Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Keeping Counsel

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Keeping Counsel

Article excerpt

Larry Burkett , in his publication Business by the Book, tells the story of a businessman named Cal who came to Burkett for advice. It seems Cal had started his own business and built it into a thriving success. He had recently been offered $12 million to sell the company to a competitor and he sought Burkett's input on whether or not he should sell.

Burkett began by asking a series of questions:

Q: "What's your primary reason for selling?" A: "They offered me nearly $12 million for the business -- twice as much as I could get from anyone else." Q: "What will you do with the money if you sell?" A: "I don't know. Give some away to the church, put some into a retirement plan. Then I'd probably start another business." Q: "Could you go back into the same kind of business?" A: "No, I'd have to sign a 10-year non-compete agreement." Then Burkett got up close and personal. Both Larry and Cal shared the same religious perspective and were both committed Christians, so Burkett focused a laser beam on Cal. Q: "Do you believe the Lord has originated this offer and wants you to sell the company?" A: "I honestly don't know. My wife doesn't want to sell but she says she's willing to if I want to." Q: "Do you believe God originally put you in your business?" A: "Absolutely. I have seen the Lord's hand in it many times. I don't have the brains to have accomplished our success, but despite that we've actually outproduced our largest competitor the last five years and that's why they want to buy us." Q: "Why did you start the company at the beginning? I know the company you're negotiating with is one you used to work for years ago before you started this business." A: "Yes, they're the reason why I started my own business. I left that company because I didn't like the way they operated. They didn't keep their word to their employees." Burkett began to summarize. "So let me see if I've got this right. You like the $12 million they're offering, but you don't really need it and would probably go back into another business after the sale. You would be turning your current employees over to a company you didn't like and couldn't work for. …

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