July 15, 2022

Acquiring Startups with Andrew Gazdecki

Acquiring Startups with Andrew Gazdecki

 Andrew Gazdecki has been an entrepreneur for as long as he can remember. He likes to build stuff, mostly companies, and tell their stories in a way that goes beyond what the companies do to how they're changing markets. Andrew has started two companies, Bizness Apps and Altcoin.io, both acquired. He has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes Magazine , The Wall Street Journal , Inc.com , and Entrepreneur Magazine as well as prominent industry blogs such as Mashable, TechCrunch and VentureBeat . Today Andrew teaches us about acquiring startups!

Transcript

Josh
 Good day fellow dealmakers. Welcome to the deal scout. My name is Josh. I travel around looking at deals all day long, talking with deal makers. My goal is to put deals and deal makers together. That's the mission purpose of the show. I try to bring the best of the best who done a lot of deals and who broker things and relationships, and kind of share their story, share their journey. As you listeners find people that you want to do deals with you just reach out to them. All their contact information will be in the show notes below, so you can connect with them directly and do a deal. That's the mission. All right. On today's show, we have micro acquire, Mr. Andrew, welcome to the show, 


 Andrew
 Josh. Thanks. So thanks so much for having me. I'm excited. 


 Josh
 Yeah, dude. You, I am seeing your name, which I don't even know how to pronounce your last name, but I'm seeing your name everywhere with my, 


 Andrew
 Okay. As Dick Yetta, I don't blame you. I've gotten all my, all my friends call me Gaz. I'll make it easy on you. 


 Josh
 Thanks, man. I appreciate that. Man, you guys are really making us a splash with Mike require what the heck is Mike required? Tell us about it. 


 Andrew
 Yeah. My car is a startup acquisition marketplace. We focus primarily on startups that have some product market fit, generating some form of revenue. That could range from a couple thousand a month to, millions. We specifically focused on SAS e-commerce and then a number of other kind of niche categories like newsletters, even communities direct to consumer or some crypto companies, but primarily SAS. Since we've launched, which was in January of 2020, we helped facilitate over a billion in acquisitions. I should note that's zero commissions as well. On micro acquire of your founder and you're looking to sell, we don't charge any commissions. If you're wondering, and I'm sure Josh might already, I hope not skipping or just answering questions as they come up, but we make money by we charged buyers for access essentially to the deal flow. We let buyers and sellers facilitate the transaction and we build tools to help them get deals done. 


 Josh
 Wow. Yeah. Cause I was going to ask, I've worked with other groups and I've taken a look at other marketplaces, you got BizBuySell, you got empire flippers, you got all sorts of like business marketplaces, flip a CDOT I've seen some others come and go over the years, but one of the questions I was going to ask you just beat me to the punches. What makes you guys different and not charging the commission? That's that's an interesting business model. Why don't you take us through the journey of like how you started this January 20 interesting year to start a business, right. Seeing what happened in March and such like that. I would love to hear how you started and why you chose this business model. 


 Andrew
 Yeah. What do you want the two minute version or like the 10 minute version? I would like. 


 Josh
 The 10 minute version. 


 Andrew
 Okay. Prior to micro choir, I'd built and sold two different companies amount. I got super lucky, started a business when I was 21, it was a duke yourself, mobile app builder. This was like right when the iPhone came out. So were like Wix for iPhone apps. Then we eventually added Android apps. We almost made a Blackberry app. Glad we didn't do that. Scale that business to a little over 10 million revenue, it was bootstrapped just a total right place, right time, rocket ship. I sold that to a private equity firm. This is the first part of like where I figured Mike requir could benefit founders. When I sold business apps, I had maybe 10 friends reach out to me and they're like, how'd you find the buyer? What was due diligence? Like how did you land on evaluation? Like all these questions. It just kinda made me realize, as entrepreneurs we're taught how to market, we're definitely taught how to fundraise. 


 Andrew
 We're taught, everything about, are you blue, the most important part of the founder's journey and that's the exit. I went off and I started a second business called Aucoin. What were trying to do was speed of times on the Ethereum blockchain using a what's called a layer two side chain solution. I won't, I won't go too into that, but we ended up selling that business to a strategic buyer and the same questions again, like how did you and that business I ran for maybe 18 months, it was an opportunistic play. The first business I ran for eight years. I got so like bored after selling the second business, I was looking to acquire a SAS business. I looked around it, some of the spots that you mentioned, I looked up and down, I did some cold reach out myself and there was just nothing specific to SAS. 


 Andrew
 And I didn't like working with brokers. I didn't like working with middleman. I wanted to speak directly to the founder to really understand why do you want to sell? This a good business to potentially buy? Kind of what really set me off was when I, because I didn't know about business brokers, I had, no, I thought it was investment bankers or above. I didn't know. There was kind of a lower level. That's probably not the best term for them, but I didn't know. There was a profession to sell a smaller business that takes a 15% commission. I was like, okay, so we have a very large market here because startups have essentially been democratized. You have people building these amazing bootstrap, SAS companies all over the world, because of the Perilla flourishing. That's a big word. That is a great word. Proliferation of tools, like, bubble and like no s**t like no code tools where you can easily get started with MVP. 


 Andrew
 So, I made this bet like, Hey, there's this big market here. There's no consolidated place that streamlines and standardizes acquisitions, the current options aren't the best. They have huge fees associated to them. Existing marketplaces were riddled with scams. I just read reviews of existing brokers firms, existing marketplaces. I just did the opposite of everything. Everything we do at my group choir, we put the founder first where our goal isn't to help buyers get great deals. Like we want everyone to be happy, but we're not the firm where if you come to us, Hey, the price is three. We have a very complex valuation model put unquote it's three times three to four times profit or something like that. You know, it's not that simplistic. We let founders, list what they believe their company to. We let founders lists their company at whatever valuation that they think it should be listed at within reason. 


 Andrew
 We'll, we'll kind of give guidance if they're going out at like 28 times revenue or something like that. But long story short. Yeah. I just saw big industries, zero innovation, low MPS, nothing specific to SAS or just startups in general. I ran this business for about a year completely free. So there was no charging buyers. There was no commissions. I was doing customer support. Every listing that goes live on my car is vetted. So I would vet the listings. I'd talk to the founders, I'd talked to the buyers. It was just one of those businesses where I had so much fun because when an acquisition goes through successfully, it's a big moment for the other person. That, I feel like I might be kind of ranting at this point, but yeah, I just saw, a huge problem in the market and no one was really addressing it. 


 Andrew
 It was just so much fun working on the business that, I just thought, let's see if we can really reshape and rethink how acquisitions are done. More founders can, actually their business if they choose. 


 Josh
 Super cool. All right. Got tons of questions. Any time an acronym is thrown out there, a business talk acronym, an acronym is thrown out there. I got to ask, what is a low MPS? What does that mean? 


 Andrew
 A net promoter score. Basically how happy customers are of that business is product or service. 


 Josh
 Got it. Copy. I, I, sometimes my hearing's not the best. I heard NPS and NPS. What is it? One more time. 


 Andrew
 A net promoter score. 


 Josh
 Copy. All right. Andrew, as you soldier, built your first business, ran it for eight years, sold it, ran a second business, sold it pretty quick. And now you're like, huh, got bored. Right. You just had your second exit. You're like, Hey, I want to do something. You started looking at these other places to buy a business and you're like, man, the user experience here, or I'm not getting what I really want. At what point were like, well, screw it, man. I'll build my own. Right. At what point did that happen? And what was that? What did that day look like? Take me back that day. 


 Andrew
 I don't, I'd have to really think. I I'd say it was almost immediate. It just after like a few interactions, it was like, okay, well this is probably the experience I can expect moving forward. Again, just this, the quality of the businesses. Cause when you work with a broker, what's interesting is you kind of have to do like reverse due diligence because the market is growing. Everything is perfect. Like this is a great business. Here's amazing growth opportunities. You have to do this reverse due diligence. I just thought it'd be really interesting where I can just like look at the business and talk with the founder direct without someone in the middle. And that's what I wanted. I would say it was probably immediate maybe. If we had to put a date around it, November of 2019. 


 Josh
 Got it. So, so super cool. So you're like, well screw it, man. I'll just, I'll build it myself. You're like, I ran it for free for the first year. I didn't charge anybody anything. I was just doing customer service and interactions. Like what kind of feedback were you getting in the marketplace when you were doing this? Was there any hesitancy resistance? What did you feel. 


 Andrew
 Initially? When you're building a marketplace, there's always that chicken and egg problem where you need the buyers and you need the sellers, but it was much easier to see both sides. I initially had anticipated, an issue were getting like, I'd say five deals a week. Like, well maybe they one deal a month. Who knows if that our betting process usually cuts out. Like we only approve about like 10 to 20% of businesses onto my crowbar. So, it just kinda kept picking up steam, especially amongst the startup community. I think people were just excited for a new option to sell their business aside from the ones that were currently available. It, it took off pretty quick and that definitely meant a lot of time and spends on customer support a lot of time vetting different businesses. Thankfully I enjoyed it because it's a lot of fun looking at businesses as I'm sure a lot of people can relate. 


 Andrew
 I got first look. I was like, oh, this is a really interesting business. I have a few questions. You know, we eventually see them acquired. Yeah, there wasn't like a specific, moment, but I, I hope that answers your question. 


 Josh
 Yeah, man. It does. It does. As you're looking at these businesses, right, you've already built, sold two companies and now, you're starting another business, but you're, you're getting started, you're looking at all these businesses, what's the stop you from going absolutely nuts and buying every cool business that comes across the place. 


 Andrew
 That, that was actually quats eyes like the original idea was like, I'm going to build something from my own deal flow so I can, have a portfolio of SAS companies is going to be awesome, but candidly, what happen was it just, and this sounds maybe a little corny or cheesy, but it was just so much fun looking at the businesses and interacting with interesting people like you or just the buyers and getting to know, private equity firms, large and small ones getting to know Corp dev teams, meeting people. I would never like ever think to interact with, because they were acquiring companies and we had a lot of high-quality SAS companies that were available over for acquisition. So, yeah, that was kind of the original idea for probably I'd say like the first, six months. I did take a look at like a couple of businesses pretty closely, but then I knew if I bought the business, then it would kind of, one of the biggest pillars that we have, it might require in terms of our values is security and trust. 


 Andrew
 If we had like some brokerage firms even have, this is kind of funny. There's literally, broker firms that have their own PE shops where they acquire businesses, but their main business is a brokerage firm and they're customers of my group are, but also competitors. It's, it's very strange. I, I didn't want that what's the word? So it conflict of interest. Everything in my group wire, we do not have any intention of acquiring, but I do joke around saying if I wasn't running Mike require I'd be on my provider all day. 


 Josh
 Yeah. I, so I love deals. I love looking at deals. I love talking to entrepreneurs. I love hearing the story and the passion behind beings. I love seeing the impact that it's having. My fear is that if I ever, like, if we ever worked together, I would wind up trying to buy everything because it's so fun. Like businesses is so fun. Now, if you backtrack, I built my first company sold, it, built another company, sold it, looking for other companies, decided to build another company. If you look back and with this mindset now of like, this is actually my fun, this is my passion. This is my joy. This is what I really like, am excited about. Like, would you have done anything different if you could go backwards with what now when you were building those first two, 


 Andrew
 That's a, that's a really good question. I would say no, because of all coin and a big reason of why I sold all coin was frankly, I didn't like the customer that I was serving. I didn't really, I wasn't passionate about the problem. I think just, I'm still an advocate of, crypto markets and, I think there's a lot of potential there, but before I started micro choir, I also did this framework. Like what are the things that, really bring me energy. I started with the customer at the top. I'm kind of like a startup nerd. Like I can meet, I don't know, LeBron James, and just be like, Hey, what's up. If I meet the CEO of like a big tech company, I'm like, whoa, you build, I don't know, Twitter or something like that. Like, that's so cool. I wanted to work with entrepreneurs, startups. 


 Andrew
 I thought that would be amazing. Unfortunately, discovery was taken with product time. Investing was taken with list and Republic and a number of other platforms and there was nothing on the acquisition side. Another thing I'm always thinking about is, you need to have a unique insight when you're starting a business. I felt, me being on the other side, as an entrepreneur, this could be a really interesting business because you have the flip side, if someone else built this, let's just say I was investment banking for 10 years and my well let's just take investment banking online. I thought, what if I just built my, the marketplace where, my, both of the businesses I described to you, what would it take for me to list on that marketplace from an entrepreneur's standpoint, not a buyer non-investment banker. I felt, the love for the customer having unique insights. 


 Andrew
 I also liked having a marketplace as well, because they're so defensible with network effects. Every person that joins the marketplace or every startup that lists on the marketplace, the more valuable it essentially becomes. With those three things combined, I was like, this is a great business, plus I love running it. I think I got them all right. I mean, if anything, if I could go back, I'd say maybe I skip the second business I described to you and just go straight to this one. 


 Josh
 Yeah. I think, I think you, you said something that really resonated with me. You said, I didn't really love the problem I was solving nor the customer. I was serving break down the importance of that for a founder of loving the customers you serve, loving the problem that you're serving or solving. 


 Andrew
 Yeah. Well, so it depends on what you're trying to do. With business apps, from just being honest, I was just, I just, I was trying to become a millionaire, so that could be also, fall within the realm of what I would consider like an opportunistic business. It's a great business, but I didn't hop out of bed, super excited to make apps for, hair salons and restaurants and schools and stuff. Like they were doing a lot of positive things for these small businesses, but it wasn't like my, dream jobs speak. I mean, it was at the time I, I had so much fun writing, running that company, but when you love the customer and I think this is just, even speaking more broadly when you love the customer and all that, and the problem too, just what you do is you out-compete anyone who's competing with you because it's worked to them and to it's fun. 


 Andrew
 That's another principle I try to live by is, if you can find something where it feels like, fund you, but work to someone else, it is so hard to compete against the founder. We're again, like if it's not work. I also think when you're able to find a business like that's a business, you can run for a decade. That's where you can build a massive business because yeah. It takes time to build a massive business and you'll just burn out. If I give you build like the best year round for dentists, but you hate the dentist. Like a true story is I made a mobile app once it was going to be like the Uber for laundry. I made like a prototype and I was like, I hate entree. Like why do I want to like start, dealing with everyone's else's laundry when I hate my, like that quote, solve a problem. 


 Andrew
 You personally experience, there's of like additional thought you should put into that. Yeah. Because if you hate doing laundry, like you don't want to end up doing everybody else's laundry, but I truly enjoyed the process of the acquisition. The many different ways, how do we streamline due diligence? How do we, standardized, simple, legal docs, I can LOI, like there's an LOI. You didn't write in a hundred different ways. How do we, how do we get that to a point where, we have a standard industry version across, it started beco system. I started thinking about all these like big, acquisitions have like stages and each of those stages could be products. I was like, that'd be cool if I had this, that'd be cool. If I had this, that'd be cool if I had this. I think again, when you have that mindset and whether you're an artist, whether you're a painter, whether you're a ser, whatever it is, I think I've always been a big believer that whatever you love, you're going to be really good at it because you're going to be naturally drawn towards learning about it, improving it. 


 Andrew
 It's really hard to work out every day. If you just hate the workouts that you're doing, not to say that you shouldn't work out if you hate working out. Just as analogy, like the people who always are in the top 1%, they absolutely love what they do. They probably wouldn't even, they'd probably do it for free, essentially. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Yeah. This is, this is the business that I would absolutely do for free. Thank God people are paying me because my kids love to eat. For some reason they absolutely love to eat. My little one loves filling up diapers. Those things cost money, but finding out what you love, the people you love to serve and problems that you like fixing is the formula, right. That I'm and feeling. 


 Andrew
 Yeah. Another thing too, is like, you hear so much about like founders burning out or founders, creating these jobs that they hate. Yeah. And it's true. If you create that CRM for dentists, and let's say you raise a bunch of venture capital, you're going to become like a prisoner to that business because you're beholden to your investors, your customers, your team. If it doesn't like, get you excited every day, that same energy will not only just, affect you. But, I'm also a big believer in just like team chemistry, culture, positivity. This could be a whole nother podcast, but when you're that enthusiastic about the business, it's contagious and it comes onto your team and it comes on to your investors and it comes on to your customers and everyone involved in the business, the way you market it, the way you treat your customers, the way your team treats your customers. 


 Andrew
 I think if you're a founder and you're building a business where, again, it's more of an opportunistic play, like business apps is probably a good example that could have been a billion dollar multi-billion dollar business. Like there was a time when ciao now was one of our main competitors and they narrowly focused one vertical and went kind of broad and I sold early, I got tired, ? That's just another reason, find something that like, you can really see your, so spending a decade doing that. It's hard to do. So yeah. Another piece of advice set, my CEO coach gave me after, so my second business, because there's another funny fact, Josh, but I w I had so much free time. I was playing Madden so much. I was a top 100 Madden player. I got to number like 99 for like a day. You gotta play every day to get the rankings up. 


 Andrew
 My, my wife was like, Andrew, you got like, you can't, you gotta go do something too. Yeah. So I started advising startups. I talked to my CEO coach and he just gave me the best advice. He said, Hey, listen. Like when I started, cause he built the business to it's called 400 million in recurring revenue, sold it. Now he's a CEO coach and he wanted to just go go or whatever. He just gave me the best advice. It was like, just be a slow moving river. Just kind of see, take your time. Like let something come to you. Like, don't force it. Don't just say you want another, you want to start another business and then just dive right in and like be more thoughtful about, and then, I kind of just bumped into this one. I was like, oh, this is actually like a startup and this is kind of work, but it's so much fun. 


 Andrew
 Then, I guess the rest is kind of history. 


 Josh
 The rest is history. All right. What was your, what's your team Madden? What was your team? 


 Andrew
 I would play with the Falcons. I'm always kind of a cheap player. I would just bomb it to Julio Jones. But this is like Madden 19, right? When RIght off the super bowl of the past. You, you can't play with the, and then now my team is the chiefs. So yes. Everyone listening, you can judge me. I like the throw the seven yard, just straight bombs. 


 Josh
 All day long, right? Yeah. All right. What stopped you other than the wife telling you gotta go get a job. You got, you're driving me nuts, man. You've got to get out of the house. You're not doing the laundry. Cause you hate the laundry. Right. You got to go out there and it go crush it. Like what stopped you from being the number one Madden player of the world? 


 Andrew
 I don't, I, I, candidly I don't think I, I could have gotten there. Have I I've maybe, maybe. Well, so I mean, just to kind of reel back, just like more about just like, who I am, I I've been an entrepreneur my whole life I've I was at kid selling baseball cards. I was a kid with an eBay store at age 15. You gotta be 18 to be on eBay, but I figured out a way around it, so I always had businesses and I, I I've always felt very fortunate that I found my passion early and luckily there's money in it. There's not a lot of money in playing Madden unless you are the number one player. So, part of me was also just I want to start another business, but I don't know what it is. I was kind of taking a break because I didn't take a break after my first business. 


 Andrew
 I just didn't have any ideas. I kinda, I think I got frustrated, like, and that led me to thinking about why don't I just buy a business? Let's skip the whole idea part. Maybe, actually this is, cause this is like two years ago. Maybe this is kind of another bell that's going off my head where I go, there's gotta be like a hundred thousand other entrepreneurs out there just like me where maybe they've had, a small liquidity event. Maybe they don't want to spend the next two years thinking of an idea of finding product market fit, chewing glass. They'd rather just kind of fast forward that and just buy us, a healthy SAS business. It's not going to be, a billion dollar company or a publicly traded company, but you're going to have happy customers. It's going to be cool product. I think that also kind of feeling that gave me of unique insight into the buyer side too of, Hey, maybe it's not just private equity firms and before, when I used to think about acquisitions, I used to think just Google and apple. 


 Andrew
 That was the only people that did acquisitions. I started to meet more people that were me that were, that maybe were looking for a business for a half a million dollars, which is a lot, but maybe, a lot cheaper arguably and lower risks and starting on your own if you're factoring in your time and all that stuff. Yeah. That might've been another little light bulb was like, I wanted to start a business, but I didn't have any ideas. Yeah, I just kind of slowly started building micro choir and yeah. 


 Josh
 Yeah. D was that domain readily available or did you have to like go through, some huge process and buy it for like thousands of dollars? 


 Andrew
 Yeah, no, the, all the social handles and the domain micro bar. 


 Josh
 You got that, scooped it up for 20 bucks and you rocked the world and built it. 


 Andrew
 Yeah. Everybody started calling it macro choir. Cause we've done some acquisitions that our largest acquisition I believe is like, it's just called like 10 million. Cool. And we've done a few. We basically live in the sub 10 million range. We can do, we have buyers that can do acquisitions much larger, but the larger, the deal gets some more complex. It starts to make sense to hire an investment bank just because you can actually hire investment bankers inside of micro choir too, if you need one. I don't know where I was going with that thought, 


 Josh
 The names that's the handles, you scooped it up like. 


 Andrew
 Yeah. Macro choir. Cause we, I think we did, like our first let's call it like $5 million deal and someone was like, that's not micro that's macro bar. And then I bought the domain space. So we might do a rebrand soon. Yeah. 


 Josh
 I think it's super cool, man. It's it speaks volumes to like the mission that you're on. I want to know like when you were frustrated, you're like, I got frustrated and I couldn't figure it out. Right. Cause you said built, it sold that, built it, sold it frustrated, at what point did you hire the coach to kind of walk you through the journey? 


 Andrew
 Oh, I CEO coach. Yeah. Oh, so he was my CEO coach for my first business and my second business, I met him through a peer CEO group called tech CEO. And then I was like 24, 25. Like everyone was talking about like bisect, dummies and stuff. I'm like, cause they're were like 50 and I'm like, what am I doing here? I learned like, I always joke to Tim about that. I was like, oh, like I was like the youngest guy there. Like I felt so out of place, but I left that group after about two years being in it, but was the moderator and I was the way it works is in your, you're in a group with about eight other really high caliber CEOs, w companies that are now public. I was seeing their books when they were private. I learned a ton and Tim ended up leaving tax CEO. 


 Andrew
 I started my other two businesses, I always kind of brought him along just because he's just a genius. I love, I, I, it's having like a, like the way I describe it when I have my calls with Tim, I'll tell my wife and my call with Tim it's like a CrossFit session. He just grills me, rate the team. How how's everybody doing? He's kinda like my accountability buddy, if you will. Cause I also don't start businesses with co-founders. I've never started a business with a co-founder. The reason for that is number one, I, I move faster generally on my own. I liked to bring people in when I kind of got the spark going, but 65% of break of startups fail due to co-founder conflict. Why add that extra percentage of failure onto a business where you already have a 90% chance of feeling? 


 Josh
 Having Tim as an accountability partner, it's the it's almost like a co-founder without having a co-founder right. You you've kind of hacked the system where you're like, I need the benefits of having an accountability, someone to drive me, someone to like work me out like a CrossFit workout, 


 Andrew
 It's, it's even better because you can tell him like, Hey, like I'm really con cause with a team you never want to show your team that you don't believe, like you don't believe this is going to work. Or like there was some times at business apps where, I, I just didn't have confidence in a product release or I don't know the exact situations on the top of my head, but you can be so brutally honest because he doesn't have, or he or she, whoever CEO, coach, they don't really have a vested. I mean, they want you to succeed, but there's no financial incentive for them to give you advice. That's not what they truly believe. The way I kind of described him, he's using NFL terms, she's the, left offensive tackle, or he covers your blind spot and he's just good at that. Like, I'll be like, the business is going great, Tim, Mike, doing this and he's like, well, have you talked to that person? 


 Andrew
 And I'm like, no, he's doing great. He's like, well, why that's like such a critical part of your, he does stuff like that. That kind of, so I, I highly recommend, if you don't have a, co-founder definitely get a CEO coach it's for every single penny and you just learn. I think, business is one of those things where, it's not a science, it's, there's people who've done and accomplished what you want to accomplish and you want to surround yourself with those people. I try to do that as much as I can. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Talking about blind spots. Right. I believe it's important for an entrepreneur, a founder to invest or anybody right. To know their strengths. Right. What am I, what am I baller at? What am I the best in the world? World-class but I think as we get older, as the stakes start going up, we start having employees, we start having investors. We, we get, we have spouses or kids or whatever that the stakes go up. Right. It's important to know our strengths, but it's also very important to know our blind spots. Right. Oh yeah. As you were going through the process of building companies, selling a building and selling now helping tons of people sell their company like thousands. How many companies have you sold so far? And within micro require, by the way. 


 Andrew
 We sold 91 so far this month, 


 Josh
 This month. 


 Andrew
 Wow. Let's just call, like, I don't know when you're going to publish this, but let's call it 800. Okay. 


 Josh
 Okay. So 800. Right? You've helped been a part of a lot of transactions. Right? Like in the process, when, like, have you ever come to a point where you really had to do some major introspection on your blind spots, maybe some gaps that you have in your, in your skill sets? 


 Andrew
 Oh yeah. I, this is like a contradictory statement saying I I'm pretty confident in knowing what I'm not good at, which I'm sure is a very incorrect statement because, but I, I'm not organized. I don't like meetings. I cannot be in a meeting from rather than an hour. I am not good at financial modeling. I'm not good at just general, I'm good at co like establishing a great culture. I love marketing. I love product development, but when it comes to kind of, operating, processes and holding people accountable, I'd say that's probably my weakest area. I always say the CEO's, the purpose of a CEO is look outward. The purpose of a CEO, COO is look inward in the business. Like, how can we optimize this? Because one at a, at a certain scale, your business needs an operating system. What I mean by that is you need, how do you communicate when you all, when does everyone meet up and kind of go over their goals? 


 Andrew
 How do you keep them accountable? What are our Q1 objectives? How are we going to reach them? You know? I can put that on a napkin, but the layers below that, I need help with. The first person I hired full time at micro acquire was my CFO from business apps to come in and be my COO. Cause he was kinda my number two. He, he covered every, he was good at everything I was bad at. I would say, I'm the reverse for him. I'm sure he would argue with me on that. But yeah, like it's so important. You need to have kind of a yang to your yang and like, know what you're bad at. I I'd go even one step farther is, there's something called your zone of genius and your zone of competence where you want to work in your zone of genius all the time. 


 Andrew
 What that means is your zone of genius is basically, when you're working in a state that brings you energy. Like I love doing podcasts. I love, I don't know, posting stuff on social media. I love, if they get them new product ideas, generally marketing the business, being, the biggest cheerleader for my team in the company. And so that's what brings me energy. Just being with my team, talking to my team, helping my team, coaching my team, to be leaders for their, reports. That's what brings me energy, but there's all this other stuff in the business that you need to do to keep it running. That would be your zone of competence. I'm also, I'm pretty good at sales. I'm good at putting together, teams and I can hold people accountable. I can, set up, an operating within the business, but it's not what I enjoy doing. 


 Andrew
 I just put a tweet like just now. Cause I was talking with my COO who's out today just cause he's not feeling good. I just said like, Hey, I, I just appreciate you, man. I feel like I create all this like chaos and you organize it within the business, but that's something as a founder, you want to figure out and the best way to kind of figure out what your zone of genius is as a tip from Justin Kahn, who co-found Twitch. He, he basically just said, look at your calendar, printed out, circle, everything that gave you energy and green and everything that didn't give you energy and red and then just stop doing this stuff in red or delegate it ideally delegate it because it probably still needs to get done and do that for a couple of weeks. Like you'll be, and that's also how you really can go long with businesses. 


 Andrew
 If you need to establish almost like an operating system or work cadence for yourself that you enjoy. Because if you constantly are waking up doing stuff that you don't like, you're just going to burn out and quit or just need vacations all the time. 


 Josh
 So good, man. I love that. That's a great, great piece of advice, Mr. Khan. Great job. I'm going to do that. I love that. I wrote that down. Thank you for sharing that. All right. Off topic. Ready behind you. There's a right-handed boxing glove. At least the way I see it is that. 


 Andrew
 There? Yes. 


 Josh
 Holy field close. 


 Andrew
 Very close. Almost, almost too close. 


 Josh
 Okay. If it's not holy field it's Mayweather. 


 Andrew
 And no Mike Tyson, 


 Josh
 Mike Tyson, you got Mike Tyson's glove. Did you steal it off his hand? 


 Andrew
 No, that was a gift from one of my friends. His name's Jerry Harris. He runs a company called pipe. Okay. 


 Josh
 Yeah. 


 Andrew
 Yeah. 


 Josh
 Okay. So here's the scenario. Mike Tyson comes in the office meet you and Mike are hanging out and he sees, he's like, oh my glove, would you go in the ring with Mike Tyson three minute round for name, a name, a price name, a dollar amount, million bucks. Would you go three minutes with Tyson? 


 Andrew
 Yeah, I do. For free. Yeah. 


 Josh
 You would take, you would go in the ring with Tyson. Yeah. 


 Andrew
 Yeah. Well, I mean, we'd have to break this down. Like how, like I need to know like how so I've been such a big Mike Tyson fan for my whole life back to the point in college. When I was on like literally financial aid, I bought the holy field Mike Tyson to poster to put on my room and cause it was the biggest pay-per-view fight of that time. Up until that time, I believe Conor McGregor and Mayweather beat those records down. Yeah, I've just always been a Mike Tyson fan because of how dominant he was. Obviously he's not the best, personal look up to, but I've always been a huge fan of his, but yeah, if I get the, hang on Mike Tyson, if that was like, Hey, you're thinking about Mike Tyson, but it's gotta be in the ring. I'd be like, sure. Why don't we get, why don't we get Marshawn Lynch? 


 Andrew
 I'll try to tackle them too. Like whatever. 


 Josh
 All right. So this is so good. Do you even know how to box? 


 Andrew
 I D I don't box, but I mean, I know enough to probably get knocked out by my cousin. 


 Josh
 All right. How tar are you and how much do you weigh? 


 Andrew
 Five 10. I weigh about 1 75. 


 Josh
 Oh my gosh. He's one, right? I'll I'll go ringside with you. I'll be your coach. I know, I don't know a damn thing about boxing, except that I did at one time for a charity event night and I got my face smashed in, but if I could set that up, we'll do that together. All right. 


 Andrew
 It would be 30 seconds. I would literally, I would take one punch and I'd be like, can we hang out now? Just be friends. Like. 


 Josh
 He's still got it. Yes. It's so good. Dan. Awesome. All right. So, so we go into a boxing match. Sorry. You get knocked out. I'm a bad coach. You get knocked out. You wake up, we go get to hang out with my Tyson. What are we going to do for the rest of the day? We get to bring one other person and we get to go to dinner together. So we got me. You might Tyson name one other person that you want to hang out with field. Should we put them at the same table together? No, 


 Andrew
 No. I'd probably Marshawn Lynch. I I've always, I actually have an article I've written about Marshawn Lynch in terms of what I admired most about. This is kind of a weird answer. Like why Marshawn Lynch. I loved how he always, and this is actually part of our, our company values at Mike requires we're all about that. Action boss is one of his favorite, like his famous quotes. What I, what I liked about him. Like he was a, an amazing running back, but he didn't really talk too much. He just proved. So, I'm a big believer that, in business, execution is everything. You can have the best idea. You can talk all you want, but what really separates, the people that really do big things in life is they execute. I really respected now, Marshawn Lynch, number one, he was just hilarious and just very, again, very dominant at his position. 


 Andrew
 And he just didn't talk a lot. He just showed up and there's some other parts, other good quotes. He, he was a great teammate. He would say stuff like, there's a good quote, like, Marshawn Lynch. I were excited as he was like, yeah. But like, I got a great team. I mean, that's like, why we're so good. It kind of emphasizes and I don't want to exclude the other grades like Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, I'm a huge sports fan. I believe business is a sport, but I feel like those are the answers that everybody gets. 


 Josh
 Yeah. Jordan and Brady, they're just not invited to our dinners. Maybe you Marshawn and Tyson, like if we're going to do it, 


 Andrew
 I mean, I'm also factoring in fun. I think that'd be a really fun cause I'm from the bay area. I, big fan of, and to shore Marshall and then from Oakland. I I've I've I think I tell my friends, I was like, I bet me and Marshawn Lynch would be friends. We hung out. 


 Josh
 Yeah. I, well, he listens to this maybe. Probably not. If he did, we, there's an open invitation for a boxing match and for dinner, I'll pay for it. It's on me to see this happen. Andrew, as you're building this man Delta company sold it, are you allowed to disclose like how you did on the exits? 


 Andrew
 Yes. You missed one. 


 Josh
 Okay. You, whatever one, you feel more comfortable talking about, you built and sold two companies prior to starting this, give us an idea of the size and magnitude of what you built and sold. 


 Andrew
 Yeah. First business I've actually never told anyone the exact amount, because it's a weird flax. Like it's not like big enough or small enough, but what I will say is let's just go low eight figures, but what was awesome about that deal? It was a stock deal. We benefited from QSB S and then one term that I negotiated in was to buy the cash. My first business apps had $2 million cash on hand, and they just put a one X multiple on it. Now that was extremely helpful for tax purposes, because typically when you sell a business, whatever cash is in is dividend paid out to shareholders. We just put that on top of the purchase price. And we had just amazing terms. I negotiated, I was out of the business within 90 days cause I was already actively building my second business. And then yeah. 


 Andrew
 Any questions on that one? 


 Josh
 Nah, man, this might be another conversation in the future is terms of acquisitions terms of sale. Like the, what, what are some good things and bad things, but before we get to deepen those weeds, cause I think that could be, that could almost be a separate interview. Like what terms to look for when selling your business, give us this. What is one term that you saw in any contracts that you've done over 800 acquisitions? What is a term that you've seen in a purchase agreement or a, an LOI or a contract that you're like red flag entrepreneur don't do it. What's one thing that you're like, you gotta look out for this. 


 Andrew
 Like a hundred percent seller financing as comes to mind. Like. 


 Josh
 You could buy a business with no money down. 


 Andrew
 Yeah. Like the, for people that don't understand these terms. If you're running a startup right now, call up your accountant immediately and ask about QSB S and it stands for qualified small business stock, I believe. What it means is you can sell a business if it's a stock transaction rather than asset purchase. If I had sold the business as an asset transaction, you'd be taxed around 40 to 50% is regular income. When you sell stock, you're taxed at long-term capital gains. If you have, if you qualify for QSB S you paid no taxes, and I could be getting my numbers wrong here, but you pay no tax on up to the first 10 million, which can save you 2 million in taxes. So that's just for a theoretical sake. Let's say you're selling a business for $10 million. One is, QSB S qualified acquisition and you're selling a second business for $8 million and it's an asset sale. 


 Andrew
 The $8 million business you're going to walk away with around $4 million and change. I'm just then you got state tax too. So that's around 13%. There's whatever state you live in. On the $10 million deal with QSB S you're paying 20% federal, or excuse me, 0% better than 13% state. You'd walk with seven, a I'm bad with math, but you've walked that we, I should have flipped it. I should've said like 10 million assets sale, but anyways, if you can qualify your business for QSB S and the reason I say call now is you have to hold the stock for five years. There are certain terms, but it can save. You potentially achieve million on taxes. If you sell your business. 


 Josh
 Change, even with inflation, that's still a lot of money, it's, 


 Andrew
 It's a whole, yeah. I mean, 


 Josh
 Buys you a couple of gallons of diesel gasoline, like that, it's a lot of money. 


 Andrew
 Yeah. Maybe, you can get, you get your injuries repaired by Mike Tyson to me, ? 


 Josh
 Yeah. Get your face, put back together and go have dinner with, you have to drink it through a straw. Andrew, this is a lot of fun, man. Let's do this. I got a few more questions for people who want to connect with you, do a deal, buy some businesses, maybe even sell a business. Where can people go to connect with you and do a deal? 


 Andrew
 Just go do a micro required a com or follow me on Twitter at me on LinkedIn. I'm pretty active on both those platforms or just shoot me an email. Andrew, my rebar.com. 


 Josh
 Cool. Are there any questions that I should've asked you that I completely screwed up and did not ask you. 


 Andrew
 Maybe how to pronounce my last name before we started? 


 Josh
 I should probably catch it, 


 Andrew
 Catch it. What I actually do has been people will ask me what, how to pronounce my last name before I go on a podcast. All I won't tell you, I'll say no, you gotta stay alive. Just cause. 


 Josh
 The Decky. 


 Andrew
 Yeah, I guess daggy. 


 Josh
 Yeah, not guys. Dukie, not GEZ whatever the other ones you told me. I paid attention. 


 Andrew
 Yeah. I know the worst was in elementary school when my name would cut off. So it'd be Andre. Like we have the w cause my name is Andrew. Cause my last name is so long and I'm the name chart. I get a double whammy, like is Andre, like this is always substitute teachers, but we'll we'll talk about that on a podcast. 


 Josh
 Well, Andre, you got stickies. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Once again, fellow dealmakers, listening into this podcast interview always reach out to our guests. Say thank you for being on the show, sharing your knowledge, your wisdom, your experiences here on the show. If you have a business that you want to look at selling or looking to buy business, head on over to micro, acquire, connect with our friends over there and tell them you heard him on the deal scout. If you're working on a deal or looking for a deal, want to talk about it here on the show, head on over to the deal. Scout.com. Fill out a quick form. Maybe get you on the show next till then talk to you all on the next episode. See you guys. 

Andrew Gazdecki Profile Photo

Andrew Gazdecki

CEO @ MicroAcquire

Andrew Gazdecki has been an entrepreneur for as long as he can remember. He likes to build stuff, mostly companies, and tell their stories in a way that goes beyond what the companies do to how they're changing markets. Andrew has started two companies, Bizness Apps and Altcoin.io, both acquired. He has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes Magazine , The Wall Street Journal , Inc.com , and Entrepreneur Magazine as well as prominent industry blogs such as Mashable, TechCrunch and VentureBeat . Today Andrew teaches us about acquiring startups!