How To Grow Through Acquisitions With Alex Nghiem

GTF 259 | Acquisition Growth

 

What would happen for you if you had the competitive advantage to acquire an asset that immediately increased the value of your business? 

If this question resonates with you, then this is an episode to check out.

Alex Nghiem specializes in helping authors, speakers, consultants, and other experts attract premium, high value clients and set the stage for growing through acquisitions. 

In this episode, Alex insists that you don’t have to be a big company to acquire, but you can instead use acquisitions to grow and accelerate your exit – or at the very least, create more freedom from the day to day of your business. 

He also shares the common mistakes that companies make during an acquisition as well as the three questions to ask to identify and find acquisitions in 30 minutes or less.

To learn about Alex’s approach to scaling and acquisition, you can read his book Growth Through Acquisitions and of course, listen to this fascinating conversation for more details!

Listen to the podcast here:

How To Grow Through Acquisitions With Alex Nghiem

Let me ask you what would happen for you if you were able to double the speed at which you could grow and you could do it almost risk-free, and you could do it with far less stress than you ever imagined? If that’s something that interests you, you’re going to love this episode. We have an expert. He and his partner, Vin, started AcquireToGrow.com to help seven-figure and eight-figure companies and business owners, maybe like you add $1 million to $20 million to their growth using the simple strategy that we’re going to talk about. They’ve bought and advised on over 80 of these strategies. They’ve exited four different companies. They work with CEOs, maybe like you. They’ve consulted with PE firms, family offices and help with investments between $50 million and $250 million. Let me ask you, do you think that the gentleman that I have for you could help you? His name is Alex Nghiem. They shared their seven-step process in their book, Growth Through Acquisitions: How to Grow 300% Faster Than Your Competitors. Would that be of interest to you?

If you’re looking for a way to grow with less stress, a way to be able to go out and double your business, triple your business and do it in a predictable, systematic way, then you might want to grab a pen, you might want to grab a piece of paper and jot down some notes because Alex and what he has to share can help you. They had been featured in Forbes. Their motto is simple. You don’t have to wait until you’re big to look to acquire other companies. That’s one of the biggest lies and myths that maybe you’ve been taught about building and growing a bigger, better and more profitable business. Alex, welcome. How are you?

I’m doing great. Thanks for having me, Dan. I’ve always been a big fan of you for a long time and I’m happy to be here sharing what we’ve been working on.

You do many fascinating things. You’re a world traveler. You’re one of the most connected people I know. Our good friend who we’ve got to thank for our connection is Kevin Thompson. He’s also a super-connector. Alex, I want to dive right into it, Growth Through Acquisitions. You’ve built companies, you’ve sold companies, you bought companies and you’ve exited. You’ve got a wealth of experience doing this for a few decades. Before we get into strategy, let’s lay a little bit of context. Why are you doing what you’re doing now?

We’ve been in the business for a number of years. I started looking around and then trying to figure out how do other people, much larger companies grow. They rarely talk about the stuff that we use to see in our circle. When I say a circle, most of the conferences that a lot of us and probably the readers are going to. As I was seeing this, I was seeing that more and more companies use the acquisition model. I said, “Truly, that’s a $100 billion, maybe $500 million company.” When you read about it in Fortune or Forbes, you rarely hear about the companies of that size. I started working with a gentleman named Vin. He shared with me one of the success stories that he had was taking a company from $2 million to $44 million and then exited in 28 months. I was scratching my head and I was like, “How did you do that?” He openly shared that he’s not an expert in marketing. Most of us would think, “You probably did a ton of campaign and JVs.” He said, “No, I was acquiring a company a month.” I’m like, “That’s interesting. You did it when you were $2 million?” He said, “I use acquisition getting $44 million.”

Most of us say, “You get to $40 million and then you start doing an acquisition.” That’s what this whole work got turned upside down. I had known about how to do the acquisitions, but this whole concept of using it as an accelerated growth vehicle at this level was eye-opening. That’s why we started this journey together. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of a company called Cisco Systems, a very big tech company. The joke in the tech industry is that Cisco is actually an M&A Bank pretending to be a tech company because 95%, 98% of its revenue comes from the acquisition. They do a brilliant job at doing what’s called post-integration. The big thing we want to share with that you’ve talked about is that you don’t want to get big to do an acquisition. You could use the acquisition to accelerate your growth and then as a byproduct, a lot of times you can also use it tech sell as your exit as well.

You don’t have to be big to do acquisition. You can use acquisition to accelerate your growth. - Alex Nghiem Click To Tweet

Alex stated something that is critical for you to start to shift or pivot the mind around. That’s the idea of what if you become the bank. What if there was a simple way, even as small as you might be or as big as you might or anywhere in between, you could position yourself to be the bank? We’re going to reveal some of the strategies that Alex uses with his clients. We’re going to talk about how acquisitions can grow a seven and eight-figure business faster. We’re going to talk about some of the common mistakes. If you’re looking for a way like, “How do I do it?” What are the three questions to ask to identify and find acquisitions in 30 minutes or less? How valuable would that be? How about funding acquisition, would that be valuable? That and a whole lot more is going to be shared.

Alex, as you’ve gone about this, if you can think back to your early years of business or on this journey, to put things in perspective because people hear about your success and you’ve been on hundreds of interviews and media appearances over the years. They go, “Of course, he’s successful.” I know it hasn’t always been this way. What would you consider your biggest failure, your biggest mistake on this journey and what did you learn from it that readers could learn from it too?

It’s a cliché. All of us, to some degree in another field, we have to be this rugged entrepreneur against all odds to do it on ourselves, especially in the Western. I think it’s not as common in the Eastern countries, but it’s about this whole idea of being this rock star entrepreneur doing everything yourself. I was going into my 40s and I’m like, “This is a lot of wear and tear on somebody.” That’s what I started taking a step back and said, “What are different ways we get leverage? You can get leverage through capital and relationship.” The number one mistake is trying to feel like you could do it all yourself. Of course, as you get older, you realize that the thing that you can’t create more of his time. You actively look at what are some ways you could buy back that time. A way you buy back the time used to get to your goal faster and what do you do then? You leverage your capital, relationship and other people’s asset.

That’s one of the things I like about using an acquisition because at the end of the day, I’ve looked at a lot of different models and probably the most powerful approach I’ve seen that pulls all that together. Because you have to have the right relationship, you have to approach somebody to acquire. You have the right relationship, you can raise the capital. All the things we talked about, it all comes together to do that. That’s one reason why a lot of people, especially bigger companies, figure out a long time ago. I think the gap has been that for smaller companies. When I say small companies, a lot of people are prying to seven and eight-figure. I can see literature and think, “These are all things you do.” When you get to $100 million, that’s when you start looking at doing an acquisition. You could get them a lot faster by leveraging this.

It’s so powerful. I know for me, I discovered this approach by accident. A good friend of mine and a client, his name is Mike Agugliaro says, “Most people have a mindset and you’ve got to be open to mind growth.” My version of that is you have to be open to have a mind shift, move out of a mindset because a mindset will keep you stuck. Readers, what if regardless of your size, you started to be aware of how you could go out and acquire businesses? Because let’s face it, entrepreneurship is not easy and there are lots of people who get to a place where timing plays a role where they get tired of running their business. You might find a hidden opportunity if you’re aware of it and looking. If you’re so focused on the day-to-day stuff, you can miss it.

I know for me, Alex, what happened by accident years ago, I was building a coaching business. We were doing a pretty solid business and we literally were able to triple because somebody in the industry was looking to get out and they almost virtually. It wasn’t completely this way, but it felt like this. They literally handed us the keys and said, “Take it off my hands. Here’s our team, here’s our infrastructure, here’s our offices, here’s all these assets.” We were literally able to triple within 30 days as a result of this acquisition. Those kinds of opportunities are there if your mind shift is available to be able to take advantage of these. Would you agree?

Yes. What you said is very big. We’re talking about common mistakes. I don’t want to say that you can always do these deals with no money down. It’s far less money than you actually may think. The other thing that I want people to consider is when you’re talking about a public company or large company, nine out of ten times, it’s almost all financial. Personality does fall into it, but most of the time it’s financial. For smaller companies, usually $20 million or less acquisition. The sweet spot that we see for most of our clients, we help them use acquisition between $500,000 to $5 million. We can sell it to companies some deals worth $50 million to $100 million, but most of the people we’re working with as clients, unless they’re a PE company, they don’t look at acquisition. That’s the underserved market that comes between $1 million to $20 million. That’s where we spend a lot of our time. Repeat comes with a bit of a deal. The point I’m trying to make is if you look at it, a lot of companies don’t realize that the owner’s motivation is the one that drives the price like what you found out. I speak with a colleague of mine, they bought a SaaS company that was generating $700,000 a month in recurring revenue. A SaaS company comes on with the Holy Grail. You’ve got a recurring revenue. It’s tech, it’s sexy, high valuation.

GTF 259 | Acquisition Growth

The joke in the tech industry is that Cisco is actually an M&A bank pretending to be a tech company because 95% to 98% of their revenue comes from acquisition.

 

The biggest issues, the three founders when they were running it and they’re all getting along, the thing was grown by leaps and bounds. They couldn’t see eye to eye. They’ve been running to the ground. They’re like, “We want you to take it off our hands.” What was amazing is the funding of the company effectively paid for it. Yes, he put up a small amount of money down, but 60 days later, the revenue from the company pretty much paid off whatever down payment he had. In this case, it’s more than double his size, but more importantly, it dramatically increases footprint and created a high barrier of entry. The three founders that started SaaS asked them to discuss some million dollars building this Software as a Service company, all the iteration, all of that. He took it over in 30 to 60 days. He more than doubled his company, but more importantly, he owned a software platform that is a huge competitive advantage that keeps almost a lot of his competitors at bay. They all would provide coaching. He’s got a software platform that is a huge competitive advantage.

Readers, what would happen for you if you were able to strategically get a competitive advantage to acquire an asset that immediately increased the value of your business? What if you could do it with virtually little money out of your pocket, almost sometimes no cash down. How valuable would that be to you if you could leverage the cashflow from the business to be able to do that? Alex, you have worked with hundreds of different transactions over time, business owners and helping them with acquisitions. What are a couple of questions somebody should be asking or what are a couple of tips for someone to look at to decide whether this is a good opportunity or not a good opportunity?

Let me take a step back and answer the question because we go down this path too far, then people may make a common mistake. The acquisition is a means to an end. Because in the early days, once you want you to know how to do this, you get high on it and you go buy companies and you end up with a mismatch. It’s like, “I created another pile of stuff that I got to unwind.” The first thing you want to remember is that an acquisition is a means of growing quickly and profitably. We don’t want to create a situation unless you’re advanced. We usually recommend our client against buying stuff knowing that they’re going to take a hit in the short-term because it takes a lot longer to flip it around. We’re not playing with fantasy money, VC money.

We’re playing with cashflow. It’s got to fund itself. The first thing you want to remember is that you’re using acquisitions to grow profitably and grow more quickly. That being the case, I want you to understand that. You want to figure out, “What are some filters or some criteria I want to look at? Am I trying to buy this company to get a competitive advantage, so that way it keeps a lot of my competitors at bay? Am I my doing this because I can cross on my existing products or services to this client? Am I doing this as a consolidation play?” At the extreme case of this, there’s a thing called a roll-up when your systematically buying companies in a particular industry, so you become a local, regional or in some cases, a national player.

Wayne Huizenga, that’s what he did with Blockbuster. What a lot of people don’t realize that he did it again in another car chain either CarMax or AutoNation. Part of what he did within the industry that is very unsexy is called waste management. He’s the only person as far as we know that’s done it through the different industries. The point is the reason they did that is that they have a bigger picture in mind and the acquisition is effectively the mechanism or the way they go about reaching their goal. Wayne Huizenga, because he plays it at such a base scale, he was all about consolidation. This other example we’re talking about, he wasn’t necessarily looking to consolidate the industry.

He already had it back in his mind. In his case, his criteria are, “I want to increase recurring income.” SaaS is perfect for that because it’s inherently his recurring income. He also wants a basic IP. A SaaS company has that. We’re giving away here as a gift. In this book, we talked about a lot of my different reasons why companies do acquisitions. It depends a little bit like the bucket you’re in. If you’re an Amazon business, most of the time, the reason you do an acquisition is either because you want to cross-sell or you may want to increase your distribution channel. If you’re an Amazon business, one of the fastest ways to grow your evaluation is to buy another channel. Because if you’re an Amazon business, regardless of how big you are, if all of your sales come from Amazon, most buyers are going to get very skittish. You could buy another Shopify store or better yet go buy a brick and mortar business, then your valuation goes up dramatically because you’re on and offline. I’m using the buckets we have the most experience with. We do a lot of work in the medical and dental industry. The reason they’re buying stuff most of the time, they’re not buying for out of key, they’re usually buying for footprint or expansion geographically.

The third category we do a lot of business with is people who are running professional services or agencies or consulting companies. The reason they typically make an acquisition is either to increase the IP, so they may buy a software company. We’re helping a company that is a fairly sizable agency, but they realize their valuation was not where they want it to be. We’re not helping them say, “Here are some strategic acquisitions you can make to dramatically increase your valuation.” That could be a software company or it could be by another company that has specialized skills that they don’t have. That’s why I was acquired years ago. We have very high-end skills that companies ten times our size didn’t have. That’s why they wanted us because we brought a lot of property and capabilities they didn’t have to the table. It depends a little bit on which one of those three buckets you fall into and they overlap a little bit. For the most part, they have slightly different drivers.

The number one entrepreneurial mistake is trying to feel like you could kind of do it all by yourself. - Alex Nghiem Click To Tweet

If you’re looking for a way to extend your reach with cross-selling, if you’re looking for a way to grow your impact by expanding into other channels. If you’re looking for a way to be able to tap into leverage brick and mortar with an online type of business strategically. Imagine what the strategic byproducts would be if you could extend your reach in a simple way and in many cases, do it out of cashflow. If you’re anything like me, Alex, and someone’s reading and going, “This is fascinating. Give me more. I want the blueprint.” How can people get the book? How can they go to learn more about you? Where can they connect and reach you?

The book is available at AcquisitionsBook.com. That will route to that download page. That’ll give you the PDF. If you’re in the US and some people personally prefer a print copy, you’d want to contact me Alex@AcquireToGrow.com. Drop me a note. If you’re in the US, I’ll drop a physical copy in the mail. There’s no charge. You don’t have to give me your credit card, PayPal or postage. I can’t do it overseas because it takes too long and costs too much. If you’re outside of the US or if you want, give me your email address, I’ll gladly put a physical copy in the mail for you.

I want to encourage you as you’re reading, go connect with Alex. He’s one of the sharpest people you’ll ever get a chance to meet even outside of acquisitions. He’s a strategic relationship builder. He’s got a great long-term reputation. There’s a lot of insights and wisdom he’s developed and created over decades of doing what he does. Take the first step. Go to AcquisitionsBook.com, so you can get acclimated to his values, his way of thinking. Once you’ve gone through some of the basics of the book and you want to go deeper with them, I encourage you, reach out to him. He’s given you this incredible gift to connect with him directly. You can send a message at Alex@AcquireToGrow.com. You’re going to find he’s like one of those rare guys that’s approachable. I don’t know how you stay connected the way you do, Alex, and are as responsive as you are.

I don’t know if you’ve cloned yourself or you have AI or whatever the case. I send you a message and you respond back. It’s very responsive. If you’re looking to connect with someone like Alex, do some foundation work first. Make sure you get some of the basic fundamentals out of the way and you can do that by going to AcquisitionsBook.com first and then reach out to Alex. Alex, you worked with a lot of different people with acquisitions. What’s a way for someone to spot a great opportunity in looking at an acquisition it maybe they didn’t think about before?

One thing I want to mention in the book is when I wrote the book, what I found is most of the books are written by people who have a very strong finance background or hardcore M&A people. Most of the books on this topic are usually 300 or 400 pages long and for a lot of business owners, it’s daunting mostly charts. This was written in a very conversational tone intentionally. I have had people say, “I hop on a flight to California to Texas. By the time I landed, I got 89% of what I needed.” The book was written and intended to be very approachable. In the book, we talk about this. The first thing is being aware of this. There’s a phenomenon. Once you opened this idea, you realize like, “There’s a lot of companies around me.” One thing I found is that a lot of people are intimidated by having this. If I approach somebody and ask them, are they interested in potentially selling the company, then to get all wigged out. Some people, they never had anybody approach them about that. They go, “I’m glad you asked because I’ve been running this for five, ten years. I think about stepping down.” They’re people maybe looking into retirement or leaving the industry. “My partner and I, truth be told, when things tend to go smoothly, but we didn’t want to shut the company down, at the same time we don’t enjoy working.”

That’s one thing right there or being aware of that. Be open to the idea that this conversation is okay to talk about. It’s not taboo, it’s not you have to go through some special room to talk about. Two, there’s a couple of questions that you can ask yourself. One, who am I doing a lot of business with? Are there people that I’m writing a lot of checks to? There’s a gentleman that both you and I know that we spoke on this before. He runs a company that writes books. Once you write a book, what do you want? You also need PR services. They find a way, which is referring to a ton of people to PR services. They’re like, “Why don’t we keep that in-house?” What did they do? They went and bought a PR company that they’d been referring to a lot of business too. The conversation was easy because they’ve had such a long-term relationship. The other one is also very similar which is, who’s my client using before me and after me?

Real estate is a great example. We do a lot of work in the real estate industry. If you’re a mortgage broker, then you realize, “I’m helping them with the loan, but there are all these other things that they can do too.” The insurance and all this other stuff. That’s why you see a lot of insurance companies and financial services companies have other services because they realized, “That loan is only a piece of the whole picture.” Tech companies do this a lot too.

GTF 259 | Acquisition Growth

With a JV, you get together for one time and part ways. With an acquisition, imagine having that capability long term and be able to repeat that over and over again.

 

The third one is not as common and in some industries, it’s a little bit gray, especially in your medical industry is who are my suppliers or vendors? In the medical industry, there are a lot of legalities because they don’t want somebody to suddenly somehow own a lot of stuff that then could create potential monopoly issues. For the most part, who are my suppliers and vendors? Let’s say that you have a SaaS company and you’re like, “I’m spending $6,000 on video hosting and I’m spending this much on video production and all that.” Those are your suppliers and you already spent a lot of money with them. You may realize that, “Why don’t I do that in-house?” Tech companies do this a lot. A lot of times, they’ll have a layer here and then they licensed this from another company. They’re like, “If we own both layers, we’re a lot more strategic. This is what we were talking about Cisco. They keep buying tech stack. They keep going upstream. The more tech stack they own, the more valuable they are because they own more of a client’s attention and also their dollars.” Those are three questions.

The first one is who are people using before and after me? The second one is who am I spending a lot of money with? The third one is who am I referring out to? If you ask yourself those three questions and take maybe ten or fifteen minutes and just grab a piece of paper, take a legal pad and create three columns. You’re going to suddenly realize like, “There are some people here that I can actually contact.” This is not some fancy eight-step funnel. It’s either you picking up the phone or you send them a Facebook message or you text them, just say, “I’d love to have a conversation and talk to you that might be very strategic about our combined growth.” I wouldn’t say it like, “I’m texting you about buying your company. Are you in?” I don’t think that’s going to fly over well unless you’ve known them well. The best way to do this is a Zoom call or a phone call.

Readers, this is such great wisdom and advice. I will even say taking it out of the context of an acquisition, you don’t reach out to them and firehose them with the idea, “I want to buy your company.” Talk about a strategic partnership.

That’s what I’m going to say next, “I’d like to propose a partnership that can be very strategic to our combined growth.”

Using Mike Agugliaro’s framework, mind growth around this, go from mind shift to mind growth and approach it this way. The world can become your oyster. It is amazing how simple it is. I’ll speak from experience. I had a couple of people reach out to me. I don’t want to go too deep into details, but I’ll give you a picture. Imagine being able to tap into a sports network that is untapped for kids. There’s an infrastructure already there, not only for kids, parents who spend a lot of money for their kids, but also the growth of online media, online video and being able to turn this into a youth sports ESPN for sports. One of my past clients, who is still a good friend, Bill Rasmussen, you can check out his episode at GrowthToFreedom.com/244. He was the Founder of ESPN. I have the ability to match these people out and to create opportunities. I have the ability to create leads and franchises. There are many opportunities that will come your way when you go into it and then you go, “I’d like to have a conversation and come together to strategically help each other grow.”

If the readers have done anything to a joint venture, it’s very similar to that model, except here’s a little bit more formal. There’s more paperwork. The thing with a JV especially where a lot of times it’s very transient. You get together one time and you part ways. With an acquisition, imagine that capability long-term and be able to repeat that over and over again. In the book, it talks also a lot about when you acquire something, how they can create immediate growth to you because you’re merging your client sales. There’s a cross-selling opportunity and drives a lot of this. If you do this right, you can usually pay off between 32% to 80% of the acquisition from an immediate cross on an opportunity. If you put down 10% or so, then for the practical purpose, you almost acquired a company for free and you have the capability and the cashflow in perpetuity until you sell the company.

I know for me, I’ve gotten this approach where we have grown from a high six-figure business to a strong seven-figure business through acquisition and then another acquisition. We had two acquisitions in a matter of six months. Within 24 months, we doubled and in less than a year later after that, we had a big giant company that was a $100 million empire in the industry that wanted to buy us. All of it became free very quickly. It’s about positioning it the right way. Taking this approach, looking for the opportunity of going, “How can we come together to strategically partner to grow together?” If you take that approach, you will be amazed at what it can do for you in your business for the long-term. Alex brought it up. I first heard it from Jay Abraham. Relationship capital is the most valuable capital you have. Choose where you invest it wisely. That is one of the greatest gifts that you can take advantage of because you can have money and lose it. You can have certain intellectual property that is timely versus timeless. It comes and goes and it fades away, but the relationship capital will hold strong throughout.

An acquisition is a means of growing quickly and profitably. - Alex Nghiem Click To Tweet

What Alex is proposing to you here is a way to tap into a business model that’s proven using and leveraging relationship capital today, tomorrow and into the future. Get his book at AcquisitionsBook.com. Get the foundation, then reach out to Alex. He’s one of the sharpest people, one of the most down to Earth, approachable people you’ll ever get a chance to meet. Ideally, you’ve got a chance to see that for yourself. You can reach out to him at Alex@AcquireToGrow.com. Alex, what’s something I should have asked you that we didn’t get a chance to cover?

We’ve been talking a lot about acquisitions. We didn’t have a chance to talk about the exit, but you alluded to that. A lot of people, we find the acquisition and exit goes hand in hand about a third, maybe as much as half the time. Because a lot of time when people want to sell the company, they realize that other companies aren’t large enough. In your case, that’s what happened. Because of the two acquisitions you made, you didn’t show up on the radar of a much larger buyer. That’s what a lot of people don’t do. I’m not interested in the acquisition. I’m interested in selling the company. An acquisition can speed that up dramatically. That’s what we call it acquisition and exits because it’s a great enabler of that as well.

The other one is what size people can do this. In theory, you could do this anywhere at any size, but what we find is that if you’re doing at least $500,000 or $1 million that you want to have at least some infrastructure. Because if you’ve been bringing another company in, if you don’t have your internal processes, at least somewhat well thought out, buying an acquisition maybe will be premature. I’m not saying you need to have everything figure it out, but at least somewhat reasonably good day-to-day operations. In the book, we talk about this concept, having what’s called post-acquisition integration, which means that only by the company, if you have at least a sense of what you’re going to do to improve it. You don’t want to buy to come and say, “We made this a great deal and then what did we do with it?” That’s not good. You want to have at least an idea of how to integrate or at least improve it once you acquire it.

As an example, I remember when I had sold a couple of my companies, one of the things that they had done is they figured out what assets in our business they were going to leverage and they leverage those not just long-term, but they also leverage them short-term. That was a very strategic purpose for them buying the company upfront. “Begin with the end in mind,” which is a Stephen Covey quote, which is, “What are you going to do if you acquire this company and how is it going to help you grow or exponentially grow or give you another leverage point in your business?” Will it allow you to cross that? Will it allow you to do upsells? Will it allow you to go deeper into the relationship and a whole lot more. Alex, I want to pivot a little bit here. What were you known for in a high school?

In high school, I was a geek. I’ve been reading comics since I was five or six. I saw a portion of my comic book collection. I didn’t know how much I didn’t fit in. I was wearing little Spiderman comic book t-shirts until I was in junior high in high school. Probably, that’s how geeky I was.

I can relate to that very well. I actually thought I was going to be Spiderman and I used to ride around my neighborhood in a homemade Spiderman outfit at times.

It’s cool because it’s so mainstream and they’re the number one movie. It is a comic book movie.

GTF 259 | Acquisition Growth

When you’re in business for yourself, you expect to work insane hours and sacrifice everything in order to get the reward on the other side.

 

It is not so much back in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

No, that wasn’t exactly as mainstream as it is.

It was not as cool back then. What were your earliest influences that you can remember that you think were one of the biggest catalysts to you being entrepreneurial the way you are?

I would probably say a couple of things. I had a friend who raised $80 million to $100 million and I call him to congratulate him. I said, “Let’s take a trip to celebrate,” because at the time I wanted to travel. I asked him, he said like, “I can’t.” I said, “What’s wrong?” At first, I couldn’t process it because I knew he had the capital, he had the money to do it and he said, “I have to stay here and run this company now that it’s raised this much money.” That’s when I realized that with money, if you sacrifice your lifestyle, it may not be worth it. That’s one story. We both know Yanik Silver. He also had a big influence on me too by building a business that supports your lifestyle. Prior to that, I didn’t know what the term lifestyle meant. I thought it meant, you’re in business for yourself, you sacrifice everything and then you get the reward on the other side. He showed me a different model. I would probably say those two are two of the bigger influences of how I built my business and my lifestyle.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

My close friend knows this about me, but I don’t think a lot of online people know this about me. I used to actually dance on a hip-hop team. I used to have the body wave, Jheri curl and the whole nine yards.

We need to get a picture of that.

If you don't have your internal processes well thought out, buying an acquisition may well be premature. - Alex Nghiem Click To Tweet

The only photo I have is the back cover of my book that came out way in the ‘90s. It was a great way to stay in shape. The main reason I did is that I want to break out of my shell and I figured, “What’s a shy, geeky guy going to do?” Ever since then, even though I don’t do that much type of dancing anymore, I don’t dance much hip-hop, it got me my whole interest in dancing. I still go dancing with my girlfriend. The second thing is also just to break out of my shell, there was a Catholic cultural time and then they had a thing that they said, “Come up here and come do a one, two-minute skit.” I said, “Why not?” I go up there and I did get a couple of stupid jokes. Then somehow, I ended up on the semifinals. I didn’t win anything, but it’s one of those random things that you get this letter of Showtime saying, “You’re going to semifinals in this comedy show.” Everyone’s like, “You? You’re so serious and straight. You’ve got to be kidding.” Sure enough, I go up for maybe 30 seconds. I figured it’s new stuff outside your comfort zone.

Readers, I want to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone. Take the first step right now, AcquisitionsBook.com. Go get it. Read it, consume it. Once you get the foundation, reach out to Alex at Alex@AcquireToGrow.com. What are one to three action steps you hope our readers take from our time?

First of all, download the book and reach out. I love to correspond to people, especially if they’re looking at doing this. The second thing is to be open to the idea that it is possible. Some of these may not click immediately. The third thing, do this exercise in the book. Go through those three questions. Who are my clients, patients or buyers using before and after me? Who am I referring to a lot of business to and who am I spending a lot of money with? Use those three questions. Start a list and contacting people and you’d be shocked at how many people say, “I never thought of it. What do you have in mind? “Don’t freak out like, “I don’t know how to structure an offer.” Just have a conversation. Nothing is committed until you signed the paperwork. At least you prove yourself that it’s at least that piece where it’s possible and then the rest will seem a lot more approachable.

Readers, I encourage you to take action. Here’s the bottom line. The mind’s like a parachute. It works a lot better when it’s open. Be open to the possibility, be open to what can happen when you take this approach. Go from a mindset to a mind shift to mind growth as Mike Agugliaro calls it, to be able to grow through acquisitions. You can get the tips, the strategies, the tools, the resources, and how to do that when you go get his book. If you never want to miss an episode, go to GrowthToFreedom.com/Subscribe. Alex, it’s been a pleasure to have you with us. Thank you.

This has been a blast, Dan. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

Thank you. Take action with what Alex has been sharing with you. We’ll see you next time on GrowthToFreedom.com.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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About Alex Nghiem

GTF 259 | Acquisition GrowthAlex and his partner Vin started AcquireToGrow.com to help 7 figure and 8 figure companies to add $1 to $20 million to their growth using acquisitions. Together, they have bought and advised on over 80 acquisitions, and they have exited 4 different companies. In addition to working with CEOs of companies, they also consult with PE firms and family offices on investments between $50 to $250 million.

They recently shared their 7-step process in their book, “Growth Through Acquisitions: How To Grow 300% Faster Than Your Competitors”. They have been featured in Inc, Forbes and other leading publications.

“Don’t wait until you’re big to acquire. Acquire to become bigger and more profitable faster.”