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I recently attended my young granddaughter’s soccer game. It’s a lot more running around than actual soccer and her team was definitely outclassed. The other team was better skilled, more athletic, and better coached.

Frustration got to one mother who yelled out, “Get in there and kick the ball. Knock somebody over.” (I’m sure it was all emotion, she seemed nice.)

My comment was, “If there’s any shoving or contact she’ll be the first one to complain about it.” Sure enough, about 20 minutes later there’s some contact and the same lady yells, “She just pushed so-and-so. Can she push her like that?” Of course the push was nowhere near strong enough to knock anybody over.

It’s a contradiction. Just like when business owners brag to their friends about how valuable they are to business but then tell buyers they don’t work too hard, aren’t worth much to the business, etc. In other words, my what I pay myself is profit not salary, so pay me more for the business.

But it doesn’t matter how much time an owner puts into the job. What matters is the value they provide the company.

One of my deals had a seller who legitimately worked a few hours a day, doing mostly bookkeeping. However, he’d been in the industry for 45 years or more and in his few hours plus seeing the numbers, he could quickly tell when something was off track. What he saw instantly would take the buyer, you, or me days, or even weeks, to discover. And by then slightly off track would become a derailment.

The bottom line is all businesses need adult supervision. Rare is the case when the owner adds no value.

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