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Ep27: VC Investors want ONE thing in 2023: What You Must Know for a Successful Exit (Part 1 of 2)

What do a billion-dollar VC investor, a serial entrepreneur and an M&A integration specialist have in common?

Welcome to part 1! (Part two is here)

What do a billion-dollar VC investor, a serial entrepreneur and an M&A integration specialist have in common?

They are looking for this ONE thing in businesses they acquire or invest in.

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What do a billion-dollar VC investor, a serial entrepreneur and an M&A integration specialist have in common?

HINT: They invest in people, not businesses.

Today we’re joined by three expert guests:

Sarah Chen Spellings 

Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Beyond the Billion, the world’s first and largest global consortium supporting women-founded companies. In under 2 years, the fund has deployed +$638M to 800 female-founded companies, with 11 recognised as unicorns.

Simon Berger 

Founding Partner of IM2 Group in 2002, Rendezvous Exhibitions in 1994 and Intermedia Exhibitions & Conferences in 1997. Building and selling 26 exhibitions and conferences around the world, Simon Berger continues to invest in creative business opportunities and offers consultancy and M&A services to industry players.

Melissa Carson 

After 25 years with several high-performing organisations including Accenture, where she supported M&A integration from a people perspective, Melissa founded Canopy Solutions. As Founder, People Strategist and Leadership Advisor she works with clients ranging from small non-profits to scaling technology companies, all with a common goal of ensuring that they have aligned their business and people strategies to drive growth.

Join the conversation as we uncover EXACTLY what investors are looking for in 2023, how you can secure funding, and grow your business to exit. We discuss:

  • What investors look for in a business
  • What investors look for in entrepreneurs and leaders
  • The red flags that will lose you the deal
  • The role of People & Culture in securing investment
  • Overcoming bias in the world of business and investment
  • 4 expert tips and a mountain of resources

This is part 1 of a 2-part series


All the links mentioned in the show.

Connect with Sarah Chen-Spellings

Connect with Simon Berger

Connect with Melissa Carson

Read More From the News Round-up

Connect with your hosts

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The Transcript

⚠️ NOTE: This is an automated transcript, so it might not always be 100% accurate!

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Leanne Elliott  0:00  
Simon’s actually going and I respect his opinion because he’s built 26 successful businesses and sold them is that he’s kind of going no, I don’t mind the hustle culture

Leanne Elliott  0:10  
Hello, and welcome back to the truth lies and workplace culture podcast where we help you simplify the science of people. My name is Leanne. I’m a Business psychologist. 

Leanne Elliott  0:25  
My name is Alan. I’m a business owner. 

Leanne Elliott  0:27  
And you’re very welcome. Back. Welcome, anytime. Welcome back. Welcome. Welcome.

Leanne Elliott  0:32  

Al Elliott  0:33  
I think everyone feels welcome, which is quite kind of on brand for this for this episode. We’ll find out in a second. Just, we I’m really excited about this episode. I really, really am. I know, I started my first business when I was 2122 or something. And my I’ve been reading all these books about Richard Branson and all this kind of thing. And I was like, Okay, right, so what we’re gonna do is build it and and sell it and we’re gonna make loads of money and our sit on a beach and all that kind of stuff. And what we got today is really interesting. Look at that, because we have three particular guests we’ll get onto in just a second. Who basically got every part of that thing covered everything. Yeah, yeah. Today we are covering everything you you need to know or questions you might have about what investors look for the types of businesses they want to invest in, what it means for your business in terms of what your priorities are as a leader. And then the practicalities of it as well. You know if you are acquired if you do sell, what what happens then. Our first guest is Sarah Chen spellings. Sarah is a very special lady. She’s a venture capitalist and a strategist. She’s the co founder of a company called bulk beyond the billion. She’s also the host of billion dollar moves podcast, which is another podcast on the HubSpot Podcast Network. This isn’t nepotism, we wanted to have her on the show because she’s just such an amazing person. She was named a young global leader in the World Economic Forum in 2020. So let’s go meet Sarah. 

Sarah  1:55  
My name is Sarah Chen Stallings, I’m the co founder and Managing Partner of beyond the building that was launched as the billion dollar fund for women, the world’s first and largest global consortium of venture funds that have pledged to invest over a billion dollars and are actively deploying that into women founded companies globally. Our second guest is Simon Berger. Simon has been working in the events and exhibitions industry for over 30 years. And he’s launched a whole portfolio of events across the world in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He is also a serial investor. And for the past 10 years has invested in creative people and technologies. That means he is the founding partner of many different businesses, including MadWorld make a difference media, the water cooler,

Leanne Elliott  2:41  
how both serve as designed junction the list goes on. And he also continues both as a mentor and investor in innovative and disruptive entrepreneurs. And if that wasn’t enough, Simon also supports a number of charitable organisations. Let’s meet Simon,

Simon  2:58  
a bit of a one trick pony have been for over 30 years. I organise events. And they range in in size and sector and territory. But they can be anything from a sort of one day summit all the way through to a brand and events you know, for a brand or corporation all the way up to big trade shows and exhibitions. So I’ve been doing that for a long, long time. And I suppose my my place really in the food chain from the very early days was we launch shows in different sectors in different territories, we run them for about rather than three, four or five years. We try and show an incremental growth in number of exhibitors, number of sponsors obviously create content in theatres, the footfall and by a key focus is retention of all those parts, that if we show them a 15 20%, incrementally increase in each of those sectors, we then very quickly become quite a valuable asset. And after three stroke for five years, we tend to try and divest of those titles either individual titles or portfolios to the big organisers in the world.

Al Elliott  4:11  
final guest is Melissa Carson. She’s a founder of people strategist and leadership advisor at canopy solutions. Her clients range from small nonprofits to scaling technology companies, and they all have this common goal of ensuring that they have aligned the business and people strategies to drive their growth. She’s got 25 years experience with several high performing organisations, including Accenture, where she supported the m&a which I think means mergers and acquisitions, integration for a people perspective. So she’s really, really good resource for the people who actually acquire you. Let’s meet Melissa.

Melissa  4:43  
I am a long term HR executive and corporate world that decided at a point in time that I wanted to do the parts of the job that I loved, and not the rest of it. So decided to take a leap of faith in 2019 and start my own business. focusing on those parts of the role that I loved, which is, you know, coaching leaders and working around the people strategy side of businesses and so have been doing it for just a little over three years now.

Al Elliott  5:12  
Okay, so we’ve met our guests. We’re going to hear from them again in a few minutes. But it’s my favourite time of the week eight is the news roundup with Leanne Elliott, the business psychologist

Leanne Elliott  5:29  
it is in the news roundup getting keep this one brief this week, because we’ve got exciting stuff to talk about. But we’ve got a new word.

Al Elliott  5:37  
Push trip. sound rude

Leanne Elliott  5:40  
to sound bit naughty. I guess it is a harsh trip. And he guesses

Al Elliott  5:46  
when you take LSD. But don’t tell anyways. I’m guessing that’s not what it is.

Leanne Elliott  5:52  
Much trip Well, in the world of people and culture. Which trip is when you’re working remotely somewhere else for a couple of weeks. So away from either your your, your home or your home country without telling your boss? Yeah, you might be on it on a desert island somewhere. And they don’t know, if you’ve,

Al Elliott  6:09  
if you’re listening that you’ve ever read The Four Hour Workweek by Oh, I can’t remember the name you’re shouting at your phone out your I can’t remember his name is. But he basically said that same thing. He said, What you do is to work remotely. And this is kind of like 15 or probably 20 years ago, what were you what you do is you go and you go and work somewhere remotely for a week. And then you put in a little bit extra work. So they think oh, this is great. And then you just basically just back out of the company in the country. And like you end up on a desert island and doing your work and no one knows.

Leanne Elliott  6:39  
narratives. That’s that is a wish trip and yay, is exactly that it’s for, for workers that you know, don’t want to commit to living abroad but are looking for a bit of a break in it a test of digital nomadism. We might know a thing or two about that. But that’s a different podcast for a very different audience.

Al Elliott  6:53  
Yes, if you are interested, go to a sideways life. And you’ll find a podcast that unfortunately is is missing a few episodes because we unconstrained on this one but we will come back to that I promise. Anyway, so what else we got the

Leanne Elliott  7:04  
we have some people news from Amazon this week. Which keep you on the remote trend, I guess. Amazon are calling people back into the office for at least three days a week. And that’s coming from the CEO himself, Andy Jassy. So yeah, he posts on the company’s blog. That yeah, the leadership team has decided they’ve they’ve got together and they’ve gone, we’re gonna change our policy. And instead of be able to work wherever you want, you have to be in office for three days a week. The what was interesting is that I mean, also creams, you know that the senior leadership team at Amazon call themselves the s team, or steam. I know I feel sick for them. But basically what they said is that, that, apparently, allegedly, the senior leaders have listened to their employees. They’ve watched how their teams perform. They’ve talked to leaders at other companies, and got together on several occasions, not just one on several occasions. And they’ve come up with some some findings, which I would put in inverted commas because I think the data points seem somewhat biassed in terms of their collection. But let’s say they have claimed it’s easier to learn model practice and strengthen culture. When in the office. They have argued that collaborating and inventing is easier that we can learn more from one another in person that’s much easier than it is remotely and also teams tend to be better connected. So yeah, good. Good. Good luck to you Amazon. I’m sure it’ll go fine.

Al Elliott  8:31  
It has in the past has been no scandal around Amazon has

Leanne Elliott  8:35  
marvellous thought, Jeff, anything else catch your eye this week? That’s there is something else that caught my eye this week. And I thought it’s very topical for our conversation today. I was looking through it and I think this might have been in in Fortune accom number a German startup doing it for the Europeans are up there. Have got some interest in the US investors 35 million pounds worth of investment actually, for an app called Blinkist. Oh, yeah. How

Al Elliott  9:00  
things been going for a while it does the summaries of books. Is that right? Yeah,

Leanne Elliott  9:05  
I have not heard of it. Tell tell what is Blinkist. I downloaded

Al Elliott  9:07  
it but I think I had to pay for it. So I got a little bit mad. I didn’t bother doing it. But from what I understand is like, you’ll go and find like a book of management and it will give you the summary. I think the Americans call it the Cliff Notes of a particular book. And you can listen to it. Can you? Yeah, yeah. So I think it’s I think it’s definitely worthwhile. Although I don’t know about you, i i personally like to sit and read a book even on a Kindle. I’m not bothered about paperback but I take much more in if I see it, but you are much more auditory. So he is probably really good for you. You can take things in when you listen to him. Yeah. And I think as

Leanne Elliott  9:37  
well it’s really good for for anyone else out there who is a generalist where you need to know a little bit about a lot of things. Yeah, they say in both text and audio formats, they can give you you know, 15 minutes or less everything you need to know about about very specific topics. So yeah, it looks cool. I’ve downloaded it. I’ve not used it yet, but I’m looking forward to it. And yeah, congrats. On the investment that you’ve just secured, I’m sure it sounds like a great idea completely revolutionising how we how we consume content in terms of reading and, and what they kind of they basically said they’re kind of latching on to the micro learning segment, and apparently already have 25 million users. So business must be good

Al Elliott  10:17  
business must be booming. So I think that that’s kind of like the key, I think, to a lot of leadership and everything, and building businesses that you go and listen to someone who’s built something completely different or even like a not not for profit. And you can learn stuff that you can take back to your business, and, and implement talking of implementing, let’s get cracking. So the structure of the show. So if you’ve got a business, then you probably want to grow it. If you don’t want to grow it, then go and buy the book company have one by Paul Jarvis brilliant book. And basically, it’s all about how to stay small, fantastic book. And that might be for some people, if it’s not for you and you want to grow, then it’s likely that you’ve kind of got three routes that you want to go, one you want to get funded. So VC venture capital funding, potentially for an IPO or something or maybe just an exit. Secondly, you want to be acquired, there’s I’ve seen lots of lots of stories of small sort of tech startups, and they’re specifically startup with the idea of being acquired by someone like Google. And then the third one is that you acquire that you go and buy other businesses and grow that way. So we’re going to have a lot of questions on this, for example, what are venture capitalists or people who acquire looking for in a business that they actually invest in? What are the red flags? What to? Do? They actually look at the people like you know, we’re all about people and culture. But is that important? Are they just looking at the bottom line? And what are they look for in leaders? What do they want to see in the people and culture if they want to see anything? And finally, we want to talk a little bit about this. And this probably isn’t the question that you’ve got, but it’s something which will come in is the rise of this purpose led investment. So just to summarise, Melissa has got experience of mergers, mergers and acquisitions, she worked for Accenture, and she was in charge of folding in the companies that they bought. Sarah is a multimillion dollar VC investor. And Steven has grown businesses and sold them. So I think we’re getting all round advice here. This is gonna be another chunky episode Lea,

Leanne Elliott  12:16  
when you have guests of this calibre, we can’t possibly leave anything out. So yes, let’s dive in and hear a bit more on are invested. We will be hearing from Melissa a little bit later on in this episode, as we talk about the latest stages of mergers and acquisitions and in particular integration. But first, let’s hear from our investors, both where they started and where they are. Now, we asked Sarah to share her origin story, and how that influenced her work today, as a billion dollar investor.

Sarah  12:47  
I was a TV host when I was nine years old. And I was doing it for some time, I wouldn’t say I was very good at it. But it really put me in the spotlight to handle pressure to rise to the occasion every time to juggle it. All right. And And beyond that, I was actually, you know, when I was young, nine years old, I was already interviewing people, and having big discussions, right. So I had to learn on my feet. And that has given me an insatiable curiosity for people for the world. Beyond myself, I would say, you know, because of that TV programme, we also did a lot of things with people like the United Nations, I mean, at 16, I was speaking of about the rights of children’s voice in media in shaping where we can see them at 16. So that gives you a little bit of a perspective. But at the same time, you know, I think what’s important is, of course, I come from a very supportive family in which I never felt I couldn’t do anything, because of my gender. You know, I have an elder brother, we support each other. With such I would say gusto that we want each other to succeed. And that the disconnect, I think that happened for me, which maybe inspires my journey is that in my bubble of my home, I was encouraged, I was like, confident, you know, go do this, be in front of screen, do everything. But then when I started to grow a little bit older and get into reality, you know, applying for scholarships, experiencing what the quota system means and all that and how being an ambitious woman actually comes at a cost with certain people in certain environments. And I had to learn that the hard way. But I vowed to myself that, you know, that was one day where somebody actually was a person of authority told me, you know, Sarah, you’re, you might not be happy with this level of ambition. And maybe you should reconsider the way you are. That maybe left a mark on me as a young woman where I thought to myself, I never want my daughter to feel this way.

Leanne Elliott  14:54  
I would like you to remember that question from that authority figure in Sarah’s life. So, when you hear a bit more about Sarah today, and her incredible success as an investor,

Sarah  15:06  
we’ve pledged over a billion dollars to be invested into women founded company. So it was a pledge campaign. As of the end of 2020, when we did our first round of reporting, 638 million of that has been deployed into close to 800, female founded companies globally, by our partner funds. And of course, we have 11 unicorns, I’m counting in the group, so very happy to see the progress. But as I always say, you know, the work is not done, we’re not nearly done with the work and there’s a lot more to be desired.

Al Elliott  15:35  
Just so we know, everyone’s on the same page for unicorn company is a company that’s valued at a billion dollars or more now we do say valued at and we’ll come back to that in a minute.

Leanne Elliott  15:46  
We will also be talking about the bias in the world of investment a little later on as well, both in terms of women, ethnicity, and education. But first, let’s get to know our second investor a little bit better. Here is Simon burger.

Simon  15:59  
I never went to university, I didn’t. Actually I’ve never gotten the ADA, to be brutally honest. And, but it was that sort of like you can do anything attitude, I think more than anything else. And I I couldn’t I could tell you 1000 stories up here all night about the lessons that I’ve learned from my very first job washing up in a restaurant. You know, how I was made to feel, you know, really, it was just all Spanish restaurant. And I was not welcome there. They didn’t want me there, they thought trying to get me out. Because I was given a permanent position rather than a contract position. And if I six if I succeeded in that job, after six weeks, I would get the permanent position and then get a percentage of the tips. So I’ve learned very young that, you know, you could you know, if you’re, you know, if you knuckle down and you did something really, really well, which I did, I took a lot of flack for that, let me tell you, but once I got through it, they respected me change their attitudes were apologetic, apologetic, for treating me like that, when I was welcomed into the into the family, if you like. And the good news about that was with the person who took my places the washroom in that same restaurant was never treated that way. And so, you know, because I wouldn’t have allowed it. You know, having been through it myself, I see that you learned a big believer, a big advocate in entrepreneurships, the basic skills, and I think everyone should know them. I mean, how do we solve the world’s problems if we don’t have innovators, and disruptive? Do you know what? When I was at school, every single school report, I had said that I was a disruptive influence in my class and my parents used to look at this and go, really. Now the word disrupter means you’re, you know, you’re doing something well. And I take great privilege in saying to my net 93 or 92, or parents now. I was a disrupted at the moment disrupter now. And in my own business, I have to tell you, I’m the antithesis of a traditional exhibition organiser.

Al Elliott  18:08  
Disruption was a word. It’s so funny, because I think back to, to when I was at school, and yes, there was people I was never a disruptive influence. I was good boy, I was. I wasn’t at school. I just shut up and got on with it. But yes, disruption now is just totally gone his head. There is something which I’m, I’m not one for quoting George Bernard Shaw on our podcast, but I’m going to and basically, he said the reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to Himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the Unreasonable Man. And I love that. And Simon isn’t I’m obviously the George Bernard Shaw, this was written by 100 years ago. So he’s a man, we mean people. So sad. Both Simon and Sarah are unreasonable people. And that is fantastic. So let’s say some more about Simon. And his story is an investor

Simon  19:03  
who eventually died individual shows or portfolios 26 times now. And some of them have been our own shows that we’ve launched that there’s three ways we work in exhibitions, when we started, we launched them ourselves. Then after about five years, we started people would come to us with ideas for events. And if we liked those ideas, we put them through the same formulaic approach and over five years and sell their shows and they would have an equity stake in that we’d financed them so there could be no loss, we would not take them on if it was going to be a loss, but they got a percentage of anywhere between 10 and 33% of the the sales proceeds when we sold. And then thirdly, as we got 1015 20 years later, we were selling shows who we know in what sectors the big organisers are fine. And we know what the multiples they’re paying for events. So people who had an exhibition, nothing to do with me, but they were thinking of potentially exiting. They will Then use me in an m&a business and we take a broker’s fee, and don’t sell them. Yeah, that’s what we do. And, and we would love it to manage within each of those partners that have come with me. And I would suggest there’s probably at least 10. Most of them women, I have to say to who partnered up with me. And when we come to sell that event, they walk away with very, very nice checks. And often they stay. And we do something else together. But quite often, that more often they go off and do their own thing. And they’ve got a lovely little nest egg in their in their pocket for them to invest and do what they want to do next

Al Elliott  20:38  
26 times he’s basically taken some things, sold it and made every one little bit of money. So he clearly knows what he’s talking about. It’s interesting what he says about women, he said that most of his I think he said most of them, people who were partners with are women. And I’m all for equality, as you know. But I do think there are some fundamental differences between the behaviours that of the typical woman lead and the behaviours of typical male leader. Now I’m prepared fully, fully anti shouted me for this, and I am saying behaviours. But I think Sarah kind of agrees that naturally, women might have a tendency to do one thing over another.

Sarah  21:16  
You invest in women, you’re in good company, you know, that’s really a tagline that my co founder, Shelly coined, but the reality is that of course, you know, as I said, women are outperformance they’re smart and resilient. And when you invest in women, you see the returns, it’s no longer. A lot of times people ask me, you know, if this concessionary returns, right, is this charity? Why are you thinking about it in this way, is is going to make any money and well, if you care for nothing else, their returns speak for itself, right? Women, when you look at returns, there’s a lot of data and we see it in our own consortium itself with 11 unicorns, so women found that companies outperformed by 23 to 63%. When you’re looking at returns, you’re looking at revenue rates, when we looked at the data, specifically zooming in and giving a specific example of one of our multibillion firms that invested into women’s owned companies, they looked at their portfolio, they made a comparison between of course because their portfolio still has male founded only startups and diverse teams. And when they looked at the comparison between the two, the diverse teams outperform by a couple of metrics, one, and you would love this retention rates, right staff retention rates, and what that means is, women somehow tend to be building teams that are working together well, that are collaborating and creating results. And of course, you know, when retention rates are higher, that impacts profitably the revenue, and all of the above that we VCs investors care about. Right. So you know, at a micro level, looking at our sample set, we’re seeing the results speak for themselves. And of course, at a macro level, you know, based on the report, as I said earlier, you know, the valuation drop hasn’t been as drastic, women are exiting quicker at higher valuations. And you know, exit is a very important metric for for many investors as well. And that’s where they get their, you know, liquidity after putting their money in for some time. And women are building great businesses. So you know, when you invest your time, your efforts with women, if you’re in good company in, in, in many ways, right, you’re investing into a good company.

Leanne Elliott  23:24  
This is the reason we’re gonna delve in to issues related to women and education when it comes to to investment, because just just let’s just go back out to some of those statistics that Sara mentioned, their female led businesses outperform male counterparts by 23 to 63%. They have higher employee retention, which translates to higher revenue and profitability, which means that they get higher valuations and quicker exits. Even as Sarah says, You’re just looking at the money. There is a serious case for investors to invest in female led businesses.

Al Elliott  24:04  
It’s interesting to hear that from an actual investor who’s been looking into this, and some of those stats are quite a quite incredible.

Leanne Elliott  24:11  
It is and you know, Sarah also mentioned there that you’re somehow women tend to be building teams that are working well together that are collaborating and creating results. But is that the case? We asked Melissa? She is a female leader. She has led teams of 1000s of people and work with some of the world’s highest performing organisations through her role at Accenture.

Melissa  24:33  
I don’t know that women are better than men. I think they’re different. And I think that’s still a generalisation of there are some very tough not showing their vulnerability women leaders and there are some men that definitely have tapped into that side of their vulnerability to to lead well, so I think it’s more around behaviours that we tend to associate with women. More than Amen. But I think it’s the leaders that are most successful and I think are most well followed or that people want to follow, are really tapping into their human skills, their empathy, their ability to negotiate, to communicate effectively, to show that they care. And so I don’t think that’s a gender specific set of capabilities, I think we’ve just tended to see more of it. Just it’s it’s more, it’s been more natural for women to show that. But though, in many workplaces, they’ve hidden that, because it’s not been valued, or it’s looked at as a weakness.

Al Elliott  25:40  
Exactly, is what I think I was just saying before, and possibly a little clumsy was that is about behaviours, not necessarily in trends, intrinsic qualities. And one of the things that I heard someone say, and I think it might have been a woman saying, Don’t mistake kindness with weakness. And I think that is such an important thing to remember. Okay, so let’s have a look at what investors are looking for. So we have a few things that investors are looking for, regardless of the gender, the number one thing investors are looking for is leadership. Simon says there are two things he looks for in a leader that he could invest in

Simon  26:11  
people, and I don’t believe it by I don’t believe that businesses or people buy businesses, they buy people, and I’m a massive believer in that. Which is why I do what I do. So I look for very creative people, people who are doing something differently. I like because it has to be both interesting, not necessarily new, but it has to be useful and interesting. Those are my two things, whatever investment I do, and if you do that, then I think you’ve got a chance of success. And then second to that. I look for the right people to deliver that it’s all very well having a great ideas 1000s And millions of ideas, but it’s about implementation, and that takes a special sort of person, not just in terms of what they know, but how they then put that into action. So a few examples I’ve invested in a young Scottish designer called Bo McClellan. I met him in a hairdressers he was having his he looked a bit like looks a bit like the guy in freedom where Mel Gibson in that film, what was that called? But remember that favourite part? Yeah, brain body looks a bit like him. I met him in a hairdressers salad where he was having his long Scottish locks done. And the guy said lobby to the hairdressing salon owner said to me, I’d love you to meet this chap. His name was Bo McClellan. And he was a blacksmith, a trainee blacksmith. I’ve done it for years. And he had some great ideas about lighting. And five years later on, what I invent, I picked him up, invested in him, took him to various shows us my own shows, not my shows that I own, but using the platform of exhibitions to launch him to his brand. And he became one of the world’s most famous lighting designers, and we build the world’s largest chandelier for the Prime Minister of Qatar. It’s still in the Guinness Book of Records, you know, 20 tonnes and 165,000 LEDs. Yeah, and he’s commissioned now all over the world. And so he’s done a fantastic job. And I really did nothing other than, you know, use the marketing skill sets of the platform. Obviously, there’s some money involved, but also to guide him, you know, a lot of creatives don’t have that business acumen. And when we gelled very, very well,

Leanne Elliott  28:32  
I think Simon might have been a little bit modest. Right? Do you think it’s a great point, you know, the ideas are only as good as the problems they solve in the market they’re in. And as we’ve said, there’s a huge amount of disruption in the world in this vaako world, which is a phrase I’ve used before and realised I never explained what you indulge me now.

Al Elliott  28:49  
Yeah, venue ca v, you

Leanne Elliott  28:51  
see a vaker. So yeah, 2014, George Casey was a US soldier actually described the VUCA world, which is stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. And while George was talking about it in terms of military operations, there are psychologists that are quick to point out that this is a really useful way of looking at the challenges most employees are facing today, including Kara Cooper, who is one of my favourite psychologists of all time, got his book, I

Al Elliott  29:22  
think I’ve got all of his books.

Leanne Elliott  29:25  
But yeah, you know, basically describes that in a situation where there’s constant change, it’s unpredictable. That’s just kind of the norm. Now, it’s what we’re all used to, particularly in our since the pandemic as well. So yeah, it’s really important that, you know, we avoid these traditional outdated approaches to management and to leadership, and, more broadly, day to day working. And I think that thinks back to what you were saying before when you quoted George Bernard. So of course, you know, I had to ask our, our experts, you know, is this something that you also look for All in great leaders and leaders that you want to invest in, here’s Melissa.

Melissa  30:04  
I feel like I was really privileged in that I had the opportunity to work with great, and a great organisation great people, I saw some things I didn’t really like, you know, as far as, you know, examples of leaders early on in my career of behaviour or something, I’m not sure. But I believe that we can love our work. You know, it doesn’t have to be our be all and end all. No. But I see so many people are listening, that they just hate their jobs. They, you know, they’re miserable. And I don’t believe that’s the right answer. Like, I believe that people may need a paycheck. And they may have to take a job that they don’t like that maybe that’s not a forever. So I think I want to make sure people don’t settle for, you have something miserable, because then you’re scared of the next thing, but because I know, there’s goodness out there. I know that people can, you know, love what they do and feel like they add value. And so I don’t know what where that came from it. But it’s just been the way that I’ve always believed and feel like, I found it. So I want to help others, you know, believe that it’s possible.

Al Elliott  31:17  
And this is my this is experience at Accenture,

Melissa  31:19  
you know, a partnership to it was there for almost 19 years, I saw a lot of evolution from a private company to a public company to a, you know, a partnership to with 10s of 1000s of people to you know, when I left hundreds of 1000s. And now it’s probably double that. And so it was really interesting to see those changes, it was a couple of things we would always say is like, if you don’t like sort of the direction that the organisation is going today, hold tight for a year, year and a half, because the pendulum will swing. And we’ll go in a slightly different direction, because Accenture was really good about looking at what was going on around the marketplace and evolving to try and meet the needs of the the industry’s population. So I learned I was always on the internal side at Accenture, not an external consultant. And so I had the opportunity because they changed so often that I got to change my role very often. And I chose to, to change it and do different things and work in in different groups. And so for me, it was a huge learning opportunity to be able to work with so many different leaders across several industries, and see where growth went. So, you know, I think it was probably the best foundation I could have had for my career.

Al Elliott  32:41  
So she’s seen Accenture go from 10,000 to 100,000 is now potentially it’s 200,000. She’s saying that there’s a pendulum and it makes sense, you know, because as you grow, you’re just exchanging one set of problems for another. Now most people think the goal is to aim for a unicorn, as you said before, $1 billion valuation. But as we work demonstrates, if you’ve ever seen if you’ve seen that Apple documentary, The I forget his name, but the guy who basically built a unicorn that wasn’t making any money, it’s got nothing to the profitability. So let’s hear from VC investor, Sarah, about profitability.

Sarah  33:14  
We talk a lot about unicorns as a metric of success, it is not the only metric of success, right? Because you know, being a unicorn means your valuation is at this level, but that may not be necessarily justified by strong profitability, which is actually important for businesses, right. And that’s part of the results that we’re seeing in that it’s both for growth states with the layoffs and all that because, you know, a lot of startups have been pushed to grow to have great revenue, which justifies the valuation, but it’s not sustainable with profitability. But what I will say is, if you’re talking about businesses that are successful, and you know, using the unicorns is one of the metrics to think about that, I would say it is having the longing, a balance between the big picture and the short term needs, right, you know, times are changing so rapidly in which you can no longer do a 10 year plan. Because, hey, guess what we did, none of us expected the pandemic to unravel the way it did and happen the way it did. But, you know, these businesses were able to react with the long term game plan in the back of their mind while addressing short term needs. So of course, runway is important. And I think one of the key things I mentioned runway a lot, because I think that is so core. There is a culture of especially in VC, because for us, it’s about pushing to an exit, right? Remember VCs? We’re in the business of business, unfortunately, which means that we are looking to make a return on an exit, whether that’s a sale, whether that’s a listing and what helps drive that If numbers, right, and it may be revenue, and not necessarily profitability in certain places where you need to grow your market share things like that. And that creates misaligned culture sometimes, and I think, CEO of founders that is really focused on what it is, what is it that my business really needs without the noise. So right off, these are the VCs, you know, demands, these are the bank’s demands, these are my customer demands, but really moving forward in a way that makes sense to serve, of course, all your stakeholders customer first,

Leanne Elliott  35:37  
again, Sara is highlighting now the importance of having this entrepreneurial mind and this agility to respond to the uncertainty of what’s around us in in the markets in the world. So also mentioned there that unicorn businesses tend to move forward in a way that makes sense for all stakeholders. Now, I would argue that in this VUCA world, in this changing workplace, one of our biggest stakeholders as a leader are our teams. And that might not have been the way it was viewed traditionally. But I think, as I said, you know, there’s shifts in power that we’ve seen, you know, we’re starting starting to view our people as key stakeholders might not be a bad way of thinking about it there, Simon to explain a bit more,

Simon  36:19  
if you don’t like or see what, like the team, or if you don’t feel that the team is right for you. And certainly the culture and don’t take the job. I mean, for goodness sake, don’t do that. And I advise that to people all the time, particularly when it comes now to you know, workplace well being, and stuff like that, I think, you know, you’ve got a massive choice, probably more than any other time, in my life, the power is with you with the talent that people are trying to acquire and to join, you know, make no mistake about it, you know, they haven’t gotten the right attitude about Flexi working, that doesn’t suit you, or they haven’t gotten Goodwill for workplace wellbeing strategies in there, or they’re not interested in though this is about money or hours. You know, I think you ever because a lot of companies are really good challenge. And, and you’re in a really good position,

Leanne Elliott  37:12  
as Simon mentioned, you know, as as employees we have are experiencing more power and control over where we work, how we work, and who we work for. And as entrepreneurs building a business, this is a really important consideration, I think really just joins those dots as to why our teams are now one of our most important stakeholders.

Al Elliott  37:33  
So the first thing they’re looking for is leader and entrepreneurial leadership. The second thing they’re looking for is people leadership. So what are the commonalities here? What are the traits of a business around people that VCs want to invest in? Here’s Sarah, and,

Sarah  37:47  
you know, their own individual, they have their own style, right. But a couple of things really stand out. One is, you know, they value collaboration, right? So they have a way of actually bringing out the best in a lot of the people that they work with, right. And they make that a priority. I will say, you know, I had on my podcast recently, a woman who is building the next big ghost kitchen concept, right? So virtual kitchens, cow eats. And one thing that really stood out about her for me was her service based leadership. And, you know, in being in America, I will say, I see a lot of narcissistic leadership, where it’s about me, me me, you know, of course, I did that. And it was it’s very

Melissa  38:38  
easy to

Sarah  38:41  
fall behind this. I don’t know how to put it, but I think selling yourself is important. But I’m also very, you know, I spend most of my life in Asia and I believe I have that Asian construct and mean in which I value service based leadership a lot, right? Where you show first, that you are leading fluid, by example, number one, and number two, you know, when I think about the phrase, she said, right, she said this to me, Sarah, you know, we’ve got 650 people in the company. And everyday what keeps me going is, these are the rifles, I do this for them, you know, I need to show up, I need to motivate, right? We’re no longer in the small stage right? We’re scaling right now we’re scaling operations, it is my job to motivate them to get the funding to do all these things for them. And I do bring right where it is less self first. I wouldn’t say selfish, less self first, but people first has been really, really what’s been important, but of course, you know, I will say the and I and I think you would value this but I’m very careful to paint it with a broad brush, right? Because one of the criticisms as someone who brought lean into a different country of the lean in concept is that it blames the woman right in that she has to be confident she has to be a certain way. And it’s in the model of a Sheryl Sandberg type leader, which, of course is privileged. She’s a privileged white woman, which many don’t have the opportunity, right? You can’t say that all women have to be this way, we need to be able to celebrate leaders that introverts that can lead from behind and from, from the front. And I think that’s important. But yeah,

Leanne Elliott  40:25  
Simon also has some observations of the types of leaders he’s had success investing in.

Simon  40:30  
I’m a massive believer in, in, as I’ve said earlier about people. So I think all businesses about people, I think all business about the human capital that you have there, how engaged they are, how passionate they are, themselves, how resilient they are, in terms of, you know, you’ve got to be able to go through bad times, to get to your good times. Rome wasn’t built in a day. So yeah, I feel that, you know, if you have the right, if you have the right culture, if you like DNA, culture, cultural DNA in your personality and your character, and you are willing to adapt, to take lessons and build on resilience, I really think you can do most things, if not everything, I think their experience. I like to look at the what I call the soft skills of management. And you don’t have to be a manager by the way to work with us. That’s all if you don’t believe you have those soft skills. And not everyone does not everyone’s a manager, let me tell you, you know, you’ve got to have be, you have to have to have a culture of integrity, integrity, you’ve got to be authentic with us. You’ve got to be honest, which is those two things. I’m a massive believer in compassion, you know, to be compassionate with whoever you’re dealing with when they’d be suppliers. Benyus. All the way through to customers, sponsors and the staff that you’re running. So I think most importantly, I want to be when I look at someone, it’s their ability to, to treat this as their own business, which it very much there is. So there has to be a bit of entrepreneurialism within them. And they’ve also got to, you know, for me, it’s humanising that as well. You know, not just normalising it but humanising it as well. So, you know, to be an entrepreneur is one thing, but to lead, or work with, share with a team, the roles and responsibilities, you’ve got to really fit into that. So and it does so one characteristic. But I suppose if we’re going to be really arrogant, that that person has to fit in with us, rather than the other way round. And you know, that sometimes not easy when you come and join an existing team. And, but you know, it’s very satisfying when you do it.

Leanne Elliott  43:09  
Let’s recap some of the the words that were used there by both Sarah and Simon to describe a people leader, an entrepreneur that they would want to invest in. They are resilient, adaptable, collaborative, coachable people first curious, honest, lead with Integrity, Authenticity, accountability, compassion. Call me crazy. They are not words that I have been. I guess socialised to think they’re the qualities that an investor wants to invest in.

Al Elliott  43:44  
I mean, Dragon’s Den Shark Tank, Shark Tank,

Leanne Elliott  43:47  
even just the names that itself.

Al Elliott  43:50  
Yeah, exactly. They’re all about where there’s blood in the water. We’re gonna go and do these things. And of course, it makes great telly. But unfortunately, also, I think teaches a whole generation Well, possibly not the current generation, because Dragon’s Den is a little bit older. But it teaches us that this is the way that you do business and it’s King not. It’s absolutely not. This is a guy who’s who’s built 26 Times has built a company up and sold it and exhibition coming up and sold it. He knows what he’s talking about talking to Sarah, who’s got a billion dollars, I think it’s a

Leanne Elliott  44:19  
billion dollars more than a billion pledged in and female led businesses.

Al Elliott  44:22  
These are people who know and understand this. So let’s forget all these bullshit that you see on YouTube of people saying, Oh, well, you know, I will give you this amount of money, but I want 15% more than you’re getting in your offering. Just don’t do that. Just be like you said compassion, humanistic, and people are entrepreneurial. And that’s pretty much the basis of it. Sorry, rant over.

Leanne Elliott  44:44  
I love it. I love it when Hellcats outraged. We also know from last week’s episode, that CEOs and MDs are responsible for about 20 to 35% of the company’s value. We also know that about 95 Then of entrepreneurs so that healthy culture at work is vital for success. We know that having high calibre employees are attracted to these healthy cultures, increases revenue by about 33%. And yet 63% of US companies find it harder to retain talent than they do to acquire it to recruit new talent into their business. So we’re clearly missing a trick, I had to ask our experts, how important is culture, when you are considering investing in or buying an organisation? Here’s Melissa.

Melissa  45:30  
I think in the, in the early in the due diligence, really asking some of those questions, a lot of times the upfront is very much more around the financials and the offering and how the companies are positioned. But I would definitely make it part of the conversation around what is the culture of that company? How, you know, what, how would they treat the employees coming in, and do a little bit of research of that company has already done acquisitions around how those founders, you know, went through that transition. So wouldn’t try and map but I’d be very conscious, if you have a couple of different suitors for your business, you know, really, how you think your people would want to work, how you want to work, assuming you want to stay in the business, and how you want your brand to be represented as it moves into that organisation.

Al Elliott  46:22  
That’s all well, and good, Melissa, because you’re talking about Accenture, which has got between got 100,000 people a huge company. It’s, you know, huge resources to build this culture. What about the scrappy upstarts, we asked the same question to Simon,

Simon  46:35  
the top of the list would be culture, to get the right culture, but not just a culture, a culture is a big word, it goes a lot, you know, the business has what culture is it and that could be compassionate, emotional, rational, whatever you want to call it. But for me, culture is built out of everyone in in the organisation. So for me, if you put culture at the top, and then let’s say, depending on what team you’re in, there’s the entire, you know, the tire group, Team underneath. And then as importantly, for me, is the word me. So you’ve got to feel that you are part of that team. And then in turn, part of that culture, most people will talk to you about culture team, and then you, but actually, if you reverse it, and that’s how our model works, I want you to think about you. So we’re not even from the internet, it’s very much like Excel, it’s very much that I’m not particularly good, integrated, so that I’m not a PC. But I say to people that this is much about you wanting to whether you want to work with me, as it is, I want you to work with me, you know, the fact that matter is that you’re actually going to be paying me in four years time, not the other way around. And so let’s look at this, you know, with a certain reciprocity of respect, but knowing that, you know, we work hard, we have fun, but you are, you have to fit in with the team and therefore the culture of this organisation. And it’s up to you whether you want to do that. And it’s not something you can you have to work at that, but that my advice would be consider yourself in, you know, in anyone’s team, anyone’s company, and how you fit in with their culture. They’re all employees, if you like, we’re all humans. And, you know, so whether I’m looking to invest in someone, it has to suit me, again, whether you’re looking or someone’s looking to work with me, it has to see them. And then both of us if we’re going to work successfully, together have to agree that we work well as a team. And most importantly, that then all of us working together have to agree that this is a safe, proactive, fun, productive, successful culture, which accepts everything and anything that happens in life. And that can be you know, failure, negativity, diversity and everything. Basically, everything. That’s what I’m trying to say to you. So for me, when I’m looking to invest, it’s that person, that’s that creativity, it’s his, it’s his or her idea, and how we feel we could do it differently, and how interested in how useful it is. But most important, all of that stuff is that person that I’m dealing with, and how that person will fit in with me and my team. And ultimately, the culture. I want to run my business with

Leanne Elliott  49:22  
explaining really clearly there. You know, how leadership informs culture, culture informs leadership, and that cycle continues. Let’s dig deeper. I asked Simon about some of the values and behaviours that he looks for in a positive workplace culture.

Simon  49:37  
So yeah, I think, you know, lead by example, I think performance a lot of big, not a big believer in what hours you put in, per day or per week. You know, provided you deliver what you promised you deliver and you’re authentic about that. You can come into the office one day a week. I’m also a massive believer in you know, not over flogging the horse that works the most for you in a month. Top sales woman or sales man, you know, as soon as they get a big deal and I’m not going on to the next it’s like, you know, well done gonna have a break, you know recoup a bit and come back, you know, when you’re ready. I mean, it’s the salespeople are normally split, they, they tend to, they’re not always authentic with you when you put too much pressure on them as a target. And they tried to just, if you’re not honest, then you’re not giving me the advice I need to hear. I don’t want to be given any flannel, I want to be told exactly what’s coming in. And I need you to be more accurate and not forecasting, as I have to be with my investors or whoever it might be. So you work as a team, very much a team. If I’m away from my office at any given time, I’m not missed. And the same for every single one of my staff when we cover each other’s backs.

Leanne Elliott  50:44  
I think I think we’re seeing opinions and thoughts that go against what the stereotypical investor in or maybe I’ve just spent too much time watching, watching Hollywood films and the like about what investment is, but I guess, you know, you think that investors are going to buy a unit promote the hustle coach, you know, I only sleep four hours a night and and what else the hustle people do, oh, it’s all ours and everyone deck bla bla bla and, and what Simon’s actually going out. And I respect his opinion, because he’s built 26 successful businesses and sold them is he’s kind of going, No, I don’t bind the hustle culture. You know, we work hard. We work on our resilience, we do what we need to do, but I measure performance by outcomes, not hours worked. And I prioritise wellbeing in terms of making sure when you need a break, you take a break. I think also, you know, in terms of that, that big one for me, how many business owners entrepreneurs, do you see it? Maybe that’s why they are in the in the kind of the public eye, but make it all about them, the world and business is revolving around them. And what Simon saying is that, if I can’t leave the office, and no one notices, I’m probably doing something wrong, isn’t it? How many how many business owners in my business? Not enough time on my business? And it is that thing is that? Well, you know, how important are you making yourself? And are you fostering the environment, the relationships a teamwork that is needed to scale your business and then easily remove you from it? Because that’s what’s gonna happen if you are building your business to sale

Al Elliott  52:21  
Totally agree. There are so many people out there who are so obsessed with themselves. And so narcissistic, because I think Sara said, so narcissistic, they think that the business has to exhibit that they are the business. And if they’re not there, it’s gonna fall apart. And maybe it’s because they’ve not got much else going on in their lives. I don’t know, maybe there’s a little bit judgmental. And I want to pick up on your thing about there about sales having an outcome. This is a second person who said that great salespeople have got each other’s backs. It’s not an outcome of what has Derek and Jane done. And are they in competition with each other, it’s what has the entire team done. And in a role like sales, wellbeing and teamwork is probably the most important or probably the most important cornerstones, because you’ll spend the day probably getting blanked or getting told to go away. So you know, unless I’m saying that because I did door to door sales for about a year and a half. And I did phone sales or selling advertising for dodgy company for about a year. So So I know that but this is the cornerstone is that people are teams and as the team is working, not the individual. We asked Sarah obviously, how much the culture influences a decision to invest?

Sarah  53:27  
Oh, absolutely. I mean, you know, I, I am, I think, you know, now that I’m a massive geek for sort of startup stories, and you know, how it the rises and the falls. And if you think about the crash, do you think about Travis Kalanick, and the rise and fall of Uber, right? That is really a great case study. If you you know, if you your audience has not watched it, I highly recommend because it really showcases how the leader was driving the results, which created all these unintended consequences that you as a leader need to be aware of with culture, right, where, you know, great talent, were leaving because they felt they were not valued, right, that’s a red flag. And you want to investigate when you when you see a high performer that is able to deliver on results suddenly feel like this is not the place for me you need to investigate that and of course, it would be remiss for me not to mention of course, you know, the things like the me to movement, which partly inspired a lot of the work that we do because we saw the toxic culture that the Silicon Valley environment and I hate to say it the pros of Silicon Valley have perpetrated in many different ways in which it was deemed to be okay you know, we’re Skyline now you know, it’s we’re on a growth trajectory. Everything goes right. So we need to be very, very mindful. I think like, for us when we look at a company, a lot of the Uh, unsaid items, the intangibles, the culture comes from meeting with the founder, the wider team. And you know, this is why actually I will say it’s been a VC has grown. And we’ve been able to do a lot of things virtually, you know, checks have been written, but there is still value in what I would call kicking the tires, because that’s where you see the culture. And the red flags that come from that.

Leanne Elliott  55:25  
Sarah mentioned some red flags here, when it comes to culture and invest stability and in business, I think, again, what she’s linking back to is, you know, as she says, if you have a high performer, within the business that suddenly decides that environment is not one they want to be in, that reflects on the leader of the business, the owner of the business, and as we know, that as a person that our investors are investing in. So what are the red flags might investors be looking for? We asked Simon,

Simon  55:54  
the formula blueprints, you know, that sort of, you know, that plan to go from literally the day we launched until the day we sell, is tried and tested. And so, you know, that doesn’t change. I know that backwards, I could do that blindfolded. And we have teams in place, finance teams, marketing teams, operations teams, you know, what would we be able to do that, but the person who makes this happen is that there’s that partner, that content partner, or that in territory, partner, whoever, whatever the sector, wherever we’re doing it, the person who has that knowledge, the little black book full of buyers and sellers, and the person who has the relationships and can deliver it, but it’s the content partners. So yes, they’re massively important, the culture within the company, all of the companies we’ve ever worked on is that they are the lead, they are the event director, we’re here to help them. And that’s why it’s really important to get the right characters, more often than not, when I turned out or when the board would be like, now we have a board that decides on the investments we do. So when the the board sits together, it’s assessing whether that person can deliver that, because none of us have the time really to, you know, to to lead, it needs a leader. And so even if the content is good, and it’s not the right person, then really, you know, it’s not going to work very quickly, because we now quite a strict policy now, which is we don’t do anything we don’t like in terms of the subject matters. But even if we really liked them, we don’t do anything unless we like the person who’s going to be running it. Because either those not work. It doesn’t work.

Al Elliott  57:43  
Felix is massively interesting the that Simon has got this formula clearly where he can turn a business around in in a matter of months, really. But his key things are we don’t do things that we don’t like and don’t believe in. And we don’t do things with people who we don’t like. So in terms of red flags, I think the what Sarah called the bros are Silicon Valley Bros. in terms of their hostile culture, that’s just not what necessarily what people are looking for

Leanne Elliott  58:11  
usually. And I think as well, it’s really brought to the forefront for me and for any business owner that is looking to scale their business to potentially exit to secure funding. You need to be prioritising your ability as a leader, your effectiveness as a leader from day one. Because everything is coming back to that even when we talk about coaches coming back to the leader behind that coach, you talk about metrics, it’s going back to the leaders accountability and delivering those metrics. If you’re not investing in yourself from day one, I think it’s going to be a really tough challenge. Yeah,

Al Elliott  58:45  
totally agree that well, the other red flags, I think that that we’ve talked about is this idea of being a family. Now, I know a lot of smaller businesses go oh, we’re all a family here. And this is what we do as a family. But there’s a very big difference between being a team and a business that’s succeeding and being a family. So if you describe yourself as a family, is this a red flag for investors? Melissa? Thanks. So

Melissa  59:07  
I think when people talk about they want to feel like a family that it’s just that everybody cares about each other and we’re in it for the long haul together. But it is it is a business that people are a part of and so people will come and go so I think it’s more around you want the the respect that comes with colleagues versus with family sometimes we’re not as nice as we need to be because their family like they can’t really disown us not as easily. But so I think it’s finding the level of respect but making the creating a feeling that that belonging feeling of, hey, we are a team. We are a try. You know people use a variety of different terminologies. But that’s it’s partisan and we stick together. We have each other’s back. We care about each other And I think that’s more important, but that family thing, because you might be can’t fire your family, but you might have to fire, you know, an employee, and you don’t want. I mean, if you’re doing the right thing for your team and your organisation, carrying somebody who is not pulling their weight isn’t fair to anybody, it’s going to alienate your team that’s working really hard. And it’s not fair to the person who’s not performing because they might be exceptional somewhere else. Or they might be exceptional if you actually gave them feedback. And sometimes in families, we just, we let the conflict sort of simmer and we just kind of leave it be and it really helps in the workplace.

Al Elliott  1:00:39  
If you had heard last week’s episode all about family businesses, you basically is exactly what Melissa just said. Yeah.

Leanne Elliott  1:00:46  
And I honestly it makes me like, oh, cranes, whenever I hear somebody explain, explain that culture is a will like a family. Because what it’s a really crappy analogy, as Melissa has explained, like, it doesn’t quite work in terms of the relationships and dynamics that you have with an organisation. But particularly for like an owner, led business. What does that make you, mom, dad, and what you’re going to do sell your kids at the end of your five year exit plan. It’s just a fluid analogy from the start, can we just leave unless you are a family business? Let’s just leave family out of it, shall we?

Al Elliott  1:01:20  
So we’ve gone through an awful lot. So far, we’ve got more, we’ve got probably about the same again. So we made the decision to cut this into two. So we’re going to do another episode next week.

Leanne Elliott  1:01:29  
Yeah, I think it’s a good part to leave. I think we’ve talked a lot about what investors are looking for. And I think we’re at the point now that we’re with part two next week, we’ll talk a bit more about why that is, and also how you can fulfil, you know, those those things that investors are looking forward to, I feel that we’re in a nice place to stop the the watch and focus next week on the half.

Al Elliott  1:01:54  
Nicely done. All of the comment, all of the links are going to be in the show notes. If you if you want the transcription that’s going to be in the show notes as well just follow the link and we will see you next week. Make sure if you’re not subscribed yet, then just make sure you subscribe so that you don’t miss next week’s because the next week is going to be vitally important for anyone who is looking to grow their business, either via acquiring being acquired or VC funding. It really

Leanne Elliott  1:02:18  
will. And we’ll also leave the links to all of our guests today in the show notes that Simon, Melissa, and Sarah. And we’ll be including loads more resources next week as well. Oh, add a bit feedback actually, from listeners on Spotify, so they don’t always get the same experience with the show notes. When we say other links in the show notes. They don’t always see it. If you head to our website truth lives and work and go to episodes. Then you’ll see a there’s a there’s a post for every episode and that includes the full show notes.

Al Elliott  1:02:48  
So we’ll see you next week. Bye for now

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