Today I created a new LinkedIn group, called the “Acquired Club”. At the moment I am its only member but of course I welcome other people to join – not much fun to discuss alone.
The criteria for joining this group (no, it’s not a Groucho-type club :-D) are simple:
- you must have been an entrepreneur or held majority ownership of a company
- you must have sold your company to another group, whether in one transaction or in more than one
- you must have exited the merged company completely, including those who bought it back
Anybody can apply, but these three criteria will be strictly enforced. Its purpose is simple: all of us who have been through that process have learned some hard lessons, usually by trial and error.
You’re not smarter, this will happen to you because your situation is exactly similar to a thousand others.
Mind you, this is not a corporation-bashing group: on the contrary, as far as I am concerned, my history as an acquired company is a happy one – had I known what I know now, however, my expectations would have perhaps been different and I would have saved myself a little unnecessary stress. I would have set objectives for myself in a clearer way and would planned a route that would probably lead to the same final destination in a more direct manner.
But entrepreneurs are a tough kind – they think they know everything and do not like looking for help; so I though that if a group strictly limited to peers (although in all different kinds of businesses) shared lessons and tips in a non-confrontational manner, would-be acquisition targets could learn in a non-confrontational manner and perhaps iron out some of the wrinkles in their own process.
We won’t be selling advice, although questions are welcome.
P.S. I have found the above image on the ‘net without attribution – if anyone holds a legit copyright to it, I would like to ask permission to use it as a logo for the group. If this is not possible, please shout and I’ll remove it immediately.