In this episode, Chris Taylor, Founder and CEO of Actionable.co. Chris shares his journey of starting Actionable.co, and his experience of writing over 400 business book summaries. He explains the importance of translating inspiration into action. He also talks about the challenges and pushback he has faced.

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πŸ“ŒTALKING POINTS

07:16 - Transition to Actionable and Focus on Behavior Change

10:26 - Methodology and Philosophy of Actionable

12:53 - Shifting from L&D Language to Business Language

14:27 - Using Data to Correlate Behavior Change and Outcomes

24:28 - Entrepreneurial Journey and Considerations

28:24 - Thoughts on Selling the Company

31:38 - Building Systems and Processes for Freedom and Exit

β€πŸ”—CONNECT WITH CHRIS

πŸ”—CONNECT WITH TOM

Tom Finn (00:02.31)

Welcome welcome to the podcast my friends today. We are learning from my good friend Chris Taylor Chris. Welcome to the show

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Chris (00:08.13)

Tom, thank you so much. Excited to be here.

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Tom Finn (00:10.93)

Well, we are excited to have you Chris. And if you don't know him and don't know his wonderful background, let me share a little bit about him. He founded Actionable.co in 2008, which seems like a long time ago, for the express purpose of helping corporate learners apply what they learned consistently and most importantly, measurably. Since then, Chris and his team at Actionable have supported deploying over 6,000 programs leveraging the impact certainty model for driving change. Fun fact about Chris, he's written over 400 business book summaries. Let's start right there, Chris. Why? Why have you written over 400 business book summaries?

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Chris (00:51.234)

What was I thinking? It certainly didn't start that way. So we gotta go back in time. So you mentioned 2008 was the beginning of Actionable. About 4 years prior to that, I ran a business in Vancouver, Canada that went really well, really quickly. And that success went straight to my head. I became a fairly arrogant guy. I'll keep the language reasonably clean. And then shockingly the whole thing started to fall apart, and-

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Tom Finn (01:18.078)

Who would have thought?

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Chris (01:21.13)

Right? I know, turns out when an asshole leader. Oh, there we go. It turns out people leave. So, lesson number one folks, don't be an asshole. That'll be the title of the episode, right? So, I'm curled up in my parents' basement, trying to figure out what has happened to this empire that I had created. It wasn't, but it felt like it at the time. And I started reading a lot to try to figure out what had gone wrong. And I was concerned, I had nothing else to do. I was reading five, six, seven books a week, and like classics, you know, Jim Collins and Stephen Covey and all of these other white balding dudes, and realized that nothing was really changing in my life. And so I had one of those palm-to-forehead moments of, right, it's not actually about the reading, it's about the doing something with the reading. And so I started something called Actionable Books and it was really at the beginning my attempt to distill some of the ideas from these books and put them into practice. So sort of a quasi-blog, quasi-summary, but a real emphasis on action and translating inspiration into action. Which led to, you know, a couple years later, I'd written 400 of these things and built a community of folks that were also writing. Actual Books, it's funny, we just did a refresh, depending on when this episode comes out. So actualbooks.com, it's totally free. There's over 1,200 summaries on there. And yeah, it's fun, it's a labor of love.

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Tom Finn (02:42.686)

Okay, so 1200 books, ActualBooks.com, free book summaries of all the classics. I love it, that's fantastic. What a great way to start the podcast, giving some value to the listeners that they can go check out and learn a little bit more about you and some of the work you've done. Any of those that stick out to you, was there one, you said you had a palm to forehead moment, was there one that you went, okay, now I get it.

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Chris (02:52.49)

There you go. Yeah, you know, I think it's funny because 400 summaries, most of them blur together. I think, you know, the unfortunate truth about the publishing industry is that there's a lot of books that should have been a blog post, right? Or a podcast episode that have been scraped over 200 pages. And yet I do find the one that had that palm to forehead moment was a book called, what was it called? Called The Million Dollar Something. And it was kind of cheesy. Like it wasn't a book that I recommend to people.

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But that kind of matters to me because it was the right book at the right time for me to go, oh, here's something that means enough to me that I should put it into practice. And it wasn't, it was actually around resetting my mindset towards wealth was this particular book. It was, you know, if you have a warped perception of wealth, which I was starting to realize I did, maybe you want to talk to people that have achieved the level of financial success that you aspire to. Again, novel thought. But then it gave you a very practical way to do that. And so I had like a script basically to reach out to people and ask who they knew without being weird or slimy. Like, you know, if I called you Tom, be like, hey, how many multimillionaires do you know? Want to introduce me? But it was really well laid out. And it led me to have a dozen of these conversations. And I can safely say it was, you know, life changing. I met my wife ultimately through that journey and had a couple of job offers. So that, you know, that was for me personally quite transformative. But the books… the concepts that really stand out, Drive by Daniel Pink was huge around understanding intrinsic motivation. Most of Jim Collins' work, I fell in love with Seth Godin through that journey, both the man and his writing. And that actually led to the next chapter of the, pun intended, of this journey where I'd finished, I got in the habit, Tom, of sending an email to each of the authors after I'd written the summary.

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And I, there was no ask. It was a, hey, Tom, read your book, loved your book. Here's what I took from your book. Just wanted to say thanks, keep up the great work. That was it. I would get replies, I wouldn't get replies, et cetera. I glomped onto Seth and powered through all at the time, 14 or 12 or something books that he had written. And I finished like his entire canon. And so on my last email, I wrote him, I said, hey, you know, read your book, loved your book. Here's what I took from your book. And I'm done.

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And I'm starting to realize that your most recent book is based on three or four-year-old thinking, because it takes time to sort of process and publish. I would love to know what's going on in your head if you're ever up for a conversation, you know, human to human. And then in classic Seth fashion, he wrote back in about eight minutes saying, Sure, I'm just north of Manhattan. Come on down, how's Thursday? And that started this journey. I- okay, so this is a longer story I meant to be but I'm going to New York. I'd never been to New York, I think I'd left Canada once before that. And so if I'm going all the way to New York, the 45 minute flight, I should see who else might be available. And there was this upstart author named Gary Vayner, couldn't really pronounce his last name. And so I reached out to Vaynerchuk, and at the time he was taking interviews with everybody, so he's like, sure. And so and then not knowing that his, it was Crush It, it had just come out, it was blowing up. And so in the same day I had Gary in Midtown Manhattan.

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Tom Finn (06:14.499)

Yeah, yeah.

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Chris (06:29.002)

Up in Hastings on the Hudson. I published both of those episodes, and then the doors were open basically for any author interview I wanted to have after that. So the next two years were on planes, flying around interviewing people in their living rooms or offices and continuing the learning journey.

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Tom Finn (06:46.034)

Oh, that's awesome. So your own start was kind of palm to forehead. It led you to writing some great work to help others, which led you to meeting some really cool authors and human beings.

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Chris (06:59.678)

Yep. Yeah. And then sitting at this. Yeah, go ahead. Sorry.

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Tom Finn (07:02.47)

So I was just going to say, so how did you move from that industry, right? Publishing, writing, thought provoking things to doing at Actionable.

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Chris (07:16.582)

Yeah, I, it was really interesting to be connecting with all these authors in rapid succession, like one year I was on 42 flights, traveling around the U S mostly interviewing these people. And, you know, if I think we're honest with ourselves, we all have specific superpowers and I don't think we should shy away from those. So I say that I think one of my superpowers is the ability to connect the dots. Um, that I'm sort of disparate information and finding a through line. And as I was interviewing these authors, I was starting to hear pieces of themes around the skill set that we really needed to thrive in the 21st century. Keep in mind, this is like 2009, right? That we weren't being taught in the classroom. And so I became really obsessed with this concept of what are these life skills that we need, leadership being one of the big buckets, one of them that we're just not taught formally or informally, or at least I wasn't growing up in school. And so I launched a training company, basically stitching together these various ideas from various thought leaders, full attribution, but saying here's how you can, you know, start to think about your own career progression and the skills that are essential in this day and age. And so that was that was my first foray into doing was let's take the words on the page and turn them into practical workshops where people can not just learn it but apply it to their own life to their relationships.

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And so that was sort of the next step on the journey was this little training company, it was fun. I grew that up, had a couple employees over a couple years. And then the next major transition Tom was I had a client call me up and say, well, okay, so take a step back. Those who know training, you typically get the feedback forms, right? And that's like the thing, right? How's am I doing? The smile sheets, happy sheets, some people call them. And this client had given me rave reviews, and they're calling me up, they want me to come back in. Great.

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I said, cool, so what do you want me to talk on this time? What are we going to be workshopping? Like, oh, no, the content you did last time was perfect. We want that content again. Is that, oh, okay, so new audience, like different departments? No, no, same people. They really liked it the first time. We want to do it again. I thought, oh, something is very broken here, right? They're seeing value in the edutainment that I'm providing, not in people applying what I've taught them because if they applied what I taught them, they don't need what I taught them again, right?

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Tom Finn (09:38.022)

They would move on to the next thing that they need because they've already applied the learning in their daily life. Yes.

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Chris (09:42.03)

Right. So I, my, my obsession really shifted from the content into the application of learning and how we can ensure that training programs drive behavior change for the benefit of the individual, for the benefit of the organization. And that's really what led to what actionable is today, which is a system of technology, a methodology for ensuring that most of the time for most of the learners ideas are being put into practice after the session and that change is made visible to the people that it matters to most. So we can start to move towards that holy grail of an ROI on corporate learning. And that's my passion today.

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Tom Finn (10:26.974)

Okay, so let's dig in a little bit. Let's find out how this really works because that sounds great in theory, but it's really hard to do. I mean, there's companies all over the world for decades that have been trying to figure out how to monetize or share an ROI back with a customer on training, coaching, mentoring, overall learning models. And there's lots of varying degrees of differences between them. So let's start with yours. So where's your methodology or philosophy come from?

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Chris (10:32.874)

Yeah, witchcraft. Yeah, so it's a common...so the core of our approach is behavior change. So we're extremely dialed into the really good science that comes predominantly out of Stanford, although it's gone a little bit broader since. But BJ Fogg's work, Charles Duhigg, James Clear has made very popular recently. But that the...we know the mechanics of how to turn inspiration in the room into a daily practice, into behavior change. So we've taken all of that good science and we've built it into a really straightforward web application for participants where while they're in the training room, whether that's in person or virtual, they're gonna filter through all of the great inspiration they have and they're gonna commit to a daily practice. Then we know again, partially through trial and error and partially through external research, we know the triggers that keep people on track. Some of the intrinsic extrinsic stuff from Dan Pink's work.

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And so we've built those into the platform. And so what we end up with, the habit builder, which is part of our technology, helps learners stay the course with applying what they learned. It's all about them. It's very much, it's not a check the box activity or something that's being assigned as homework. It's something that I use because it helps me make the change that I wanna make more effectively and more easily. What that starts to give us now is a really rich data set around behavior changes taking place self-reported 360 qualification, but the self-reported matters most. And then what we look at is the behavior change data as it pertains to the competencies or cultural norms or strategic priorities that triggered the need for the program in the first place. I'm gonna stay out of the technical weeds a little bit unless you want me to go deep into it. But basically what we're doing from a reporting standpoint is we're flipping from L and D language, stuff, participant satisfaction stuff, and into business language. The reason for this leadership program was because we have a turnover issue. So we hired a training firm to come in and teach our leaders how to be better leaders because we believe that if they're more empathetic, more direct, more whatever, that it's going to lead to greater employee retention. The challenge that I think has been plaguing the industry forever is that all of those business metrics like employee retention are lagging indicators, right? We're talking months or sometimes even a year plus later that you start to see the impact of that. When the training took place in January of year one and we're measuring retention in October of year two, any CFO worth their salt just blows holes in the assumption that training led to this impact because a million things have happened since, right?

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Tom Finn (13:47.822)

Yeah, there's too much time that transpires in a one or two year period that you can't correlate it back to the original point of change.

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Chris (13:57.998)

unless you can start to add more dots in between those two dots. And that's really what Actionable is doing is we're just, we're shining a light on hundreds of thousands of dots of individual behavior change organized through the lens of business unit or seniority or geography or function within the organization. And we can start to correlate, right? We can start to say, okay, so I'll give an example. We worked with a casino. This is a couple years ago now. Big casino, massive turnover problem, particularly amongst the frontline employees. The casino had done the analysis and said, voluntary turnover is costing us $7 million a year more than it should be according to industry norms. So it's a problem. So the leadership program was focused on 180 frontline shift supervisors. And those 180 frontline shift supervisors are either food and beverage or they're gaming.

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They're either the AM shift, the PM shift, or the graveyard shift. We cluster those leaders, look at the behavior themes that each cluster's working on, and start to, in the rear view mirror, track back. When the casino saw an improvement, it was almost not quite double digit, but an improvement in retention for the AM gaming department, they went back in time and said, do we see a month ago, two months ago, four months ago, any specific behavioral trends that group was focused on that other ones are. And when they see that, and in that case they did, they said, oh, they're working on empathetic listening. That's interesting. We saw a lot of spikes in behavior change in there. It's not enough to state causality, but we start to see some beginnings of correlation. What the consultants that we work then do, work with them do, or the L&D departments, is they'll double down on that. They'll say, well, let's revisit that module in those specific behaviors and teach it to other units and see if we can recreate. Right, it's a hypothesis. Let's see if we can recreate. And it's through that iterative process that you get to a place of, okay, we're starting to see enough correlation here between certain behaviors and certain outcomes that I never state causality, but it usually gets close enough for the client where they go, I'm good with this, we're gonna do more of that, right? And double down on those behaviors. So if anyone's still listening, that's as geeky as I'm gonna get, I promise, as we get into this.

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Tom Finn (16:24.074)

Well, look, I think what you're trying to say is that from an example perspective, there's a casino that has 24-hour coverage in three different shifts, which is pretty standard for those types of environments. If you put in certain programs, you can actually track and measure the success and see real improvements on your P&L as a leader because you have developed people. And look it totally matches up with what people actually want. I think the most interesting piece of this is maybe the unsaid story, which is the other side of the coin, which is your buyer. Your buyer in learning and development, human resources, leadership roles, whatever that might be, typically has a hard time doing the correlation. How do you actually show the buyer? That it will work and to trust your organization to do that good work and get them to actually make an investment for their people.

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Chris (17:29.846)

Yeah, there's I mean, no question there's a there's a active trust leap of faith confidence piece at the beginning on the very first time that they're purchasing a program that includes actionable. The good news for us is that, you know, organizations like that have been buying training for 40 years. And so they they're still comfortable spending money on training, we're showing them that we're going to bring a little more impact certainty to this program by putting the habit builder in it. And here's the science behind it, and here's what you can expect from a reporting standpoint that you'll then be able to correlate. That's usually enough. The consultants that leverage Actionable, they'll win more business because of that, because particularly in this climate, clients are continually asking, how do I know it's gonna work, right? Like, how do I know that I'm making a good bet here? And when the consultants that are using Actionable are able to say, well, I have a system for sustaining and measuring the change on this, just that is usually enough to separate them from the pack. And then once they get into it, it's really a flywheel, right? The casino example being one, but as they start to see the behavior change data, the client has a choice then as to whether they wanna, we call it the triple double. Do they wanna double down on those behaviors? Teach the same behaviors to more people? Do they wanna double back to folks? Like, you know, you got the adoption curve, the bell curve of humanity. So you've got some people that it didn't make a change for and others that it did.

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So for those that it didn't, do we want to circle back to those folks? We can see the changes not happening, which can be as important. And then also the double click, because as you know, technology gets smarter and like everyone else, we've incorporated AI into what we do so it can mine through what people are writing in the habit builder and start to surface really interesting insights around systemic blockers that may exist or other training needs that they have. All of which, you know, double back, double down, double. All of which leads to a question around, where do we wanna go next with our training and being a little more data-driven in choosing what comes next. So everyone feels smarter and becomes more effective in their work as a result of that.

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Tom Finn (19:43.122)

Yeah, nice, nice. So what type of pushback do you typically get from people at the beginning of this? Is it just understanding how this all might work? Is it process-related? Is it budget-related? Is it user-related? Like what type of pushback do you see?

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Chris (19:58.442)

Yeah, you know, it's been interesting to watch the ebb and flow of that, sort of if there's main themes over the last 8 or 10 years, because pre-pandemic it was, I don't get it, and or I think what we've got is good enough. Then pandemic happened, HR and L&D, I feel like they advanced 10 years in two, right, from like their need for technology and sophistication. So that became really not an issue, and it's now being asked for in lots of RFPs that we see, like how are you going to prove the impact? Then it shifted to our people are teched out, right? Like we were all on Zoom. We were, and so it was like, they don't need another piece of technology. What was interesting about that, and it was really fun to dig in on, was there was an embedded assumption we came to understand that this was something being done to people, right? Cause we survey people to death. And so this is like another survey and people don't want another survey. Well, no kidding. They don't want another survey, right? We don't want to be on the receiving end of all this stuff. And yet I have found that Apple still has an app store and people still download apps from the app store because they're not teched out. They're overwhelmed by stuff that has no value in their life.

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Tom Finn (21:08.646)

Yes, for sure. Nobody's teched out. We're just overwhelmed with low-value products, yes.

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Chris (21:10.73)

And so nobody's checked out. 100% and so that was really the big shift. It was it was shifting from this is something you must do to look if You're here in this training for a reason assumedly if there's anything of value in here and you want to actually make any change happen we need to acknowledge the change is hard and that Statistically, it's unlikely that you're actually gonna make that change happen I want to make it easier for you says facilitator if you want to apply something from the session Here's a way that you can do it and increase the likelihood that you'll stick with it and so that moved the Hathabilder from being something done to people to something made available for them to achieve the things that they wanted to achieve. And so then that became a non-issue. And then most recently it's been around data. Who owns the data? Where does the data live? What, you know, where's this data gonna go? What are you gonna do with the data? And so that led to us having to spend a whole bunch of money to invest in something called SOC 2. So now it's all, you know, best-in-class data security, etc.

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So we'll see what happens next, but those are the most common. And then, you know, one of the questions that I've found that cuts right to the chase on budget is the question of, so what are you looking for, client? Are you looking for a training program or are you looking to make change happen?

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And I don't, you know, some people take it as provocative. It's not meant to be. It's a legitimate question. Sometimes you just want the experience and that's the point. It's okay. But if you want change to happen, the session, the content, the experience is the catalyst for that change. It isn't the change, right? That's going back to my, reading the book is not the point. It's putting the ideas into practice. And when clients go, or you know, organizations go, yeah, no, that's it, we want change, it shifts the conversation and… budget, whether it's on actionable or something else, there should be budget assigned to sustaining the behavior change because that's why we're doing this.

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Tom Finn (23:12.914)

So do you get a lot of answers that are, yeah, I just want to check the box. I just want training for training sake because I have to deliver a training as a part of my annual review.

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Chris (23:23.698)

Thankfully not a lot, I think it might hurt if it came up a lot. It's probably 90-10, and there was a period, Tom, where I was beating my drum about the fact that all training should be focused on behavior change. I no longer believe that's true, particularly in this time of exhaustion, there is absolutely value in creating the space for people to just connect and let it be. And making the deliberate choice as to what type of intervention is this is key in my mind.

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Tom Finn (23:54.802)

Well, I think you've summarized this very well. And I think we understand what you do and how you do it and how it works for organizations. I kind of want to tap into your entrepreneurial journey because you've been doing this since 2008. It is now 2024. That feels like 16 years if I'm doing my mathematics correct. Always been an easy, smooth road. You don't… There's not a lot of wrinkles going on here. Look like you're in pretty good shape. So, I know I'm a little worried that this has been an easy road for you.

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Chris (24:28.334)

Thank you. Yeah, just a piece of cake, you know, just one day after another, no problems. No, I've, I mean, I've gone through four major pivots. I've gone through five, five business partners over the years. I've, every employee except one that sort of cycled through over the years. No, it's been a massive grind for a whole bunch of reasons. And I, I was reflecting on this the other day, you know, I am now moving into my forties, but when I turned- it was that, what am I really doing here? Because I hadn't made as much money as I could have somewhere else, I was working longer hours, I appreciate you saying that I look like I'm in shape, I was not at the time. And so there's been a lot of very deliberate focus on things, there's been a lot of sort of come to Jesus moments looking in the mirror, being like, who is this guy exactly? I don't know, is there a question here? We could go, I can go lie on the couch if you want to.

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Tom Finn (25:31.806)

Well, I think, yeah, I would like you to get horizontal, put your feet up, and let's walk through this. I will, I cannot consider myself a therapist. I am not a trained or licensed marriage or family therapist. So for those of you that want to send nasty notes, I am not either. But I will ask a couple of good questions about being an entrepreneur. So, excuse me.

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Chris (25:37.172)

Tell me about your childhood.

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Tom Finn (26:01.446)

Let's start with a really… Really easy one. So was there a day that you had your head in your hands saying, I'm gonna give up? Or were there multiple days along your path? And then how did you get through it?

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Chris (26:14.294)

Is it like a day this week or this month, this year? You know, it's so funny to, I was reflecting on this a couple months ago, that for the first six or seven years of Actionable, I would hear people tell that story about, I was right on the verge of quitting and then whatever happened, and I leaned in and look at my success now. And for those first six or seven years, I remember thinking, oh, they must not be doing it right.

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Tom Finn (26:18.113)

Spoken like a true entrepreneur.

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Chris (26:41.102)

because I've never wanted to quit. I love this. This is fun and I'm exploring. And I realized looking back that I wasn't actually building a business. I was having fun. I was sort of moving from gig to gig. We had no strings. I have a very, very high threshold for risk and financial insecurity. And so those things, I think, just, you know, led me to this naivety. And it wasn't until I got serious about it that I started to have those days. And, and so anyone listening, whatever side of the fence you're on with that, I would say that it is, I don't know anybody who honestly, anyone who has built something that is bigger than themselves, that hasn't gone through that day, numerous times. I think back, I had to let 14 employees go in one day. And that was awful, awful. I still, you know, think about that. And did all the things I could to make it go the right way. But still, he's just like, what am I doing? Like, I'm playing with people's livelihoods here, you know, this is not okay to gamble or go as sort of fancy free as before. So I think, as I reflect on it here with you, Tom, my not therapist, the level of responsibility leads in my experience has led to that greater sense of, am I doing the right thing here or should I quit? Not because of its impact on me, but because of its impact on other people.

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Tom Finn (28:24.466)

Yeah. And that's usually how entrepreneurs feel. They're trying to build something. I love how you said it bigger than themselves, um, in a way that makes an impact on the world. That's what gets you out of bed in the morning. If you didn't feel that way, most entrepreneurs could just go get a job, just like everybody else and make more money and be an entrepreneur and be very, very successful in big company environments, right? And take off the stress, automate those paychecks, uh, get the stock and the bonus and cruise that is an option for you entrepreneurs out there. Yeah. You can just, you can just pack it up and go take the easy street. But problem is never be happy. Never be satisfied. Never be overwhelmingly happy with yourself. And that's why we take this path, right? We take the journey of a less traveled by, uh, so they say, um, all right. So you've had a few bumps in the road.

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Any point in this process have you looked at selling the company because you were just up to your ears with the clients. You had so much business coming in the door and somebody wanted to offer you gobs of money in your own private airline, Chris Air.

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Chris (29:38.743)

So we've explored, I've explored at numerous points what that could look like. And again, sort of, you know, those first six or seven years of naivety there was, I'm never gonna sell, right, I was in my early 20s, or no mid 20s, I guess, and go, this is it for the rest of my life. Not really knowing what that meant, right, like, you know, I probably didn't see myself living past my current age. But that's dark, like a dark quick, Tom, I don't know what that was about.

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Tom Finn (30:06.202)

No, I was the same though. I was the same. I was like, you know what? I'll deal with 40 if I make it. I mean, if I get there, which let's be clear, may or may not happen when I was in my mid-20s, I was like, I'll deal with 40 when I get there, if I get there. I was the same.

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Chris (30:10.964)

Right. Yeah. Yeah. All right. Well, there you go. The I wasn't planning on selling and then and then we've matured as a business and I also needed to like we were zero to one company. We're never replacing an incumbent. Still, we're the first impact measurement system that every company is buying. And so a lot of would be acquirers don't really know what to do with that. Right? Like we're a SaaS company. So there's SaaS multiples and we've got a valuation and we've raised money in the past. So all of that is down, but is it a strategic acquisition? Is it private equity? What does that look like? So I think the short answer to your question is, never seriously have I entertained selling, but I'm very much in the headspace that it is something to build towards whether I choose to go that way or not.

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Tom Finn (31:12.454)

Yeah, look, the process of selling is a very personal choice for any founder or business owner. Yeah. It's not something that people take lightly and most business owners, founders, what have you want to maximize that number because of the grind that they've been through 16 years is a, a real, that's, that's a real hall, my friend, uh, in, in pushing towards.

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Chris (31:22.954)

Thank you. And a road.

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Tom Finn (31:38.634)

But I will say you probably found yourself along that journey as well, and you're probably a better person as a result of it.

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Chris (31:45.418)

Yeah, 100%. I can't imagine otherwise. I will say to for people listening that, do I want to sell? Will I sell? How much will I sell? All that stuff. Starting now, whatever stage you're at, thinking about what an exit could look like and building systems around that just makes life better. Right. So I found that this is true that to build the business to a place where I could step away and not be sort of golden handcuffed on a three year or now.

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I could, God forbid, get hit by a bus, that the company would still continue to provide value. That whether you leave or not creates freedom, which I think if we're honest, most of us as entrepreneurs, that's one of the drives for us, is freedom. We want that ability to create and control our own destiny. And so having that freedom within the systems that you create to allow for an exit is a great thing, even if you're still in it.

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Tom Finn (32:39.622)

Yeah, look, you want to be able to exit mentally and physically by shifting the work from your own shoulders and fingers to a team of people that can do it just as well as you. And the only way to do that, the only way to get that done is to build processes and those processes need to be built on metrics and those metrics are the cornerstone of your business. And it's just that easy.

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Chris (32:44.001)

Right. It's just like that. Actually, I did find, so I don't know if you're familiar with Ryan Dice, but Ryan's book which came out recently, do you know this one? Get Scalable? Yeah, I found it to be really practical. Because a lot of the build systems pieces are, in my experience, massively over-engineered for most of us. You know, if you're sub 10 million, it's usually over-engineered. Ryan's book is very practical and needed to put into practice.

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Tom Finn (33:11.7)

Yeah, yep, yep. Well, there you go. Get Scalable, book shout-out from Chris to wrap things up. Chris, it's been great having you on the show. Where can people find you, track you down, choose to work with your company, or just have you write a book summary for them?

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Chris (33:46.626)

So we mentioned actionablebooks.com, which is sort of a sister site. Actionable.co is our main, but personally, I'm way more active on LinkedIn. So Chris Taylor, Actionable on LinkedIn is me.

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Tom Finn (33:59.386)

Yeah, beautiful. We'll put all of those lovely links in the show notes for everybody and let them hunt you down and ask for your advice and counsel and learn how to work with you. Thanks for the work that you're doing, man, in developing humans and creating behavior change. It's awesome.

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Chris (34:09.923)

Come say hi. Been a lot of fun. Thanks, Tom.

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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