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Built to Sell

Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You
Narrated by: Erik Synnestvedt
Length: 4 hrs and 24 mins
Categories: Business, Career Skills
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,391 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A business parable about how to create a start-up that won't trap you when you want to sell it. According to John Warrillow, the number one mistake entrepreneurs make is to build a business that relies too heavily on them. Thus, when the time comes to sell, buyers aren't confident that the company-even if it's profitable-can stand on its own. To illustrate this, Warrillow introduces us to a fictional small business owner named Alex who is struggling to sell his advertising agency. Alex turns to Ted, an entrepreneur and old family friend, who encourages Alex to pursue three criteria to make his business sellable:

  • Teachable: focus on products and services that you can teach employees to deliver.
  • Valuable: avoid price wars by specializing in doing one thing better than anyone else.
  • Repeatable: generate recurring revenue by engineering products that customers have to repurchase often.

©2011 John Warrilow (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good content, Very bad narration

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I'd recommend buying the real book--not listening to this audio book.

Would you be willing to try another book from John Warrillow? Why or why not?

Yes.

Would you be willing to try another one of Erik Synnestvedt’s performances?

I'd avoid him as much as possible if I can.

Any additional comments?

It was hard to digest the content when you are distracted by the whiny voice that stops/starts without context of the whole sentence or paragraph.

44 of 45 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator is awful!

Ex of voice: Helloh thereuh. How are youuuah? Wellah. Iam fiynuhhh. Thank youahh.

The entire book is like this!!!

The way the narrator speaks is the way they make fun of public speakers. A voice that is comically used in a way that we feel the person is full of themselves, having bloated sentences that extend the last letters of the word. At first I thought it was a joke, then I knew it was legit and it is VERY hard to listen to. Very obnoxious. Hard to listen to! Preview it and see if you can handle it. I wish I had...

The book is fine, the narrator blows it.

72 of 75 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 08-01-12

Surprisingly informational with good tips

What did you love best about Built to Sell?

I wasn't sure I would like a fictional company story and tips weaved into this format. It went into good detail and the expert friend, Ted, had good and fairly complex tips. The fictional company was fairly realistic and I liked the part when the seller was fumbling over why he was selling to potential buyers.

The narrator is a little pole smokey. I have heard him on one other audio book and his delivery is smarmy. The end of most of his sentences sound like questions. You might want to listen to the 5 min sample to make sure you can handle this narrator.

The content is good for all level of business owners.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Get past the Narrator and it's Excellent!

Any additional comments?

I read a few comments about the narrator but chose to listen anyway. The same guy reads Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich". This is an excellent book for an entrepreneur looking to sell their business. The story is well written and the points at the end are very valuable. The next release should have a different narrator.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Antonio
  • Carlsbad, CA, United States
  • 06-11-11

Dare I say it... Better then E-Myth

I have over 280 Audible titles 95% of theme are business\personal Development related and I review very or rate very few as many are the same after awhile. This was a stand out title and now has become an absolute favorite Top 3 by far. I just finished my 1st listen and I will be going back over and over again. Anyone is business to sell or not should own this book. There are many easy to follow actionable items that will give great freedom in your business. If E-myth is the entry class this is the advanced course.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narration needs to be redone.

What disappointed you about Built to Sell?

I was very excited to get into the content of this book, however, the reader is so impossible to listen to, I can't get past 5 minutes at a time. The way he speaks is such a joke, I'm absolutely impressed the producers of the audiobook actually thought this was a good idea. Ouch. I've never had to write a review like this!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Built to Sell?

I couldn't get past the first few chapters, so I'm moving to the eBook as I still would like to read the book.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great content but HORRIBLE nattation.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

If you're deaf you might be able to cope.

What other book might you compare Built to Sell to and why?

I couldn't tell you, I couldn't absorb the content.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrators voice is incredibly difficult to listen to and completely distracts from the content.

He uses voices that are excessively overblown and has a weird twang that he uses at the end of almost every sentence.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Built to Sell?

The end of every sentence.

Any additional comments?

I don't often write scathing reviews, but the narration of this book REALLY REALLY destroyed what is otherwise a good book.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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the guys voice was annoying

The guys voice had an unnecessary drawl to it.

It seemed like he was reading Shakespeare or something dramatic in his mind - when this was a book on business.

good overall.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Terrible Narration

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I've heard great things about this book. However, the narrator is so annoying that I can't continue to listen.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Worst Narrator

I’ve listened to dozens of audiobooks. This guy has a weird inflection on his words. It’s like he adds an uh after everything. Just listen to the sample and you’ll see. But after speeding it up, it’s not quite as bad.

The content of the book, however, is incredibly valuable content, enjoyable story, and helpful for business owners.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex M
  • 09-07-17

Excellent content let down by terrible narration

I very nearly stopped listening to this book within the first 20 minutes. The narrator has an awkward tone to his voice with a very odd twang to the end of every sentence. How the guy is a professional narrator I do not know. However, the content of the book is great and after sticking with it I came away with a few gems that I will apply to my own business.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Robin Waite
  • 10-16-13

Excellent

Simple story well written and well told. Very inspirational and it has been a catalyst for a lot of change within my business. Thoroughly recommend this to anyone who is looking to scale or sell their business.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Anthony
  • 01-23-19

AWFUL NARRATION! - But overall ok content.

Now I know you should not focus on a narrator too much (not really true I guess in Audible) but my point is not to moan about things too much....but....and it's a huge but....

This narrators inflections or whatever they call it when you go up at the end of words, like Australians, is just utterly distracting and weird, you have to listen to understand....

To the point that I literally focus on his annoying speaking style than the content.

I literally can't train myself quickly enough to not dislike his style, and just listen to the story.

My advice.

Try it for yourself, it's amusing at least but I find annoying at the same time, but clearly weakens the overall experience of this potentially much better Audible book,

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve
  • 03-04-14

Expert advice for building a scalable business

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If you're looking to develop a scalable business and an asset you can sell, this is THE book that you need to read.

What did you like best about this story?

It shares practical advice to help develop systems that design business owners out of the day-to-day operations of their business and ensure consistency when dealing with customers. Applying this to my business, has paid for the book a thousand times over.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-29-19

Please fire this narrator.

This book came highly recommended to me, and a quick overview of the book makes me think it is filled with great information. I am sure it is a fantastic book. But I wont find out until later on when I decide to purchase the physical book because the guy reading it, Erik Synnestvedt, is so atrociously disgusting to listen to. He is by far the worst narrator I have ever listened to. Practically every single sentence he speaks ends with this weird dragging out of the last syllable. And his voice is quite nasally so whenever he drags out the last sentence, he sounds like he is moaning. It is incredibly awkward. I didnt even make it through the introduction because I just found his voice to be disgusting. Perhaps other people might enjoy his speaking style, but my honest opinion is that he should never do any sort of public speaking if he will be talking like he does in this audiobook.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Wakey
  • 10-15-14

Exit Strategy

This book really highlights the importance of having an exit strategy. So many of us take no notice of when people say have an exit strategy but this book points of why you need one. Written as a story so it is easy to follow along and listen to

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • BaBy Laughs
  • 10-18-19

If you are a business owner you must listen to it

No matter if you consider selling your business or not, you need to listen to this book.

Eventhough we know the principles of what needs to be done it is a great reminder in a form of a story that takes you through a journey of what it takes and what you need to do and mistakes you can avoid.

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  • Readaholic
  • 08-28-19

Well laid out concept.

enjoyed the content. couldve done with a better voice actor, but thats my personal gripe. Still a really good concise listen.

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  • Stephen
  • 08-27-19

First book on selling your business

I have read hundreds of books on selling, but this the first I have come across on what is really important, and that is how to sell your business.
First class! If you are a business owner and want to know how to make your exit, then you need to read, or listen to this book. Today!

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  • Steve
  • 07-25-19

emyth for agencies with an exit strategy...

I genuinely got a lot out of this book and think the story is really great for people like me that run a design agency. The narration is a little difficult to get past but if you stick with it it does seem to soften as the book progresses. Interesting choice of voice artist.

The concepts are simple and easy to implement and as a result have made changers to my own business.

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  • Stephen
  • 01-06-19

A information loaded fairytale

A lot of wise advice with some sales speak. An interesting story throughout with a concise summary in the last chapter. I listen to this book many more times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-30-19

Good but...

30% of this book offers some excellent advice especially for startups in this day and age; the other 70% is really just drivel.

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  • W*BvK
  • 05-11-19

Worth listening to BUT don't sell just logos :)

Being the owner of a group of companies (for 40 years) that include services making logos and customers art. Due to technology, I would have gone bankrupt doing what John has suggested in the book by just doing logos. We create them for free. It's part of the service. I agree with standardisation but.....
Getting past this, the book is well designed and worth listening to. Creating a Unique selling proposition is what young John was actually advising and that is exemplified at the end of the book. John knows what he is talking about and I fully empathise with his cash flow experiences. Government and banks are the worst payers. People, Banks have credit cards and they can use them...

BtS Chapter 16 is the one that you should listen to and listen to on a weekly basis.
I am now working on a 10-year plan to sell, my group. Prob in parts
I am glad I listened to this book.


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  • Emma
  • 03-20-19

Vocal fryyyyyy

The narrator did a great job of a good book, except the vocal fry drove me absolutely batty!

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  • C Rover
  • 09-15-18

A whole new way to look at entrepreneurship.

I will definitely be structuring my business on this model. It is a resource I will return to frequently to ensure I am on track to sell.

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  • Logan
  • 08-20-18

Fantastically educational and entertaining

I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s building a business or thinking about building a business especially if they are running a service business. Fantastically educational and at the same time entertaining.

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  • Scott
  • 07-11-18

Awesome book!

Loving the information and the story! I learnt a lot through the story and what happened as he walked forward!

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  • Aaron
  • 06-18-17

Succinct advice

Got used to the reader. Succinct relevant advice. Recommended even if you are in business

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  • Doug
  • 11-27-16

Great concepts

Great concepts and strategies to know, understand and apply in your business depending on your objectives and life cycle.