Entrepreneurs are wired toward taking risks. Peter Goldstein, CEO of Exchange Listing and Author of ‘The Entrepreneur’s IPO’, discusses the process of going public and the benefits it offers to companies. He explains the comprehensive strategic planning involved in preparing for an IPO and highlights why companies choose to go public, such as access to capital and increased credibility.

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📌TALKING POINTS

03:35 - Misconceptions about Going Public

09:36 - Setting the Value for an IPO

12:08 - Creating a Roadmap for Going Public

15:08 - Success Rate of Going Public

17:43 - Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

29:43 - The Entrepreneur’s IPO Book

🔗 CONNECT WITH PETER

🔗 CONNECT WITH TOM

Tom Finn (00:01.586)

Welcome, welcome my friends. Today we are learning from Peter Goldstein. Peter is a seasoned entrepreneur and capital market expert with over 30 years of experience. He is the founder of Exchange Listing, where he provides growth companies with comprehensive strategic planning, implementation services to facilitate listings on esteemed exchanges like the NASDAQ and New York Stock Exchange. But wait, there's more. He is also an entrepreneur who has written a book. He's written the book called the Entrepreneurs IPO, the Insiders Roadmap to Taking Your Company Public, and it just hit Amazon. We'll get to that in just a second. Peter, tell us what comprehensive strategic planning for exchanges really means.

Peter (00:45.413)

Tom, first of all, thanks for the intro and great to be here with you and the audience today. To simplify that, really what we do is we prepare companies for an IPO.

And it's a very complex path from being a private company going through the process of listing. And there's a lot of strategy that has to go on, a lot of positioning. You know, to operate as a CEO and management team of a private company is very different than first preparing for an IPO, then executing on an IPO and then managing to be a public company. So we spend anywhere from 12 to 18 to 24 months on all of the different aspects

of what it is to both educate management, prepare them, and then to help them execute for becoming a public company.

Tom Finn (01:34.338)

So why would somebody wanna do that? So public companies obviously have accounting procedures and finances, but you kinda get to run your own show. You go public, regulations, rules, you gotta raise a bunch of capital, things get a little more tricky. What's the purpose that you see people doing this the most?

Peter (01:54.045)

Well, you're right. It is a different form of managing your business and it comes with a lot of requirements. You have transparency on your reporting. Basically everything that you're doing is now visible to the outside world, whereas a private company you get the benefit of running and managing and really keeping that information, you know, closely held. The primary reason is access to capital.

You know, so companies now have, you know, they have different options. You could do, you know, crowdfunding, you could do venture capital, you go for private equity, and then the capital markets or the public markets are an option.

for different pools of capital. And so the primary reason for anybody to want to do that is to access capital to transform their business to be able to fulfill upon the vision that somebody has to build their business and needs access. Number one to the capital. The other primary reason is that you have actually a secondary source to work with, which is your stock as a currency just like, you know, cash is and stock then can be used to attract employees to reward employees

different strategic partners, or mergers and acquisitions. I think also most importantly is that it gives you a tremendous amount of credibility in the marketplace. The component of being compliant and regulatory.

process of ultimately being public means that you are satisfying the criteria that's necessary first to list and then to stay compliant, which means that you have systems and controls and processes in place that give investors comfort that the company is being well managed and well positioned for the future.

Tom Finn (03:35.734)

Yeah, absolutely. Beautifully said. So when we think about the marketplace and these private companies, I always think, gosh, these private companies have to be huge before they call a guy like you and say, Hey, help me, help me go public. Is, is that factor? Is that fiction?

Peter (03:52.745)

100% fiction Thomas. It's actually one of the reasons why I do what I love what I do. I love working with entrepreneurs, but there's a myth on Wall Street.

You know, if you go backwards, you and I are old enough to remember the dot com bubble and the burst. You know, you had all of these early stage companies going public and a lot of them were pre-revenue or early stage revenue. You know, they were really accessing capital that was built around the craze of the internet. Much like we're experiencing perhaps today with AI. It's very similar and yet a lot of those companies did not work. And so when the dot com bubble burst, so to speak,

You know, you had then this situation where investors on Wall Street was putting up the information that if you're too small, you're too high risk and therefore you shouldn't go public and then created this pathway where venture capital and other investors started to privately fund companies until they reached a certain size and scale and it's just not true. Tom, we work with early stage pre-revenue companies, early revenue, you know, emerging growth companies

fall into a different sector of the market than you would if you were a unicorn, which most people believe. You need to have several hundred million dollars in revenue, EBITDA margins, growth, hockey sticks on it. It's just not true. So that is 100% one of the reasons why, number one, I'm here to educate people about this knowledge gap that exists.

and to let them know that there is access to capital and you can bring your company earlier as either a micro cap or a small cap entity.

Tom Finn (05:33.998)

So when would an entrepreneur that's built a business know in their heart that they should try to go public? Is it on the way up? They've got everything in place. Is it, oh shoot, I don't really want to go for venture. I'm not ready to give up 51% of my company to a PE firm. I need revenue to scale. What is the decision making criteria that you see maybe the most often?

Peter (06:01.989)

Yeah because it could be any or all of those reasons, right?

So I think most often the entrepreneur has a dream of wanting to be public, you know, envisioning themselves, ringing the bell at NASDAQ or the New York Stock Exchange and is really committed. It starts with a commitment because this is a very complex, expensive and somewhat chaotic process. So, you know, that commitment is driven by any one of the reasons that you mentioned. I think first and foremost, it is typically around wanting to access capital

control to outsiders, you know that that's one of the biggest things I hear about people not wanting to go towards a venture capital route.

or PE, that they're also then the CEO and the board and the C-suite. They control the timing of their own destiny, which most entrepreneurs are wired that way, right? Entrepreneurs are wired towards taking risks, you know, wanting to be in control of their own destiny and executing upon their own vision and their own plan and not having that be limited or controlled by outside forces.

Tom Finn (07:07.694)

So there's really no revenue trigger that is required to go public. I mean, you said it yourself. Look, there were unicorns back in the day that were scheduled to be unicorns, but had no revenue, went public, still had no revenue, went out of business. So there's no revenue requirement to an IPO.

Peter (07:25.573)

There really isn't. We just took a medical device company public. That's often very traditional. You see that in biotech or life science companies. You see it obviously sometimes in tech. What there is a valuation trigger. So you can't be a brand new startup with no capital raised and no way to be able to defend that you've got a viable business model and something that there's a demand for in the marketplace.

So typically we see evaluation at kind of a minimum of 30 to 40 million USD that you know 50 million dollars is kind of the threshold of being a micro cap company. And so it's like 50 million to 300 million dollar valuation. So that valuation isn't necessarily always you know.

governed by revenue. It's governed by other inputs, you know, the value of the intellectual property, you know, the business model itself, the space that they're in, you know, the growth projections, you know, contracts, commitments, you know, other situations that would lead towards an enterprise value that can be anywhere between 30 to $50 million, let's say minimum. And then you climb all the way up, you know, that would be micro cap would cut off at about 300 million small cap which is really I think where the companies now enter into the best opportunity to really access you know the growth and institutional support from the public markets is from 50 million up to about a billion dollars. That's a really wide berth for companies that are in an emerging growth capacity.

Tom Finn (09:03.362)

So if you're sitting there and you're an entrepreneur and you think you've got, call it 50 million in measurable, well I guess, and scalable type of models that you could sell, who does that math? Is that you, Peter? Is that your team? Is that your company comes in and says, let me evaluate, pull everything out of the drawers, let's see what you got, let's see what contracts you have, let's see what your revenue is.

We'll put it together and tell you, ah, you're 52 or you're 48 or whatever the number is.

Peter (09:36.269)

So, you know, it's a really great question because I get this all the time, which is, okay, who sets the value? And I'll take you forward and then we'll come backwards. I'm a big believer that the market sets the value. So, you know, an IPO is really in a sense like an auction. You know, you're presenting your company or the investment banker is presenting your company to the investment community and the investment community is going to decide how much they believe they're willing to invest at what amount and then thereby your valuation gets set. So you and I could sit here and say we're worth, you know, gazillion, but the market's going to say, yeah, sorry, Tom. That's just not real. We'll price you with this. And then you have an opportunity to accept that you know, or to decline. It was usually not a whole lot of negotiation room in there.

But if you come backwards to where you are today, there are professional valuation firms that will come in and look at discounted cash flow models. There's all types of ways to be able to assess and then come up with a report. We do it more from a knowledge base of the public companies. When we have clients, we look at comparable companies. So, you know, you need to find comps that are relative just like if you were buying a house, you know, you need to go look at the community. You want to buy the house in right?

You know how much land you're getting so on and so on so it's really a true comp you can't compare if you were living you know in Newport to you know someplace else in the in the middle of the desert in you know in California right so you know you really need to be able to identify true comparable companies that are either private and or public and there's a tremendous amount of data available for people to assess that and then you can come up with a range it's not an exact science

But that range then is defensible. And inside of that then, the company builds its own assumptions to build support where they stand in relation to the comparable companies that are in their space.

Tom Finn (11:36.254)

Okay, so let's, let's talk about process a little bit, cause you kind of touched on it. What you said is let's start with the end in mind, uh, when we're thinking about an IPO, let's think about what the market might bear. Let's think about comparable companies, uh, that might be a great valuation tool. And then let's back into where we are today. Do you help people set the plan for the next 24 months so that they can IPO at an appropriate market cap, or do you do something different?

Peter (12:08.181)

It's really what we do, Tom, is we create a roadmap. So Exchange Listing is my firm. It's an advisory firm. We specialize in working with entrepreneurial companies that want to go public. And we actually really do work backwards. We take what we know to be the requirements that are going to be needed for the market, both objective and subjective. And then we work backwards to today. And we've designed a process which can take anywhere months to number one, educate management on what's necessary, to work with them on all the different aspects. So we have 10 foundational building blocks. And we take them through and we help them execute while we're educating them and bring in other experts. So if you need a securities attorney, if you need an auditor that does a certain qualified audit of your financial statements, if you need investment bankers, I've been working in this space for 25 years have an ecosystem and a community that we're a part of that we then match up at the right point the necessary resources in addition to ourselves. So we're kind of like the quarterback if you will, we're driving the players down the field and when we bring in auxiliary players as necessary to help to you know execute upon you know the playbook that we create with management.

And it's very comprehensive. It really starts with, you know, the business. And then we go into due diligence. Then we go into regulatory. You know, you go into the exchange requirements, you go through the SEC securities and exchange commission requirements, you know, the investment banking component, you know, your board. There are so many. One of the things I love about this is there are so many variables and it's a business within your business. So I always tell CEOs, Tom, it's like you now have your operating business and now you're in the business.

Peter (14:04.023)

of preparing to go public and just like any other expedition You want to guide like I did it myself without a guide without a shirt, but I didn't have a quarterback. I did it. I made every mistake possible. And and so now really with having done that, you know, and you know, 20 plus five years of experience now in the capital markets. We're bringing all that expertise on my team is former investment bankers like myself entrepreneurs securities attorneys,

Peter (14:38.531)

decades working in this space and that knowledge base we impart upon you know the entrepreneurs that we work with.

Tom Finn (14:47.01)

I imagine that when you go through this process, you have got to kiss a few frogs along the way before you find your prince or princess charming. How many get through your process and IPO from the number of people you start talking to the number of folks that make it to the end of this process? What's the fallout rate look like?

Peter (15:08.845)

Yeah, I mean, once we commit with them, we haven't not we have not been unsuccessful in taking anybody all the way through the process.

There are companies that we have started working with who have realized that they're not yet ready or they don't have the resources So that those are our scenarios that are possible Our model has really changed over the years, you know in 2021 The United States experienced the best IPO market it had seen in 20 years

roll the tape forward in 2023, we're in one of the worst IPO markets in 30 years. So the selection criteria has changed.

And now really the focus is more on fundamentals. And so a lot of companies that were able to take advantage of locked evaluations in 2021 and be able to access capital and go public are really suffering now because they went in and overvalued and they're not performing as well fundamentally. And so our shift of course now is to make sure that the projects we work on that everybody set up for success. And during the course, you can imagine Tom,

you know, in six months from now it will be a different business, in a year from now it will be a different business, in 18 months, 24 months. So we're with the company through this life cycle. And not everything always works, especially when you're an early stage, emerging growth company. So we really understand those ups and downs and help to work through them during the process.

Tom Finn (16:42.57)

Yeah, and Peter's mentioning a company that I own and operate with investors. We've gone through a round of capital and raised a little bit of money along the way. Started six years ago, Peter, a company called LeggUP, which does management and leadership development with retention insurance. And so I am that entrepreneur that thinks about these things just like everybody else listening, right? How do we access capital? How would we make sure we have the right valuation?

How do we make sure that we're getting the right mix of business so that we're looked at as a really strong privately held company? And those things are not easy to create or easy to do. It takes a lot of effort, a few skin, knees and elbows along the way. Is there a persona in an entrepreneur that you see over and over again, Peter? You're like, I've seen this person before, that's going to work. Or maybe contrary.

Ah, this type of personality doesn't usually get it done.

Peter (17:43.661)

So certainly the commonality is that driven, I would say that stereotypical kind of type A mindset of just knows where they want to go as a vision and is just going to commit to pushing through what they need to do to realize their goals and their dreams and their vision.

And that's come in several different sizes, shapes, forms, ages. But that is really what I can recognize as an entrepreneur. It's like I can see it in myself. So I can I can really recognize it in others and it really is I would say for me. One of the great things about working with entrepreneurs is the passion the drive that internal motivation that comes from, you know, all types of different experiences in their past that are driving them forward fulfill upon their vision. And that's what calls me, that's part of my purpose, is to really help to bring about that vision and that drive so when I can see it and we have a sense that there really is a true pathway to be able to fulfill upon, not just a pipe dream. And I think the latter part is what we see that is, is probably the number one thing that gets in the way are people's ego about something that they're just not ready yet in their own development and their business's stage of development.

and the ego and then there's in its Wall Street. So ego and greed are the two things that get in the way, you know, also often and one of the myths that I can share with you and share with, you know, the audience listening is you know, this is not an immediate cash out. You don't go to Nasdaq, you know, ring the bell and all of a sudden, you know, your bank account is filled up with, you know, oodles and oodles of cash.

Peter (19:35.989)

It's quite the opposite. So part one of the journey is preparing Right part two is executing and then you get to listing day and then the hard work That's a 18 to 24 month timeline then the hard work begins of being able to build and run your company So the first people that benefit from that are your outside investors Your personal net worth will go up extremely quickly on the day of listing, but it's illiquid because there are restrictions upon your ability to sell. So a lot of what people start off with their mindset of being able to cash in is just another myth that we've been able to debunk. And if that's one of the motivators, then we really talk them out of doing this, because you really need to be of the mindset that this is a long-term commitment.

Tom Finn (20:24.97)

Yeah, the old get rich quick scheme isn't gonna work with the SEC and the New York Stock Exchange. I totally get it. So when you do this and you go through this process as a privately held business, what type of costs should you be thinking about? What should the deal structure look like? How does somebody engage with exchange listing? How does somebody make sure you win, that the company wins, that… the investment bankers win. How do you bring all of those pieces to the table, make sure there's enough money for everybody? A rising tide lifts all boats and everybody wins. How do you cut that deal?

Peter (21:05.909)

Yeah, so first off on the get rich quick. I don't know that works anywhere. Right. I mean, you know, you and I have been around for a long time and we've seen those come and go. You know, the cost factor here really depends on the size and the scope of the budget of the cover. Excuse me, the size and scope of the company and then we create a budget.

Tom Finn (21:09.793)

It doesn't.

Peter (21:28.269)

Depending on how advanced they are in their financial reporting, right, in their infrastructure, their human resources, the team, that's something that we evaluate on a case by case. In general, you know, our costs are, we keep them very low, we're very back in. I'm an entrepreneur, so I take equity in our projects, so we're aligned as a partner. So and I do that because I know that every dollar that we can put into operations that will help to grow the company will make them stronger at the time of the IPO. And so we work to compress all the costs during the IPO. It actually it's part of our value proposition because you have a lot of expenses and on average I would I would say it's a seven figure, you know, so it's a million dollar budget plus or minus to get there including legal investment banking, diligence, hiring some staff, hiring advisors, so on. We have done it for much, much less. But I want to give your listeners an idea of what, if they were planning, that range could be on the low end, a half million dollars, but it could be on average, I would say about $750 to a million.

Tom Finn (22:41.014)

Yeah, I think that's fair. About a million bucks gives you kind of a ballpark. You know, if we're throwing a dart at the dart board, we can kind of get behind that. Okay. So you need a million bucks in cash set aside to even start this journey. Um, and then you're going to need to bring in somebody like you, Peter, that would help assemble the team. Uh, I imagine it. And is that, yeah, you said it's kind of two jobs, right? The CEO has to have their operating company and then they have to have their work with Peter. Uh, is that how everybody starts to think about them operating two businesses?

Peter (23:12.033)

Not typically. Typically, they don't have that knowledge base or understanding that how complex and how demanding it is. Right. So that that's where during that process, we are educating and really letting depends on the depth of the team and the sophistication. Most of the CEOs we work with, this is our first time going through the process. If they've been through it once and they completely understand right away and they still want to retain us because they want to be able to focus their efforts on building the business and then you know really when it comes down to kind of that sweet spot of Being able to take anybody's idea about where they want to go, you know on any business expedition or any journey There was a period of time where the CEO will get strong enough and confident enough in his own ability and his understanding And have the right team around them. So CFO is critical is critical and you want a real balanced board, ideally people on that board have experience in the capital markets or being public, so you're getting inputs in education and it's a tremendous growth and knowledge base. So that's one of things I recognize you know in the pathway of these CEOs is that they're really hungry for understanding what it would take and expanding their knowledge and utilizing resources and people around them to help them to grow and the next generation.

Tom Finn (24:38.174)

Yeah, it's so beautifully stated the way you put that. It's so important that we're all learning all the time. Right? I mean, the minute you stop learning, you just, you might as well just hang up your cleats. I mean, you've gotta keep learning in business, in whatever you're doing socially, in your relationships with partners, friends, community. So important that we just keep learning. So that's what keeps the engine burning, right? Keeps...

Peter (25:02.501)

Agreed.

I think entrepreneurs have that spirit internally. You know, I went back to school, so I'm 60 now. So at 58, I went to Harvard, I went back at 59. And at 61, I'm going to INSEAD in France, you know, two of the top business schools in the world. And, you know, I love it. I'm gaining, I'm meeting new people, international community of entrepreneurs, you know, gaining more knowledge. And that thirst, you know, I think is embedded that you and I resonate with.

Tom Finn (25:36.795)

So you mentioned your entrepreneurial spirit. Let's double click on that thing a little bit. So where did this all start for you personally?

Peter (25:44.525)

Yeah, I think it's a classic like, you know, paper delivery boy when there was such a thing, right? Mowing lawns, you know, shoveling snow. I mean, I think I did everything I could possibly do to make an extra buck when I was young. I started my first formal business at 24. I went to City Hall. I was working. I was pursuing a career in hospitality.

And I was very fortunate at a young age. I got some really good mentors and great opportunities. And I was working in a very well-known restaurant in New York City called Rainbow Room at the top of Rockipillar Center. At 23, I was a director of operations and ran the whole backend of four restaurants embedded inside of the Rainbow Room and realized that that's not what I wanted to do with my life.

and I had an opportunity that I met the chef and another businessman where a company had gone out of business in New York. And so there was an opening. Nobody had stepped to fill in that business and there was a void in the market.

And so I quit my job, the Rainbow Room, and helped to turn the Rainbow Room into my first client. And from there, I built a business for the next six years. From 24, my birthday, I went to City Hall on Center Street, got my first license. At 30, I sold the business and had my first exit. And so that was really no capital, no business backing, bootstrapped New York City food distribution.

you know the old adage if you can make it there you can make it anywhere. I was young and I worked you know incredibly hard my work ethic has always been there from you know from kind of day one and embedded in me the desire to be able to you know build I always knew I'd be in business for myself you know what business and when I had that exit at 30.

Peter (27:40.433)

which is now I'm 60. So for the last 30 years, I've been taking all that experience and taking it through different aspects of founding, you know, building, investing and advising and being a board member of companies all over the world. I'd say the most meaningful business that I built outside of exchange listing was Grandview Capital, which is a boutique investment bank. So I started from scratch at 42.

I was younger than that when I started it but I got licensed in my 40s.

and built you know from scratch a boutique fully licensed. I'd never had a securities license in my life at seven securities licenses and I worked with companies just like the ones that we're working with now as an investment bank, but it wasn't for me time. It wasn't what I wanted to do. I became more of an administrator and so I stole that it's actually still active on Wall Street, but this has been a journey for me of really now, you know, 35, 36 years.

Tom Finn (28:44.854)

Wow, that's amazing. I mean, if you just think about starting your own investment bank, how many people out there have the chops to say, you know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna start my own investment bank, just here in New York, no big deal. I just, I love people that have that type of mindset that say, I will figure it out, I've got this, no matter what it is. And you set the expectation high for yourself and then you go get it, right? What's the old saying, if you shoot for the moon, you might land in the stars?

Um, if you miss, right. So I think that's so important that we all think that way. It's just, it's awesome to meet people like you, Peter, that have, that have not only done it, but done it multiple times. And then what I think I'm hearing you say is you're taking all of that knowledge that you've gotten through all of those different experiences and layering it on top of an entrepreneur that says, Hey, I have a dream too. Can you help me out? Right. And you're taking them through the process with, uh, with exchange listing. So kudos to you, man. That's, that's awesome work.

Peter (29:43.993)

Thank you. It's very fulfilling. You know, when you have a sense of purpose and meaning inside of the work that you're doing, I don't know that as an entrepreneur, I don't know there's anything more rewarding.

Right? Like my version of success has changed over the years. Right, Tom? As you know, I've gotten older, of course, and I'm younger. It's all the traditional financial metrics, you know, how much revenue, how much growth, how much profit, you know, what am I, what am I buying? What am I driving? That's shifted over the years. And now, you know, it's really the fulfillment that I get and the personal growth and the reward of working with others and seeing them and ultimately helping them reach their vision.

making all the knucklehead mistakes that I made along the way. And as our friends call the dummy tax, right? I've been taxed multiple times for making more mistakes than I care to talk about. And that molds you into who you are. Hardship and difficulties I think are the best teachers in the world.

Tom Finn (30:46.25)

Yeah, well look, hardship and difficulties are certainly the best teachers in the world. But helping people is really where most of us gain purpose and value as we get a little bit older. I think the hardest thing that I remember when I was younger is hearing guys like us say, hey, it's all about purpose and it's all about finding what matters to you and relationships and building for others. And I just remember being broke thinking, oh, you guys are totally full of it.

Right? I'm just like, I want the BMW or the Lexus or the Mercedes or the Porsche or the Ferrari, whatever the thing is, right? The watch, first class seats, trips around the world, whatever it is. How do you, how do you tell a younger audience, Hey, be patient. You got this. Just build infrastructure. Do you, do you have those conversations with younger people?

Peter (31:35.013)

I do quite a bit. And I think I sound like those guys that we were talking about when we were younger. It's like how you say, oh, I hear my, I, as now, you know, with my kids, I hear my parents when I'm speaking. It's, it is about, it's not just patience. It's about trying to find really where your sweet spot is, where your highest and best contribution is. So where I start when I'm trying to make an impact with younger people, and I hope this resonates with your audiences.

Tom Finn (31:40.063)

Yeah, for sure!

Peter (32:04.987)

Don't try to do everything You know if you take a hundred percent of a piece of pie find the one slice that's your pure kind of gift your essence and Then look how you can leverage that and then leverage that into something that's much more meaningful than trying to apply your time, your energy and your resources to trying to do too much that's outside of your sweet spot. And I think it's a classic mistake. I made it so many times for so many years because you're so busy then trying to do everything right that there's not a lot of room and space and mindset to be able to look at how can I really impact and not forcing issues but really attracting and developing and creating things around your highest and best.

Tom Finn (32:52.81)

Yeah, well, well said. I mean, that's, that's the hardest thing, though, right? For smart young people that are driven, they think I can do everything. I can invest in real estate. I can, uh, you know, buy classic cars. I can build technology. I can run a restaurant. I can, you know, set up a club in Vegas. What, what, like it's endless, right? I mean, if we're living in America, uh, your opportunities for business related ventures and quite frankly, capital, to fund those business related ventures at some point is untapped. So how do you, did you ever go through a process to say, look, this is where my sweet spot is, like you said, this is my slice of the pie. This is where I'm gonna press straight down and make sure I stay really, really focused. How do you do that?

Peter (33:40.549)

continual. So I think that's part of evolving and learning but it's not just learning your expertise in your industry or in your sector or in the pursuits that you have. It's also learning about yourself and when you're younger it's often so much about looking outward, right? So again part of the maturity is an okay looking inward and saying where does that balance out where I'm still producing the results that I want, I'm still pursuing my dreams and going after everything I want but I'm staying inside of what's true to me and where I know from the inside out. It comes with experience and I think the teacher in that is the mentors that you have in your life combined with the experiences and often, Tom, those are failures.

So, you know, so many of us want to focus on our successes and I don't want to harp on the hardship part, but the failures are also different. Like entrepreneurs are built to take risk and obviously for things some work and some don't.

But that even works inside of your business doesn't have to be a massive failure. They can just be nuances and new product lines or new divisions or you know, new areas of embarking upon that don't work out as we planned. And then I think largely it's about them understanding what happened adapting and going back out again and again and again and again.

Tom Finn (35:12.038)

You've got to have a bit of an iron stomach to be an entrepreneur in today's day and age because failure is the currency that drives success. So if you're not willing to fail a few times along the way, it's unlikely that you're going to go one for one or about a thousand and hit that home run on your first endeavor. You're going to have to bite off a few pieces of stale bread along the way.

Peter (35:38.561)

Yeah, agreed. I think the stat is like on average two and a half times for an entrepreneur of failing or losing, if you will, you know, the business that they had embarked upon going. And and I mean that I'm probably in that in that sweet spot.

You know, over the course of 30 years, I've started and stopped and I only fail is a tough word, but that's what the metric is, you know, as studies that have been done about the number of entrepreneurs.

Tom Finn (36:11.17)

Yeah, maybe it's not failure, maybe it's learning. Maybe we can use that word. So look, I gotta ask you, we've spent a lot of time talking about you, your business, how this stuff all works. I imagine some of this context and deeper knowledge is gonna be in the book that you just put on Amazon, the Entrepreneurs IPO, the Insiders Roadmap to taking your company public. What else are we gonna figure out in reading through all of those heavy pages?

Peter (36:13.761)

Hey, it's not better. It's really a practical guide, Tom. And it's meant to close this knowledge gap. It's like you asked earlier, if I want to go about do this, where do I turn? Well, there are not a lot of resources on the market prior to this for entrepreneurs that would like to pursue an IPO. So it's very practical. One of the things that I'm really proud of is I, in addition to my writing it, which I did during COVID, while I was locked in, I was in Europe and… really isolated from the world as so many of us were trying to figure out what to do with my time. And so I wrote it during COVID. But what I'm really proud of is that I took industry experts and I asked them to contribute to the book. So in each chapter, I have two professionals that have given their tips in addition to my knowledge.

As an example, there's a chapter on listing day, and I went to the head of capital markets in NASDAQ and said, would you contribute? And they were very happy to do so. The same thing with the New York Stock Exchange, but there are lawyers, there are investment bankers, there are transfer agents who have all been in the industry of working in the public markets and the capital markets who have contributed their tips to entrepreneurs who want to pursue an IPO.

Tom Finn (37:58.586)

Awesome, man. You know, collaboration in those type of endeavors is such a great way to go, right? Cause you're just giving all of us sort of regular folk, the, the insider scoop on how to do this from multiple different views and perspectives, which gives you the full story. Uh, I, I absolutely love it. I can't wait to pick up the book and read it myself. I feel like I'm the first person that, that needs to take a gander at this thing and get my head around, uh, how all the IPO models work and, and what's in the best interest of my own business.

And then, you know, how can I support others just like you and understanding this knowledge? So Peter, this is awesome, man. Thank you. We will put a link to your book in the show notes. We'll get all of that set up. But if people wanted to get in touch with you, how do they go about doing that?

Peter (38:43.821)

So, the best way is LinkedIn. I also want to make an offer, Tom, to you and to the audience. If you just hit me up on LinkedIn and DM me, I'm happy to give you a book. You know, I'm wanting to get this information and knowledge out, and I figure if I can share it with your community, it just spreads the knowledge and spreads the opportunities for entrepreneurs to realize, you know, part of their vision.

So just LinkedIn, Peter Goldstein, you know, exchange listing, send me a message and we'll arrange to get your book, you know, on me. My pleasure.

Tom Finn (39:16.974)

Wow, that is incredibly kind of you and a very generous officer. Thank you, that is really awesome of you, Peter. Peter, we're gonna leave it there, my friend. Thank you so much for being on the podcast. You are clearly embodying empowerment, not just for yourself, but for others, and a beacon of light for entrepreneurs that sometimes face dark days and long days. They can turn to you to look at the IPO model and see if it's the right fit for their business. So thank you for doing what you do, my friend. Okay, appreciate it.

Peter (39:44.345)

Thanks, Tom.

Tom Finn (39:46.69)

See you next time, my friends, on the Talent Empowerment Podcast.

Tom Finn
Podcaster & Co-Founder

Tom Finn (he/him) is an InsurTech strategist, host of the Talent Empowerment podcast, and co-founder and CEO of an inclusive people development platform.

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