About Our Guest
Michael Spinosa has been working in technology since he was a child when his father bought him an IBM PC Jr. at the age of 5 years old.
Since then, Michael’s career has spanned from information technology to development in a wide array of disciplines. The result is a uniquely well-rounded technology professional.
Michael started his career with an exceptional opportunity developing enterprise systems within the Executive Residence (White House) before transitioning into information technology, where he started a career in data centre management, perimeter security, and compliance.
After six years working as a Senior Engineer, Michael decided to strike out on his own by founding Unleashed Technologies, LLC in 2007. The firm rose to prominence with a specialisation in application development and continued to grow under his leadership until a successful sale in 2019.
Michael and his ventures have been the recipient of numerous awards, including a three time Inc. 5000 fastest growing company, best places to work, Future 50, and a certificate of special congressional recognition for providing assistance in a time of cybersecurity crisis to the government.
Michael is passionate about creating a positive impact in the professional world whether it’s bringing an innovative product to market, creating a world class service experience, or helping a organisations breakthrough to the next level.
About this Episode
Every Business Owner Has a Number. What’s Yours?
Everyone makes mistakes. But it’s hard when your family thinks you’re making the greatest one.
Michael Spinosa left corporate success for the extreme unknowns of entrepreneurialism. After starting out in Information Technology, he and his business partner began Unleashed, a digital marketing agency that specialised in application development.
When he realised his company was average and he relied on his father to pay the mortgage, things started to take a turn for the worst. Instead of throwing in the towel and admitting defeat, he brought in his team and made two very important changes to the business model.
He rolled out products in their service-based business and re-focused on one element of their market. The result was an exit for 2x what he thought he’d get. Michael’s journey is a testament to an entrepreneur’s journey of self-worth and doing the impossible.
What you will learn in this episode
In this episode we’ll cover everything from:
- How to affirm your sense of self during the sometimes-arduous entrepreneurial journey
- Re-defining your niche after you’ve already built the business
- Developing products in a service-based business to unlock growth
- The internal markers that indicate it’s time to exit your business
Connect with Michael Spinosa
(3:52) “You can turn a computer on? You’re the guy!” Michael Spinosa started his career during the dotcom burst and even got to work on the systems in the White House until the business that employed him went bankrupt. This kickstarted his entrepreneurial journey.
(15:22) What’s your support network like? Who believes in you? When Michael told his family he was thinking of starting his business, they told him he didn’t have what it takes. But, driven by adversity, and after a comment from his father, he made the decision to quit his job.
(23:19) Michael made two major adjustments to the business: The first was pivoting to an enterprise content management platform called Drupal. The second was rolling out Growth Packages that focused on time and materials versus firm fixed price. This allowed them to product-ify their service business.
(39:37) After doing some market research, he assumed his business would trade at 2.5-3x EBITDA, however, when he saw the Letter of Intent from Linc Partners for double that, he decided it was time to exit.
(46:00) After speaking to his friends who had exited their businesses, he learned three valuable lessons: 1) Protect your salary first and foremost, 2) Be careful negotiating earn-outs, and 3) Be clear on what you want as cash upfront.