Buying, Selling, Launching & Everything in Between

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About Our Guest

Greg Kihlstrom is a best-selling author, speaker, and entrepreneur. He is currently the CEO and Co-Founder at CareerGig, after selling his digital experience agency, Carousel30, in 2017.

Greg has worked with some of the world’s top brands, including AOL, Choice Hotels, Coca-Cola, Dell, FedEx, GEICO, Marriott International, MTV, Starbucks, Toyota, and VMware. He currently serves on the University of Richmond’s Customer Experience Advisory Board, was the founding Chair of the American Advertising Federation’s National Innovation Committee, and served on the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Marketing Mentorship Advisory Board.

Greg’s newest book, The Center of Experience (2020) talks about how customer and employee experience can be operationalised into a cohesive brand experience. He wrote another book on customer and employee experience called Digital Delight (2019), which focuses on designing, implementing, and measuring CX and EX. Greg’s previous book, The Agile Consumer (2019) explores the most recent shifts in the brand-consumer relationship and how companies must become more agile across their entire operation to remain successful.

Greg was named a 2018 50 on Fire winner from DC Inno as one of DC’s trendsetters in Marketing. He is a regular contributing writer to Forbes, and has been featured in publications such as Advertising Age, SmartCEO, Website Magazine, and The Washington Post. He has participated as a keynote speaker, panelist, and moderator at industry events around the world, including Internet Week New York, Internet Summit, EventTech, SMX Social Media, Social Media Week, Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit, ABA Bank Marketing Summit, and VMworld. He has guest lectured at several schools, including VCU Brandcenter, Georgetown University, Duke University, American University, University of Maryland, Howard University, and Virginia Tech.

About this Episode

Buying, Selling, Launching & Everything in Between

Greg Kihlstrom is your archetypal entrepreneur who has been there and certainly done that.

His interest in all things marketing, creative, and technology helped him land a job at a start-up in his formative university years. These interests continued to feed his curiosity throughout the rest of his career.

His determination to build his own company was solidified from this experience, and, as such, he founded ‘Carousel30’, where he spent years growing organically before selling to pursue other projects.

Learn more about his journey, including the personal side of selling a business as Greg talks about the trials and tribulations he has faced over the years – especially when friends are your business partners and you’re looking to sell.

This episode is a must listen for any business owner looking to hone in on the skills needed to sell a business and how this can affect the personal relationships of those involved.

What you will learn in this episode

In this episode we’ll cover everything from:

  • How a negative start-up experience can shape your future direction
  • How to approach buying out business partners when they are also friends
  • When acquisition can become a strong growth lever for your business
  • The methodology for coming up with ‘the number’ to sell a business
  • Why the need to adapt and change is so important

Connect with Greg Kihlstrom

Show Notes

(19:00) Find out how an early, negative start-up experience taught Greg crucial skills that he would use to scale up and sell businesses successfully in the future.

(26:30) There’s no way around it, buying out partners who are good friends can be a tough scenario. See how Greg navigated that awkward proposition.

(35:25) Greg tries to live by the philosophy that there is always a win-win scenario out there. Here’s how that belief helped him amicably sell and buy out his partners on multiple occasions and get the right deal for all stakeholders.

(46:06) There are many methods for calculating the value of a business. Find out how this specific method was applied to Greg’s business when he was ready to sell.

(52:00) Earn-outs come in all shapes and sizes. Greg dives into the core items he would include in any earn-out agreement now after looking back on his past experiences.

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