M&A Lessons From A 3x Entrepreneur | A.J. Lawrence

E32:  Join Todd Sullivan as he interviews A.J. Lawrence, a self-proclaimed journeyman entrepreneur with multiple exits under his belt.  A.J. sold his first web development business to an ad agency a few years out of college. He then moved into I.T. hardware and sold his Wi-Fi router business to his main hardware supplier.  AJ capped it off in 2021 by building and selling a multi-million dollar digital ad agency which made the Inc. 500 twice.

Today, A.J. is a student of the entrepreneurial mindset.  Given his success, he is intent on better understanding what makes founders succeed and fail. To this end, A.J. acquired the Beyond Eight Figures podcast to explore and share what makes entrepreneurs tick and how we can all improve our skill sets through the experiences of our fellow founders. In today's discussion, A.J. and I discuss how his companies were valued by strategic acquirers, his understanding of why terms are more important than price in an M&A transaction, and the value of family support when building and selling a business.

Episode Highlights:
  • (3:32)  AJ's beginning as a serial entrepreneur
  • (8:26)  The details behind AJ's first exit, and the strategic partnership that created it
  • (13:49)  "Your Price, Our Terms"
  • (16:45)  The Creation of business #2
  • (18:52)  From near failure to a seven-figure exit
  • (25:29)  The importance of defining your "why" in the early days of your startup
  • (29:17)  The creation of the JAR Group, and the emotional toll it took on AJ on his team
  • (33:32)  Losing his revenue whale at JAR, and the realities of the business left behind
  • (35:04)  A burned out CEO, and a fortunate negotiation that led to a significant earnout
  • (42:11)  Buying a podcast with BITCOIN
  • (47:19)  Final M&A perspectives from a 3x entrepreneur
  • (51:12)  The role that friends and family play in an entrepreneur's success

Where To Find Todd Sullivan (Host):

Where To Find A.J. Lawrence (Guest):

Episode 32 Required Reading:

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M&A Lessons From A 3x Entrepreneur | A.J. Lawrence
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