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EO 360°, a podcast by Entrepreneurs’ Organization, explores entrepreneurship with a wide perspective, moving beyond business to those insights not often shared by high-profile thought leaders.

Host and serial entrepreneur, Dave Will, leads in-depth interviews, whose featured guests include: Gazelles founder and CEO, Verne Harnish; popular podcast host and founder of Genius Network, Joe Polish; award-winning entrepreneur, Zahra Al-Harazi; and more. Tune into this top podcast made by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs.

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Oct 18, 2016

In this episode, Dave interviews John Warrillow, founder of The Value Builder System—a company that helps business owners improve the value of their company. He’s also the author of the best-selling book Built to Sell, recognized by both Fortune and INC magazine as one of the best business book of 2011. His newest work, The Automatic Customer, helps entrepreneurs understand what it takes to create robotic customer retention. 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:35 – Introducing John Warrillow
  • 01:06 – Founded The Value Builder System
  • 01:25 – Authoring Built to Sell
  • 01:55 – Starting and exiting companies like the Quantitative Market Research Business acquired by the Corporate Executive Board
  • 02:15 – John has been widely recognized as one of the Top 10 B2B marketers in the United States
  • 03:00 – What motivated John to sell his business and move to France?
    • 03:05 – “The move in France provided a reflection point in life.”
  • 03:35 – “Tell me about the company you [John] sold.”
    • 03:38 – It was called Warrillow, and we worked with large enterprise companies to help them better understand small to medium business market
  • 04:00 – Discussing the book John wrote in the early 2000s
    • 04:16 – The book was conceptualized to be a calling card for the consulting business
    • 05:00 – Unfortunately, the book was not a commercial success
  • 05:10 – “Built to Sell is very different.”
  • 06:10 – What defines the success for John
    • 06:39 – Success is about having an impact that goes beyond your personal ability to sell something
    • 07:50 – If you want to be successful as a business right now with minimal effort, tap into the subscription economy
  • 08:45 – Clearly, Built to Sell is a successful book but can initiative like that make you money?
    • 09:20 – The pro to self-publishing is control over the entire process
    • 10:43 – Value Builder has benefited tremendously from Build to Sell
  • 12:57 – “Life in 10-year Chunks” by Verne Harnish
    • 14:17 – “It gave me a different perspective on breadth of experience”
  • 14:29 – John discusses why he decided to move back from france
    • 16:40 – “I’m a capitalist and France is really a socialist country.”
    • 18:21– He wasn’t keen on his kids becoming French and having a French perspective on life
  • 18:38 – Are your kids showing any signs of entrepreneurship in them?
    • 18:50 – Youngest son has more of an entrepreneurial perspective
  • 19:35 – Academia and entrepreneurship as almost opposite sides of the spectrum
  • 20:08 – John’s battle with dyslexia
  • 21:11 – Entrepreneurs are much more likely to have ADHD
    • 21:26 – ADHD makes them better communicators and, generally, better conceptual thinkers
  • 22:40 – John’s childhood and discovering the entrepreneurial spirit
    • 23:39 – “For better or for worse, being the fat kid changes your perspective.”
  • 25:45 – Talking about the media, John explains its shortcomings
    • 26:55 – Working as a promotions coordinator for an AM radio station in Sudbury, Ontario
    • 27:15 – Originally, John wanted a sales job with the same radio station but didn’t get it
  • 30:33 – Build to Sell is all about creating a business that’s teachable, valuable and repeatable
    • 30:45 – “The idea is for your business to have value beyond your ownership of it.”
    • 31:52 – Having a niche is important but it’s got to be something you can teach others to deliver
  • 32:59 – com- talks a lot about valuation in a business
  • 33:25 – Trying to quantify things like culture and brand?
    • 33:40 – 24,000 entrepreneur participated to get their value builder score, determined by the eight quantifiable factors that impact the value of a company
    • 34:34 – All investors are lookingfor companies with a differentiated value proposition
    • 35:39 - The two big leaders are how much profit is this company going to make in the future and number two, how reliable are those estimates
  • 37:07 – In com, you can get access to value builder score engine
    • 37:29 – It takes 30 minutes to answer the questions about your business
    • 37:37 – Average score is 59 out of 100
    • 37:47 – The average business that goes on to sell with a score of 80 or greater is getting a 71% premium over the average business in their industry
  • 38:10 – John’s newest book, The Automatic Customer
    • 38:20 – It’s about the recurring revenue model
    • 38:54 – You can create recurring revenue virtually in any industry and it just gives you a sort of a formula
  • 39:10 – Can you talk to me about membership versus subscription?
    • 40:05 – “I think they are somewhat synonymous.”
  • 41:45 – Tips for how to convert product or service-based business to recurring revenue without losing some of the overall revenue? How do you convince your client that they should commit to you for a long period of time?
    • 42:15 – “Demonstrate to clients how they’ll get a 10X return on their investment for subscribing, and the rest will take care of itself.”
  • 45:18 – Get your value builder score for free at com
  • 45:26 – com, and the podcast Built to Sell Radio
  • 45:50 – Dave closes the podcast 

3 Key Points:

  1. Having a niche is important but it’s got to be something you can teach others to deliver.
  2. “Invest in businesses with a deep and wide competitive moat.” – Warren Buffet
  3. You have a decision. You can either fight back or kind of go along with it. 

Resources Mentioned:


Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives