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Why “Off-Boarding” Is an Essential Ingredient in Building to Sell

Built To Sell Episode # 298

Michèle Hecken built Alpha Translations up to $4.4 Million (USD) in revenue and almost a million dollars in EBITDA before she sold it in 2019 for $6 million cash (6.7 x normalized EBITDA).

It was a fantastic exit for Hecken who got her start in University translating legal contracts from German to English.

Hecken’s episode features one value bomb after the next, including:

  • A definition of “off-boarding” and why every founder needs to do it.

  • How Hecken differentiated herself with time-zone arbitrage.

  • How to get your employees to verify their own work.

  • How to overcome “delegator’s guilt”.

  • The extraordinary power of peer groups.

  • How to be the “Chief Energy Officer” for your company.

  • The important role industry conferences play in finding an acquirer.

  • How to get an all-cash offer and avoid the earn-out trap.

  • Why you need a trophy to remind yourself of what you have accomplished.

  • How to overcome the uneasy feeling of living off your capital.

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More About Michèle Hecken

Michèle Hecken is a seasoned entrepreneur and business leader with over 25 years of experience running a global company that she started at 22.

After selling her company in 2019, Michèle did not retire to the Italian countryside, as she threatens to do consistently. Instead, she is about to finish writing her book focused on enabling high-achieving entrepreneurs to design and live their best life.

“My passion is elevating high achieving entrepreneurs to design and lead their best life and business. We may have several businesses, but we only have one shot at creating and living the life of our dreams. As entrepreneurs, who is in a better position to do that than us? Yet so many of us are burning out and waiting for joy and happiness later. I believe in business for good. It has been and will be entrepreneurs that elevate the world and make it a better place. I’m here to elevate the lives of entrepreneurs while doing so. We are not “normal” anyway, so let’s create and live our best Fun & Fearless Life!”


Why You Need To Off-Board The Rainmaker and On-Board the Architect

One of Michèle Hecken's secrets to success was off-boarding herself from daily operations and focusing on running the business. In a study of 23,158 companies, 40% of business owners share one common strength. They are Rainmakers – the primary revenue driver for their company. Rainmakers are exceptional at rapidly accelerating business growth, but eventually hit a ceiling. The solution? Evolve into an Architect.


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