Transcript of Efficiencies Expert Jason Helfenbaum On How To Increase Your ROI Through Training And Efficiencies
Visionary Business Owner Tony Chiapetta Reveals Why Less Is More When It Comes To Increasing EBITDA Through Technology

[00:00:05] Jeffrey Feldberg: Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast. I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.

This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience.

Your liquidity event is the largest and most important financial transaction of your life.

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.

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.

Are you thinking about an exit or liquidity event?

If you believe that you either don't have the time or you'll prepare closer to your liquidity event, think again.

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.

After all, how can you master something you've never done before?

Let the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our nine-step roadmap of preparation help you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.

At the end of this episode, take a moment to hear from business owners, just like you, who went through the Deep Wealth Experience.

As an entrepreneur for almost 20 years, Tony Chiappetta's mission is to change the IT game to people first, instead of focusing on fixing tech problems. Whether Chiappetta's company runs a client's IT division or complements a client's dedicated IT team, the less is more mantra has been a game-changer. That especially has been the case over the last 12 months, since COVID-19 forced most employees to work from home. Two years after graduating from the University of Southern California in 2000, Chiappetta decided to leave the corporate world and go into business for himself with AMC Modern IT.

He reached out to 1000 people, cold calling people directly from the Yellow Pages before landing his first client, an older real estate agent who says Chiappetta reminded him of his younger self. Chiappetta went from charging hourly rates as a 23-year-old to eventually monitoring systems and backup systems on a daily rate to building a team of 24 employees in 2014.

That year, Tony's company was trying to plug tech holes, pull all-nighters and solve an overwhelming amount of problems. So, Chiappetta devised a list of 400 items that prevented downtime and security breaches, as well as created client-specific documentation, such as a detailed new user set-up and removal process for each client. He then created a dedicated role in his organization to continuously review the checklist and found he was preventing 80% of reactive issues that once plagued his clients.

Without reactive issues, time was now focused on creating IT strategies for his clients. This new process required a lot more time so, Chiappetta was forced to raise rates exponentially which left him with 19 clients from an original pool of hundreds and dropped his employee counts from 24 to eight.

But eventually, the smaller pool of clients became a much bigger one and his team began to rebuild as well. Now, Chiappetta and his firm are global with employees and clients around the world.

Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast.

So, happy that you're with us for another episode. For today, you're in for a real treat because we're speaking with a business owner, but not just any business owner.

We're going to be going all over the place in terms of your culture, productivity, profitability, and technology, to see how they can intertwine and how they can make you not only a better person but also a better business. But let me not get ahead of myself/ Tony it's an absolute pleasure to have you with us. Thank you so, much for taking time out today. Tony before we get going why don't we start with a story behind the story. How did you get to where you are today?

[00:04:21] Tony Chiappetta: Thank you, Jeffrey. So, I started as a garbage man, when I was 15. And I wasn't even a real garbage man. I worked on a sort line picking up recyclables, which was terrible, made me realize I want to do something that required a little bit more knowledge work. So, I had a brief stint as a butler at The Playboy Mansion, which was interesting.

And I love to serve, but I don't like being a servant, figured that out. And then I got a job corporate after college, in IT loved it. Love the technology. I had an engineering mind. I'm very analytical, so, did that for a couple of years, but once again, found that I wasn't meant to be managed by a mid-level manager and just found it a little soul-crushing.

So, I started AMC Modern IT in 2002 when I was 23 to 24 years old. And I've just been on a journey to go from being an engineer to understanding how to run a business with process, accountability, and guaranteed end results without me being involved.

[00:05:19] Jeffrey Feldberg: Tony. I love your story at so many levels. Oh, my goodness. You started as a garbage man but knew that wasn't for you and you then landed up at the Playboy Mansion. Wow. So, you had your stint at the Playboy Mansion and you realize that it wasn't for you. And you then ended up in IT. And this is what got you to where you are today. That's quite the journey.

So, Tony, you talked about accountability. Why don't you talk to us about how accountability has played a role in your success both for yourself as well as for your business.

[00:05:51] Tony Chiappetta: So, for the business, which I'll start first, I realized when I was younger and I was just starting a business as an engineer, it wasn't really a business. It was me with a couple of helpers and then more helpers, that I would instruct to just kind of be like me. Which is a very wrong way to go about it because nobody's going to do things that are in my head the way that I want them to do things.

And so, I had to eventually come to terms with the fact that I need to create clearly defined accountabilities and roles where people know what's expected of them. They know what they should be doing and what success looks like. As I started modifying my understanding of management and leadership, I put people in the right roles to be successful and was able to reward them. And as a result of that, the business was successful from a personal accountability standpoint, having the discipline to focus on the most important things, which isn't fixing this technical problem, this issue, it's understanding why this issue exists. And updating or creating a very high-level process that addresses that to have as few processes and that are just followed by all. So, having the discipline to look at things from a higher viewpoint and discipline to be working on the most important things that are the day-to-day things.

[00:07:09] Jeffrey Feldberg: So, Tony, that's interesting. Now you said something that you're now doing, which a lot of business owners strive to do, but not many achieve it. So, you're one of the few that's doing this and that's where the business runs without you.

So, you talked about accountability, but how did you first understand that, hey, this is my business. If it's going to be successful, I mean, really successful, scalable. It needs to run without me. And then how did you implement that so, that it actually happened?

[00:07:36] Tony Chiappetta: So, it's iterative. So, it doesn't just run without me, but I'm not responsible for all the day-to-day. And as we grow and we hit different inflection points, I find that I need to jump in on things, which is an indication to me that we have to look at things a little bit differently. And so, it's kind of like that as my awareness of like, all right, if I'm jumping in here on something, then we have an issue on our accountability chart or an issue with our core process that I'm filling the gap on. And so, I go straight to that and look at that, to figure out where the hole is and address it that way and just use that continuously to keep building up.

[00:08:14] Jeffrey Feldberg: So, Tony in that process, it sounds like you're finding the right people and then ensuring that they have the proper training so, that they can just run with it. So, they're working and doing what they should be doing within the business. And it sounds like this allows you to, as you say, not be running the business day in, day out, but you're having the people do that for you. So, how are you spending your time and what does that mean for you practically day to day?

[00:08:38] Tony Chiappetta: I try and do as much of the stuff that I just enjoy. And that I love doing as possible. So, I love doing the vision stuff and understanding where the market's going and I love tying in our purpose to make people more productive at work so, that they can have a better life into what we're doing and sharing that over and over again, to help people see, you're not just fixing this problem.

You're making this person more productive so, they can go home and have a better experience.

 I love training people and showing them how to use the technology that they're already paying for. So, I do that myself personally, every Tuesday, we have a Weekly Teams Tuesday that we do, or I just show people what they don't know.

And there's nothing better to me than hearing. I didn't know I could do that. That would have saved me so, much time, six months ago, but I know today, that's what gets me up in the morning. So, yeah, it's just about focusing more on trying to get the stuff that I don't like off my plate.

[00:09:24] Jeffrey Feldberg: What's interesting, Tony is, it sounds like part of your mission is helping people become fulfilled through your services, through your technology, and through the problems that you're solving. And so, I'm curious, you're in the thick of things, given where you are today with technology, and it sounds really for you, technology is a means to an end.

And so, speaking of the end, we still find ourselves in some interesting times with the COVID-19 pandemic, but you're someone who's in the center of this. So, speaking as a business owner to other business owners, what should we know and look for in the next 6 to 12 months as a pertains to how business has changed or how the marketplace is changing and continues to change?

[00:10:03] Tony Chiappetta: So, the way that we've done things for the past 20 years, is no longer valid or acceptable. And Microsoft's been really clear about this instead of us having PCs and servers. Now it's about having cloud services and mobile devices, whether it's a laptop, PC, whatever it is, iPhone and transitioning away from having your IT team focused on fixing, patching, maintaining, managing, updating, and the servers and all their focus goes on trying to not disrupt the business, which means they have zero time left to innovate for the business. So, that's a huge thing for me, is getting people's perception of IT to be more than just technology, to be focused on people in the process.

The other side as we enter and get out of the pandemic and get back in and get back out of this hybrid work life. As we look to improve people's experience, you know, it's an employee’s market. They've found that they've had success working from home when they were forced to, they want to continue that.

 And So, we found if you have servers in your office, you have six times as many issues than if you just have cloud services per person. Six times I'm trying to VPN in ah, the files are slow. My computer that I connect into turned off and somebody has to go push the button to turn it on, over and over and over again.

Versus if you have just a mobile device and your applications and data and security are all just being delivered to you, no matter where you are. Your phone's the same exact way in the office, out of the office, in Starbucks, the same way then it cuts down all the complexity and you can start removing that digital chain. I put my focus now into the organization's biggest assets, their people. And turn my attention to upgrading people instead of upgrading windows servers. And there's a magic there.

[00:11:51] Jeffrey Feldberg: Tony, Let's talk about that magic as you call it because you said something really interesting that I'd like to unpack. So, firstly, why don't we start with what some people call work from home or remote work. There's no denying that the pandemic has forever changed the workplace and remote work it's here to stay. It's not going anywhere.

So, now that we're heading out of the pandemic there are choices for employees. So, what would you say to those business owners who are thinking to themselves, yeah, sure? This remote thing is just a fad. I'm going to have my people come back to the office just like it was pre-pandemic.

[00:12:24] Tony Chiappetta: That I understand I can empathize. And for some people, Jeffery, obviously, if you're a manufacturing organization, warehouse distribution, you need people there moving product, making product, but for knowledge workers, if you can retain top talent, if you can obtain top talent, if you can increase your pool for talent by mastering how to work from anywhere and start skill sourcing nationally or globally, there are some significant benefits that should be worth a look and exploration.

[00:12:59] Jeffrey Feldberg: So, Tony for the clients that you're supporting, what does that look like for them with remote workers? Because I know that your business is global and the companies that you're supporting are all over the place. What would you have seen through their lenses when your workforce isn't just in your backyard, but when you actually have a choice and you can have people around the world that are working for you? As a business owner, what should I be thinking about?

[00:13:22] Tony Chiappetta: It comes back to that accountability chart it always seems to, and what are people responsible for? And how can you measure that to make sure that they're on track so, that you can coach them if they're off track and reward them when they surpass track. So, I'm a big fan of just making it really clear what success looks like, and then tracking that every day and managing that and leading that.

And helping people get through challenges while also maintaining some culture. So, have a daily huddle, have a lunchtime session, have a water cooler session. We're big fans of Microsoft. I don't want to do a PSA for Microsoft but have less stuff.

So, have less stuff, do more with it is our motto. Within Microsoft Teams, we can set up a meeting the entire company can jump into instantaneously, quick huddle, quick, schedule, a cultural event. So, you could still maintain those. It's just, you have to shift your thinking a little bit, do it a little differently.

[00:14:12] Jeffrey Feldberg: Tony it's always interesting how technology is always changing and moving. And it's like, you're saying it's out of the office and into the cloud. So, Tony, where is technology heading? I mean, it always seems it's as good as it gets. And then before you know it, boom, something else comes along and it's now even better. Tony, perhaps you can give us a preview of what you're seeing or what you believe is going to be heading our way that will just make life so, much easier for us

[00:14:38] Tony Chiappetta: Yeah. Great question. So, when we had servers starting in 1996, we started adding more things to the servers to make them work for us.

So, it was great to have a server because we can store all our files in one place, multiple people could access those files. Then we needed an anti-virus. If we've got internet, we need a firewall. We got emails so, we need this email security. We have compliance so, we need encryption. We want to access it remotely so, we need a VPN. We start accumulating all of these different tools and I can go on for quite a while, Jeffrey, but IT just came about adding and using all of these different tools so, people could work the way that they want to work and still maintain security. And so, what we're seeing is that's kind of like putting a square peg in a round hole. These servers sitting in corporate data centers. That's a whole insane play to run your own data center. That's a real estate play of running and managing your own data center if you have servers but to get your information that you need coming into the corporate world the challenges are there, you see that every week, there's a new hack.

There's a new ransomware, there's a pipeline shutdown. There's a city that's been compromised, a PD that's had all their information leaked. And so, trying to work from anywhere is difficult and there are issues with whether it's VPN or file speeds or apps for access, and then it's not secure.

And so, Microsoft has recognized this and Satya Nadella said, what we've been doing since 1996 is no longer valid, and let's change how we're doing it and start leveraging more services. And what he's done is made this really complete vision. So, instead of having a file server, we put our files in Teams.

And so, I see that a lot where people are starting to either move their stuff off-site and into a cloud, so, move their apps to a cloud or move their files to a cloud but oftentimes not their security. They're still plagued by how do I manage these things?

And so, they end up with a litany of different solutions and as more awareness is being created, people are seeing that Microsoft just like they did in 1996 when they created this Window server mass populate the most popular on-premise client-server solution on the market, they've now created a same holistic approach, more holistic approach to having, a cloud and mobile infrastructure.

It's just, people don't understand it because it's complex. We needed to train and certify for years, and it's difficult to explain, but once you start seeing how complete their vision is and how much it's geared towards making people productive, it's just light bulbs. And so, over the next five years, everybody's going to move from this into Microsoft's 365 Services, not just the email and Teams, but the complete operating system and the security piece of it and have less stuff. Don't have three different anti-viruses and security this and mobile device manage just one platform that does it all holistically and together.

[00:17:29] Jeffrey Feldberg: And speaking of holistically together, let's talk about your business. So, you've been in business for two decades, which in your industry it's absolutely incredible. It's incredibly competitive. And you started at Advanced Micro Computing Concepts or AMC as you call it AMC Modern IT Services for short. So, Tony, I'm a business owner and I'm listening now to this episode and I say, okay. yeah, I'm doing everything internally myself. We have our good days. We have our not so, great days, Tony, what is it that you're offering to business owners that can help them take their game to the next level?

What does that look like for you?

[00:18:06] Tony Chiappetta: When I first started Jeffrey, I was just call me when there's a problem, which is kind of where IT gravitates towards. Over the next decade of pain and realizing that I don't enjoy chaos and finding structure, I built a 400 plus point best practices checklist. You go to maybe a car maintenance, they do a 400-point inspection to make sure you're not going to have any issues with the car when we did the same thing with IT, just all the things we found that went wrong if we could fix the day before. And as I created a role to fix these things ahead of time, we started seeing a drastic reduction in our issues so, it gave us the space to start creating strategy. And so, as we had that space, we started looking where we're not just this fix it company anymore. We really want to start having an impact on organizations and their people.

And so, we started realizing that, we want to start showing people how to use the technology because people get this technology and they use 10% of it. And we found a core issue is that it's really difficult to train people on having 10, 20 different tools and apps. And so, we just started realizing and seeing several years back that we can do all of these things that we were doing with a plethora of different tools from Microsoft.

So, we help people build a strategy now. We prevent the issues and we build a strategy so, that people can be more productive using the Microsoft platform and put as much stuff as we can in there, because then we can train people on how to use it. And then from there, you've got a skilled workforce that knows how to use our technology with little issues.

We can turn our focus into understanding their processes. And as we do that, we see ways to automate these mundane processes, all within the Microsoft platform. It's all there if you just know how to access it. So, we guide people through that. We start automating things, we start taking those processes and through the automation, help organizations build their intellectual property. Get consistent, guaranteed end results with less people that are more skilled to create a better culture because of the experience we're creating for them. And ultimately have a better organization.

[00:20:07] Jeffrey Feldberg: I love it. And for our listeners out there is really interesting. There's a lot of parallels here. So, Tony's talking about preparation with his 400-point checklist from a technology side. And how, when he goes through that on your behalf, he's helping you prepare for any potential issues down the road and how you can actually head them off.

And it's the same thing with the Deep Wealth Experience we have our nine-step roadmap. Where you're doing preparation well in advance of your liquidity event. And so, there's a lot of power when it comes to preparation. When you're prepared, you save your money, you save your health and you save your time.

In the case of Deep Wealth and the Deep Wealth Experience, you have a much better liquidity event. It's a liquidity event that gets you a much higher enterprise value than you would otherwise. And in Tony's case when you're prepared, the business runs as it should. And you're focusing on what really makes a difference in terms of growing the business, adding value, and solving new problems that will hopefully create a market disruption. So, there's so, much there behind the preparation side of things.

Tony, you've clearly articulated how you can help other companies grow, but why don't we look within for a moment? So, you started right out of school. And if memory serves, you made something like a thousand phone calls to get one single client. Nothing was given to you.

You have to figure it out the hard way. And then at one point after you raise your prices, your client's self-selected and you lost a lot of clients. So, I'd love to hear your gems of wisdom from perhaps a cultural side, as well as lessons learned in terms of what's made the difference for you that has allowed you to grow?

[00:21:45] Tony Chiappetta: As I started, it was just me and I got an employee and we were just reactive and chaotic. And then we grew that organization of we'll do just about anything, any revenues, good revenue, to about 24 employees before it just cataclysmically like we hit that inflection point of, we can't go any further with this way of doing things. I had an employee, break down on me. I was able to sell stuff because I knew what I was doing personally, and people knew that they could trust me and I worked my butt off.

 But once they got past me and the next level and the level after that, where I was turning pretty quickly into the chief apology officer. And so, our journey to then figure out that I will get no valuation for this business. And it sucks to keep it, forced me to say that I need to do something different. And I just started reading business books.

I started reading Good to Great Jim Collins. I got into the Rockefeller Habits because I want to know how to do good to great, and eventually came into Traction and I realized that's what I need is the blueprint analytically, find it and started just executing on that blueprint and have that accountability and roles and core processes and purpose.

Core values and, and those things and how they're so, important and how to use them to manage your organization. And so, I turned myself from being a technical person into understanding business management and leadership, two separate things. And figuring out to get, out of this mess, I need non-technical managers, which was really counterintuitive to me at the time, not technical leaders, but leaders of people and process. And as we brought on people that couldn't solve the technical problem, but they could ask why enough times to understand how the process needs to change and update the process slowly but surely the magic started happening that we talked about with, we have the process now, we can automate some of the processes.

We can train our people on the process. And as we do things consistently and follow with discipline, we start getting the end results that we hope for, which is not a technical fix your printer solution, fix your desktop or your server or your firewall. It's business. And so, our journey painstakingly has taken us from no clients and me making cold calls, which I don't consider myself a salesperson, but I had to put myself out there. Not fun, but just something that you got to do, to growing it through reputation, to then realizing I've grown it to the point where I have to break it apart and do things differently. And if I do things differently, that means I have to have a set standard to do these processes, so, I have to charge more.

And if I charge more, I have a minimum to do the things the right way. A lot of people weren't interested in doing that. We had hundreds of clients, we went down to 19 that we're willing to stay in and take on the process and do the process for the end results that I promised we're able to achieve them.

And then just slowly grow ourselves back up. So, went from 24 employees down to 8 at our absolute lowest as people didn't like being managed. They didn't like the direction of the company as they were held accountable or others, I had to help find jobs because I broke them. It's gut-wrenching.

They were great, great friends and people. But as we did those and made those tough decisions to focus on managing the business and creating strategies, and then eventually finding our purpose to be around something much greater than technology, which is improving people's lives by making them more productive at work. Everything just started gravitating towards the right direction.

[00:25:03] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow. That's quite the story. And some insights that you're sharing with us. And I know you referenced the word culture and culture is such a big role when it comes to being successful. And particularly when you're looking to have a liquidity event. Because all the money in the world that your competition can use while they can use that money to buy the same technology that you're using.

Your competition can use their money to even hire away some of your employees, but your competition's money, they cannot buy your culture. And so, Tony, I'm curious, when you looked at the culture from the quote-unquote bad old days when you're just there to be reactive and you were servicing the issues as they came up.

And now that you look at your culture today how would you describe your culture today? What does that look like for you?

[00:25:48] Tony Chiappetta: So, there's structure, there's a place for everything. There are clear definitions of what success is for each person in our company. There are rewards and praise for that success. There's coaching for helping you get there if you're not. All of these things lead to feeling that you're cared for which you are.

So, again, I was a technical leader. I could fix problems. I was not a people and process leader. I didn't do reviews. I didn't guide the ship. I didn't, help improve the process. I just say, hey, you should have done it like this. Now there are documents, very few of them, of course, but hey, this is the way that we do things.

Remember you skip this step? When you skip it this is what happens. I don't want you to have to deal with that again. Let's go through and really understand why we do this step so, that you can remember next time not to skip this which is a whole different experience than I'm just beating you up because you screwed up again and again because I would've done it differently, I would've done it differently and you just burn people out because they can never do anything right. And so, I just ran through a lot of stuff there, Jeffrey.

[00:26:55] Jeffrey Feldberg: Tony it's all good stuff. And what it sounds like is that through your system and your processes that you put into place it's never personal. If something's gone wrong is not about the person. It's about the behavior of the person. And you can point to the system or the process perhaps that was skipped or it wasn't followed. And I suspect that makes a huge difference when you're talking to people about why something went wrong. Can you tell us more about that?

[00:27:19] Tony Chiappetta: It's the role, not the person and so, we still manage the people, we measure the people based on our core values to find the right person. And if they are the right person and they just can't get this role, then maybe we find a role that's a better fit for them to get them in the right seat.

And so, it isn't emotional as much as, this is how we do things. We've talked about it. Let's not do it again. Three strikes.

[00:27:44] Jeffrey Feldberg: Tony as usual you're spot on with what you're sharing. You know, what's interesting in the Deep Wealth Experience, we focus on the nine-step roadmap of preparation. And step number two is what we call X-Factors that insanely increase the value of your business. So, what's an X factor? An X-Factor is something that your business is world-class in, and it's what sets you apart.

And this is why it increases the value of your business. So, Tony, when you talk about culture, we consider culture to be an X-Factor. After all your culture is a reflection of your employees and the quality and caliber of your employees. So, that said I'd like to circle back because it's an important differentiation.

Most business owners tend to overlook this. You made a difference between management and leadership. And a lot of people put the two of them together into management or leadership and they make them interchangeable, but they're really not. They are not one in the same.

So, Tony, can you share for our listeners what you've done within your business, where you maximize management in its own right. But you're also maximizing the concept of leadership. How does that work for you?

[00:28:57] Tony Chiappetta: I look at leadership as guiding the direction for where the company is going. Building the strategy for not just the direction for the company, but for the elevation of its people and understanding, how to improve the culture continuously. I look at the leadership is more of where things are going and how to take care of people. I look at management as managing the work. So, where is this process broken? How can this process be improved? How do I get things from the raw material side of the manufacturing plant out the door as effectively as possible with as little waste as possible?

And so, I look at leading people and managing work, that would probably be the ways that I separate those two and you really need both.

[00:29:42] Jeffrey Feldberg: Tony, thanks for clarifying. I really appreciate that. So, I'm curious for our listeners, Tony, you built a successful business. You changed how you do things. And it sounds like you're continually changing and you're adapting to new marketplace conditions as things come up. So, Tony, as a business leader, I'm curious what you're doing to keep yourself sharp so, that you can continue to both have success and enjoy success.

[00:30:08] Tony Chiappetta: I'm pretty fanatically disciplined to Traction and maintaining our business planning and our weekly meetings and the things, the activities we do from a business structure standpoint. That's the operating system for which we run. I would say I'm also insanely curious. I love understanding new stuff and seeing how it works and then how that can have an impact on people.

And so, I'm always YouTube'ing the latest Microsoft video or the latest, new technology and understanding from a video perspective. And then I read, I read and I take notes on what I read, then I review my notes on what I read. So, it's kind of something I did in school and then I stopped doing for 10 years, 15 years, and then came back to, because I don't know if there's a problem that's out there, Jeff, or that hasn't been solved by somebody.

And they wrote a book about it and finding that stuff and just seeing those perspectives is immensely valuable. I do have a question for you, Jeff. Valuations, you know, having larger liquidity events, do you see, as organizations build-out and document their processes and then automate them and have systems in place automate them so, that the business can grow and scale on its own without the owner. Do you see that view that is the intellectual property of sorts per businesses that then increases the multiplier of the valuation on the organization at all?

[00:31:29] Jeffrey Feldberg: Tony, I love your approach. We're now going to turn the tables here. You're going to interview me and I'd be delighted to answer your question. So, let me take a 50,000 foot in-the-air overview to answer your question and it's actually a really smart question. The short answer to your question is an absolute yes.

The intellectual property that you create, the systems, the documentation, and all that flows into part of the culture. That is incredibly important. In fact, in the Deep Wealth Experience, one of the things that we talk about is the Four Points of Clarity. So, just as a diamond has clarity and you rate a diamond based on the more clarity it has a more valuable it is. It's the same thing with a business.

The more clarity a business has, where everyone from the frontline employees, all the way up to the CEO, they have clarity. They have KPIs, things are documented. You have your systems in place. That goes a very long way to increasing your enterprise value. So, the question is, well, why does that increase the enterprise value? Why would you get a higher multiplier?

And the answer to that is as business owners, we need to stop thinking like a seller and we now need to think of being a buyer. And so, a buyer comes in and what's going through the buyer's mind is, should I buy your company? Can I buy your company? The buyer is going to assume that you, as the business owner is not going to be there the next day. I know some of you business owners out there are saying, well, wait a minute, I'm always going to be in this company no matter what happens. Well, maybe you will, but maybe you won't. Remember as a buyer, our mission is to minimize risk and we minimize risk by having the company run without you. And that's one of the biggest things that as a business owner, you can do. But back to your question, Tony, when you have this intellectual property around this documentation and these systems, and everyone knows what they should be doing because it's written down, whether it's electronically or whether you printed it out, what the buyer takes comfort in is the buyer knows what you did today. The buyer knows what you did yesterday. What the buyer really wants to know is what are you going to do tomorrow and beyond? And so, imagine as a buyer now, the buyer assumes that Tony, you're no longer going to be in the business after you have a liquidity event.

But what the buyer is also saying, well, what happens if one of Tony's key employees they leave. A year from now. How's that going to affect me? What kind of risk am I going to take on? So, when you have documentation in place, the buyer takes comfort in the fact that I have a replicable training system here. I can bring somebody new when I don't have to reinvent the wheel. I'm going to save time. I'm going to save effort and I'm not going to skip a beat.

 The documentation, believe it or not, is actually an X-Factor most businesses don't document their process. And here's a wonderful thing about preparation. When you do preparation, the strategies of preparation are also the same strategies of growth.

So, imagine now, Tony, as you, do you have your system documented. You're now bidding for some business. You can show that documentation to a prospective client and they see exactly how you operate and they see that you say what you do, you do what you say, chances are your competition isn't going to be doing that.

And so, yes, ensuring that you have the proper documentation in place goes a long way to not only increasing your enterprise value, but it's going to increase your profits as well from the time-savings. And you're not having to have meetings all the time to answer these one-off questions that keep on coming up again and again. So, a terrific insight, Tony, and a wonderful question.

[00:35:15] Tony Chiappetta: I will say this. A great business to sell is also a pretty nice business to keep.

[00:35:19] Jeffrey Feldberg: Hey, Tony, you're taking a page right out of our book. So, you tell me, you can have a thriving and profitable business that you keep forever, or you sell it tomorrow. But the point is you have a choice and they're both terrific choices to have.

[00:35:33] Tony Chiappetta: And I think that's what we're working for and working towards is to be able to have choices.

[00:35:38] Jeffrey Feldberg: Tony you're absolutely right. Choices is the way to go. So, Tony, while we're at it, one, we ask our audience a bit of a rhetorical question. But the question for the audience is this. Are your IT people, are they reactive or proactive? Are your IT people saving you time so, that they can also be part of the solution to help you grow, help you increase your profits, and get a market disruption.

So, Tony, let me bring this back to you. We have a business owner who may be thinking, yeah you know what my IT and my technology it's okay but it's not great it's breaking down we're having problems. It seems like we're always having to catch up. Tony, what can someone in this situation do what would you advise them that they should be thinking about and more importantly doing?

[00:36:20] Tony Chiappetta: I look at it where the delineation to me, from my old business to where we are at now. Is IT maintaining and sustaining or is IT innovating? Is IT innovating so, that you get out of the business? So, that the people below you can be taken out of the business and things can be run through metrics and through dashboards like you referenced Jeffrey. Oftentimes it's just maintaining and you're stuck in that because it never ends and you need a new strategy.

So, we make it really easy on our end. We just show people what it looks like to have staff that's on a common platform that they can get trained on. 150 million people are using teams right now, probably more by the time this is released and none of them have been trained on it and it's just been dropped out and IT said, here, this should be good for your productivity.

So, to get a glimpse of what it looks like, you can come to our Teams Tuesday, every Tuesday at 10:00 AM PST. If you go to And I do it for our clients and it’s training, but there's value for outside organizations to see how this is intended to be transformative for an organization that gets you into innovation and gets you into a spot where you can start creating those processes and the systems all within one platform.

And so, come to Teams Tuesday and get a glimpse of what it looks like so, that you can start creating your vision and understanding what IT that innovates, feels, and experience that.

[00:37:41] Jeffrey Feldberg: Tony, what a terrific invitation and for listeners, I'll make this really easy for you. I'll put this in the show notes, so, it will be point and click for you.

But let's circle back now for our listeners. I want you to imagine that your future buyer is going to be coming in. And one of the things that's going to happen, and this is step number four of our nine-step roadmap is two words. And if you want to see a grown person cry, all you have to do is say these two magical words, which is a due diligence.

And during due diligence, your future buyer is looking at your infrastructure from a technology side, looking at your systems. And seeing how everything's working. Do you have a dashboard? Do you even have metrics?

Because when you have them, when everything's in place, you're productive, you can put a checkmark next to that due diligence item. And it gives your future buyer confidence. Your future buyer is saying, hey, this business is really on the ball here. It also builds a sense of trust between you and your future buyer, and it helps move the deal along. It creates deal certainty, and as important it increases the value of your business.

So, for our listeners, why not take Tony up on his generous invitation for his Teams Tuesday to come in and actually see, how does all of this work? What does it look like? And what's the benefit? What's in it for you? And I think that'd be a tremendous opportunity. So, thank you for sharing that with us, Tony.

If you're looking back at the business now what would be one maybe two things that you'd be saying hey now that I know this i would have done my business that much differently?

[00:39:07] Tony Chiappetta: I would have recognized the difference between taking people that had been in the work and elevating them. And I'm not saying that there are not unicorns that can go from the science of what they are doing to the science of management, because they're generally totally different, but I would have brought in people and process managers that can't do the work because it would have gotten us to where we wanted to go faster. We would have skipped a couple of pain points if there was that person that created the process, maintain the discipline to the process throughout the organization, updated the process. And simplified wherever possible. So, I would look to incorporate that. As you grow, you can't just be all management. You need people to do the work, but it's amazing what happens when you don't have to do the work two times, three times, four times.

So, I would have done that and then, you know, I think if I could go back in time, I would have got a Traction implementer earlier. I did this myself. With how I felt it should be run. That's the one thing that's universal to all businesses under 500 employees. Because I think that's kind of where the traction niche starts to end, but, I would have accelerated our end results and gotten to things faster because it's been just rocket fuel once we've had somebody to say I understand your interpretation, but this is how it's meant to be. So, I want you to do this and then being able to reap the rewards and the benefits of doing that.

[00:40:26] Jeffrey Feldberg: Tony that's terrific. And it sounds like you would simplify a whole lot earlier and then bring in the right advisors, the right professionals as early as possible to help you jumpstart those new ideas. That would eventually lead to growth and more success and profits.

[00:40:40] Tony Chiappetta: I've had bad advisors. It took me the wrong way. So, as much as there are good coaches out there, there are bad coaches out there. So, being able to be cognizant of that and recognize, you might have a bad therapist, you might have a bad doctor. You might have a bad business coach and every now and again, it's good to just have a little gut check and maybe evaluate.

[00:40:58] Jeffrey Feldberg: Some terrific advice. Well, Tony, as we begin to wrap up the podcast, there's one question, my favorite question that I ask every single guest. And here's the question. I want you to think of the movie Back to the Future. And in the movie, you have this magical DeLorean car, which can go back to any point in time of your choosing. So, imagine Tony it's now tomorrow morning and you look out your window. That DeLorean car it's parked outside. The door is open and it's waiting for you to come on in. So, you go into the car and now you can go back to any point in your life. Tony, you may choose to go back to when you're a young child or an adolescent or young adult or whatever it would be. What would you be telling your younger self in terms of life wisdom, lessons learned to do this, don't do that? What would that be for you?

[00:41:45] Tony Chiappetta: I don't know if it's because I'm Italian or it's just me in particular, but my passions run and my emotions, like I wear them on my sleeve. And I would impress upon the younger version of myself to understand that the stuff that might seem like a big deal right now is not a big deal. And to get through things quicker with grace, of yourself and of the other person or the other situation or whatever it is. And don't sweat that because your zone of genius and all the things in your potentials over here, waving a flag at you whether you're dealing with this thing that seems like a big deal that's not, and get back quicker to that pure potential of yours, bounce back quickly and stay the course on that. I think that's what I would tell myself and write that down and just keep it in front of me on a regular basis.

[00:42:30] Jeffrey Feldberg: Wow, Tony, that's such great advice. I love how you're telling your younger self hey, you'll get through this. Just look at the bigger picture and believe in yourself. All you have to do is move forward. I really think that's something that all of us can benefit from.

[00:42:42] Tony Chiappetta: Yeah. What really matters 20 years ago? What big life experience or business experience five years ago really matters right now? Very, very, very few. And so, keep focusing on the prize. And living to the best of your ability and stay in that zone as much as possible. Your success is, too important to you to allow things to get in the way.

[00:43:04] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well said, Tony. So, Tony as we begin to wrap up this episode if our listeners would like to find you online what would be the best place?

[00:43:13] Tony Chiappetta: I really believe it's Teams Tuesday, Jeffrey because you're going to see me doing what I love doing, showing people how to be more productive every Tuesday at 10:00 AM. So, it's I'd love to see if you heard the podcast. You could say during training, we usually have about, I don't know, 50 to 100 people that are just working on getting more productive and in the session, it's super interactive and we try and make it fun.

So, I'd love to carry on the conversation. If there's some that resonated with somebody that wants to talk about the journey or otherwise, that's where you find me.

[00:43:48] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well, there, you have it. We have an open challenge out there by Tony welcoming you to come on into his Teams Tuesday. And I really hope you're up for the challenge. And that you're going to take Tony up on his generous offer. And again, it's every Tuesday at 10:00 AM Pacific time. And I will put this in the show notes. It'll be a simple point and click for you. And this way you can see Tony in action, working his magic and showing the world what the future is going to be looking like.

So, that said, Tony, I want to thank you so, much for taking part of your day and spending it with us here on the Sell My Business Podcast. And as always, as we wrap up this episode, Tony please stay healthy and safe. Thank you so, much

[00:44:27] Tony Chiappetta: Thanks.

[00:44:28] Sharon S.: The Deep Wealth Experience was definitely a game-changer for me.

[00:44:31] 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.

[00:44:41] Kam H.: If you don't have time for this program, you'll never have time for a successful liquidity

[00:44:46] Sharon S.: It was the best value of any business course I've ever taken. The money was very well spent.

[00:44:52] 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.

[00:45:08] 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.

[00:45:30] 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.

[00:45:41] 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.

[00:45:54] 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.

[00:46:12] 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.

It's five-star, A-plus.

[00:46:39] Kam H.: I would highly recommend it to any super busy business owner out there.

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.

[00:46:58] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table?

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As we close out this episode, a heartfelt thank you for your time. And as always, please stay healthy and safe. 

This podcast is brought to you by the Deep Wealth Experience. In the world of mergers and acquisitions, 90% of deals fail. Of the successful deals, business owners leave millions of dollars on the deal table.

Who are we and how do we know? We're the 9-figure exit guys. We said "no" to a 7-figure offer based on 3-times, EBITDA. Two years later, we said "yes" to a 9-figure offer based on 13-times EBITDA.  In the process we increased the value of our company 10X.

During our liquidity event journey, we created a 9-step preparation process. It's the quality and depth of your preparation that increases your business value.

After our 9-figure exit we committed ourselves to leveling the playing field. The Deep Wealth Experience helps you create a launch plan in 90-days. Our solution is resilient, relentless, and gets results. Enjoy the certainty that you'll capture the maximum value on your liquidity event.
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Visionary Business Owner Tony Chiapetta Reveals Why Less Is More When It Comes To Increasing EBITDA Through Technology