Willard Michlin – Introduction

When I was a young entrepreneur of 25 I had three goals.

They were:

  1. To make a million dollars, before I was forty years old.
  2. To be like Norton Simon and buy up failing companies and turn them around.
  3. Be a famous public speaker and author.

Well I made my first million long before I was 40 and proceeded to lose large hunks of it from faulty thinking.

Basically, I had the curse of youth. It was thinking I could do no wrong and that I was smarter then my dad. That was tough because my dad was a very smart businessman.

One of the things my father told me after I made my first million, “Anyone can make money. The trick is holding on to it.” Boy was he right about that. I found over the years that there were three things that made it hard to hold on to money. 1. Women. 2. Because of the picture of a fast and easy buck staring me in the face, I would short cut my due diligence. 3. Someone was working nights figuring out how to take my money away from me. They were partners, vendors, customers or “friends.” All of who wanted to let me in on a great deal.

Over the last 40 years, I bought into four businesses, all of which I assumed were what I thought they were. I didn’t do the standard due diligence I should of because I was emotionally involved. That is why it is said; “an attorney with himself for a client is fool.” When I am objective, nothing gets by me. That is why I spend my clients money more carefully then my own.

After being a business broker for 20 years and looking at thousands of financial statements, I made a vow to myself that I would prevent buyers from being taken advantage of by sellers or seller’s brokers. This has become my mission in life. It is not about money to me but it is about saving people’s financial lives.

I have started this due diligence blog to educate the world of business buyers about the dangers, pitfalls and some benefits available when buying a business. I will tell you interesting stories and life lesions that my clients and I have learned.

Feel free to send in questions. I will answer them in my blog. So if you want a Jewish Sherlock Holmes as your friend, stay tuned every week for my blogs.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Business Buying Services and a clickable link back to this page.



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