I am working on a fascinating documentary about remarkable entrepreneurs who have built successful companies doing what they love. You will hear their amazing stories and learn how you, too, can create the company of your dreams. As technology continues to replace jobs at an accelerated rate in nearly every industry, the skills of entrepreneurship are important for all of us. Here is how this exciting project evolved.
I was sitting in my office one day and received a call from the CEO of a publicly traded company in Toronto, Canada.
“Mike, I want to talk with you about buying your company.”
“I am flattered, but it’s not for sale,” I replied.
“Every company is for sale for the right terms and conditions,” he retorted, “and I think you are going to like what we’re doing in the industry”
A week later he showed up with his executive team at our corporate office. They spent two days poring over our financial statements and company documents. At the end of the second day, the CEO came into my office and placed a formal offer on my desk. I glanced at the number and told him it was too low. He said, “Well, write a number that you would accept at the bottom of the page.” I increased his number by 30 percent and handed the paper back to him. I watched as his eyes widened in surprise.
“Let me think about this tonight, and I’ll get back to you tomorrow.”
The next morning he came into my office and said, “We will pay the full price you are asking on two conditions. First, we will move the office to Dallas where we have our own executive team.” No problem. I had thought about what I would do if I ever sold the company, and had already decided I didn’t want to run something I no longer owned.
“Second,” he uttered in a very serious tone, “you have to take cash.” I couldn’t believe it! I had discussed this potential sale with my board members the day before. Everyone was open to an offer at the price I suggested, but no one wanted to take stock in this guy’s company. So I held a serious look of consternation as long as I could, and then said, “OK, I think we have a deal.”
A few months later the transaction was final, and I was free for my next adventure. After contemplating my passions, skills, and experience, I made a strong commitment to spend the rest of my career helping people create their own jobs, build their own companies, and live their own dreams—just like I had done.
So I have spent the past 20 years conducting in-depth interviews with successful entrepreneurs, and sharing the lessons I have learned in articles, books, speeches, workshops, university courses, and in my consulting work with hundreds of startup companies. I have to tell you, nothing is more rewarding to me than meeting inspiring role models, summarizing their stories, sharing their keys to success, and helping aspiring business builders achieve their dreams.
Now it’s time to take my game to a new level. I have partnered with my son Jay, an extraordinary film maker, to create a full-length documentary about amazing entrepreneurs across the country. We will share stories from our recent coast-to-coast bicycle ride where we interviewed 100 entrepreneurs who have successfully merged livelihood and lifestyle in places they want to live. These role models, and others we will interview, will comprise the remarkable cast of characters in the documentary. You will learn who they are, how they have built their companies, and how you can do it too!
There is no better time for this production than right now, and we need your help to bring it to the finish line. We are funding the final phase of the documentary through Kickstarter and are offering some amazing rewards. Please check out our project at: The Main Street Entrepreneur – Documentary.
We hope you will jump on board and join us in this historic production. Become part of our “Main Street Movement” to help people create their own companies, obtain financial security, and achieve their dreams. It’s going to be an awesome ride!