Finish Big Book Summary - Finish Big Book explained in key points
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Finish Big summary

Bo Burlingham

How Great Entrepreneurs Exit Their Companies on Top

4.1 (30 ratings)
12 mins
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    Finish Big
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    Your exit requires preparation. Think about your future and your company’s future without you.

    In business, if you ever start to think you're invincible, stop. All companies close and every company owner has to make an exit eventually.

    When it comes time to leave, you need to think about your own future just as much as the future of your organization. You have to ask yourself questions, like “Who do I want to be?” and “What do I want out of life?”

    The answers to these questions will help you figure out your next step.

    It's essential to plan for your own future. Don’t be like the business owner who didn’t anticipate a financial shortfall and was forced to sell his company quickly. The fallout from this mess resulted in the owner dealing with a failed marriage and the loss of close colleagues, too. If the owner instead had planned ahead early, he might have avoided such an unhappy ending.

    A good exit strategy isn't just important for you but it’s vital to your company as well. Try to imagine your business functioning after you leave. You'll probably discover some trouble spots where process or organization might suffer without your influence. Once you fix these problems, you'll actually raise your company's market value!

    So think carefully about your company's financial state and its long-term goals. You'll eventually start to view your company as a product itself.

    Ray Pagano, for example, was able to make a successful exit from his security camera business. He started preparing to leave some two full years before he wanted to retire. In that time, he reviewed company operations with his employees and formulated specific goals for each department, all the while planning for his own future, too.

    When it came time for Pagano to sell the company, he felt liberated. He devoted himself to his sailboat and was still welcomed back to his old offices whenever he wanted to visit.

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    What is Finish Big about?

    Finish Big (2014) is a guide for how to exit an organization in a way that's healthy and positive for both a business owner and the company. Leaders often overlook this aspect of their career, mistakenly thinking that leaving will be simple, when instead it requires long-term planning to truly finish in a way that benefits everyone.

    Best quote from Finish Big

    Nothing will have a greater impact on your business than having a deep knowledge of yourself.

    —Bo Burlingham
    example alt text

    Who should read Finish Big?

    • Entrepreneurs or anyone interested in business strategy
    • CEOs or leaders looking to leave their organization soon
    • Anyone interested in the politics and philosophies of exit strategies

    About the Author

    Bo Burlingham is a successful author and the editor of Inc. magazine. He's written several other books, including Small Giants, Street Smarts and The Great Game of Business.

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