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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

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    604
  • 4 Stars
    183
  • 3 Stars
    47
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    16

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    157
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    88
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    44
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    59

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    137
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    45
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    15
  • 1 Stars
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Like gold

This is a golden tool. I lived the story, tips, direction, and insight. This is a must read by anyone looking to grow, even if you don't want to sell. It has helped me understand how to focus my business better. I read it in 1 1/2 days give or take other obligations. The narrator was kind of awkward at first and the way he spoke was somewhat distracting. I will be honest that I laughed the whole first chapter. Please don't let that discourage you from listening because you'll miss as the total benefits of the book. After a chapter or so you'll get used to it. I highly recommend

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Plan to sell your business

Great practical and easy to follow approach if you plan to grow or sell your business.

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  • Story

Great book narrated in 1930's film voice

Great book. The narrator's style did take a little getting used to (sort of a vintage tone from old 1930's movies, "Myea, ya see?!?") made me laugh initially but didn't interfere with the message.

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  • Story

I like the way the story was told

What made the experience of listening to Built to Sell the most enjoyable?

This is one a only a few non-fiction books that had me someone excited to see what would happen next.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

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  • Story

great book.

great book. insightful perspective on common issues​ experience d in many businesses. although the main example is from a technology advertising perspective the lessons are relevant in many other businesses/industrirs

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Great book

Good read, good storyline, John did a great job with this book. Really motivated me.

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  • Story

Novel effective teaching tool

The story format is very smart. It teaches you the list you will take away in a 3 prone approach.

The Narrative: 3-4 hours
John's Experience: ~1 hour
Ted's Tips: ~5 min

It lets you connect "the list" to different scaffolding from the first two portions so it is easier for me to recall the list and more importantly recognize when they are present.

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  • Story

Great book, terrible narrator. Really grating.

I don't know why this narrator was chosen, he's terrible. If you can overlook it, this book is great.

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  • Story

Simple but specific

Thank you for making this advice detailed and specific enough to be meaningful and yet simple enough to apply. Also, by telling us what you were thinking when you had to make decisions you didn't want to make helps me relate to you and trust the path.

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  • Story

Narrator is fine, listen on 1.5x speed

The advice in the book is given through a fictional narrative of a person adapting and then selling his company. Very good for putting you into the shoes of someone in such a scenerio. Advice is fairly obvious though most people wouldn't neccesarily think about the points he brings up.

A lot of reviews have been complaining about the narrator. I agree he speaks very slowly and that would be annoying to listen to. However, pushing the play speed up to 1.5x or more fixes the issue entirely.

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  • Story
  • Marc
  • 05-27-16

Not what expected!

Narrators voice took a few chapters to get used to but buy the time I got half way through I couldn't imagine anyone else reading it TBH!
Was hooked from the first chapter!
Very good listen and some great lessons to be learnt even if I do find it hard to belive anyone would pay 10k for a logo!? That's not really the point I know!

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  • Ilan H.
  • 02-09-16

Great story terrible narrator

I found the content of this book incredibly valuable for informing my thought process with regards to my business and I would recommend it to any business owner.
But... I almost could not listen the the book because the narrators voice was so irritating would really suggest the publisher find someone to re read the book.

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  • Neil Millard
  • 12-11-15

great content, the tonal audio a little annoying

What didn’t you like about Erik Synnestvedt’s performance?

The way how the end of sentences sound annoy me greatly so much that I had to turn it off. This stops me from enjoying the content a second time.

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  • Story
  • Mark D. Earle
  • 09-14-15

Excellent story to embed the concepts

I found the storyline kept me entertained throughout a rather staid subject. Will find it easy to listen again to embed the core concepts.