Unlocking the Secrets of Rapid Business Growth with Sunny Vanderbeck

Apple Podcasts

About Our Guest

Sunny Vanderbeck is an investor, entrepreneur, best-selling author, and former military leader focused on accelerating the growth of mid-market companies and creating best-in-class, built-to-last businesses.

Sunny is co-founder of Satori Capital, a multi-strategy investment firm founded on the principles of conscious capitalism. By providing real-world insights from its experienced team and long-term funding with no fixed time constraints, Satori acts as a true partner for its portfolio companies as it challenges them to pursue extraordinary outcomes for all stakeholder groups.

Before founding Satori, Sunny co-founded and served as CEO of Data Return, a leading provider of managed services and utility computing. The company sustained 40% quarter-over-quarter growth for more than three years and reached a $3 billion market capitalisation, making him one of the youngest CEOs ever to lead a Nasdaq-listed company. For more than a decade, Sunny led the company through all phases of growth and transformation, received numerous honours, including an “Entrepreneur of the Year” finalist designation from Ernst and Young, and nurtured a conscious culture for all of the business’ stakeholders.

His experiences with building, selling, buying back, and re-selling Data Return, along with his subsequent involvement with dozens of private businesses at Satori, led Sunny to publish his first book, Selling Without Selling Out: How to Sell Your Business Without Selling Your Soul. The book serves as a roadmap for business leaders who face the unique challenges and quandaries involved in selling a business or taking on a financial partner.

About this Episode

Unlocking the Secrets of Rapid Business Growth with Sunny Vanderbeck

From a computer science major to Army Ranger, tech founder, to CEO of a private equity firm, Sunny Vanderbeck has had quite the career evolution.

He bootstrapped a critical web infrastructure business in 1996 at the dawn of the internet and experienced incredibly rapid growth – 40% every quarter. This growth rate is something most entrepreneurs wouldn’t even dream of. But along with it came a host of challenges and learning opportunities.

This episode untangles the through-lines Sunny’s taken from the barracks to the boardroom on how to be a good entrepreneur, make smart selling decisions, and ultimately end up on the right side of the negotiation table.

What you will learn in this episode

  • How to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty in business
  • Surrounding yourself with people who help you develop high performance habits
  • The importance of having extraordinary people on your team
  • The critical impact that time has on successfully closing a deal
  • The importance of due diligence in investment decision making

Connect with Sunny Vanderbeck

Show Notes

(5:12) Sunny Vanderbeck is too stubborn to quit. This led him through a successful career as an Army Ranger, whose core values were aligned around finishing the mission VS following the rules, laying the foundation for entrepreneurship that led him to founding a tech company and then a private equity firm.

(14:20) Mentors play a pivotal role for entrepreneurs. As Sunny states, you’re going to make mistakes, and you need somebody who’s been there before to guide you back onto the right path.

(20:43) Sunny’s company grew rapidly. So rapidly that they needed to double headcount every 120 days. While great for the books, growing that fast came with its own set of problems. His biggest piece of advice: “Find extraordinary people and let them do it.”

(33:56) Time kills deals, this much we know is true. Sunny shares his tips on how to get the best result: 1) Prepare! Be organized 2) Focus – don’t get distracted by the 1,000 small things that get under your skin, focus on what’s important to you, and 3) Clarity: write down the 5 things that really matters to you.

(41:40) The first time Sunny sold his business, the acquirers filed for bankruptcy within 12 months. However, because Sunny owned a lot of stock, he bought the business back, ran it for another four years, then found the right acquirer for it in 2007.

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