How to Build a Self-Sufficient Business (And Then Sell for 7-Figures)

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About Our Guest

Jodie Cook founded a digital agency in 2011 that was acquired in 2021. Jodie now writes books and articles about entrepreneurship, inspiring others to take the leap or make a success of their venture.

Her experience of starting up, creating a brand, winning and serving clients, hiring a team, and growing and selling a company has been written into books and articles with millions of readers.

Books include Stop Acting Like You’re Going To Live Forever and Instagram Rules. She also co-wrote How To Raise Entrepreneurial Kids and the Clever Tykes storybooks.

Jodie has delivered keynotes to entrepreneurs, business leaders, and students about her experience as an entrepreneur, including at TEDx Aston University with her TEDx talk, Creating Useful People.

She is also a regular contributor for Forbes on entrepreneurship and has provided commentary to publications as a social media expert. She is a proud member of Forbes 30 under 30 social entrepreneurs in Europe 2017.

About this Episode

How to Build a Self-Sufficient Business (And Then Sell for 7-Figures)

Today’s guest came to fame in the dawn of social media. Forget what you learned in business school; the year is 2011 and everything you’re doing on social is the Wild West compared to your textbooks.

This is the environment that Jodie grew her digital marketing agency, JC Social Media, in. And a few years later when she realised she was the company’s biggest bottleneck, Jodie began systemising her business one process at a time, so she could take vacation whenever she wanted.

But beyond creating a great lifestyle business that allowed her to travel, Jodie created a self-sufficient, profitable business that made it possible for an acquirer to walk in – and for Jodie to walk away without an earn-out and with a seven-figure paycheck.

What you will learn in this episode

In this episode we’ll cover everything from:

  • How to make yourself redundant in business
  • The importance of planning and processes
  • Shifting your lifestyle business into a covetable asset
  • Diversity, recurring revenue, and client retention

Connect with Jodie Cook

Show Notes

(00:45) Back in 2011, Jodie’s business plan was all of two words: Get Clients. Learn how she not only “got clients”, but also grew her business to sixteen full-time employees over the course of nine years.

(7:35) For the first three years, Jodie was the head of the company (read: Bottleneck), but being able to shift out of that role enabled her to scale quickly and effectively.

(17:23) After shrinking 25% in a week with COVID-19, Jodie’s team went over and above, continuing to bring in referral leads so the company regained its footing and grew by a further 20%. This is the moment she started to think about an exit.

(20:00) The first thing Jodie did when she decided to sell was approach another agency 9x the size of hers and ask for advice. Funnily enough, that agency had at one time planned to buy Jodie’s and kickstarted her business exit strategy, including introducing her to an agency-specific broker.

(35:10) Earn-outs can be viewed as an insurance for the new buyer, but in some cases – Jodie’s included – sometimes it’s better to ditch the earn-out and go separate ways. Jodie’s was to the tune of 7-figures.

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