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Aerial Yoga Exit and New Quiet Light Advisor
Elaine Eason is a Business Advisor at Quiet Light with a passion for entrepreneurship — and a track record to prove it. She began her first venture in high school, an e-commerce boutique that she scaled to five figures. From there she built three e-commerce brands: a content site, an online subscription service, and a multimillion-dollar aerial yoga equipment and accessory brand. Through the expert guidance of the Quiet Light team, Elaine successfully exited her latest venture.
Elaine has a degree in business administration and a corporate background as a data analyst. She is an expert in e-commerce, marketing, and data analytics with a specialty in the physical products space. She enjoys traveling and hiking when not at work.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [03:14] Elaine Eason describes her entrepreneurial path and how she discovered that entrepreneurship was her forte
- [08:52] How to simultaneously create a business and earn money on your own schedule
- [12:12] Elaine talks about the inspiration behind her aerial yoga brand
- [15:20] What does it take to grow and scale a valuable brand?
- [24:42] How the Quiet Light team helps business owners navigate difficult emotions during the exit process
- [27:04] Elaine discusses her future goals at Quiet Light and how she’s cultivating relationships in the industry
In this episode…
Do you have an incredible product, but are struggling to gain traction and scale in your industry? Are you looking to pivot your brand, stand out among the competition, and prepare for a future exit?
Elaine Eason founded an aerial yoga equipment and accessory company to empower and provide a healthier lifestyle for consumers. Her experience taught her that building a brand takes time, but there is an opportunity to scale your business through innovative marketing tools. So, what are Elaine’s tips to achieve your most lucrative exit?
In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Joe Valley and Pat Yates have a conversation with Elaine Eason, Business Advisor at Quiet Light, about scaling a brand from the ground up and achieving a multimillion-dollar exit. Elaine talks about her entrepreneurial beginnings, navigating the emotions of exiting your business, and her unique strategies for creating a more profitable brand. Stay tuned!
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Elaine Eason on LinkedIn
- Elaine Eason
- Quiet Light
- Quiet Light on YouTube
- Joe Valley
- Mark Daoust
- Pat Yates
- Quiet Light Podcast email: [email protected]
- The EXITpreneur’s Playbook: How to Sell Your Online Business for Top Dollar by Reverse Engineering Your Pathway to Success by Joe Valley
- Digital Nomad Summit
- David Newell
- Jason Yelowitz
- Amanda Raab
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.
There is no wrong reason for selling your business. However, there is a right time and a right way. The team of leading entrepreneurs at Quiet Light wants to help you discover the right time and strategy for selling your business. By providing trustworthy advice, effective strategies, and honest valuations, your Quiet Light advisor isn’t your every-day broker—they’re your partner and friend through every phase of the exit planning process.
If you’re new to the prospect of buying and selling, Quiet Light is here to support you. Their plethora of top-notch resources will provide everything you need to know about when and how to buy or sell an online business. Quiet Light offers high-quality videos, articles, podcasts, and guides to help you make the best decision for your online business.
Not sure what your business is really worth? No worries. Quiet Light offers a free valuation and marketplace-ready assessment on their website. That’s right—this quick, easy, and free valuation has no strings attached. Knowing the true value of your business has never been easier!
What are you waiting for? Quiet Light is offering the best experience, strategies, and advice to make your exit successful. To learn more, go to quietlight.com, email [email protected], or call 800.746.5034 today.
Hi folks. It’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips, and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.
Joe Valley 0:18
Hey, folks, Joe Valley here, host of the Quiet Light Podcast. Thanks for joining us on another episode, do not fast forward, just like I said last week, I want to make an announcement, this is the second time that I’m going to do it. And then I’m never doing it again. We are seeking two more highly qualified advisors to join the Quiet Light team in q1 of 2022. You have to have built bought or sold your own online business hopefully all three, shoot me an email, [email protected] in the subject line, right? Can I join the team? Give me your LinkedIn profile. Make sure that you tell me right there and then in there that you’ve built, bought or sold your own online business and sometimes all three, our guest today did just that she built a Shopify store and E commerce business from nothing, sold it through Quiet Light. And then talked to Jason about joining the team took some well deserved well earned time off and joined the team. Her name is Elaine Eason. Pat, you’ve had a chance to talk with Elaine and work with Elaine a few times you want to say anything about her before you bring her out of the greenroom?
Pat Yates 1:37
Yeah, as I was saying when when you’re not taught before, I was just incredibly impressed with Elaine and I don’t mean to embarrass her right in front of her when we talked originally was just thinking about joining the team. It’s just she asked all the right questions. She was humble in so many ways, but yet seem to be a sponge, which I think anytime you come into something like this when it’s new, especially a Quiet Light with as many facets as there are, it definitely takes that I was just overly impressed with her. And obviously she’s she’s going to be incredible.
Joe Valley 2:03
Well, I think you and I talked about it in the last podcast we did together. Elaine like so many others makes us feel like we’re not qualified to do what we do because she’s got so much experience at a young age to you and I old guys compared to like,
Pat Yates 2:16
we’re we’re like wailed, according to some of these studies. Kids are like our kids. Yeah, I mean, it’s that’s what’s beautiful about Quiet Light, I can’t, I probably learned more in the last year than I did in the previous five in anything. And it’s not not a joke. There were that many smart people, including like, let’s bring
Joe Valley 2:33
Elaine out of this fictitious Green Room lane to stuff on youth there. Thank you for joining us.
Elaine Eason 2:38
Appreciate you. Oh, hello. So excited to be here. You guys. Thank you for having me just cracking up over here about the age thing.
Joe Valley 2:46
Because it’s true. You said it. You said it yourself. That’s why it’s funny. Truth is comedy is the closest thing to truth, right? You’re making stuff up. It’s not funny, but when it’s really close to the truth. It’s very funny.
Elaine Eason 2:58
Awesome. Well, I’m super excited and thrilled to be part of an amazing team.
Joe Valley 3:02
Well, why don’t you tell us about your journey from you know, whether you’ve had a job or not, I don’t actually know but your entrepreneurial college to your entrepreneur journey.
Elaine Eason 3:14
Yeah, so I started my first ecommerce business, actually in high school. I started an Etsy store selling handmade Mardi Gras masks, got some connections with wedding planners. And at the time, that was a really big trend to have masquerade events, weddings, etc. And just started selling them in bulk. was a great little business for me. Wasn’t huge, but you know, grew to five figures of revenue for me as a high school student. I was like 16 years old, so pretty good gig for my after school time five figures at the age of 16
Joe Valley 3:47
Holy Kinda, yeah. What was your margin on that? What was your net bottom line margin?
Elaine Eason 3:53
Maybe about 15%? That’s amazing.
Pat Yates 3:57
No, Elaine. I am super curious on that. Because while most kids are either going to volleyball practice, or hanging out with the band or hanging out with friends, you started a business what made you do that?
Elaine Eason 4:09
I know it sounds like you know, cliche, but I’ve always been that entrepreneurial type, like making art trying to sell it to my own goals. And, you know, trying to make a buck had a lemonade stand all that, you know, stereotypical things, as a kid, just really been interested in just the process of making money. And this is kind of my first foray into entrepreneurship, like on a bigger scale was starting this se store but it it really opened my eyes to the opportunities that are available by being a business owner. So I went on in college I studied entrepreneurship as my focus and after that I worked for a few years in corporate before starting the more recent business that I sold through Quiet Light.
Joe Valley 4:52
What’s that like studying entrepreneurship in college because it didn’t exist when Pat and I went to college. We study what do you learn it? Yeah.
Elaine Eason 5:00
I mean, it’s I’d say it’s kind of like a general business management degree. But we had like a class on new product development that talked about where to how to source products, how to design products. We had like a small business marketing. And when I go back and do that degree again, I don’t know, I probably would have done better with something like finance or accounting to get those really those hard skills down. But but it has served me I do go back and use some of that stuff in some way, shape or form even today.
Joe Valley 5:30
Along before you started that first business from out of college, just starting your business. Did you ever have a job? You’ve got? I’ve had I’ve had a lot of jobs. Okay, so you had jobs? Yeah. Actually had jobs. Yeah. And then from college to self employment.
Elaine Eason 5:48
Okay. Yeah. When I left for college actually sold that business to a family friends, I guess that was my first exit, if you will, wasn’t for much a few $100 Just to transfer ownership over to her and show her how to run the ropes. But yeah, in college, she studied after that. I worked as a data analyst for about three or four years, and a couple of different fortune 500 companies. So living the life of spreadsheets all day.
Joe Valley 6:11
Wow, that sounds terrible. How long was
Pat Yates 6:14
the APA for your $200? Business?
Elaine Eason 6:17
Oh, I don’t know. Good question Pat purchase agreement, a contract to be 100% honest with you? I don’t? I don’t think we did. It was just kind of like,
Pat Yates 6:29
you know, Elaine, I do have a question. What was your most fun business?
Elaine Eason 6:33
The most fun business? What
Pat Yates 6:34
did you enjoy the most? I mean, it was your first one was it the last one was an in between? Hey,
Elaine Eason 6:39
I’d say in between, I’ve also dabbled a little bit in real estate. So I have a short term rental property, hoping to expand into more of those. But that was most fun. For me, I still like that, because it’s pretty passive. Whereas I love the E commerce, I love the building. Part of creating a business, like having an idea and bring it into fruition is so so rewarding. But I also love the idea of like, okay, now that like the short term rental, I just kind of set it and forget it. And that is really nice. Whereas e commerce, you build this and then you have a ship to manage, you have to keep keep building it. You know, everything that goes into that is it’s a full time job if you’re running a decent sized e commerce Store. So there’s pros and cons.
Joe Valley 7:18
Do you have someone else managing the short term rental? Are you doing that yourself?
Elaine Eason 7:22
We have property management company. Yeah,
Joe Valley 7:25
is that the one in Florida or Colorado or somewhere else?
Elaine Eason 7:29
It is in Florida.
Joe Valley 7:30
Now for your net? I’m just curious, I’m gonna go on a tangent here, Pat, really back in when it happened, you’re good. For your next short term rental property, are you thinking, another location that you’d like to spend some time in? Or are you thinking where you can actually rent a lot make a lot of money for both,
Elaine Eason 7:49
I’m probably right to make a lot of money. It’s kind of a funny situation, how that all came to be. But we purchased this property in the Orlando area. And we wanted to travel the world, me and my boyfriend. So we wanted to be digital nomads, if you will, and travel and work remotely to the world. And so we purchased a property that we knew was zoned properly so that we’d be able to rent it while we’re gone. And it ended up being that the return was so great. We never wanted to go stay there. It’s like, let’s just rent it out. And, you know, keep exploring other places. So that’s how that came to be. But for future ones, I would probably look for return primarily as opposed to some place I’d want to stay. Because, you know, it’s more fun to just always explore new places on vacation and just, you know, get income from what I’ve set up.
Joe Valley 8:33
And it’s still worth doing in this real estate market.
Elaine Eason 8:36
I think so in certain locations. I mean, it’s probably it’s definitely getting more challenging, but there are still opportunities. I have a couple places in Colorado I’ve been looking at, and maybe a place in New Mexico. So there’s opportunities
Joe Valley 8:50
out there. Right, cool. Very cool. Well tell us about the the E commerce business that you built that you ended up selling through Quiet Light.
Elaine Eason 8:58
So I started this business while I was working that nine to five data analyst job. Not that I hated that job. But I wanted something more for myself. Like I always knew I wanted to own my own business and make money on my own time and schedule. So that was really my motivation for starting it. But I found something that I really loved and I saw an opportunity in it. So that was aerial yoga. If you haven’t heard if you haven’t heard of aerial yoga, it’s kind of a blend of yoga and aerial acrobatics, and it’s absolutely amazing. For people that have back pain or flexibility. You get the verb the benefits of inversion therapy along with the benefits of yoga. If Pat
Joe Valley 9:39
and I were doing it, would it be necessary to wear a helmet because we’d call and get a concussion?
Elaine Eason 9:45
No, no, no, no, I’ll be there to spy you guys. If you want to give it a try. Just call me up. I’m open any time
Pat Yates 9:50
you know Elaine found that fascinating. You know, many years ago I did Beachbody the in part of that as yoga and that was my weakest thing. because I just had six, four, I couldn’t get in those positions. How? How were you able to attract people? And how are you able to educate people on because you just mentioned it, you just said, Well, we could do it. And I would have thought, No way. So how did you educate people in your company understand how to do that?
Elaine Eason 10:15
Yeah, it’s a good question. And it’s a combination of different things. We made video tutorials to start start start, it was just me making tutorials. Over the years, I hired instructors that would help us make that content blog articles. It was kind of a hybrid of working with individuals like you guys, if you were like, I’m going to try it early. Okay. And you wanted to purchase the equipment online, as well as working with instructors and business owners. So that was another big time for business was gyms or studio that that wanted to add a cool niche fitness offering to what they already were doing?
Joe Valley 10:49
Were you importing the products from overseas? Yeah, we were and how did you let’s talk about when you first decided to do this, did you make a big investment in product? Did you buy some from a reseller? How did it go initially to get the business started?
Elaine Eason 11:05
Yeah, initially, I had followed some information about drop shipping online. So I ordered a bunch of products to try and test the quality of, and I worked with one of those suppliers to kind of customize it a little bit. I found someone really awesome that wanted to work with me, even though I had like no sales or background. Somebody is I guess, driven like me just trying to make something happen. And he made some customizations to the kit that I requested, like the types of hardware that came with it, adding my own branded instructions, my own inserts into the packaging, etc. So once I worked with him, we continued to work together for like five years, that was a great relationship. And it just grew together over that timeframe.
Joe Valley 11:50
But What year was this that you just started this business? 2015 2015 skocy It’s gonna be a blur. Imagine what that what’s gonna happen. When you get to be Pat’s age, it’s gonna be awful. You can’t remember anything.
Elaine Eason 12:05
Not that old Pat.
Pat Yates 12:07
Yeah, I think there’s no question about that.
Joe Valley 12:10
I think I’m older than Pat. So
Pat Yates 12:11
what was I mean, obviously, a lot of people take passions, and they turn it into a business, which clearly is something you did what I mean, when you woke up. I mean, I think about it. And if someone told me, and I’m first in E commerce that, hey, we’ll do a yoga website, I’d be you know, maybe obviously supplies, but it would have been foreign to me at first, kind of like the Magnet Fishing business I had to research that I sold. So tell me, what led you to that? Were you in that? Or did you see that that was a need? Or how did you come up with it?
Elaine Eason 12:37
Yeah, I mean, it was something that I tried myself, not thinking about it as a business idea, but initially, was interested in it just as like a creative outlet, something to de stress, something to help with back pain. I just tried it. And I liked it. And I researched more of it. And it seemed to be something that was on the up and up but relatively obscure at the time. Like, I mean, it’s blown up over the last five years. But even five years ago, you asked an average person, they probably don’t know what you’re talking about when I say it’s pretty well known. But I went to a class, I loved it, the teacher that I had, there was absolutely amazing. And from there just kept that idea in my head that, you know, there could be opportunity to help people do this at home, because you don’t have studios everywhere. And this is so much fun. It has great health benefits, and like how do we make this more accessible? So that’s how I got the idea and set me on a path of researching and came up with the business.
Joe Valley 13:29
And did you borrow money to get it started? Or did you bootstrap it from savings?
Elaine Eason 13:33
Totally bootstrapped? Totally bootstrapped? Because dropshipping. You know, it’s very low barriers to entry. You don’t need much money upfront, like I mean, under $1,000 into guest orders. Yeah, exactly
Joe Valley 13:44
how long from the initial sales to when you started branding the product for your product, because it went from drop shipping to you know, straight up branded ecommerce store, right?
Elaine Eason 13:56
Pretty pretty quickly, like within the first few months, because it evolved over time. In the first few months. It was like I want this customized like this, and then I want these inserts in there. And then eventually, it’s okay, we’re developing our own packaging. And eventually we got to the point where we’re important, we’re no longer really doing drop shipping for the most part. So it just evolved over time as the business grew.
Joe Valley 14:19
And at what point will actually cover the questions First, how much ballpark that first full calendar year that you are in business? Any recollection if you will, about how much revenue you did?
Elaine Eason 14:30
Yeah, $13,000 $13,000
Joe Valley 14:35
you did better I was away.
Elaine Eason 14:36
I know I almost quit. I was like this is I remember like several moments like distinctly in my mind where I was just having issues with one thing or another and I was like, this isn’t worth it. This is never going to work and I almost quit so many times. But I did it.
Joe Valley 14:50
What was the tipping point that made you go from 13,000 to Okay, wow, this is actually, you know, starting to get some traction.
Elaine Eason 14:58
It was really that first holiday Season. So out of that 13,000, at least 10 of that was in December. So that first holiday season hit, and I realized this is super giftable. And January is also a super strong fitness product. And that really just set the ground running for me and was like, Okay, there’s, there’s something here, there’s room to grow.
Pat Yates 15:19
Elaine going back to what you said about about growing it. I think that you mentioned something a lot of people that are listening, they can’t get past that one thing you said they had average results by their own, you know, numbers that they hope for, but yet you kept pushing. Some people just stop there and they think I don’t want to invest or I don’t understand how to tell tell them how you got through that. And what the pivot was that that changed it for? Because sometimes those the turning points of business that make you successful or make you close?
Elaine Eason 15:49
Yeah, I think it’s really something to do with the people around me at the time. So I had my boyfriend has supported me from the very beginning, in my business endeavors. Like he’s known that I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and wanting to do that. And whenever I was having those those times where I was like, I don’t know if this is worth it. Like he reminded me he’s like, look, this is why you started it, like we research, like, look at this potential that we’ve seen this, like, you know, I know that it’s like, it’s gonna be hard sometimes, but it’s okay, you know, to take a day off, take a week off, just get back to it.
Joe Valley 16:23
Yeah, I think that’s critically important. Just take that time off, separate yourself from the daily grind. And I do buy mowing the lawn, I like manual labor, I go out and do work in the yard and where I actually get some of my best ideas. Alright, so 13,000 in the first full calendar year, and then you sold the business in 2021. What kind of revenue did you do in the trailing 12 months prior to selling the business?
Elaine Eason 16:47
Yeah. Over two and a half million. Wow.
Joe Valley 16:51
That’s incredible. That’s incredible. Pat’s gone. Holy cow. It’s
Pat Yates 16:55
amazing. I mean, people out there listening to this, imagine starting out with 11,000, and then moving it to 2 million and selling it for seven figures. That’s a very incredible accomplishment.
Joe Valley 17:07
What kind of what kind of team did you have? When you did? Yeah,
Elaine Eason 17:11
we had about 11 people, when we finally sold had a team of writers on the team, something that was really important to me was to be really value driven in our approach to business and making sure that we’re providing value to the customers first. So creating really high quality blog content, video tutorials was really at the forefront of that. So we had a team of bloggers, writers, instructors with that content, as well as customer service, graphic designer. Maybe someone else I can’t remember for odds and ends, but SEO that kind of thing.
Joe Valley 17:44
And did they transfer? I’m sorry, go ahead, Pat. Elaine a lot of times people
Pat Yates 17:50
you know are good at one thing and not good at others. The interesting thing about e commerce you have to be good at a lot of things you have to outsource you had fun that was there something that happened or that you either outsource or you just said I’m going to research it and get better at it that became the thing that drove it. Is there one thing or is it multiple?
Elaine Eason 18:06
Hmm, that’s a good question. I think that for our business, it was multiple things. Starting out like I had no skills, any commerce, I didn’t, I didn’t come from like a background. I’m doing that besides, I guess that’s a store. But really, like I didn’t know how to run ads. And I taught myself that that was really pivotal and getting us off the ground because we were one of the first companies in that niche to be running Google ads, for instance. And that was a big thing. As far as outsourcing things, we got a really great email marketing team that last year, and that really helped push things forward and took a lot of work off my plate. It’s really hard to outsource things like, you know, it’s so easy to say like, oh, yeah, you know, just just find the expert and hire them. But finding people that really know what they’re doing and can do it really well for your brand is was something that I found really challenging. But at the at the very end, I felt really good about where we were in terms of our team and having good resources to hand off to the new owners.
Joe Valley 19:03
At what point did you start to think about the new owners and actually selling your business? Or was it always in your mind that you were going to exit Sunday?
Elaine Eason 19:11
It was not in my mind that I was always going to exit someday. When I mean when I built this. I didn’t know that that was even an opportunity until maybe around 2019 I went to a digital nomad conference in Thailand. And one of white lights competitors had a booth there. And that’s how I first learned that this was even a thing that there’s marketplaces out there to sell online businesses. I was blown away. Ultimately, I ended up selling with quiet Wait, I found you guys in the E commerce fuel forums. And we had such great reviews there that I was like, Okay, let me let me talk to these guys too. And I met with David Newell on our team maybe maybe about eight months before I actually listed the business and he was absolutely amazing. He was so detailed in his valuation with Business asking all the questions. And I just felt like he really cared and wanting to have a full picture of my business. Whereas some other brokerages I talked to, it was just kind of like, give me the numbers, very high level, here’s your valuation, but I felt like because David took that time to really understand it that I had a more accurate valuation from him.
Joe Valley 20:19
And he’s brilliant. She sounds so damn charming, too doesn’t he really is. David’s a former investment banker and and he was actually head of brokerage services at ft international for a while. And once the non compete period was over, he came knocking. And we did a Mark and I always loved David. He’s just he’s one of those guys again, that that is just brilliant and humble at the same time. So he doesn’t make us feel too much like idiots. But he’s just he’s just brilliant. And I think Elaine, if I’m not mistaken, he’s also very much into meditation and yoga, isn’t it?
Elaine Eason 20:52
Yeah, yeah. So it was it was wonderful to get to know him. But the interest from those couple of calls that we had together
Joe Valley 20:59
now, why is it that I thought that Jason was the listing broker for you?
Elaine Eason 21:02
He was he was, so I started with David Newell. That was my intro to Quiet Light. And he sold me I was like, I definitely add all the best of respect for Quiet Light, after that conversation, followed these podcasts over the following six months, David give me really tangible items from those initial calls of things that I needed to do to maximize the value of the business. And I went to work. So I spent six months buckled down long hours getting everything moved over. Like we had some things that were self fulfilled, and everything over two, three PL, hired some people to Officer, outsource some of my tasks. And then ultimately, we got to that point where I was ready to go to market. I called David up and he was like, Oh, I’m actually busy right now. But I can connect you with one of my colleagues. I was like, oh, no, I really wanted to work with you, David. But ultimately, I got to work with Jason, who was also fantastic. And I have no regrets because he is a doer. Like he gets things done, he executes and he is really a straight shooter, and just got things moving super quickly. And it was an amazing experience,
Joe Valley 22:06
Pat we’re just talking about that last week on the podcast about Jason and how efficient he is with his time and an NS getting he was, I think I’ve told you he was my advisor back in 2010. You know, nobody knows more about this this business than Jason does. So you weren’t too great hands there. Yeah. The transaction closed March, April, May,
Elaine Eason 22:29
when did you run into April?
Joe Valley 22:31
end of April? And what was the process? Like once you decided to sign an engagement letter? Work with Jason, how long did it take from the time you listed the business for sale to the time that you got your first offer?
Elaine Eason 22:43
Yeah, so we listed it, maybe, gosh, it’s been a blur, like sometime in maybe end of February, early March. And it was really, really busy. At that time, there were a lot of people trying to sell their businesses. And I remember, one of the challenges we had was just finding a time on our email slot to be able to launch the business to acquire email list. So what we did is we did kind of like a soft launch, where we launched the business on the website, but didn’t do the full marketing push yet, and tried to get some initial interest and gauge on the market. And we heard crickets, there was not a single inquiry, really no questions. Nobody was interested in the business. And I started I started getting nervous. I was like, Is this sellable? Is anybody gonna want this like, I was ready to be done. Like I was really, you know, I’ve been working hard on that for five years, and looking forward to moving on and spending more time with my family and just having more balance in my life. And I was, I was really getting stressed when when there was nobody interested in the business in those first, that first week or so. But then we went ahead and did that marketing push to the Quiet Light list. And we got a ton of increase. So we had a lot of people asking for information. And we had a handful of calls, ended up being maybe around four buyers that were seriously interested. And then to narrow down to like, maybe two we’re going to put in offers. And then finally one put in a good offer. And that was I jumped on. And I was like, let’s do this. And luckily, it all worked out really well from there.
Pat Yates 24:15
You know, Elaine, it’s really amazing, because it’s kind of like the old Hair Club for Men commercials, which you won’t remember you’re not only an owner, you’re a customer. So looking at that it’s really an interesting perspective. Because less than a year ago, you probably had no idea how this was gonna go. And now you’re actually executing those. It’s an amazing transition. So tell me what you learned from that, that you might apply to people as you’re going out and doing the same thing for them. Yeah, I mean,
Elaine Eason 24:42
I understand why Quiet Light has this qualification I know. And Joe, you just put it that notice that we’re trying to recruit more advisors here, and I understand really, really well why we have the requirement that you’ve been through this firsthand because it is a very emotional and stressful process. like these sellers, they’ve spent so much time building these businesses, like a lot of times, this is their full time job. They put in so much effort. And it’s such a big part of their life that it’s it’s a very emotional process to let go of that. And yeah, I haven’t experienced that firsthand, like, even me being super ready to let go, like I didn’t have qualms about moving on, it was just the whole process from start to finish feeling like, okay, maybe maybe we’re gonna find buyers, and then, you know, kind of being let down a little bit. From that experience, I try and really be there for my sellers, and be really communicative with them and try and set expectations and tell them how things are going. Because I know when I was in that, in those shoes, I was like, is Jason calling me does he have an update for me constantly is that I try and stay on top of that.
Joe Valley 25:47
Yeah, and that’s hard, you’re talking about, really, I think somebody that came to the table that was an online entrepreneur, in the psychotherapy field would be incredibly high qualified to be an advisor, Quiet Light, because it’s a big part of what we do. I know that when I sold mine, in 2010, you know, just weeks before, you know, I thought we were going to close, the whole deal fell apart. And you know, you just kind of go crazy. And I think if you’re doing it on your own, you know, you can drop your price, have terrible deals, whatever it might be. And Jason said to me, you know, after I joined the team, the difference between a good advisor and a great advisor is that the great advisor always gets back on the rails, when the deal falls apart, and most of them have some, you know, big tilting of the train, if you will, on the, on the trails, on the rails to closing. So that’s it’s a big part of what we do, which is it’s not just looking at numbers and doing valuations, but it’s engaging, understanding goals and objectives, some sometimes personal situations, but also managing people’s emotions and expectations all along the way. And the better equipped you are to do that, the more successful you’re going to be for your clients, and the more people you’ll be able to help. And you’ve been at it six months now. Right. And you started in August, I think,
Elaine Eason 27:10
yeah. September’s a little less than October. Yeah,
Joe Valley 27:13
that’s right, you’re gonna kick back to the summer and take the summer off, which is smart. Most people, when they sell a business, they they jump right into the next one. Take any time off. So you’re wise beyond your, your years. So really, we’re only talking about four months here. Because we’re recording in mid December. What’s it been like, so far in terms of the learning curve? And have you had your first listing yet?
Elaine Eason 27:38
Talk about that? Yeah, yeah, I’ve had a few listings already. So as far as the learning curve, it’s the best thing is that there’s a great community of advisors here at Quiet Light that are more than willing to help. So everyone has been super helpful if I have questions trying to run to get a second opinion on evaluation, just how to handle different situations, the support here is unparalleled. I think what’s been challenging is really like just trying to get my flow going and keep things keep things moving along. I’ve had, especially in the beginning, just kind of like getting clients on board, getting people ready, ready to list. It can be time consuming. It’s a lot of work to make sure that you’re getting all of the details about a business correct, you’re getting all the information correct, portraying it in an accurate way. So I think going through the process has been the best learning experiences as of yet. My first deal went under offer last are actually one of their offer a couple of weeks ago, and they signed the APA last week, they’re in the middle of the asset transfer today. I think all that is made get buttoned up this afternoon. I’m waiting on the green light from them. But that’s very exciting.
Joe Valley 28:54
Congratulations for you and the client and the buyer. That’s very quick. That’s very quick in terms of from, you know, under under loi a couple of weeks ago to an acid purchase going to closing now, why so fast? Is it what is it a relatively small deal or a simple transaction?
Elaine Eason 29:09
It’s a pretty simple transaction. And two very experienced parties, the buyer and seller have both bought and sold businesses before, and they are wanting to get it done before the holidays.
Joe Valley 29:20
And if I recall, it’s mid six figures, so it’s not necessarily a small deal, right. Yeah. Pat, she’s way ahead of the curve it took you
Pat Yates 29:29
actually Elaine I’m curious, because you know, I predate you maybe nine months, eight months. But you know, as we started to get into it, obviously there’s ebbs and flows, and you learn so much and there’s so much information coming at you. But the thing that I talked to Joe about that I love so much is the interaction and being able to learn from the entre other entrepreneurs. Maybe tell us a little bit about your relationship so far with the people that you’ve worked with and how that side maybe, you know, for me, it’s probably the biggest side I’m a big relationship guy. So I’m very close to everyone I’ve worked with still so tell us about that. and how you work with your entrepreneurs. Yeah,
Elaine Eason 30:02
I’ve had a lot of valuation calls, I think that’s the best thing you can do is to get on the phone with as many entrepreneurs as possible just getting started because you get to learn all of the different business models, what people are doing the nuances of different businesses. And that’s been a really fun part for me is getting to know them and getting to know people’s backgrounds. Everyone has their own story. And people are doing things in different ways. Like, yeah, it’s incredible just to be able to learn from these few conversations that I’ve had. But yeah, I’ve had a few connections that have been really great in terms of getting to know each other. And in some instances, I’ve been able to provide a lot of value to them. And that always feels really good. You know, it’s great when you have some experience that can help somebody. But yeah, I’ve had my first few clients go to market, and we’ve had some strong responses like that first one I mentioned. But I’m still very green to this, I’m still learning a lot, like I’m new, I’m learning but every transaction, every person that I get to meet, there’s something that I can take away from those conversations.
Joe Valley 31:07
And you’ve got full support of the team behind you, when you have questions. You’re never alone or you
Elaine Eason 31:12
know, that’s that’s another important point is like I like I like I feel very, very supported. I work with somebody very closely right now as a mentor here on the team. So
Joe Valley 31:23
that’s chuck chuck, okay. And then the small teams meetings that you have once a week, and of course, the the string email chain that we have, it’s not slack, folks, we need to go on a slack channel. We’re not it’s we’re dinosaurs in some ways. But we’ve got that one channel of communications that we’re constantly bantering back and forth on and sharing deal points and getting advice from. And now it’s really not like, you’re just working with Elaine, you’re working with Elaine, Pat, Joe, Mark, Jason, Amanda, and you know, a lot of other folks as well. So nobody’s ever alone. Even though, Pat, when you’ve got a deal, you’re the point you take it from beginning to end. It’s what I did for a decade, right? You are that point person, and you don’t let go. You know, as you’re learning on this deal, you just did, Elaine, you’re you’re deep into it from the very beginning, all the way through to closing. So in buyer seller conference calls and due diligence, we don’t hand it off to anyone. And that can be wonderful, it’s the best thing to do because we have no Junior brokers or advisers, as we say. And there’s different folks at different firms that do different things. And in this case, you’ve got that one advisor with an incredible amount of experience all the way from the beginning to the end.
Pat Yates 32:36
I think that’s an amazing part of what Quiet Light is because we send out emails to all the brokers and some people have no idea how really experienced some of our team is I mean, obviously, Joe not. I mean, Joe’s a best selling author, obviously, shameless plug. We have another gentleman who’s wrote a book on this on this thing, but no one sees that hold
Joe Valley 32:54
on, wait a second, I have to say, anytime you bring up my book and Walker’s book, I have to say I’m no Walker he sold a lot more books than I have. I like that pulling that up, Pat, that’s good. You’re welcome Walker 40,000.
Pat Yates 33:09
But anyway, the whole point is, is that no one has an ego emailing and asking questions. So if an entrepreneur comes in, and there’s something Elaine struggling with, she’s gonna ask the walker in the group or Walker may respond or, or John or me or Joe, I think it’s amazing how people check their egos at the door, even though we have super smart people they don’t expect they know everything. And that’s such a big tool. And I think people are be shocked how much that really helps in any kind of those processes.
Joe Valley 33:33
All right, we’ve got a few minutes left. So Elaine, I’m gonna put you on the spot with what are your predictions for 2022? We’ve got inflation looming, it’s here. We’ve got supply chain issues, you know, people talking about the next market crash and things of that nature. If there’s a downturn in the economy, what do you think’s going to happen in this m&a world that we live in?
Elaine Eason 33:54
Ah, good question, Joe. No, I mean, it’s definitely going to be affected, I’d say it’s concerns to have but also, if you’re an entrepreneur listening to this, it’s like you have to work on your own timelines, I’d really say I wouldn’t put any bets on the future. Look at where you’re at, in terms of if you’re looking to build your business to exit in the future and just work on your timelines with your business and what needs is going to help you get to your goals.
Pat Yates 34:21
Very well. I did have one other question you you’re a first year advisor, which they have to buy expensive Christmas gifts for every other Boser.
Elaine Eason 34:31
I think Chuck took care of that for me actually.
Joe Valley 34:35
Getting a lump of coal Pat. There you go. I went away on vacation and I came back to this is the team that we have people. I was going on vacation. I launched the book June 15. And I had a vacation booked first week of July. And if you go to Amazon and you search for the Exitpreneurs Playbook at least back in July what what was the product? It was a laxative? No it was an antibiotic. Dulcolax one, something, something to make sure that you if you had diarrhea, it prevented it. And it was a paid sponsor to add right above my book. So the word exit somehow in my book ended up, you know, with duchal x or whatever it was. And I come back from vacation. My poor mother in law was house sitting, taking care of the dogs. And she’s like, What is going on with you, Joe? There’s like 17 boxes of, you know, anti laxatives on the front porch. I’m like, Oh, God, thank you. And it was Chuck’s idea, as people have told me so I told Chuck I, Elaine, we can’t trust him for Christmas gifts. But paybacks, bitch. He’s gonna get it. It could be two years from now. I’m thinking about it. And it’s going to happen, but I just don’t know what it is. Anyway, see, that’s me going on a tangent. Tangent right then and there. Elaine, we’re so excited that you’re on the team. It’s It’s incredible the story and the success that you’ve had. I look forward to what it’s going to be like, as I said to Pat on the last podcast I did with him. You know what it’s going to be like in 10 years for you hear that Quiet Light? Because I certainly watch around that long. I think you’ll be here longer than me. Right? A couple of decades. Maybe we’ll see. I don’t know. But I’m excited to see what happens in 2022 and all the people that you can help. So welcome to the Quiet Light team.
Elaine Eason 36:29
Thank you, Joe. I’m humbled to be here.
Joe Valley 36:32
We’re humbled to have you on the team. Thanks. We’ll talk to you soon. Thanks, folks. Thanks for listening. We’ll talk to you next week on the Quiet Light Podcast.
Today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 And the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for future podcasts, subject or guest, email us at [email protected]. Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.