How to become a successful Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship through acquisition requires the confidence to step out into brave new territory

As baby boomers retire, many of that generation’s entrepreneurs are faced with the question of what to do with their businesses when they have no heirs or clear succession plans.

How to become a successful Entrepreneur
How to become a successful Entrepreneur

For enterprising individuals and aspiring business leaders, this situation presents an opportunity to pursue entrepreneurship through acquisition (ETA), also known as acquisition entrepreneurship. While we often think of entrepreneurs as starting their own businesses from scratch, ETA entrepreneurs leverage their skills, capabilities, and interests to actually purchase an existing business and grow and improve it from within.

The money for these acquisitions often comes in the form of search funds, which investors can pay into in order to support an entrepreneur’s journey in hopes that the success and growth of the business will pay off. The explosive growth in search funds in recent years suggests that buying your way into entrepreneurship is becoming much more prominent.

This process of taking an existing business under their wing becomes the ETA entrepreneur’s own leadership journey, and each of the 5 Cs of leadership capital from my book The Treasure You Seek: A Guide to Developing and Leveraging Your Leadership Capital applies to the ETA journey as well.

Capability and Culture in Acquisition Entrepreneurship

I recently coached an ETA entrepreneur with a background in engineering. He leveraged the specific skills and experiences he had gained from both school and working in a factory to successfully buy an engineered parts business. He connected with the business’s owner because he knew the field in its technical aspects and was able to bring insights from larger operations to that business, making him a uniquely qualified buyer.

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