Late last month, I announced that StudioPress, our WordPress design and hosting division, was acquired by WP Engine. It was my first “liquidity event” ever, despite having started a string of companies over the last 20 years.
With this episode, I’ll take you behind the scenes a bit to discuss some of the things I experienced and lessons I learned during the negotiation, due diligence, and legal process. To make that work, Unemployable’s operations chief Claire Emerson will take on the interviewer chores to ask the questions that may be on your mind as well.
The Show Notes
Lessons Learned from the Sale of StudioPress
Brian Clark: My name is Brian Clark. I help people do better digital marketing, build audiences, and ultimately build better businesses. And I am now, more than ever, unemployable.
Voiceover: Welcome to Unemployable, the show for people who can get a job, they’re just not inclined to take one, and that’s putting it gently. In addition to this podcast, thousands of freelancers and entrepreneurs get actionable advice and other valuable resources from the weekly Unemployable email newsletter. Join us by registering for our Free Profit Pillars Course or choose to sign up for the newsletter only at no charge. Simply head over to Unemployable.com and take your business and lifestyle to the next level. That’s Unemployable.com.
Hey there, everyone. Yes, that was me doing the cold open on my own podcast. That’s because today the tables are turned for today’s topic, because I am the guest and Claire Emerson is the host. Claire, how are you?
Claire Emerson: I’m good, thank you. How are you?
Brian Clark: I’m okay, because it’s the afternoon over here and it is very early in Australia, and it’s the weekend. So I know I owe you for this one. But hey, you’re the one who thought this would be a good idea, right?
Claire Emerson: Yes, I was. It was secretly my idea. I planted it in your head.
Brian Clark: That’s what I have to do with my wife.
Claire Emerson: Well, it’s a very good tactic.
Brian Clark: It is. “Oh, that’s a good idea, honey. I didn’t mention that a year ago.”
Claire Emerson: Very inception-like.
Brian Clark: Exactly. Okay. So, the topic today is — for those of you who don’t know, didn’t see the announcement, June 26 officially, we did the announcements on June 27th — my company, Rainmaker Digital, sold one of our three lines of business, that being StudioPress. StudioPress was acquired by WP Engine for a good amount of money that we cannot disclose. So, Claire, do not ask me. You know I can’t tell you.
Claire Emerson: I’m sure we can keep hoping.
Brian Clark: And just talk about that in general. But also, I’ve got to tell you, it was a lot of hard work, more than I think people realize, and a lot of lessons learned. I guess that will be the essential topic for today. Really, whatever Claire wants to know is what you’re going to know, because she is in charge. I’m going to kick it over to you, Claire. Is this your official first hosting?
Claire Emerson: As an interviewer, yes, first ever.
Brian Clark: There you go. No one’s grading you or judging you. So no pressure. No worries, mate.
Claire Emerson: But I’ll try my best anyway. I think I remember, as long as you shut up, then you’re a good interviewer. Ask the question…
Brian Clark: Ask the question and shut up. Some interviewers have not learned that yet.
How Long Did the Process Take from Start to Finish?
Claire Emerson: No, we should be all right. Okay. Well, I guess we’ll start from the beginning. Obviously, since I work with you, I know that this whole thing has been a process that’s taken quite a while even though you couldn’t really tell me what you were working on. So, I’m wondering how long it took from start to finish.
Brian Clark: It was just about five months. The process began in early February, talking to what turned out to be three companies that had expressed interest. Then that started, I don’t know if you remember when I was in Costa Rica allegedly on vacation, but I was on the phone every day. At least the view was nice.
Claire Emerson: It was, I remember that view. It was good.
Brian Clark: Exactly. Then I would say by the end of March, WP Engine was the winner and we signed (it had a different title) essentially a letter of intent. We originally had a closing date that was about 45 days away, and we blew right past that one. No problem. Yeah, it took about five months and that to me was a long time, start to finish. And I guess more like three months from the time we agreed in principle to the time we signed documents and funded. It was about three months in that sense.
But I’ve talked to other people who’ve done 6 months, 9 months, 11 months. I thought this deal would go quickly, because we run a pretty tight ship and from the horror stories that I’ve heard of other companies. But Jason Cohen, who’s the founder of WP Engine who we sold our company to, himself said, “There’s always something.” And I’m like, “Oh yeah, there’s not going to be anything.” “Oh, there’s always something. Trust me”
Claire Emerson: A few somethings.
Brian Clark: A couple of things, yeah. But all in all, I think when you hear some of the really rough stories, it wasn’t that bad. But it was a lot of work, honestly.
Claire Emerson: Are you able to tell us who the other companies were or is that super-secret?
Brian Clark: I shouldn’t. I think people in the WordPress space know who the other two were. They are big. Everyone involved was a big dog. By process of elimination, you could probably figure that out. But, yeah, let’s stick with who actually did it.
What Made Now the Right Time to Sell?
Claire Emerson: Okay, no worries. So, starting out 2018, obviously none of this started until early February, were you planning to sell StudioPress or what made now sort of the right time?
Brian Clark: We were not planning to sell StudioPress. In fact, we had our entire, to the extent you can with a business tied to the Internet, we had to plan for 2018 and a lot of it was the continuation of the focus on StudioPress sites, which was the new hosting line that we had introduced at the beginning of 2017.
To be clear, everyone out there, we had rolled our Synthesis-managed WordPress hosting into StudioPress, really just to simplify the number of brands that we had. We can talk about this later under lessons learned, because it relates to that.
It was all of our WordPress hosting that went to WP Engine and of course, Genesis and all the design part of the business as well. It was one package.
So we had it all planned out. Also, during the entire five-month period, I had to continue to run the company as if this deal was not going to happen.
Claire Emerson: And everything else in your life.
Brian Clark: Exactly, yeah. That’s part of how this can be very difficult, because as soon as you say, “This is a done deal,” before it is, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. But by being realistic and saying, “This could fall apart at any moment,” you are in a constant state of anxiety trying to do work, like double the amount of work. It’s interesting.
WordCamp US, which is the big WordCamp conference, was at the end of last year in December. You have conversations, you start picking up on certain vibes and that was the first time – not the first time — but that was an environment in which I wouldn’t be surprised if we started getting serious inquiries. That was one thing.
Number two, I don’t know how much you’ve been keeping track of the whole Gutenberg thing, which is the next big evolution of WordPress and it’s a huge inflection point that impacts everything to some degree. There was a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt about how it was going to work. We felt that we had a pretty good handle on what that meant and StudioPress was really well-positioned for it. So we knew there were big things changing in WordPress and any time you have an inflection point like that, deals are made.
Then, from the third standpoint, it became clear WP Engine raised $200 million at the end of the year. Other players such as Liquid Web acquired iThemes. Automatic had acquired WooCommerce. I mean, everyone was seeing the coming wave of consolidation.
There were plenty of people after we announced that were like, “Yep, I knew that was going to happen.” I was like, “Oh really, did you?”
Honestly, here’s the thing about StudioPress, because it made for our company many millions of dollars every year for many years. And then plus you add in the hosting component, and it was just such a healthy line of business for us. But in the grand scheme of the kind of players we’re talking about here, like WP Engine and Automatic, etc., it’s a small business compared to them, but it had influence beyond the dollar amounts.
We knew that, we’ve always known that. And we’ve always known there were certain people who, the way they spoke about StudioPress — the Genesis community is the envy of everyone in WordPress. And I give Brian Gardner full credit for that. I mean, it’s really an amazing thing which makes it difficult to have parted with it at all.
But ultimately, when you take all of it into consideration, the inflection point in Gutenberg, the consolidation coming, and the fact that it was an offer that was acceptable to us, then that’s why it became the right time.
Even though you don’t set out to sell, there were indications there. And then once they became real, we kind of embraced it. Well, when one person comes to you — here’s a tip. When one person expresses interest, you immediately go find two other companies that you know might be interested, because you want three people to play against each other. That’s just negotiating strategy. And it turns out there were three legit players that were interested.
I remember sitting down, I took Brian Gardner out to dinner and he surprised me with his answer. I thought he was just going to go, “No.” But I said, “If a bigger company can demonstrate to us that they get it, the value of this community and the customer base and Genesis itself and where it can go, would you sell?” I’m expecting him to say, “No.” And he’s like, “If they can do all that and they don’t just take the stuff and fire all the people, and they’ve got the resources and they have the vision of what we can do, then yes.” And I was like, “Oh, okay. Well, let me tell you about a call I just got.”
Claire Emerson: That was good.
Brian Clark: That’s how it started. That’s really how it started. So, that’s the story. It wasn’t shocking, but it still wasn’t planned, and I don’t know where the line is between those two things.
What Made You Say “Yes” to WP Engine?
Claire Emerson: So, out of the three obviously, whether you went looking for the extra offers or not, what made you say yes to WP Engine? Was it like the offer that they made or that hadn’t even come into it? It was more that your values align better with them and they were going to keep the community alive? Was that more of a factor?
Brian Clark: Anyone who says the money doesn’t matter is lying to you. But it’s funny how rarely that’s the main consideration or the only consideration. I’m not saying people don’t sell just for the money and just deal with it. But, in this case, again, both with me and Gardner, money had to be right, but it wasn’t going to be the only thing. I said this in the announcement post on Copyblogger that Jason Cohen jumped out to a lead not just with money, but explaining to us what he saw in StudioPress. I’m like, “We could have written that ourselves.” That’s very encouraging.
The final part that I think really got us to…let me put it this way, let’s go back to money for a second. The number we had in mind we stuck to pretty firmly. And we ended up within less than a million dollars of that. When you’re selling in certain price ranges, you have to go, “Is this close enough? Are you willing to kill the deal over this small amount of money?”
So, if it were, say, a sub million dollar deal or a right at a million, 1.2 million or something like that, then it would be 100,000. If you’re within 100,000 in that price range, then you ought to do it. Then the next step up, if you’re under a million, you’ve got to just really decide whether you want to do the deal or not.
Then other factors become the things that are make or break. For us, it was the people. Jason understood the community. I think honestly the brands, the reach Genesis has and that developer community are what Jason wanted all along, when you really get down to it.
So people were fine, but then it came down to our people, the StudioPress team who are amazingly bad ass.
Claire Emerson: Oh yeah, they’re great. I have a StudioPress site.
Brian Clark: I consider StudioPress kind of a simple business, because it’s easy for me to understand how to sell it. It’s not all that complicated in my mind, especially with our audience and platform and all that. But once we got into due diligence and I saw what all these people have — the processes, the systems — I had so much more respect and I had a ton of respect to begin with. But I was like, “You guys do amazing things.” Then I’m sitting here going, “I don’t want them to go.” It’s like you value them even more when you realize they’re about to go.
That was the key. That was the question, because if they said, “Here’s your price, and yes, we get it from the community standpoint, but a lot of these people are just going to have to go.” That would have been painful and may have killed the deal. That’s not what happened.
Really, when it came down to it, that’s how WP Engine won. Again, at some point, it became clear that they were jumping far ahead, right? That’s when you just start talking to one person or one company a lot and you keep in touch with the other two, but you understand that they’re not as serious or they don’t value what you have to the extent. That’s really why you want multiple players, so you can figure it out. Because there are more multiples than just money when it comes down to it.
Did You Rely on Your Legal Expertise During the Process?
Claire Emerson: Yeah, there are other people involved and your staff and your teams and everything. It’s all important. Obviously it’s a huge process, lots of money, lots of people and lives involved. Did your legal expertise come in handy? Or did you not really have to worry too much about that?
Brian Clark: Okay, so did my former life as an attorney help or hinder the situation? Through the process, I would say most of the partners were involved pretty heavily. Sonia was not, because we needed someone to keep their eye on the ball and run Copyblogger while we’re off buried.
Claire Emerson: She did mention that she was a little bit busy.
Brian Clark: Yeah, I mean, she worked. Trust me, just in a different capacity. Gardner as founder — obviously, when we started the process, Gardner was like, “I’m not going to work for whoever buys this.” Then by the time he got into it and got excited about it, he’s like, “Okay, I’ll do it.” And so, that was interesting.
But for the main part, Tony headed up operational and transitional due diligence, which is the hard work of understanding how we run, seeing what they also use that we use, and then figuring out how to migrate certain systems and processes. That’s a job. That is serious.
Then, of course, you’ve got financial due diligence, which was Sean Jackson, our CFO. Not only disclosing all the financials, but then you do these really deep drills into customer data. Just really, really in-depth financial information. Shout out to Lauren Thompson. Sean wouldn’t have made it, and he’ll admit it, without her, because she is our data nerd and she is awesome.
Then legal was me for obvious reasons, which generally doesn’t come until the end. When you get past the point where you’re doing due diligence and the deal could still fall through, then you get to a point where it’s time to start working on documents. My legal education came a lot in handy, because we had really great lawyers, and I let them do their jobs, but I have to make decisions on legal issues. They can’t just decide, they have to ask the client. And they didn’t have to explain most of it to me. I understood what the issue was. I understood both sides of the issue. And then they gave me additional insight on what their advice is, and I quickly can make decisions. So that part was relatively smooth.
However, going back to the things that come up, we had a tax issue that we weren’t aware of and a trademark issue that we weren’t aware of. When it came down to it, I handled both of those. I mean, either one of those could have killed the deal or at least extended closing for months until we could get it resolved.
WP Engine is very cautious and we can talk more about why that is, and I think it’s good for good reason. As I later came to understand, it was their first acquisition. Even if you have 200 million bucks in the bank, you still have to go through these things. And if it’s the first time for both sides, it’s one of those things. Literally on the trademark thing, I got it worked out less than two weeks before closing.
Claire Emerson: Really? Are you allowed to elaborate what that was? Or is that…?
Brian Clark: It’s funny, because WordPress is such a small space that I’d rather not. But it was something that was just left over from a decade ago even before StudioPress merged with us. It’s one of those things, and in the grand scheme of things, I could tell it was legally inconsequential. But when a company like WP Engine who is following rules as if they’re already a publicly traded company, why would they do that? Well, maybe they’re going to IPO soon. Or maybe a publicly traded company will acquire them and they’ll have to go through it anyway.
They’re preparing for the future in a very smart way, and that’s what I was alluding to. To them, it’s not acceptable to have any problem at all. It doesn’t matter if I think it’s small or not, right? It all worked out though.
Claire Emerson: Well, that’s good that you were able to squish it.
Brian Clark: Yeah, really towards the end I had to work a lot more on this aspect of it. Because when it came to Tony’s job and Gardner’s role and Sean’s job, I had to be involved. When they didn’t know, they needed me to say, “Do this,” or “Do that.” But for the most part, they knew how to do their jobs. So, that was only important things. And really, they educate me on what it is and I make a decision and we go on. That wasn’t too bad, which allowed me to continue working on the rest of the business, even StudioPress, as if this wasn’t going to happen.
Claire Emerson: Yeah, you guys were still releasing themes and stuff.
Brian Clark: I know. We kept doing exactly the plan until they said, “Stop, because this is about to be ours,” and we’re like, “Okay, thank you.”
What Was An Important Lesson You Learned?
Claire Emerson: Now, well, it’s good. I think we can talk a little bit more about some of the lessons learned. So, we can start with what was the most important lesson for you or even just for any part of the process.
Brian Clark: This is a lesson learned that really happened over several years now, starting with, I guess it was 2015 or 16. It’s hazy now. Probably 2015 was the year we started getting inquiries about acquisition of the whole company.
Claire Emerson: And that was including Copyblogger and everything?
Brian Clark: Yeah, it was everything.
Claire Emerson: Yeah, I remember that.
Brian Clark: So, that would be Rainmaker, Copyblogger and StudioPress. I would have these meetings and presentations and I mean, everything makes sense to me, because obviously, I kind of engineered the path. We did certain things a certain way, because we were bootstrapped, not funded. So we would launch things to learn and to make money to do the real thing, which is a weird way to operate if you have venture capital or a bunch of money in the bank. But that’s how we worked.
When it came down to explaining who we were and what we did, I thought I was being incredibly coherent. I think after enough talking, people on the other side, the potential acquirers, understood for the most part, but they all declined, because there wasn’t a nice, neat, little story. And that’s valuable. See, this goes back to the fact that I’ve never started a company with the intention of selling it. And yet, I tell people all the time, “Begin with the end in mind.” That’s kind of a contradiction. I’m talking about whatever your smaller objectives are, not an exit strategy.
Then we shifted from that, started having conversations with private equity people. Those people got it better and understood that if they got involved, they could help us mold the company and the story into something that was marketable. That’s what they do. That’s how they get their money back.
Claire Emerson: Sorry, who are private equity people?
Brian Clark: Venture capital is more at the beginning, at the startup phase. Private equity invest in profitable companies that take them to the next level. So we considered that. We got two offers. We turned them both down. Ultimately, I did. I think it would’ve been a nightmare. I mean, it just would be.
That’s where we were when the StudioPress thing started happening. Here’s the difference — StudioPress’ story is so nice and neat and perfect that other people could tell it to us. I didn’t sell StudioPress honestly. I had conversations where people told me why they were interested. At that point, then you’re like, “Okay, well, let’s look at what you’re going to do if you were the owner of StudioPress.”
If it is your intention to one day sell your company, then you have to think about that. You have to think about it being the old cliché of the elevator pitch of being able to quickly summarize what you do without, “Well, we did this to do that, and we got this and we don’t really promote that anymore, because we’re doing this.” That is like you’re going to send people going in the opposite direction.
But frankly, the fact that we started cleaning up our multitude of brands, like renaming Synthesis into StudioPress, things like that, discontinuing other lines of business, was really because that’s good advice even if you don’t sell. To just really have a very clear statement or mission, or what have you, where it’s very easy for people to understand what you do.
Over the last 10, 12 years, there are people who don’t know what we do at all, even though they follow Copyblogger. There are people who understand one thing we do, but don’t know that we do other things. You know what I’m saying?
Overall, and StudioPress alone didn’t teach me that, but StudioPress was a perfect example compared to other discussions and potential transactions, where that part of it was a breeze. Getting into due diligence and all that stuff, you can’t avoid that. That’s just part of selling, whether it’s a company or in this case, it was an asset purchase because it was one line of business.
Here’s another interesting thing. We spun off Rainmaker last fall into its own company. We were going to do the same with StudioPress just so it was very clear that there were one, two, three things that we did. StudioPress, Copyblogger and Rainmaker, right? But this happened before we could do that. So, it kind of worked itself out.
Claire Emerson: Yeah, well, that’s good. I think even that elevator pitch, regardless of whether you have a company you want to sell, is important. Because I know even just like service-based, it’s hard to get out that clean statement.
Brian Clark: I mean, I can give you a tagline, “Tools in training for digital marketing and sales.” But then, when people go, “What does that mean specifically?” then it gets very complicated.
Claire Emerson: It’s like if I had to explain it to my husband. What will I tell him, because he doesn’t do much with digital marketing or anything like that?
Brian Clark: My wife to this day doesn’t understand most of the business.
Claire Emerson: But it’s good. Having that cohesive story helps that one, because I remember when you had a few Facebook rants about the potential investors for when you were considering all of it.
Brian Clark: Here’s another pro tip: don’t do that.
Claire Emerson: I kind of already knew that, but you know…no, it’s good. Well, it’s good that this sort of came about a little bit more organically and you didn’t have to do too much to prompt it I guess.
What Was the Hardest Lesson?
Claire Emerson: So, that was an important lesson. What was the hardest one lesson? Did you have anything that was like, particularly “uh” to deal with?
Brian Clark: Yeah, this is a good one. It’s more tied to personal growth than really business. But I mean, you understand this. The two aren’t separate. They’re actually very, very tied together. Beginning with your mindset to what they call emotional intelligence, all of this stuff.
I remember early on, again, from people who had done it before. The two things were, “Things are going to come up that surprise you and you’re going to have to deal with them, so just expect it.” And, “This is a highly emotional process. Even if you think that you’re just going to go about this logically, it is an emotional rollercoaster and you’ve got to keep it together.” And that was the truth.
I think as a person these five months have pushed me forward farther than doing four years of Further.
Claire Emerson: Why was that? Complicated? That’s good. I get it.
Brian Clark: Yeah, because first of all, I mean, don’t speculate. Whenever something comes up, deal with it. Don’t sit there and go, “What do they mean by this?” I’m real big on mapping out potential scenarios in my head so that nothing surprises me, right?
Claire Emerson: Yeah, planning complications.
Brian Clark: Nothing wrong with that, yeah. Nothing wrong with that. But speculating on people’s motives or otherwise…
Claire Emerson: Yeah. Well, that’s when anxiety sort of starts taking hold as opposed to letting…
Brian Clark: And odds are even if things are just like, “Why the hell are they doing that?” It’s most likely it’s everyone’s working too hard. Same thing happened from our side of things. Everyone’s working really hard. They’re trying to do the best job that they can. And sometimes people make the wrong call in communications and you’ve just got to let it go. You just have to not read into things, not attribute motives and intent when it’s really probably just, “This is a very difficult transaction that everyone’s just trying to get through.”
That can be hard because you as a seller…Brian Gardner is the founder, but StudioPress was really only around a year before we teamed up. With my history leaving Thesis, I was on a mission to make Genesis the biggest design framework for WordPress in the world. And we succeeded, and we succeeded to beyond that by parlaying that into hosting and all this kind of stuff.
I feel like it was my baby almost as much. I will never say “as much,” but it was an emotional thing. It really was. As it kept going on, I got better and better instead of worse and worse. I guess that’s a positive thing as opposed to the opposite. But yeah, that was really for me the biggest growth element, especially dealing with a 500-person company.
You know, what’s the name of this show, Claire? And I’m sitting here dealing with bureaucracy, and people who work in a large organization, and it takes five people to do what one of our people would do on the phone with you. Like, “I can do that by clicking this link.” And it’s just a very different…you have to deal…
It reinforced for me that I could never work in that environment, and I don’t want to create a company that big. I kind of already knew that, but that’s okay. You can get the affirmation. In fact, more and more, I just love this idea of going back to what Copyblogger was supposed to be — a one person business that was highly lucrative. We now know that those types of businesses are more and more prevalent. I’ve still got Copyblogger and I’ve still got Rainmaker, so this is not the end of the path.
But I will say that now that StudioPress isn’t in the mix, I can focus on Further and Unemployable a little bit more. I guess you’re excited about that.
Claire Emerson: I am. It’s nice to have you back working.
Brian Clark: Yeah. Well, trust me, I was working, but never on what you wanted me to be working on. Like, “Are you going to get this done this week like you said last week?” I’m like, “Oh God, I’m so tired.”
Claire Emerson: There was a point where I was sending you all these emails, and I’m like, “I should just stop. He’s going to get inundated with his inbox.”
Brian Clark: Oh, but that was so beautiful after it closed and I took a few days off, went back and the email address that you send everything to was in the hundreds in the inbox. I’ve got it down to like 35 now, and I’ve been actually responding to you. So, good times.
Did You Celebrate After All the Hard Work Was Done?
Claire Emerson: Well, actually, I was wondering, you mentioned you had some time off. I was just wondering how you guys celebrated. Like what did you do? Obviously, it’s a huge accomplishment.
Brian Clark: Well, we’re a virtual company, so the closest person to me is Sonia. She’s in Denver and I’m in Boulder and that may as well be three states apart, because people in Boulder never go to Denver. It’s kind of a running joke.
Claire Emerson: Oh really? How far away is it?
Brian Clark: It’s 45 minutes.
Claire Emerson: Oh my gosh. I was expecting you to say three hours.
Brian Clark: No, no, it’s just right down the road.
Claire Emerson: That’s why you don’t need to go.
Brian Clark: But yeah, Boulder is self-contained is really the lesson here. But yeah, I think everyone just kind of privately…
Claire Emerson: Hung out with their families.
Brian Clark: Yeah. They went and saw their families who they’d been ignoring for five months. And, yeah, I did that and then I just went up in the mountains, kind of off the grid for a few days, came back. Worked about half-speed the first week. Then the weird thing that happened was I kept thinking, “I may take it easy all the way into the fall, because I can.” And it was really, what, eight days later and my mind starts going, I’m like, “I’m ready to go back to work.”
Claire Emerson: Yeah, it doesn’t take very long to sort of snap back into it.
Brian Clark: It really doesn’t.
Claire Emerson: As long as you gave yourself the breathing room.
Brian Clark: Yeah, once you’re free from having to do stuff…
Claire Emerson: It’s like, “I want to do it now.”
Brian Clark: I think most entrepreneurs will naturally regroup pretty quickly and then just kind of get back. Because just as we’ve been alluding to, there are things we’re working on that had to go on the back burner. And that’s true of Copyblogger and Rainmaker, Further and Unemployable. Everything was taking a back seat. So, anyway.
Claire Emerson: You can ramp it all up again now.
Brian Clark: Yep. Back at it. And even better, back at it but refreshed and excited. That’s the key.
Claire Emerson: And with a whole lot more money.
Brian Clark: Well, it doesn’t hurt.
Claire Emerson: With the undisclosed figure. Great to have you back, and it’s nice that it went so well and ended up being a very good opportunity for you guys. I think it was nice to hear. Brian, the other Brian, Brian Gardner, seemed very excited to stay on with project as well.
Brian Clark: That’s what’s good to see. Gardner is very, very happy all the way around. And that’s important, because I’d hate to have brought him in the company eight years ago, and then sold him off and be unhappy about it. That would not be good.
So Claire, I think you’ve done pretty well as your first hosting endeavor. What do you think?
Claire Emerson: Yeah, it’s been all right. I’ll await my final grade once we get offline.
Where to Find Claire
Brian Clark: Yeah, we’ll release this and everyone find Claire on Twitter. Tell them where to find you, Claire.
Claire Emerson: So my Twitter is @Claire_Emerson_. And my spelling of my name is C-L-A-I-R-E, you’ve got all of the letters in Claire.
Brian Clark: E-M-E-R-S-O-N.
Claire Emerson: Oh yeah, that’s the last name. That one seems easy to spell.
Brian Clark: It is. Well, we have a Clare who works for us and she spells her name the other way. But yeah, good. Hit Claire up on Twitter and tell her how she did. I’m @Brianclark if you want to tell me how she did. But I think she did pretty well.
Claire Emerson: Thank you.
Brian Clark: All right, everyone. Obviously, there were things that I can’t talk about. That’s another thing about these acquisition deals. There are confidentiality agreements or noncompetes or all sorts of things that you have to abide by. None of which is terrible, but we do have to abide by them.
So, anyway, I’m sure there will be other things that will occur to me. It’s funny how fresh it still seems. It’s only been a couple of weeks.
Claire Emerson: It has. It’s still very fresh.
Brian Clark: All right, everyone, thanks for tuning in. Good luck to you on whatever stage your business is. Don’t be in a hurry to give it away. If you’re burned out though, consider it, because you can always go do something else, if you’re able to be rewarded for the work that you’ve done so far with some sort of acquisition.
Anyway, that’s it. Thank you for listening. Thank you, Claire, and…
Claire Emerson: Thank you.
Brian Clark: …keep going. Claire, you should say, “Keep going.”
Claire Emerson: Guys, keep going. It always gets better.
Brian Clark: Sounds like an order from Claire.
Claire Emerson: Bossy, we already knew that.
Brian Clark: Take care, everyone.