Financial Wake-Up Calls and Mastering Business Acquisitions with Richard Parker

Jan 1, 2024 | Assembling The Band, Learning from the Best, PodCast, Practice Makes Progress, Season 3

The Back-Story

In today’s episode, Tim is joined by Richard Parker, the business acquisition wizard behind Diomo and They talk about Richard’s journey, from leveraging a cold to clinch the Sega Video rights deal in Eastern Canada to outlining the strategic imperatives that fueled his trajectory across 13 company purchases. It’s a story that resonates with anyone who’s faced financial adversity and highlights the necessity of forging one’s path in the unpredictable business world. Richard’s story is about the triumphs, the setbacks, and what they taught him. Ti and Richard also discuss their skepticism about the modern-day university system, debating its effectiveness in preparing students for the workforce. It’s an episode that balances practical insights with heartfelt advice, making it a must-listen for anyone interested in business acquisition or entrepreneurship.

Who is Richard Parker?

Richard Parker has been helping people achieve their dreams of owning a business for over 30 years. His ‘How To Buy A Good Business At A Great Price’ program has sold over 100,000 copies in over 80 countries. The Dalio family office hired him and, for several years, worked as a mentor to one of Ray Dalio’s sons, teaching him the art of buying small businesses. He has personally purchased 13 of his own companies plus one co-investment with purchase prices ranging from $50,000 to over $200 million. Richard has appeared in Forbes, The New York Times,, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc., and has over 200 published articles to his credit.

Show Notes

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In This Episode:
(0:00) Intro
(0:37) The good note
(5:24) The bad note
(8:14) Know what you don’t know
(9:53) The optimism gene
(12:49) The band
(17:26) The employee mindset
(22:12) Willingness to help others
(24:40) Staying good at what you do
(28:38) Focusing on the weakness vs. what you’re good at
(34:48) Richard’s guest solo
(44:20) Outro


Read Transcript

Tim Melanson: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Work at Home Rockstar Podcast.

I’m Accenture, today’s guest. He is the CEO of Omo and richard And what they do is they help individuals acquire businesses and his program, how to buy a good business at a great price has sold over a hundred thousand copies in more than 80 countries. So I’m very excited to be hearing from you today.

This is going to be a lot of fun. So welcome to the show. Richard, Richard Parker. Are you ready to rock?

Richard Parker: I’m ready to rock. I appreciate it. And I’m looking forward to having a nice chat with you.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. And so just so that everybody knows I’m getting over a little bit of a cold. So I’ve got a little bit of a thing in my throat here.

So, uh, forgive me if there’s any crackling or anything that happens, uh, but we’re going to try to get through this. Although we always start here on a good note. So tell me a story of success in your business that we can be inspired by.

Richard Parker: Hey, so let me, you know, I, I’ve acquired 13 businesses in my career.

They help people buy businesses. That’s the majority of what I do. So let me pick out a couple of, uh, events that were pretty significant in my life related to, uh, businesses that I acquired. Cause I think [00:01:00] people who are looking to do that can, can relate. And then hopefully we’ll talk about some, cause they’re, they’re all not just successes and a few terrific failures too.

So, um, one of them was a company that I was looking at, I was looking to. Expand one of my first businesses that I acquired and they found an ancillary company. I was in a Importing and representing manufacturers selling consumer products to retailers in Canada. I grew up in Canada before I moved to South Florida and there was a company that was in the retail servicing business.

Canadian stores typically are more self served than they are in America, less staff. And so as a manufacturer, supplier, you send stuff into the stores and somehow never gets onto the shelves. So this company, um, had people that were, um, went into the stores and actually put. Merchandise onto the shelves or add, uh, add events, advertising events, made sure the products were set up.

And I wanted to add that to my, um, my suite of services, if you will. And I was doing it on a very small basis. I found the company in Eastern Canada that was doing it more, more [00:02:00] technologically advanced than I was. And I thought it would be a perfect fit. Um, I, I convinced the owner of the business rather than sell it because he wanted a whole lot of money, which I couldn’t afford, but I convinced him that I’ve got this idea that we could really explode this thing instead of doing it in a few little areas in Eastern Canada.

We can explode this across Canada and to his credit, um, and his wife as well, they, Bought into the concept and I put down just a little bit of money, bought a company that was, you know, I mean, cost me, uh, you know, 100, 000, um, which was really all that I could afford at that point. And we built that tiny little business into a four and a half million dollar business with ridiculous profits.

We were selling labor. So we, I mean, we didn’t have inventory. We didn’t even have offices. Everybody 20 something years ago. So, it was really ahead of its time and the margins were We’re ridiculous. Like we were, you know, people were maybe getting paid six, seven, eight, 9 an hour at that point. And we were billing out at 20 and 25.

So it, it was really profitable. Um, and then the other one, it’s just [00:03:00] on a good note is, um, I acquired the rights for Sega video. In eastern Canada, I, my company was doing about two and a half million dollars. I acquired it by accident, actually, a friend of mine was trying to become the CEO of the company.

They had a distributor, distributors doing a shit job, excuse my French, and the product wasn’t like it’s supposed to be, you know, at retail. And this was at the time when Nintendo had 80 percent of the market, Sega had 20. It was just before the launch of the Sega Genesis. So when I give you the numbers of how my business Uh, grew at that point.

This has nothing to do with me. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. And, um, my buddy was trying to get the rights to become the CEO of the, of the company, but he needed to do this enormous study to present to Sega America and Sega Japan to demonstrate the current distributor wasn’t doing their job.

I had all of the people. In place doing servicing of other products, as I just alluded to across the country. And I said, this is again, he was a buddy of mine. So I said, you know what? I’ll, I’ll do the whole study [00:04:00] for you. No problem. It costs me about 10, 000. But again, he was a buddy of mine. I wanted to see him get the CEO position.

And I said, you know, if you happen to get it, you know, just carve out the rights for me for Eastern Canada, but understand. I had no idea it was, I didn’t know, like a game boy from a game gear from like, I had, I was not a gamer. So it was just to me adding on another product. So, um, he ended up getting it. I got the rights to Eastern Canada and the business grew from like my business grew from like two and a half million dollars to 30 million in a year.

I mean, it was, it was ridiculous. And when I, you know, tell that story, it’s like, I’m a little embarrassed because again, it had nothing to do with me. I mean, I did the work for him just as I, I just wanted to help him out. And, um, never really knew what the business is like. So, I mean, it did, you know, call it karma, call it just being in the right place at the right time.

But that was a, a pretty significant, um, uh, story of success.

Tim Melanson: Wow. Those are amazing. I’m actually in Eastern Canada, by the way. I’m in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Richard Parker: Okay. I’ve, I’ve been there. You must have been. Yeah, I did. Yeah. I’ve been there. I’ve been all over the Maritimes. I used to go to Newfoundland every summer to go [00:05:00] fishing and I’ve been as far as Labrador.

I went past the tree line. I went on a 17 day fishing trip. It was supposed to be 12 days, but we got weathered in so he couldn’t get the plane out. So we’re starting to get cabin fever after a little bit as the river was rising. But yeah, I’ve been all over the Maritimes. I love the Maritime provinces.

Great people. Yeah,

Tim Melanson: absolutely. And, uh, so, I mean, those are some pretty crazy good stories that, that, uh, you know, right place at the right time. And, you know, obviously it worked out quite well, but now with the good notes, sometimes there’s some bad notes along the way as well. I’m wondering, and you shared with me the opposite of that, was there some things that just did not go very well, that, you know, we can

Richard Parker: learn from?

Oh, absolutely. I mean, you know, there’s, um A lot of people talk about all of their wins, right? And that’s, that’s all fine and good. And some people have a series of wins. You know, my philosophy is the losses get you closer to the wins. And if failures are terrific, you know, especially if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, because you could, you dust yourself off and you get going, but you [00:06:00] learn if you, if you do it in a good way, you could learn a hell of a lot more from the failures than you do from the successes.

And so, you know, a couple that come to mind, I actually got into business as a result of a terrible failure. I was working at a consumer products company in Canada is 29 years old. Company was growing exponentially. I was in a job that probably I didn’t qualify for. Um, but the company was growing so fast, they had to plug the holes of people.

So I got promoted, you know, I was on a fast track to promotion. And I was, um, the, uh, uh, executive vice president of a pretty nice division. It’s 29 years old is making 72, 000 a year. And. So, um, I bought some stock in a company called world’s wonder, which was a Teddy Ruxpin doll, which was very hot toy at that point.

And then someone told me about the, the magic of buying stocks on margin, which was, I have no idea, which was, Hey, you could buy the double amount of stock for the same amount of money, same amount of money. And when the stock price goes up, you sell it and you make all this extra money and you don’t, you only have to put out half.

And that sounds absolutely terrific, [00:07:00] except if the stock goes down. And so this stock when. I blew 60, 000. This was in a year when I was making 72, I had my first kid on the way. And so I was like, like I was in a terrible hole. And my only choices at that point, like when I was looking at it, it’s like, I’m never going to get out of this.

Right. And so if I just take jobs or if I get another job and I’m making a little more, well, I’ll get out of this a little bit, but I mean, 60, 000, which, you know. When you take a look at, you know, I was making 72, 000 gross. I mean, it was more than my, my net annual income. And so I looked at it and said, well, I could either buy lotto tickets, which I don’t buy, or I can put it on 17 black in Las Vegas and I don’t gamble.

So he said, you know, my only way to get out of this mess is I got to go into my own business where I don’t have a ceiling. And that’s what was the catalyst for me getting into my own business. Um, but it was a result of an absolutely catastrophic failure.

Tim Melanson: Wow. That’s it. Yeah. You know, and that is something that.

It’s probably not all that rare too [00:08:00] for people that will, you know, gamble on something like that. And, you know, you, you, you had a, I mean, the, the advice was, was right. It was just maybe the wrong stock or the wrong, maybe not quite understanding how it

Richard Parker: worked. Right. And, and, you know, the, the lesson learned there, you know, it’s easy to say, well, that was the impetus to get me into my own business.

But the lesson learned there is, you know, you gotta know what you don’t know. And so, you know, and especially in the world that I operate in now and helping people acquire businesses, you know, the education is a foundation for everything. You can go about doing this without educated and probably give yourself a 20 percent chance of success versus anything that you do.

Any project. Anything significant, anything where you’re not yet an expert. I mean, the idea is, and the internet is dangerous in that regard because you can get all this generic information, right? And so people think, you know, you start from the, from, from zero and, and you’re surfing around the internet and you [00:09:00] think after a couple of weeks that you know something, but you actually know less and the stuff that you’ve learned isn’t maybe misinformation or not good information.

So you’re actually in worse shape than you were when you started. You were better off not knowing anything than knowing the wrong things because at that point, you know, the wrong things. You’re actually dangerous. And so, you know, the lesson is, you know, anything you’re going to attack, you’ve got to take a step back.

You’ve got to get yourself educated. You’ve got to learn the process. You’ve got to try to attach yourself to people who know what they’re doing, you know, mentors or otherwise. People are generally easy to help, but the, you know, the big lesson there was, you know, know what you don’t know and, you know, and, and, and take the time to educate yourself.

Because the decision will still be there. And if you have to make a decision in a short period of time, and you don’t have enough information, well, then you got to decide what your potential downside is. And if it’s significant, then you better off to say no. Yeah, this

Tim Melanson: came up in a previous episode as well, somebody not knowing what they didn’t know.

Right. And it’s so difficult because, you know, you can get, I think that a lot of entrepreneurs have this [00:10:00] possibly optimistic disposition about them, right? That, you know, they sort of think, okay, things are going to be better than. Maybe they end up being, and so you can fall into that trap pretty quickly, you know, you get a little bit information and all of a sudden you’re like, you know, guns ablaze and this is the way I’m going.

Right? And then next

Richard Parker: thing you know, right? It’s, you can convince yourself pretty easily, especially, you know, have having that optimism gene is critical for an entrepreneur and you never want to water that down, right? Because that’s what keeps you going while other people remain employees. That’s what can convert you into an employer or, um, allowing you to take risks.

That others aren’t prepared to take, you want to do your homework to mitigate the risk. But yes, I mean, having, having that, um, internal fire and understanding that, you know, you, you’ve got to take sometime, uh, significant leaps. I mean, that’s the, that’s the, the blood of a, of an entrepreneur, right? Well, it, uh, maybe not the blood of an entrepreneur.

It’s the blood of an aspiring business owner. The blood of an entrepreneur [00:11:00] is someone who gets bloodied. A lot and can wipe themselves off and, and, and go right back at it. And it’s easy, you know, if you’re only looking at blue sky. Right. Of all the things that could go right. It’s very easy to convince yourself you’re making the right decision, but you have to be intelligent enough to understand what, you know, what can go wrong.

Cause it’s never, and it generally nothing you ever anticipated, but you know, you want to try to mitigate your, your downside and education and learning is, is, is usually the best vehicle to do that.

Tim Melanson: And surrounding yourself with the right people as well. Cause, uh, I mean, the other big benefit to this sort of disposition of optimism is that You know, you lose 60, 000, you get back up and you make something of it.

Right. I mean, that, that’s, that’s what’s going to happen. I mean, you, you can’t know everything you don’t know. So there will be mistakes. And I’m guessing we’re probably not even, you know, it’s telling anybody anything new if you’re, if you’re listening to this. You probably made a bunch of mistakes already, and [00:12:00] you’re still further ahead than you were before because you got back up and you kept on moving, right?

Richard Parker: Yeah. That’s a, it’s a very good way to look at it. And you try, you just try to make, you try not, you try to avoid making big mistakes, right? Cause you’re going to make mistakes. And if you’re someone who can’t deal with it, then that the world of entrepreneurship is not for you. On the other hand, if you could learn to compartmentalize and process things and learn.

As, as it goes along and also understand nothing’s perfect. Right. There’s always going to be headwinds. And so having, being able to deal that, and it’s like hitting tennis balls, right? So if you want to learn to play tennis, just keep hitting tennis balls. Cause my late partners used to say, just get a, keep hitting tennis balls.

And so, you know, you’re going to make these mistakes and you just learn as you go. You just try to avoid the big ones.

Tim Melanson: Well, one of the, and one of the ways, yeah, I’ll do, we can, we can get further ahead is to surround yourself with the right people, have the right band in place. Right. So what’s your, you know, sort of philosophy on, you know, who you put

Richard Parker: yourself around.

Right. My, my [00:13:00] thinking has really evolved over the years and more so I’m not, you know, I don’t think I’m that smart. I’m just old. Um, and so my thinking is really evolved when I was in business initially and on my own, I think ego and insecurity got in my way. And so I was, and I was a young business owner and I was also a young executive when I ran into that financial mess.

And so I think my insecurities of being where I was at that point. Especially when I went to my own business, I did myself a terrible disservice because I shied away from hiring people that were better than me. And I know it’s a hundred percent attributable to my ego and insecurity at that point in time.

And I know I’ve evolved a hundred, I don’t want to say 180 degrees, cause that would be sort of perfection. So we’ll call it one 60, but there’s a hell of an evolution. And when I finally realized that surrounding yourself with people that are bigger, better and faster than [00:14:00] you. Right. And you’re able to let go and put those people into place and let them do their thing and not micromanagement and empower them to make decisions.

Yeah. There may not care as much as you do as the, as the owner, of course not. But as long as they care close to it, I mean, that to me was a massive evolution hiring people that were bitter, bigger, better, stronger, faster, smarter than me. And it’s like, I think when I look back. Way back, it’s like I felt more secure being the smartest person in the room, which doesn’t take much because I’m not that bright.

I mean, so I couldn’t have that many people in the room, but way back, I felt like more comfortable. I hope this makes sense. Being like the smartest person in the room. And now there’s no doubt if like, if I’m the smartest person in the room, I’m in the wrong room. Like I want to get the hell out of the room because that’s where the real learning takes place.

But that’s been like probably 30 years of, of evolution and, and really getting over and being able to park my ego at the door and the. The other thing that, that was a real, um, [00:15:00] learning experience is I’ve worked with thousands and thousands of business owners from people owning, you know, a fif, a business that puts $25,000 into their pocket to billionaires and that I’ve worked with and the, the uber success for p successful people.

There’s a couple things that I’ve, you know, really learned from them, which dovetail into what we were just talking about, which is they’re, they’re not focused on the money. They’re focused on building something great. Right. And, and, and so, you know, what I’ve learned to be able to do over time is have this philosophy is of, and I, and I’ve applied this to business, I’ve applied this to relationships, to everything, which is I’m going to blank a great blank by doing the following.

Right. So in businesses, I’m going to build a great business by doing the following, which is higher, higher, terrific people. Um, let them do their job, um, market incessantly. I’m going to, you know, I’m going to, um, have a great [00:16:00] relationship with my wife by doing the following. I’m going to be more patient.

I’m going to have better conversations. We’re going to have more meaningful interactions. I’m going to stop working at five o’clock and spend time together, all these things, and sort of that was, that really evolved. Out of working with these crazy successful business people, when you see how they approach building a business.

A lot of them suck at their personal life, but you know, when it comes to business, there’s a lesson to be learned. So I apologize for the long winded answer, but that’s sort of, you know, how I, you know, really evolved in, in, in that regard. Yeah. Well, it

Tim Melanson: makes sense because they, they’re, they’re laser focused on whatever it is that they’re building at this particular moment.

Right. And sometimes other things end up falling while they’re in the process of doing that. Right.

Richard Parker: Correct. Yeah. It’s, it falls. It, it, um, Other things just take less of a priority and it’s understandable everybody, you know, you don’t judge them, but they, you know, the, but the common denominator is, you know, they, they.

They’re, they’re not focused necessarily on the [00:17:00] money. Like if you do right by people, you know, and if you have a product that’s good, if you do right by people, as opposed to being right, like if you just do right and make sure you want to get it right, if you’re in an area anywhere where there’s an economic benefit, the money’s going to follow by default.

I mean, it’s just, it’s, it’s, it’s unavoidable to be successful at that point. Yeah. The money follows the value, right. And

Tim Melanson: always, you know, a lot of people don’t get. Right. That, but that’s just because I think we’ve been taught in the whole, you know, the employee mindset of, you know, you go to work at your time and you get paycheck, you go home.

So you really are, I would say most people who have a job are actually doing that job for the

Richard Parker: money. Right. Absolutely. Absolutely. And you can’t blame them. They got to survive. I mean, I was reading a study not long ago and I think it was Gallup who did it and found that like 74 percent of people despise their job.

I mean, not dislike it, despise it. I mean, but you can’t, you know, there’s some people who just can’t make that transition to something else. They’ve got to make money. They’ve got bills. They’ve got [00:18:00] mortgages, kids and what have you. And so, you know, in some ways you always have to respect that more because they know that they, this doesn’t make them happy, but they got, they got to push through and do what they got to do.


Tim Melanson: And you know, on the other side of that spectrum, some people could be working at a business forever and never really get it off the ground. You know that, you know, working at a purpose, I guess. Right. Yeah. Um, but on the other hand, they probably haven’t put themselves around the right people around the right mentors, all that other stuff as well, because that’ll, that’ll definitely make things a little bit easier.

Uh, which speaking of which, you know, you mentioned a few different people that you were able to learn from, how was that relationship of learning from these super successful people? Like, did you. Or, you know, were you friends with like, how did that work out? How did, how did they end

Richard Parker: up being in your circle?

Okay. So there’s, there’s, there’s been a number of them. And, um, I guess one thing that I, um, you know, really realized a number of years ago is, you know, and it’s not my realization, it’s, it’s the [00:19:00] oldest formula for success, which is like, if you want to do something new. Or something you don’t have experience in just find someone who’s already done it successfully and copy them.

Right. I mean, and or, and even better yet, get them to mentor you. And so, you know, whenever I’ve gotten into something, whatever it’d be a business or something that was thinking of, of doing or, or jumping into try to find the. The, you know, the best possible people to ask them questions, not necessarily hiring any or all of them.

Um, I, I, I have found that most people are willing to help. Most people take it as a, as a compliment. If you can call, you know, you should never be afraid to call the, you know, the, uh, is looking at one product, which was related to a men’s cosmetic line. And I called the CEO of Estee Lauder companies and met with them.

And, um, and you know what, surprisingly enough. They’re happy to meet with you. They’re not giving you, uh, hours of time, but for an hour, ask the questions. So I think anybody is approachable and I believe that, you know, you’re far better off to start at the top and work your way down. And so if there’s something that you [00:20:00] want to do, you ask people, some people will say no.

And, but a lot of people will say yes. So I’ve met some terrific people along the way. You know, I’d like to believe that I’m intellectually curious, I’m probably in the business that I’m in because I really love learning about new businesses, new things and what have you. And so if you have this idea, this, this never ending thirst to learn and ask questions and ask why, and never be satisfied with the answer until you understand it completely, as opposed to just getting an answer.

You know, at base level, um, I think anybody, you know, adopting that will learn a great deal and asking the right people. If you, you ask people for help, they’re not, it’s surprisingly most people are willing to. And I’ve been, you know, I’ve had some, you know, clients that have been ridiculously successful. I worked for three years with the Dalio family and was hired by Ray Dalio to mentor his son who was, became my partner.

You, um, you passed away in a tragedy, a tragedy, a car accident a number of years ago, you know, unfortunately. Of course, but, you know, having, uh, being around someone [00:21:00] like, um, like Ray and, um, people that we had access to, it was, you know, they’re just, they’re great learning experiences. If you could just shut the hell up and listen, you could learn an unbelievable amount.

Anik Malenfant: Hi, my name is Annick Malonfant from Mastering Ascension, and I’ve been working with Tim Melanson and the Creative Crew Agency for a number of years now. Tim is my go to guy for all things technology, and his team have helped me to really. Create the platform that I need that represents my brand, my message and connects me directly to my ideal clients.

What I particularly love about Tim is before he starts to dive into the technology, he always makes sure that he understands what your global view is, what your ultimate goals are. So then that way you’re not wasting a lot of time back and forth. Switching around technology or platforms. He creates something from the get go that is scalable, which is highly, highly, um, beneficial for any business.

What I’ve experienced from Tim and his team is they’re highly responsive. They are a [00:22:00] wealth of information and they’re going to offer you the tools that you need to really make the mark that you want to make in the world. So That’s my recommendation for Tim. He’s awesome. You’re going to love every minute.

You won’t regret it.

Tim Melanson: This keeps coming up to about the willingness of people in positions of success to help others. And, you know, I think it’s probably because I doubt there’s very many of these people that climb that mountain on their own. They probably reached out to somebody at some point in their journey and asked for some help and got it.

And now it’s at a point where someone else is asking them for help. And like, well, you just said they feel flat and they’re like, really, I’m at the top of the mountain now. Right

Richard Parker: on. So right on. And, and, you know, it’s, there’s, there’s a lot of, and I, again, some people may say no, but most people I find are, are kind and fair and, and, and take it as a compliment.

You know, I get, I’m inundated with, um, uh, students who are looking for to get involved in investment banking and [00:23:00] some of the stuff that I’ve done over the years and want to know and spend time together. And I, I answer every email and I get. Um, but I get a lot of them who asked me if they could spend, you know, 15 to 30 minutes on a call with me or some, someone will say 30 minutes.

And I can’t say no, I can say yes to everybody because the amount they get, I’d probably be on the phone all day long, but I always look for, if someone has said something interesting or I get the sense from their email that they, if they haven’t just. It’s not a road email. It’s like, you could tell if they’ve sent it to a hundred, the same email to a hundred people like dear Mr.

And Mrs. Phil in the blank. Right. But if they, if they’ve taken the time to gone to my website or they’ve gone to LinkedIn or they’ve done a little background check and they put something personal in there. Right. Do I, you know, I noticed you’re, you know, I noticed that your first acquisition and your first time you bought a business, you were 12 years old.

Or I, I know you bought a business in here or you worked with the, you know, the Dalio family office. So if they put something personal there, I spend time. I, I got, I had one yesterday. I was on the phone with a guy for, he’s going to university of Michigan. He’s a sophomore. He wanted to get into investment banking or finance.

I spent an [00:24:00] hour with him on the phone. He just wanted to understand what the path is. And I’m not saying it in a way that like I’m better than the next person. Cause I’m certainly not. But, you know, there’s, you know, I’m at a certain stage in my career and there’s some recognition and profile there’s, there’s gobs of people like me, or gobs of people who have that attitude.

If someone wanted to do a podcast and someone called you, you’d be flattered. You’re not looking at it as competition. You want to help them.

Tim Melanson: Yeah, I agree a hundred percent. Oh, wow. That’s amazing. So let’s talk a little bit about practicing. I read a stat somewhere that said that an overwhelming majority of people never read a book outside of high school.

Once they graduate. And I find that Amazing. I think I’ve read way more since I left high school than I did in high school. But let me, let me get your thoughts on, you know, you stay

Richard Parker: good and get good at what you’re doing. Well, I read constantly, you know, my, I use my mother’s example. My mother, my 92 year old mother was here for three months last winter spending winter with us in Florida after she sold her [00:25:00] condo.

She reads a book like the equivalent to a book and a half a week at 92 years old. Right. And which she was, and she was going into my library here. I mean, it was banging through them at the speed of light. I’m always reading up to my. Challenges. I’m sometimes reading two or three things, but I always, you know, even when my with my kids, I said, you know, there was an, the ABR rules, which was always be reading.

You have to be reading something and whatever it may be, it could be fiction. It could be nonfiction, something like could be, you know, something that that’s going to just help your imagination or what have you. It doesn’t have to always be bliss business books. Um, some books are just boring as hell. Um, but so for me, honing the craft is.

Um, always making sure that, you know, I, I read whatever I can, if there’s a good book, someone recommends it to me, or if I read a good book, I send it out to a bunch of people. I just make sure that, and I, and I also find it’s a great way to get away from this, right? And so, you know, and, and, and, and just, there’s, if I look at a book.

[00:26:00] Like some of them that I’ve read, you know, some, some of the great ones that I’ve read, I look at it, my approach to them is if I’m looking for a book for information versus a fiction, because I like John Grisham as an escape. But if I’m looking for something for an edge or business information or knowledge, I look at it and say, okay, if it’s a 500 page book, if I learned one thing from the whole book, it’s well worth how many hours it took me to read it.

That’s the way I approach reading a book. Um, if, if, right, if it’s, if it’s nonfiction, um, and I think fiction is important too. And I think, you know, so I think honing, honing the craft, um, you know, or staying ahead. So I’m always reading, always learning. I spend every morning. The first thing I do is go to, through all my Google alerts, I go through the industry news and I read all of that.

I try as best as possible, but I’m not playing ice hockey with my old guys. I try to sit at night and read a book and I’ve encouraged my kids to do that. You know, it translates very much into. You know, the world where I operate, where I teach people how to buy businesses and to how important it is that, you know, understanding that them buying the right business [00:27:00] is, is everything right in this whole process.

And so for them, that’s a learning, they have to learn about themselves in that. So to me, it’s like you’re honing your craft, figuring out who you are. Exactly. And what you’re good at and what you’re not good at in order to make sure that you marry your greatest skill with the right business. And then, you know, chances are you’re going to do very well.

Um, if you mess up a few parts of the other parts of the process, it’s not the end of the world, but if you marry your greatest skill with the right business, you’re going to be fine. So I think in my world, understanding how honing your craft is constant. Like if, and there’s so much information, the dangerous thing away from the.

Uh, misinformation, of course, getting to, um, you know, to me, honing your craft is really a combination of, of, of reading. It’s a combination of talking to people. It’s also a comp, an important thing I believe is, is surrounding yourself with people that are going to take you along the road in a good way that they’re going to, they’re going to drag you along by default.[00:28:00]

Right. And I don’t mean, you know, there’s this whole thing like if you hang around with thieves, you become a thing. If you hang around with a loser, you become a loser. Try to like hanging around with people that are, that are, that are really better than you in a lot of ways, you, you get the crumbs and, and you get better.

Tim Melanson: Well, and you know, you mentioned something during that, that, uh, you know, focusing on what you’re good at. And, you know, I think that in our school systems, we tend to be focused a little bit more on the weakness, right? We’re trying to get the grade, the lowest grade up rather than focusing on the fact that, Hey, you just got a hundred percent.

What’s over here. Who cares about that? You know, the failing grade over here, right? But that’s what we’re sort of taught. Right. Uh, and then after, when you get into the business world, you know, we, we do want to focus a little bit more on the, on the, what you’re good at, but you know, what do you think would be like, is there a value to focusing on the weakest mark or do you think you should always just double down on what you’re good at?

Richard Parker: Well, I think if you can get to the point that you have [00:29:00] something that you really like and that you’re really good at, then I think you should focus on that intensely. That’s what I believe. Like, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, there’s nothing wrong and it’s always good was probably a better choice of words to improve your weaknesses, but not at the expense of leveraging your strengths.

Right? So, you know, in my business, I’ve run a pretty significant business and I’ve turned this into a business that I’ve run with very few employees. Now I outsource everything. Like I know the financials inside out, I can read a balance sheet with profit and loss statement as good as anybody, but I don’t do the accounting.

Right. And so, and I never, and I wasn’t good at it years ago, but I’m looking to say to me, if in to answer your question related strengths and weaknesses, if you were talking about the application to entrepreneurship, the other stuff is good to learn, but I think you go much further down the road in a much happier way.

If you just take what you’re really good at [00:30:00] and like, uh, even beyond the laser beam, like which would unwavering intensity. And I think if you take that and there’s an economic benefit to it, then it’s, it’s going to equal it. It conjugates with success, right? It just, there’s an equal sign and the word on the other side is success.

So you know, the weakness piece I’m, I’m with you, I think like this idea of like focusing on kids weakness, they’re not good in English. So let’s focus on that. Well, you know, maybe they’re so probably, and they’re terrific in math, like, well, maybe that’s the calling, right? And you know, it’s like, you know, uh, it’s like the, the core classes that you have to take the first two years of university.

What the hell is the point of that? Right. Wouldn’t you be better served to take 10 courses in a wide array? Of categories from, you know, criminal justice to marketing, the finance to, to, to, you know, to, uh, uh, to, to nursing and see, Hey, maybe amongst those 10, there’s something I really like. And then if you get, you get that sort of, uh, excitement, [00:31:00] then you focus like that again with, to me, it’s like focus with absolute intensity, unwavering intensity.

Tim Melanson: Interesting. Yeah. Imagine if that’s how it worked, right? When you got in there instead of a core classes, it was a random, they literally speak random courses that you’ll have to take.

Richard Parker: That would be my university, by the way, the version of my university, all those, you know, chemistry, English, um, algebra.

Once you get into university, like to me would be my university would be four years. The first two years is nothing but random classes from, you know, medical billing. The next class is in music appreciation. The third one might be in, you know, classic, uh, English literature to, you know, to, uh, choreographing.

I mean, just. Criminal justice to market like all over the place and give everyone an opportunity to spend, you know, uh, a semester of four or whatever number of courses, general interest with no homework and no tests. Wow. I’d go to that university. That’d be, that’d be super cool. Yeah. Okay. Perfect. And it probably can get you financing, right?

You know, like [00:32:00] the thing is to try to do that without student debt. But to me, that would be, you know, just People would become out, come out so much better on the other end, right? Like just, I don’t even understand how, you know, going through school in Canada versus here. I mean, I there’s a whole different conversation.

I, I think it makes no sense to me whatsoever. I like, I have three of my four kids are. Professionals, you’re right. Um, doctor, lawyer, and speech pathologist. Um, so they’ve gone through that whole grind. But my, my youngest son was a high level hockey player for, for many years and just getting back into the, you know, college, uh, college world.

It’s like, like, where do you start to find something of interest? No, you’re not going to find it unless you get some exposure to it. Yeah. I have two kids in high

Tim Melanson: school and it’s, it’s an interesting experience when they’re talking about university and I, I don’t have the same. I had when I went to university and when I went to university was when it was changing.

Like if I had known what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have taken that, uh, university course. I would have [00:33:00] taken a college course instead. Um, but now, you know, it just seems to be like a, just a giant business. With no real direction for any of the kids that are going into it. Right.

Richard Parker: So what they’re producing is a flawed product.

I mean, I’m not even talking about some of the recent events that have happened related to stuff that’s coming to the forefront of, you know, things that are going on in university campus. I’m just talking about if the goal is to prepare people for their work life and life, they’ve failed unless they get this.

And, and phenomenal degree, you know, they become a doctor and accountant and attorney or a high level finance degree where they can get something, you know, a specific job. I think like to me, the, the, the outcome is a disaster that my personal opinion. Doesn’t mean I’m right. My thinking may be completely flawed, but I, to me, my view is it’s, it’s, it’s not only bad, it’s a disaster.

Yeah. This

Tim Melanson: would be a, a great podcast, you know, episode, just, just talking about that. And I think it’d be highly useful [00:34:00] too, especially to some of the kids, cause they are very pushed into the university. Like we’re, we’re seeing that happening with our kids, say, oh, they have guidance counselors coming in, talking about it.

Like it’s just a done deal, like, Oh, you know, you, you’re definitely going, you know, and, and meanwhile, like who’s going to pay for it quick, you know, what am I going to do once I graduate? Like,

Richard Parker: you know, how do I get out of this hole? Someone wanted to, one of the people that was speaking to yesterday, who I said, the, the sophomore was asking me what, what I thought of an MBA degree.

I said, well, if you asked me this 30 years ago, I would tell you it’s worth it. If you asked me today, I think you’re wasting your time and your money. The only thing it’s good for, it’s good for your resume. So if you can get, if that’s what it takes to get the job, that’s fine. But don’t, if you’re looking at this for whether or not it’s going to improve your skills measurably versus what you can get in the real world, it’s not even close.


Tim Melanson: So, all right. We can talk about this forever, but it’s time for your guest solo. So tell me what’s exciting in your business right now.

Richard Parker: So my [00:35:00] business is business is very interesting. Um, especially this time, my, my business, I’m happy to say is doing unbelievable. We have, um, more people than ever, you know, acquiring our materials and doing great.

And the one thing when I developed these materials, Is made it very important that anybody who’s looking to acquire a business can call me or email me anytime. I’m happy to get a phone. I never charged them. You know, one of the negative things that’s happening in our business and the reason why I’ve gotten, excuse me, so re energized over the last couple of years.

And even less so with, you know, some of the social media, which I’m not a social media guy, but fired a company for that and do most of it is there’s just this proliferation of bad information, right? And there’s also this proliferation of these, um, you know, these alleged gurus that are selling these.

Programs and entrepreneurship for people, whether it be buying a business or starting a business or buying real estate or whatever. And it just, it just drives, makes my blood boil. Cause most of these people have never even done what they’re selling materials. I’m teaching people how to do what they’re really good at is the really good at [00:36:00] marketing.

Right. And you know, you, you give them your money. They, some people spend thousands of dollars with them and you know, and you don’t, and you don’t get anything at the end, right. All you get is a debt. And so, you know, that part has really incentivized me to try to repair the world. In, um, information products, if that makes any sense, because our whole agenda, you just want to help people.

I never even went into this business to make money. I just wanted to help some people buy businesses. And that, that attitude has never changed. I’m never in my wildest dreams thought that this would turn into selling a hundred thousand copies and all over the world. It’s like, it’s. I still, I still shake my head at it, but I know like I take a step back and look at it is like the agenda has always been pure and sincere of just helping people and charging like like ridiculous amount of, of cheap, like it’s like negligible, it’s almost embarrassing, but we charge people to acquire materials because I didn’t care about the money.

Like if I don’t sell another course, I don’t, it makes no difference to my life, you know, really helping people. So, but there’s been so many more people that have come in the market. In the last few years, and that [00:37:00] might, could be a result of, you know, um, the economy or the, you know, seeing more people on social media successful, which is a bad thing in itself.

Cause people think you can just get there without doing the work or without paying your dues. But the market itself has become really frothy. As they say, there’s a, there’s a lot of people in, in my world. Um, so, so that part is really, you know, really exciting on the, on the, on the business side of things on the, on the personal side of things.

Became a grandfather not long ago. So that’s, thank you. That, that outweighs everything on the business side. So that’s been, that’s been great. So then

Tim Melanson: how do we find out more about your, your program set?

Richard Parker: So the easiest ways people, they should go to richardparker. com there’s hundreds of free articles there.

I mean, if anyone is interested in, you know, taking deeper steps and looking at some of the courses, you can access them from there, but I’d really encourage people that even have the inkling of, you know, thinking about getting into their own business. Like you, if, if it’s any part of your brain, like. You, you owe it to yourself to at least to go through the effort to find out what’s [00:38:00] involved with it.

Right. And so, you know, I mean, you, you, you, you, um, you’re doing yourself a disservice by at least not finding out what, what’s involved. So, you know, if you go to richardparker. com, there’s like hundreds, not like there’s, there’s hundreds of articles, free articles related to buying a business and all the different stages of the process.

And people can get a decent education You know, let’s see if it somehow it, you know, peaks their interest. And similarly, people that are, you know, have work at home businesses, even their smaller business should think about expanding their businesses through acquisition, you know, other like businesses.

And so they end up going through the same process, a little bit of departure if they’re buying a competitor, what have you. But by and large, it’s the same process. Would there be

Tim Melanson: like a major difference in the personality of a person who would build a business versus buy a business?

Richard Parker: Yes. Um, I think starting a business is wonderful for anybody to do during the course of their lifetime because it’s a good learning experience.

I don’t have probably the stomach to do it anymore, right [00:39:00] there because the thing I learned with startups, so they’ve done a bunch, I’ve done a bunch of them is like the revenue comes in twice as slow and the expenses happen twice as fast. And at the beginning, like it’s the beginning, everything is, there’s nothing done.

I mean, you don’t even own pet paperclips. And so like everything seems. Wonderful in blue sky and, and, and terrific. And so, so it’s very easy to convince yourself as you talked about earlier, I think, you know, things are going to be terrific. I’m a massive believer in buying an existing business because everything is in place.

It’s not perfect. Businesses have awards, but you have customers, you have employees, the phone rings with customers or the emails come in. You have products, you have a history of finance, you know, a financial history. You have, um, a track record, you have relationships and, and, and theoretically, if, if you do this properly, the theoretical piece marries the practical piece, which means the following.

If you do it properly, you get the keys on Monday, you take a paycheck on Friday. And you can’t beat that. No, [00:40:00]

Tim Melanson: no, you can’t start a business

Richard Parker: that fast for sure. And it’s nothing but a money pit. And so, you know, the thing that I would tell people is, you know, all of these, this information that you see online or allude to these so called girls get on buying these businesses or, you know, that throw off hundreds of thousands of dollars and you can buy them for no money down in 30 days.

That’s part of it. It’s a complete bullshit. I mean, that doesn’t work. It takes money. It doesn’t take a lot because there’s incredible leverage and there’s seller financing. There’s other financing programs. And you could really leverage, right? You need to have a, you know, have a little bit of capital, right.

To do this properly, comparing a startup to buying an existing business. I mean, it’s, it’s one of those cases where I could not represent both, both sides, both cases, because it’s, it’s not even close. If you can get into buying an existing business, it’s you’re, you’re way down the road. If you’re running, you know, a marathon, starting a business, you’re, you’re not even at the starting gate.

You’re still training. Okay. Buying an existing business. You’re like at mile [00:41:00] 22 already.

Tim Melanson: So now your resources, do some of those have information about the seller financing and the stuff about that too?

Richard Parker: Yeah. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. And in great detail and in, you know, in our materials, we, I mean, there’s probably a 50 page chapter related to financing and how you negotiate seller financing and our last audit, 91 percent of our clients.

Get a component of seller financing in their deals. It varies, but 91 percent of them. So it’s very doable and it’s not like we’re miraculous. It’s it’s it very often. That’s what takes to get the deal to the finish line on the part of the seller, but understanding how to get there. Cause at the beginning, so I say, I’m not financing you, but we show you exactly how to convince them of that.

And it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a formula that we. We’ve proven over and over and over and over and over again, it works, right? So it’s not pie in the sky, but yes, all those reasons are richardpark. com. You could walk through it. It talks about seller financing and different steps that you could take related to that piece of it.

Um, how you investigate businesses where you can start to look, I mean, the articles are, [00:42:00] and they’re broken down by the way, in the, into the various stages of the buying process of categories. And then in those categories, each one has, you know, five to 50 articles. I, I’m

Tim Melanson: going to have to check that myself

Richard Parker: because I’ve

Tim Melanson: never considered buying a business.

I always thought about just building my own business, right? I figured that buying a business, you, you, you buy a business with, well, I think my misconception and it’s probably as a misconception you’re going to tell me is that. If anybody’s selling a business, there must be something wrong with that

Richard Parker: business.

Not at all. And your, your misconception is a hundred percent common. Number one. The other misconception is people believe that, Oh, you know, uh, buying businesses, that’s for big corporations. I can’t do that. And that’s, that’s another, that’s another wise tale is they say or misconception. So yes, it’s, um, there’s don’t get me wrong.

There’s plenty of garbage businesses, right? Oh yeah. But you’d learn, you, you learn to. As you learn how to do this, you learn to say no quickly and learn to identify them. But there’s just [00:43:00] like. Gobs of terrific business. People sell their businesses. You know, the average business sells every five years. So there’s 10 million businesses in the United States that are considered not single employee businesses, right?

So if you take small business, that’s classified as not single employee, you have 10 million of those for your listeners that work at home. You know, there’s a lot of the businesses where they’re all one employee. So you’re probably talking about a pool of 30 million businesses, right? They sell. Every, every five years.

So that’s like 6 million businesses for sale at any one time. There’s lots of good ones. There’s lots of businesses run by the wrong people. There’s also lots of good businesses where the owner is retiring or there’s the morbid issues. Um, financial, uh, divorce, et cetera, they have to sell where they’re getting involved in something else.

Sometimes people just get a little bored. So there are tons of good businesses, tons of them that, that, that’s, it really is a misconception. Wow. Well, I’m going to

Tim Melanson: check out richardparker. com now.

Richard Parker: It’s really beautiful. And if I can help you with anything at any time, you know, to get in touch with me, you have my [00:44:00] email, you know, yeah, you know, I’m, I’m happy to get on the, on a call with you or have an email exchange.

If anything, I can help you with at any point in time. Likewise, any of your people who listened, there’s a, the link, the contact us page at richardparker. com. They just put in there to please send it to me directly. I’ll get it. And again, I’m. Um, I’m happy to answer questions. I, I love doing this and it gives me of all the, I’ve owned a lot of businesses.

This is the greatest from a gratification standpoint, because you really make a dent in the world, right? Developing people. And that’s, uh, you know, that’s, that’s the best.

Tim Melanson: Awesome. Well, this has been a very, very good conversation. I really appreciate you being here, Richard. It’s been a lot of

Richard Parker: fun. Thank you.

I appreciate you having me. Your questions are terrific. And I really enjoyed the conversation.

Tim Melanson: Great. And to the listeners, make sure you subscribe, rate, and comment. And we’ll see you next time with the work at home rockstar podcast. Thanks

Richard Parker: for listening to learn how you can become a work at home rockstar or become a better one.

Head on over to work at home rockstar. com today.

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