile environment that's what you're doing wrong. You get up in front of people and you're pitching to the wall. You're pitching to the empty space. You're pitching to absolutely no one. You're practicing or you're practicing to your spouse or to a loved one. And they're listening to you and they're nodding, your dog's wagging his tail the whole time that you're talking to him.
[00:29:02] And so, when you then take your perfectly perfected, practiced, clean script, and then you go in front of people, there's emotions in the room and someone interrupts you. And somebody looks at their cell phone and all of a sudden there's knocking on something and someone comes into an office room. And then all of a sudden, the CEO that you're talking to, true story for me in the middle of the interview, the CEO gets up and walks out.
[00:29:27] I'm like, okay, well, that's not how I plan to this interview right here. But in real life, presentations happened in dirty environments. I've had drunks come up to try to take the microphone from me, they would be escorted out. I've had someone stand up and yell at me. I've had the entire sound system breakdown, so, here's what I want you to do instead of practicing like you're in a sterile environment. I want you to practice like you're in a dirty environment. Turn on the TV, flip that switch on the TV, let the kids be walking around. In fact, talk to your teenagers, give the presentation to your teenagers. And if you have a sullen mooted, teenager, perfect. Talk it to your spouse right after you have a big, huge argument.
[00:30:11] I mean, you want to practice dirty. And if you can't figure it out, how to practice dirty, then in your mind, and I'll have people do this, close your eyes. And imagine that you're talking to people and it just looks like they don't like you. It looks like they aren't interested. They're not looking at you.
[00:30:27] Everything that they're doing seems like they're not for you. And then practice and practice with confidence. There's been so, many times I've talked to a group of people and it looks like they're not even paying attention and ends up being that the people who look like they're not paying attention are some of the most receptive people ever.
[00:30:48] It's just like that angry face actually is someone who is thinking about what you're saying, meanwhile, people who looked like they were like, oh yeah, really, really? Oh, if you've ever sold to anybody and they're like, oh yeah. Oh, oh, that's a good chance that they're not going to buy from you. It's the person who's more pensive going.
[00:31:09] Okay. Okay. I see what you mean, hmm. And you can see them turning it in their head. So, practice dirty and then perform with confidence.
[00:31:17] Jeffrey Feldberg: I love that. And you know, the power of preparation it comes through again and again, and again, and practice really does make perfect. But Mike, I imagine there are some people who are listening to us right now and saying, yeah, you know what, Mike, this is all fine and good. And you don't really understand my situation because I wasn't born here.
[00:31:35] I have an accent. English is not really my first language. And so, I could never be, even if I wanted to, and I followed your seven strategies and I got your book, Speak With No fear because English is not my first language. And I have this accent. It's hard for people to understand me. How could I ever-present? For someone who's thinking like that, what would you be saying?
[00:31:53] Mike Acker: Learn how to embrace your accent and to minimize the distraction. I know that because I've said that to many people, I have clients in France, in Sweden, in Singapore, in China, in all kinds of different places around the world, as well as I have a whole bunch in America from all over. I have clients from every continent and I think I'm at 20 something nations now. So, I've heard a lot of different accents. Here's what I mean by that, it's part of you. It's part of your story. When I speak Spanish, I fluently speak Spanish. You can still tell I'm an American. And if you look at me, I'm pretty pale and fair-skinned self, you can tell that I'm an American in many different ways.
[00:32:33] And that's part of who I am. So, why hide from it? Why try to not make that part of me? At the same time, if my pronunciation and my ability to enunciate the words is getting in the way. Then you need to learn how to change your ability to get the words pronounced correctly and articulate them well. You want to be able to say all your consonants, this might mean that you need to actually change or strengthen your muscles.
[00:33:01] If I'm a bodybuilder and I want to become a marathon runner, those are two different body types. You said a friend who would every couple of years kind of change the way that he would go about his body to super lean, super big, and then he'd go back and forth to keep it interesting as a personal trainer.
[00:33:17] And it was very different what he had to do for those. Well, when you're born, if you're born in Germany, your mouth muscles and your ability to process, and look at what people are saying is geared for you to speak German. Even if you speak English as well, like many do, they're still speaking it with a dramatic accent.
[00:33:35] Now, if you grew up in the United States and you speak English, the type of English that Jeffrey and I do, then our mouth, we're going to have a hard time going over to China and learning how to speak. We're not going to be able to say some of the words, so, understand that as part of you, but then you want to learn how to contextualize your part, to be able to really not get it in the way. So, learn how to strengthen your muscles. If you're a bodybuilder, learn how to become a runner. If that's the type of thing you're doing in terms of speech, if you're Korean, like a lot of my clients then learn how to say the different consonants the way that American English do, you'll still have an accent, but now it won't get in the way.
[00:34:15] Some of the best communicators that have just taken off are people in America, are people who are not from America. In fact, Americans love a good accent when it doesn't get in the way of what's being said.
[00:34:31] Jeffrey Feldberg: So, true. When in fact, as you're talking about this, Mike I'm going back to a time where a presenter, a speaker came in to talk, and one of the first things he said, he took his weakness or his perceived weakness and he turned it into positive. And he said, you know, a lot of you are going to say, who's this guy with his accent and am I going to be able to understand him?
[00:34:53] But I love my accent because you're going to listen harder and you're going to learn more of what I have to say than if I didn't have an accent. And everyone in the audience laughed. And it was a great icebreaker and he took something that was so, obvious. But turned it around for his advantage. And I would think today as we look around us today, more than ever being different is more acceptable.
[00:35:13] And there's so, many more people who aren't from here or have different access, but we just all take it as one. And you have that receptivity.
[00:35:20] Mike Acker: I want to add onto that, there is laziness in this and what I mean by that is people come and just say, well, it's my accent. I'm just a victim of my accent. That's why no, you can change. You can practice mirroring. You can watch all kinds of videos. You could work with a coach.
[00:35:38] You can do this. Actors do it all the time when they're learning a part, they'll learn how to speak in a different dialect and they'll be able to do that. In Mexico when I moved there, I'd had never said the rolled my R's and I knew that to say caro is it means expensive, but to say caro, it means car. And I was constantly butchering words because I couldn't say that ra sound.
[00:36:05] So, I remember I would just sit there and I would say caro, caro, caro, caro. And I would just try and I try and I try and I would watch someone and I met with a Spanish coach and I would just watch him move his tongue because that's how we learn. And then I would try to do it again and again, it's called mirroring. So, it take work, but now I can say caro. And I encourage you if that’s you don't use it as an excuse. You really can learn how to get to this spot where you're clearly understood so, that you can make the point you want to make.
[00:36:39] Jeffrey Feldberg: So, Mike, I'm curious and again, your example there, I love because practice makes perfect and that happened to you in Mexico, and we can apply that to what we're doing here. As we look toward liquidity events and just make the absolute best presentation. But speaking of presentations, the landscape has changed. The pandemic took online and virtual presentations and brought it to the forefront. So, I'm wondering from your perspective, Mike, when I'm going to be presenting virtually, which is more likely now than ever before, does that change anything in terms of my techniques or my strategies going into that?
[00:37:15] Mike Acker: Absolutely. So, I have a book coming out in about three weeks on this topic, Jeffrey that's called Speak and Meet Virtually. It actually has four parts to it, but let me just give you this big, huge aspect. When you go to your computer and when you go to in-person meeting, you have two different modes that you go into.
[00:37:36] This is one of my favorite things that I realized, and I put down on paper. So, when you go into a meeting, you go into social mode. Hey guys, how's it going? All right. And even the most introvert goes into social mode and you're subconsciously you're reading nonverbal cues. You're reflecting, you're looking. And the better you are at emotional intelligence and more where you are in the different space that you're at.
[00:37:59] So, you're looking around, you're nodding, you're smiling. You're doing things that you need to do. Now, they take that same person or take the extra extroverted person, put them down in front of their computer, and have them work on their home budget. What's going to happen? The smile is going to drop, their eyes are going to close a little bit more.
[00:38:19] Their shoulders are going to droop. They're going to lean in, their energy is going to go down because I'm working on my budget. It's not very exciting, most likely. Okay. Well, let me see, I'm going to pay my mortgage and you're internalizing. You're not needing to turn yourself on and turn yourself into social mode.
[00:38:35] So, you've got a social mode and you've got a solo mode, that's what I call it. So, how does this work in meeting virtually? Well in an online meeting, even what I'm doing with Jeffrey right now is a social activity. Now we might not be face-to-face, but we're interacting. I'm looking at him in the eyes when often I'm looking up at the camera when I'm talking to him.
[00:38:57] And so, it's going back and forth and we're engaged. We're trying to use our non-verbals if you're listening to us and like nodding Jeffrey's nodding right now. So, look around, we're going to try not to look down at our phones or anything like that.
[00:39:08] Like we're social mode. The problem is and I know Jeffrey does a lot of these.
[00:39:12] I do a lot of these, so, it's a little bit different. A lot of people when they go into a virtual meeting, guess what mode is activated? Because they're at the computer, they go into solo mode. They're in a social setting, but now we've married the two together. We're at our computer and solo mode, but we're doing an activity with others, hence social mode.
[00:39:35] So, which one do people inherently go to? After doing this for a couple of years, pre-pandemic, solo mode always. And so, what you'll see as someone who is actually fairly good in a conference room becomes totally checked out. They'll even put something up in front of their face called coming not on video or they'll browse their screens or they'll play with their phone.
[00:39:59] They'll do things that they would never in a hundred years do if they were sitting across from you at Starbucks. So, how do you do virtual presentations? Here's the number one thing, pretend it's in-person and do the things that you would do in person, but with even more energy. So, lean in, listen and nod.
[00:40:22] Look at the camera when you're talking. Cause that's looking at their eye. Look at the screen at their eyes when they're talking, close your browsers, silence your phone. If it's important that your family knows they can't come in and interrupt. Literally, I had someone working on the house today and for this call right here, I said, can you be gone for an hour?
[00:40:40] So, I could do that. Perfect. Absolutely. And so, we want to treat this like it's real because it is. I'm really with Jeff right now. And I'm really talking to Jeff's audience right now. So, I need to lean in and give more, not less. I got to treat this like I'm in front of a large group, not in front of my budget sheet.
[00:41:04] Jeffrey Feldberg: Absolutely. You know, there's an old saying, Mike, and I'm sure you've heard this when you're in corporate sales and it's worth repeating because it ties exactly into what we're talking about right now. People prefer to do business with friends over strangers and when it comes to a liquidity event, I want you to think about this for a second.
[00:41:21] Imagine that you have two different buyers. And one buyer is in solo mode. Maybe you've met virtually, maybe even in person, they're just quiet. And in the background, when you're talking, they're not really paying attention. And then you have another buyer who is engaged and lively and on the virtual presentations or conversations that you're having, it's like, you're the only person in the world and you're getting all that time and attention. And both of these buyers come in with the exact same offer. So, no difference. Who are you going to choose? A little bit of a rhetorical question there, but Mike, if I were a betting guy, I would say most people would choose the buyer that was coming up in the social mode and was smiling and just conversational and polite and doing all those kinds of things.
[00:42:06] Now flip that for a moment and imagine now that it's the buyer who's looking at you. Are you showing up in Mike's words, social mode, or in solo mode, and what are you going to do about that? So, Mike, I think those are amazing insights that you've shared with the audience. And in terms of the virtual presentation, I know it's not necessarily in your area, but it's worth asking what should my set up be in terms of maybe the room that I'm in or lighting where the camera or microphones, what's your take on that?
[00:42:36] Mike Acker: Okay, actually, that is in my wheelhouse. I have it, it's in the book. I actually tell people what to buy, what products to buy,
[00:42:43] Jeffrey Feldberg: I love it.
[00:42:44] Mike Acker: Different price points and microphones that you have a mounted microphone with a pop filter. I have a Yeti as well. So, we're both looking at a couple of hundred-dollar microphones here you have a very crisp HD webcam or HDMI camera. I have a couple of hundred dollar ones here. I actually have four in my office. If you were looking at what Jeff's looking at, you'll see that I spent time actually doing kind of a farm wood look up there, and then I have books and I have them strategically placed.
[00:43:13] I have books on my shelf, like life and work principles. So, it's not going to be distracting. I don't have the terrors of whatever on there that goes, oh my gosh, I have a little frame that says dads, it shows a little bit of that. I have a couple of plants, although albeit one is not looking too good, but you could see the whole framework here actually have a chair that is lower than my shoulders, so, you're not seeing my chair.
[00:43:38] So, I've put a lot of intentionality in that I have about eight or nine lights in my office. So, here's a couple of things that you should be thinking about. You should be looking at the camera. You don't want to use the one on your laptop. You want to use an external one, at least spend $40 on it.
[00:43:53] If you're going to take a brand-new job, and move into sales. You're going to buy at least one 30 something dollars shirt, if not more. And so, it's just a shirt that you're going to wear all the time. You also want a microphone, likewise. if you're going to be driving a whole bunch for your job, you're going to get a car.
[00:44:13] Well, get a microphone. I can't believe how many people don't have a good setup. That's so, cheap, but they think it's expensive, but they would drop that much easily on some clothes for a new job. So, get a good microphone. You need those two lighting. I don't actually have it on right now, but if I tell Alexa to turn on my lights, it turns on all my backlights and I do for any video stuff.
[00:44:36] And then I have lights behind. So, you want lights behind your camera. On the other side of the screen, you're looking at, you don't want to be backlit because then you're washed out. So, Jeffrey right now actually has some great lighting on the front, even though he has a window in the back that threatens to wash out a little bit, the rest of the lighting in the room, lights, is enough that it doesn't wash him out.
[00:44:55] So, you want to have light on all sides of you and not right by the camera, because then you're staring into a light the whole time. So, lights to the side of this, and I have some natural light that comes in as well. And then you will be looking at your background, so, what's behind you think through that. So, what are you gonna do?
[00:45:13] You want the camera and there are all kinds of different things you can do about that. You want a good microphone and or headset depending on what you're doing. You want some good lights and then you want a good background.
[00:45:24] Jeffrey Feldberg: And if you're wondering out there for our listeners, yeah Mike that's nice, but you know, I don't really want to spend the money or I think that's overrated or what, $200 for a microphone or a good camera. Are you nuts? I have to tell you, it makes a difference. So, Mike, I never shared this with you, this is the first time that we met. And when you first came on the screen within the first millisecond, here's what was processing through my mind and we hadn't even spoken a word yet. So, I saw to your point a well-lit room, it was very warm. I saw the wood in the background. I saw these books prominently displays out.
[00:45:56] Okay. Yeah. Mike's an author. Those must be his books that are there in the background. And then all these books that are there, I saw the professional microphone and within a millisecond, I said, okay, I'm in the presence of Mike who takes himself seriously. He is successful, he's an author. He cares about how he presents himself.
[00:46:12] And it gives me confidence in Mike and what we're going to be talking about today. And not a word has been spoken that was to come. And then when Mike is speaking, he's confident and he's pronouncing everything properly and we're just having a terrific dialogue. And not even 30 seconds has then passed.
[00:46:30] So, all of this comes together and you better believe that your future buyer who, by the way, you're not the only game in town. There's so, many other opportunities, particularly today for a buyer to be looking at you better be hitting it out of the park with this low hanging fruit that Mike has been sharing with us, not only presenting but how to actually virtually present yourself, which has become such a mainstay.
[00:46:51] And, you know, Mike, how many times have we seen and we feel for that person where the camera's in their notebook and we're looking up their nostril, not a pleasant sight.
[00:46:59] Mike Acker: Oh, it's so, crazy. Jeffrey. I mean, this, I get into a little bit of a soapbox right here, because I just have done this to so, many people. I was talking to one person and he was super zoomed in and I thought, well, that's weird. And then he shifted, I could see that he wasn't wearing a shirt and he was in bed.
[00:47:13] I'm like, what in the world? And he's paying me money to coach him. And as I just thought, this is ridiculous. It tells me that you're not taking this seriously. I didn't want to do any more coaching sessions with him. But if you don't take yourself seriously, you can tell. And to your point, the first thing I noticed was your setup.
[00:47:31] And I noticed all those same things and both of us are wearing collared shirts, which just says, hey, I'm not just in the t-shirt. And often I wear a suit and tie in my office because you're dressing that way. So, when I'm working with people, sometimes they're talking about, I'm trying to get this promotion and I really need to do this, or I just got the promotion and I'll say, oh, that's great.
[00:47:52] And it comes with a nice, huge bonus check or whatever. And it's amazing to me that they don't want to spend $2,000 to get the promotion or to really do well in the promotion for a program or something. I just think it's crazy. If you're selling your company for some great amount of money, spend a thousand dollars to get a really nice setup, really think through it because those thousand dollars is going to, think about this.
[00:48:22] When you're going to sell your house. I sold my house on time with my wife and my sister was the real estate agent and she knew that she wanted to get us top dollar. So, she brought in a photographer who paid him less than a thousand dollars. That photography, the ability he did, it was so, amazing that we were able to actually charge more and we got it just because of the presentation.
[00:48:44] So, I won't go on and on, but it is huge. So, check out your presentation.
[00:48:50] Jeffrey Feldberg: And you're hearing it straight from the expert from the trenches. It doesn't get any better with Mike and what he's sharing with his books. And I'll have some show notes with the links to all the books, and we'll be excited for your new book that's going to be coming out. Mike. So, Mike, let me ask you this, as we begin to wrap up this episode, my favorite question that I ask every guest is this. When you think of the movie Back To The Future, you have that magical DeLorean car, which can go back to any point in time. And so, I want you now, Mike, to imagine it is tomorrow morning, you wake up, you look outside your window, and lo and behold it's the DeLorean car.
[00:49:28] The door is open. It's waiting for you to come in and you can travel back to any point in your life. Maybe it's Mike as the young child or the teenager or the adolescents, whatever it may be. What would you be telling your younger self in terms of do this? Or, hey, wait a minute, don't do that. Or lessons learned or life wisdom.
[00:49:48] What would that be?
[00:49:49] Mike Acker: Well, first, I love that you said, what would you tell your younger self versus if you could go back in time and do something different, what would you do? So, I love that you made that distinction because I wouldn't do anything. I just believe that there is no sense in trying to go back and go, well, what if I had. It can be fun for a little bit and I'll let myself do it for some fun things with a friend or something.
[00:50:12] Like what if I had bought Google stock, but ultimately you can't. So, just embrace where you're at, but here's what I would tell myself. If I were to go back in time and coach myself, I would say, don't take yourself so seriously and don't take others so seriously either. And just there's a lot in life about, just loosening up with other people.
[00:50:34] I think America, we need to not take everything so, serious. It's either, you know, far over here or far over there and it's everybody else's the bad guy and we see one post and we just think that they're the worst person ever. So, lighten up, lighten up with people, give each other grace.
[00:50:54] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow. Some terrific life wisdom that you've shared with us, Mike, I absolutely love that. And for our listeners, I really hope you're listening carefully to that. And some words to the wise from a wise man himself. So, Mike, as we look to close out this episode, if somebody would like to find you online, and again, I'm going to put all of this in the show notes to make it really easy, point and click, where should someone go?
[00:51:17] Mike Acker: mikeacker.com, you'll find me there. I mean, it really, if you just Google Mike Acker, I'm going to be the guy who shows up. If you go to Amazon, Mike Acker, you're going to see my five books, my three workbooks. So, I'm pretty prominent all over the place. But mikeacker.com is a stopping point everywhere.
[00:51:35] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific. And if you liked what you've heard and I've loved what I've heard, I would encourage you to go out and get Mike's current books, Speak with No Fear and Mike, one more time for our listeners. The new book that's coming out shortly is once again:
[00:51:48] Mike Acker: Speak and Meet Virtually.
[00:51:50] Jeffrey Feldberg: Speak and Meet Virtually. I love that. Well, Mike, thank you so, much for taking part of your day to spend with us.
[00:51:56] And as we wrap up this episode of the Sell My Business Podcast and wishing you to please stay healthy and safe.
[00:52:02] Mike Acker: Thank you so, much. You too, Jeff.
[00:52:03] Sharon S.: The Deep Wealth Experience was definitely a game-changer for me.
[00:52:06] Lyn M.: This course is one of the best investments you will ever make because you will get an ROI of a hundred times that. Anybody who doesn't go through it will lose millions.
[00:52:16] Kam H.: If you don't have time for this program, you'll never have time for a successful liquidity
[00:52:21] Sharon S.: It was the best value of any business course I've ever taken. The money was very well spent.
[00:52:27] Lyn M.: Compared to when we first began, today I feel better prepared, but in some respects, may be less prepared, not because of the course, but because the course brought to light so, many things that I thought we were on top of that we need to fix.
[00:52:43] Kam H.: I 100% believe there's never a great time for a business owner to allocate extra hours into his or her week or day. So, it's an investment that will yield results today. I thought I will reap the benefit of this program in three to five years down the road. But as soon as I stepped forward into the program, my mind changed immediately.
[00:53:05] Sharon S.: There was so, much value in the experience that the time I invested paid back so, much for the energy that was expended.
[00:53:16] Lyn M.: The Deep Wealth Experience compared to other programs is the top. What we learned is very practical. Sometimes you learn stuff that it's great to learn, but you never use it. The stuff we learned from Deep Wealth Experience, I believe it's going to benefit us a boatload.
[00:53:29] Kam H.: I've done an executive MBA. I've worked for billion-dollar companies before. I've worked for smaller companies before I started my business. I've been running my business successfully now for getting close to a decade. We're on a growth trajectory. Reflecting back on the Deep Wealth, I knew less than 10% what I know now, maybe close to 1% even.
[00:53:47] Sharon S.: Hands down the best program in which I've ever participated. And we've done a lot of different things over the years. We've been in other mastermind groups, gone to many seminars, workshops, conferences, retreats, read books. This was so, different. I haven't had an experience that's anything close to this in all the years that we've been at this.
[00:54:12] It's five-star, A-plus.
[00:54:14] Kam H.: I would highly recommend it to any super busy business owner out there.
[00:54:19] Deep Wealth is an accurate name for it. This program leads to deeper wealth and happier wealth, not just deeper wealth. I don't think there's a dollar value that could be associated with such an experience and knowledge that could be applied today and forever.
[00:54:33] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table?
[00:54:35] Please visit www.deepwealth.com/success to learn more.
[00:54:41] If you're not on my email list, you'll want to be. Sign up at www.deepwealth.com/podcast. And if you enjoyed this episode of the Sell My Business podcast, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Reviews help me reach new listeners, grow the show and continue to create content that you'll enjoy.
[00:55:05] As we close out this episode, a heartfelt thank you for your time. And as always, please stay healthy and safe.
[00:55:12] Sharon S.: The Deep Wealth Experience was definitely a game-changer for me.
[00:55:15] Lyn M.: This course is one of the best investments you will ever make because you will get an ROI of a hundred times that. Anybody who doesn't go through it will lose millions.
[00:55:25] Kam H.: If you don't have time for this program, you'll never have time for a successful liquidity
[00:55:30] Sharon S.: It was the best value of any business course I've ever taken. The money was very well spent.
[00:55:36] Lyn M.: Compared to when we first began, today I feel better prepared, but in some respects, may be less prepared, not because of the course, but because the course brought to light so, many things that I thought we were on top of that we need to fix.
[00:55:52] Kam H.: I 100% believe there's never a great time for a business owner to allocate extra hours into his or her week or day. So, it's an investment that will yield results today. I thought I will reap the benefit of this program in three to five years down the road. But as soon as I stepped forward into the program, my mind changed immediately.
[00:56:14] Sharon S.: There was so, much value in the experience that the time I invested paid back so, much for the energy that was expended.
[00:56:25] Lyn M.: The Deep Wealth Experience compared to other programs is the top. What we learned is very practical. Sometimes you learn stuff that it's great to learn, but you never use it. The stuff we learned from Deep Wealth Experience, I believe it's going to benefit us a boatload.
[00:56:38] Kam H.: I've done an executive MBA. I've worked for billion-dollar companies before. I've worked for smaller companies before I started my business. I've been running my business successfully now for getting close to a decade. We're on a growth trajectory. Reflecting back on the Deep Wealth, I knew less than 10% what I know now, maybe close to 1% even.
[00:56:56] Sharon S.: Hands down the best program in which I've ever participated. And we've done a lot of different things over the years. We've been in other mastermind groups, gone to many seminars, workshops, conferences, retreats, read books. This was so, different. I haven't had an experience that's anything close to this in all the years that we've been at this.
[00:57:21] It's five-star, A-plus.
[00:57:23] Kam H.: I would highly recommend it to any super busy business owner out there.
[00:57:28] Deep Wealth is an accurate name for it. This program leads to deeper wealth and happier wealth, not just deeper wealth. I don't think there's a dollar value that could be associated with such an experience and knowledge that could be applied today and forever.
[00:57:42] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table?
[00:57:44] Please visit www.deepwealth.com/success to learn more.
[00:57:51] If you're not on my email list, you'll want to be. Sign up at www.deepwealth.com/podcast. And if you enjoyed this episode of the Sell My Business podcast, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Reviews help me reach new listeners, grow the show and continue to create content that you'll enjoy.
[00:58:14] As we close out this episode, a heartfelt thank you for your time. And as always, please stay healthy and safe.