“Whenever you’re building a business, you should be thinking about ‘who would be the buyer of this business’ because we’re not going to live forever.”
“The entrepreneur is not asking for anything for free, we’re willing to fight the good fight but at least make it fair.”
“The vast majority of the world’s wealth has still not yet been created.”
Entrepreneurship 101: Practical Business Strategies by An Expert
Did you know that you can achieve your 10 years of business goals in 6 months through merger and acquisition activities? Interesting, isn’t it? But before buying a business, you have to know how to organically grow it and provide value to shareholders.
In this episode of Page One Podcast, Luke Peters speaks with Neal Asbury about his manufacturing and exporting of kitchenware business. Neal is the CEO of the Legacy Companies, a diversified group of businesses engaged in manufacturing and distribution and doing business in over 130 countries. He also hosts a weekly national syndicated radio show called Neal Asbury’s Made in America.
Listen in to learn the importance of opening up of foreign markets to the American entrepreneur. You will also learn about the strategies you need to consider if you’re thinking of mergers and acquisition activities.
- How COVID-19 has changed the remote working spectrum presently and the unforeseeable future.
- How mergers and acquisitions help with faster growth of a business and factors to consider before jumping into it.
- The importance of having business liquidity and cashflow.
- Finding a better public company in your area of operation to benchmark against and shoot for what they’re shooting for.
- The importance of opening up foreign markets to American manufacturers.
- [2:40] Neal describes his background in manufacturing and what the Legacy Companies do as a manufacture and exporter of kitchen appliances sold to the consumers and the commercial market.
- [4:49] He explains his companies’ experience during the COVID-19 pandemic; remaining open and most employees working remotely.
- [7:55] How remote working has worked out in the manufacturing industry and its impact on sales.
- [16:54] He talks about how Legacy Companies was built with 70 percent coming from mergers and acquisition activities and 30 percent from brands and products he created on his own.
- [23:12] What you need to think about when considering whether or not to do merger and acquisition work as you grow your business organically.
- [27:23] The simple practices of cash flow and asset management for business owners.
- [31:31] The smart strategies you need to apply to your business to start making good money and be attractive to investors.
- [42:04] Neal explains why managing a big company is the same as managing a small company- both managers strive for success.
- [44:27] He describes why he wrote his book ‘Conscientious Equity’ where he imagined a world where America would compete freely and fairly.
- [52:56] Why foreign markets need to be opened up to the American manufacturers to sell in the same way foreign manufacturers are selling to the American market.
- [1:00:56] Why the government needs to show up for entrepreneurs and open up foreign markets in the same way others have access to the American markets.
Books: The Birth of America and Conscientious Equity
Speaker 1: Welcome to the Page 1 Podcast, a podcast featuring a variety of guests and thought leaders on topics ranging from digital marketing, sales channel strategies, influencer marketing, best in class product launches, and all the details about how to accelerate sales. Now, here’s your host, Luke Peters.
Luke Peters: Thanks for joining us on the Page 1 Podcast. I’m your host, Luke Peters, CEO of NewAir Appliances. In this episode you’re going to hear from Neal Asbury on how he built his massively successful global business, The Legacy Companies, what others can learn from his success. Also, we’re going to touch on the US economy, US world competitiveness, the trade deficit and other ideas around solving these problems.
Luke Peters: So let me just tell you a little bit about Neal. When it comes to advocating on behalf of entrepreneurship and free enterprise, there’s no one more passionate about these subjects than Neal. Neal is the chief executive officer of Legacy Companies. In 2008 he was a recipient of the coveted United States National Champion Exporter of The Year award. Legacy Companies is a diversified group of businesses engaged in manufacturing and distribution, doing business in over 130 countries. So he’s built a really, really significant business. We’re going to dive into that. Additionally, Neal each week he hosts a nationally syndicated talk radio show called Neal Asbury’s Made In America. Made In America features leading political and industry experts and is carried by more than 100 affiliates coast to coast. He also wrote a book called Conscientious Equity: An American Entrepreneur’s Solution to the World Greatest Problems, and this has become a respected guidebook to help American manufacturers engage with the world of trade, fighting corruption, environmental issues, and preserving human dignity. His advocacy has taken him to address the UN Commission of Trade and Development, as well as frequent speaking engagements at universities, government events, and trade associations. So that’s quite the intro. Hopefully I didn’t miss anything there Neal, and just wanted to thank you for joining us on the Page 1 Podcast today.
Neal Asbury: Hey, Luke. Thanks a lot. I mean, that was a very, very kind introduction. I really, really appreciate it. I’ve been very much looking forward to being on your show. I’ve heard so much about it.
Luke Peters: Okay, cool. So why don’t we start just so the listener gets a better idea, more about your business, The Legacy Companies. So you’ve built this massive worldwide company, 17 brands, at least that’s what I counted this morning. Just tell us a little bit more about what types of products you sell and maybe who your customers are.
Neal Asbury: We’re a manufacturer. I mean, I’m very proud of my manufacturing roots. My manufacturing roots actually started in Southeast Asia, and maybe we can talk a little bit about that later. But I’ve been in manufacture since early on in my career, creating my first manufacturing company in Southeast Asia in the Philippines in 1988. As a sidebar, I got the contract to build all the McDonald’s restaurants, the kitchens of the McDonald’s restaurants and to install them throughout Asia and the Middle East. In fact, we built the first 1,000 McDonald’s restaurants in China, which gave me a very good understanding of that country from its very, very beginning of opening up in the early to the mid ’80s.
Neal Asbury: Anyway, The Legacy Companies has grown and evolved to become a manufacturer and exporter of kitchen appliances sold to the consumer market and to the commercial market. These 17 brands represent a very big cross section of products that you would see in homes, in your home kitchen, on your counter or built into your counters, as well as if you went to a restaurant, whether a fast food restaurant, a hotel, or any sort of food service of catering operation. You see all those big beautiful stainless steel pieces of equipment, refrigeration, cooking equipments, warewashing equipments, storage equipments, all of that sort of stuff, steam cooking equipments, very important in our portfolio. So we got a very, very strong presence in the commercial food service market as well as in the home consumer retail market for kitchen appliances and gadgets.
Luke Peters: Great. Then jumping in, and I know a lot of the audience is business owners and we’re all dealing with Covid and some of the changes we’ve had to make internally in our companies, how has that looked for you at The Legacy Companies? Have you guys had to go to remote? And just beyond the obvious, what type of changes have you had to make?
Neal Asbury: Yeah. Fortunately for us we have been deemed to be an essential business because a lot of the products that we manufacture and sell and service are sold into hospitals, and institutions and so forth, medical facilities. So we were able to stay open throughout Covid. We have a manufacturing operation, distribution operation in Sacramento in California. We have two different manufacturing operations in Pennsylvania. We have a manufacturing operation at Georgia. We have another manufacturing operation in Florida, and we were able to comply with these states and keeping our business open, which I think was very, very important. Now, having said that, obviously we went to much more of a remote work environment. Our distribution facilities, our main distribution facility is in Paris, Kentucky, just near Lexington, obviously if you’re distributing products you need to have people on site doing that work. We were able to keep our manufacturing operations as well as our distribution operations, and limited office operations open. A lot of our employees went to remote. Until today, we still have about half our workforce still working remote, those that can. It’s been a very interesting experience to kind of go through this, and to go through it as quickly as we have gone through it.
Neal Asbury: We have several 100 employees, so it wasn’t like a small feat. Having the technology and the capability for people to work remote, the security of your network. That was, as you can see in the paper, you hear every day of another very large company being hit with ransomware, right? Because there’s so many people working remote. There’s a tremendous amount of challenges to get from say the middle of March until today, but fortunately we seem to have come out the other side a better company than we were when we went into it.
Luke Peters: Wow, that’s amazing. So I counted six manufacturing facilities in the US, at least one distribution center, a couple 100 employees. I guess before we leave the question of Covid, we’ve had to do the same thing. So, a smaller company at NewAir, but we are remote and we stayed remote, except for our warehouse and that was deemed essential as well. There’s now kind of a debate amongst different business owners on some of them really like remote and they’re just going to continue, and then others can’t wait to get back to the in person collaboration. I can see both ends of it, but I think especially for sales meetings, it’s doing a meeting on Teams just isn’t the same as having everybody there in person presenting. Where do you fall on that side of the spectrum?
Neal Asbury: I’m an old-fashion guy. I believe that people sitting in a room together and being spontaneous, just very quickly saying, “Hey, let’s go grab lunch. I got an idea I want to share with you.” I mean, the benefit of that is immeasurable in running a business. At the same time, we’re not going to go back to the way we were, we’re just not. I think that a lot of us has learned to do certain things with technology that takes real costs out of our business, such as having people travel everywhere, every day of the week, and doing presentations and so forth. Can you cut your T&E back by 50% because of the sort of new way of doing things and this technology being tested? How much office space do you need? Do you have to have these big fancy offices, lots of square feet, costing a lot of money for people to come to work when half of those people can work from home and be just as efficient and better in some regards?
Neal Asbury: Now, and I think that it’s going to really depend on the type of work, right? For us, our sales team, and we have about 16 people that are actually in the traveling sales side of our business, have historically worked from home, right? Most of our sales people work from home, so that has always been kind of like the way we’ve done that. E-commerce, our e-commerce team is working from home. They’re working all these odd hours, and they’re not really nine-to-five people Monday through Friday anyway, and I can kind of see them working remote and more and more of the e-commerce team being remote, and maybe not even being in the same town.
Neal Asbury: To recruit talent right now, Luke, as you know, is very, very hard. One of the benefits that we’re going to find in certain key categories of talent like e-commerce is going to be they want to work from home. People want to work from home, I mean, that’s a big perk. Hey, why not? You don’t have to drive, you get another hour and a half, two hours of your life every day, you don’t have the wear and tear in your car. There’s a lot of benefits, right? So I could see why people will look at remote as a way of retention and attraction of talent.
Neal Asbury: So, I think we’re going to have a hybrid of what it used to be to what the new economy post Covid is going to look like. As a company, I could see 20%, 25% of our workforce continuing to work remote, whereas if you asked that to me before Covid, I would say less than 10%. Maybe even 25% would be understated, maybe it’s going to be more than that. It’s kind of let’s wait and see. It’s going to be fascinating to see how this whole thing shakes out. And what does our customers? Your customers too, how much do they want to receive people into their facilities while their people be working remote? Will there be customers that you can actually go and visit or will they say, “Hey, you don’t need to come. Why don’t you just have a Zoom meeting, and we’ll meet once a year instead of four times a year, and three times a year we’ll do it by Zoom.” So our customers are going to make a big decision for us about how we conduct our business in the future. So this is going to cut a cost all parts of our business and everything that we do.
Luke Peters: Yeah, those are all great comments. Just a few thoughts on my part as you’re kind of going through those is like on the recruiting side, look, we have nine or 10% unemployment in the US, for a lot of these key positions it is extremely hard to recruit and the talent is limited.
Neal Asbury: You’re right, it is right. It’s counterintuitive that we got this unemployment but you can’t hire people.
Luke Peters: Yeah.
Neal Asbury: By the way, Luke, let me tell you. It goes right throughout the economy. I mean, I have all these manufacturing facilities. I can’t find people to work in factories. You got eight, nine, 10% unemployment, you would think that people would want these manufacturing jobs, which by the way, pay very well, but we can’t find people to work.
Luke Peters: Yeah.
Neal Asbury: We can’t find people who want to work, but yet there’s this unemployment thing but you can’t find people to work. It’s completely upside down, it’s completely upside down.
Luke Peters: I don’t have an easy answer for that one, but it is. It’s a phenomenon, right? Especially at the higher level technical positions, these folks they want to be their own entrepreneur. They’re working for you, but they want to call their hours, and they want to hit their goals, and they don’t always want to be told how to hit the goal, they just want to hit the goal that’s agreed upon. So it’s the mindset.
Neal Asbury: But part of that, Luke, and I’ve talked about this on my radio show a lot, is that, and it’s not now, but I think that the residual effect is still there. Is when Covid hit they had the $600 a week bonus for unemployment for people to stay at home, right? So if you took that plus the regular unemployment payments, people were being paid by the government to stay at home.
Luke Peters: Yeah.
Neal Asbury: Right? It wasn’t worthwhile to go to work, and if you had access to unemployment, why would you go to work, right? So we’re competing with the government paying people to stay at home, incentivizing people to stay at home with all these government money and subsidies and here there’s real jobs in manufacturing, and we always talk about bringing our manufacturing jobs. Well, here we’re bringing our manufacturing jobs home, but the government is paying people to stay at home, so we can’t fulfill those positions. I mean, that’s a top circle to square, explain that one. But now obviously we’re past that now and they’re still talking about this next stimulus, and what’s going to happen, and what the incentive is going to be and so on and so forth. So we’re finding people coming back to work but not nearly to the level that we need them to.
Luke Peters: Yeah, it’s been a big problem for folks, like in the smaller, smaller businesses where maybe their wage is just a little bit above some of the entry level wages. So that $600 it was crushing salons and other companies like that. We’ll have to see how that plays out.
Neal Asbury: Well, what does that equal that $600? That equates to $15 an hour, right?
Luke Peters: Yeah.
Neal Asbury: And then on top of the other unemployment benefits, people would be paid 18, $20 an hour or more to stay at home. In a lot of the country and regions of the country that’s a very, very big wage. The entrepreneurs, the manufacturing entrepreneurs, the risk-takers, our inventors, our small business owners can’t compete with people staying at home being paid $20 an hour, right?
Luke Peters: Yeah.
Neal Asbury: And that’s why, buy the way, Luke, again, counterintuitive, that’s precisely why our manufacturing jobs are relocated oversees. The US government is making it impossible for us to compete.
Luke Peters: Yeah, and we’re going to get into that. More than that, we’ll get into it, let’s put it that way. Some of the rules other countries play by are also different. It’s like a quasi capitalism that some of the other powers are using where the government supported entities and having to compete against ours, and even ours are somewhat government supported at the top. We’ll dive into that a little bit later. Before we do and before we leave this topic though, I’m just going to comment that on the work at home, I don’t know what we’re going to do either, but I do miss the in person for the culture part, I miss it for the idea generation. Maybe it’ll go to something where it’s a couple days a week everybody is in, and then most of the days everybody is out, depending on what job, what their function is. But there’s something to it, to get the team together once a week, depending on job function. But that’s what I’m leaning towards now, and I haven’t really made any big decisions here at NewAir. So I just kind of wanted to use a wait and see because it works so well to go remote, and I think that’s kind of what you’re saying too. Remote has worked so well and we’re going to have to all feel these things out as business owners.
Luke Peters: Why don’t we move on to talk about … So you have all these brands, and maybe from like an operations perspective, Neal, and we’ll get into this, how you did this, how you kind of acquired or brought together all these brands, but how do you keep everything connected? Whether you look at an org chart and it’s one person overseeing all of them, or multiple people overseeing all of them, or whether it’s a software that keeps everybody connected, or do they all run separately and then just the P&Ls all roll up to the one Legacy P&L? How does that work for you?
Neal Asbury: Well, it’s a good question, and it’s an evolving situation. The way that I built Legacy is for the most part, for the most part, 70% of the business volume and our net revenue is about $250 million. So about 70% of that has come from acquisitions, from M&A activity. Not buying big companies, because in the beginning I couldn’t afford big companies, but I kind of grew and I kind of went up the food chain. There was other companies I could buy, and another company I could buy, and they progressively got bigger.
Neal Asbury: About 30% of our business is brands and products that I created on my own. Now, if you take a look at our company, we essentially consider ourselves as three different platforms, or kind of maybe even better to look at it as three concentric circles, and these circles are kind of overlapping each other. That’s something that I always kind of imagined would be a very interesting business model. So you could operate in different industries with a lot of the same back of the house functions, engineering, manufacturing, product development, accounting, legal, human resources. A lot of these, even though you’re in different industries and have somewhat different customers, but a lot of the company can function and you can leverage from that because you have so many synergies happening within these industries.
Neal Asbury: Let me explain. One of those circles would represent the commercial food service industry. Another one of those concentric circles that are overlapping would be the consumer, small appliance business. Then the third concentric circle overlapping would be our compact appliance division, Avanti, a company that you know very well.
Luke Peters: Yeah.
Neal Asbury: So you have these three circles, and they’re kind of overlapping. What I was always inspired from, when I was living in Asia, I lived in Asia for 20 plus years and that’s kind of where my career started, and looking at America from afar, is brands like Hamilton Beach, and brands like KitchenAid, brands like Rubbermaid, and there’s a lot of them, Waring, Vitamix, Blendtec. I mean, I’m sure these are a lot of brands that you know. Many of these brands started in the commercial food service industry as commercial products and then they morphed into both commercial and consumer products. Then the consumer business became much bigger than the commercial business, although they started their life as a commercial business. I really admired these companies because they were able to live in two worlds or three worlds at the same time, but they were able to use that brand and everything that created that brand to sell to this very diverse customer base.
Neal Asbury: If you look in the investment community, the investment community loves diversity, and not one thing has built the business, because if one thing has built the business, if something were to go wrong with that one thing, then the house falls, right? Or something bad happens. But if you can spread your risk across various industries, you’re going to potentially weather the storm much better than say a company that’s wholly dependent on one market segment.
Neal Asbury: So when I designed Legacy I wanted to have that same concept that these really iconic brands utilize, that they could operate and perform well in multiple industries, but yet leverage from the same core technology and the same core talent pool, and the real estate, and the engineering, and the production and everything could support not just one industry but two industries or three industries with the same branding and everything else.
Neal Asbury: So, how do we manage that? So since we have these three concentric circles of these three different platforms but all overlapping and having customers overlap, and many different things overlap, we have management teams who are responsible for each of those three, our consumer division, our commercial division, and our compact appliance division. My job is to get the best talent I possibly can and then get out of their way and let them do what they do. We have great people, we have talented people running those divisions. My other job is to get them to cooperate and work together so we leverage all these relationships that we have. That’s essentially what is Legacy, that’s who we are. We are Legacy, we’re a combination of these three concentric circles, working together with great management teams, working together to leverage our customer base and our supply base.
Luke Peters: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks for kind of spelling that out, because you do have all these different brands. And I was taking notes here, but I can visualize in my head putting those three circles together, and I understand the market, so I can understand those three categories and then you having to just build teams in three categories instead of 17 different categories, right? That would be a bit of a challenge.
Luke Peters: You kind of explained it, that you have built about 30% or so, or the brands you built, and 70% was M&A. I had a thought or a question on this about okay, you’ve acquired these brands along the way. How do you maybe, if you’re talking to other entrepreneurs, do you think they should be doing more of that? Because I got to tell you, listen, me and a bunch of my other business owner friends we always say we want to do these acquisitions, but when you haven’t done them it’s a lot easier to just grown your own business, but you now have experience doing it. So, do you think it’s kind of the route that folks should take but maybe are not?
Neal Asbury: I think that everybody’s got to find their own balance, right? I don’t think 100% M&A is very good or sustainable. You have to ultimately know, once you buy a company, how to grow the company, right? So if you just buy companies and you don’t do anything with it, or you’re not focused on that organic growth, then why buy the company? If you just buy a company that doesn’t have any synergies, or value drivers, or anything that you can one and one equals three, because you have a company, you buy a company and you put them together, and the sum total is much greater than the two parts, then you’ve done something really good. You’ve created shareholder value if you’ve been able to do that. But ultimately you must grow the companies organically. So, if you have a way of growing your business without doing M&A, then that’s great. Then that’s something to pursue, but if you want to accelerate that, a couple of strategic acquisitions could set you on a whole new course, and that is also very good.
Neal Asbury: So I think you should really consider both. It shouldn’t be one and not the other, but obviously just like you have to grow your business organically, and that’s something that you have done incredibly well, and by growing your business organically and not having to go out and raise capital, and go into the financial markets to do M&A work, because that takes a lot of time and it’s something that you’ve got to work, and you’ve done very successful doing that. I wouldn’t turn my back on saying, “Hey, I want to try to figure out the M&A world too.” M&A doesn’t have to be like you’re out there spending huge money. I mean, there’s a lot of really great entrepreneurs out there that for whatever reason, wherever they are in life, or whatever they’re at, or maybe they want to go try something else, but there’s a lot of great ideas that you can attach to your platform and then again, get the benefit of that one and one equals three, or maybe one and one equals four. That could give you a product line or a category, or can bring you customers, it can bring you part of a supply chain that you don’t have.
Neal Asbury: It can bring you expertise in e-commerce, or through traditional sort of retail and customer, whatever it can bring you. But if you had access to that you could run everything through what you’re currently doing, through this new sort of platform, this new channel that you might be able to acquire and really fast-forward what the result would be. Because if you do this all through a home grown basis it can take a while, right? As you know, it takes a while, and it goes at its own pace. But if you do a great acquisition, what would take you 10 years you can accomplish in six months. That would mean you are really creating shareholder value, and ultimately I think as an entrepreneur what are we trying to do? We’re trying to create shareholder value, ultimately that’s one of our … I can’t say it’s our only goal, but it’s certainly one of our most important goal is to create value.
Luke Peters: Yeah, well said. I think it’s a main obvious point, but the key point is that with M&A you can speed it up, but it takes a unique skillset. Folks, people like you, have done it a lot, you know where the pitfalls are, so you’ve learned from those, so you have a better chance at success. Then kind of around that you talked about, previous to that you’re talking about connecting all these companies together, and how do you do it, you hire the best people. You get out of the way because you want them to run those teams, but you still have to drive the business. What are the KPIs that are top of mind to you? It’s easy hey, we’re going to look at P&Ls and maybe strategic plans, and investments and balance sheets, but is there something different, or unique, or interesting maybe that you follow on a weekly or monthly basis?
Neal Asbury: Just to keep it simple. I mean, this is I think for any entrepreneur and any business owner. I mean, you’re essentially looking at two things. It can really be boiled down to two things, cash flow and asset management. When you do buy and you’re out in the financial markets borrowing money, it’s all about cash flow, right? And it’s about leverage ratios, it’s about fixed-charge coverages. These are formulas that very much are tied to the money that you’re creating, the dollars that you’re creating in the business and what can that support. So very, very important, especially if you’re going to try to access the financial markets. The other is really good asset management, and what’s asset management really? Mostly, for most entrepreneurs, that means their inventory and the receivables, and making sure that you have good inventory and the stuff is moving, and you’re not sitting on a bunch of dead inventory, or obsolete inventory, and that your receivables are coming in and you’re not getting receivables out there in that 150, 180 and beyond, because banks look at that and you can’t borrow against it. So, you want to make sure everything that you have, all your assets can provide you liquidity. Very important as an entrepreneur, even as an entrepreneur who is not doing M&A, as you know, is making sure that you have good strong liquidity.
Neal Asbury: As we went through Covid, what was the big deal? Nobody really cared at that point about how much money you were making. People were worried about running out of dollars, right? They were worried about running out of liquidity because it would not be fun going back to the banks in the last four or five months and saying, “I ran out of money, I need more money.” So liquidity, especially in the world of Covid, became the most important thing. But cash flow and liquidity, two very important things, and that’s what I spend a lot of my time thinking about.
Luke Peters: Yeah, you’re spot on there. The first call we got from our banker was liquidity, the very first thing, because nobody knew what was going to happen at that time, right? They just wanted to make sure that we knew that’s what they were thinking and then that basically them telling us that’s what we should be thinking. Fortunately for us we’ve been positioned really well because we’re strong digitally, but yeah, you are 100% correct. I guess every business owner has a different bank relationship, right? Some are on a cash flow loan, some don’t have any line of credit, some do have a line of credit and some have maybe an asset-based line of credit. So each one of those is going to require different ratios that are required or looked at by the banks, and kind of like a different level of financial strength on their end to kind of be able to share that type of reporting, whatever it’s required. But yeah, that’s an interesting view, and it’s a very financial view, which I guess is like you said, one of the main goals is create shareholder value and that’s kind of where your mind is on making sure that these important financial metrics are being covered.
Luke Peters: So, kind of on the same line, you’re building shareholder value and that can be measured a number of ways. You could be looking at things that are increasing the valuation of your company, things that are literally giving you immediate profit right now. What’s kind of been like had the biggest impact, or how do you look at growing wealth inside the business? Obviously buying and building has been a part of it. Some companies just focus on profit, some focus more on other metrics that they know are going to be valuable to maybe an eventual investor, or even to their own business. I don’t know, do you have any thoughts or an answer on this? The reason I’m asking is because the audience here are business owners. Obviously a lot of them love running their business, but personally they also want to build wealth. Some of them do it outside of their business with real estate or whatever other investment, but the majority is in the business. So, curious even your suggestions on thinking about that.
Neal Asbury: Very good. I mean, very good. Creating value, I mean, that’s first of all whenever you’re building a business you should be thinking about who would be the buyer of this business, right? Because we’re not going to live forever, we’re not immortal. Some things in life, we’re going to go through a transition in our lives, from our working professional lives, and that doesn’t mean that there’s a time that we all do that. I mean, I know people well in their 80s and they’re still loving it, and enjoying it, and doing it beautifully. Then I know people who kind of set a timeframe that they want to be out earlier than that, much earlier than that because they have other things that they want to pursue. So always understand when you’re making decisions who would buy this company, right? Who would be interested in this? Who is my target audience when it’s time to sell?
Neal Asbury: Okay, so I think that’s very important, because I think … And I’ve fallen in that trap too, is that I just say, “Oh, well, that’s like a shiny beautiful object and I want to have that shiny beautiful object.” But then once I get this shiny beautiful object, did it really fit into my strategy and is it part of the strategy for the exit? And if it’s not, that’s not necessarily a good thing, and if it is, that could be a very good thing. You just go to be disciplined. You go to be very, very disciplined, so when you’re making those decisions that it fits very nicely in with your exit plan, and you got to have an exit plan.
Neal Asbury: So then when you’re building your business, how are the valuations done? Well, just everybody agrees upon or that it’s a multiple of cashflow. All the investment community, investment bankers, all these people that you’re going to meet, they’re going to look at your business, they’re going to look at the cashflow, they’re going to look at it over the last 36 months, 24 months. They’re going to see how you’re doing and they’re going to see what sort of growth you have, what kind of programs you have, and different things that you got going on in the company. They’re going to try to sell the sizzle that if you buy this company at this level of cashflow, it’s got so many things going on, it’s in a great industry, and it’s going to grow. So therefore by investing in this because of all the momentum that it’s got going on, this company over the next 24, 36 months is just going to be doing incredibly well, and therefore your investment is going to do very well. That valuation almost always is tied to your earnings, a multiple of earnings. Typically, in our industry it’s somewhere in the seven to 10, right? So depending on where you are and if you’re a growing company, and your brands, and maybe your product development that you have, or have you transitioned to the new economy, and are you really figuring out e-commerce, and are you on the cutting edge of e-commerce.
Neal Asbury: There’s different things that put you in the higher range and there’s more tired, stayed, stoic business that’s not doing anything and it’s just kind of sitting there and kind of stuck at some place, it’s going to be on the lower end of that range. That’s the best way for an entrepreneur to cash out is because they’ve created real cash flow that people are willing to pay a top multiple line. That’s where people have gotten phenomenally wealthy, by creating those kind of businesses. So that’s another thing, that as you’re making your investment decisions, how will this impact your earnings? How will this impact your cashflow? How will this impact your growth trajectory so you’re getting on the higher end of that multiple and you’re not going to be stuck on the lower end of that multiple?
Neal Asbury: Now, the problem is that a lot of entrepreneurs they’re lifestyle companies, so they’re really not making money, right? Because they’re taking out a nice living but they’re not really making profit. Those companies, a lot of them are sold and a lot of them are successfully sold, but they’re not going to bring in the really big money because they’re not making money. They’re going to maybe not get what they had imagined because they’re not really creating cash. If they’re not creating cash, the investment community that’s really paying big dollars is going to move on and look at something else.
Luke Peters: That’s a great answer. I remember talking to a banker a couple years ago, and he put it in a very, obviously along the lines of what you’re saying, but also in really interesting way. He’s like, “Look, companies need to get to this EBITDA percentage.” And that, it was a different way of looking at it, but he said because when you’re at that percentage, of course there’s other factors, the size of the business, the growth rate and all that, but that, when they get to this percentage, which is a higher percentage, it’s going to vary on everybody’s industry, but it means hey, they’re doing something special. They can demand this percentage of profits on their products because they’re doing something special, and those are going to be brands that are really interested out in the marketplace.
Neal Asbury: Yeah, what you should do along those lines is to understand where you fit, is look at some of the public companies that’s in your space and take a look at where they are with their gross margins, take a look at where they are with their overhead. Take a look at where they are with their EBITDA margins, and then you could see the multiples that they’re getting, right? Because the public market you could see what the multiples that they’re getting. That’s something good to benchmark against, and that’s kind of what we benchmark against. If you look at a lot of the appliance companies you’re going to find that their gross margins are somewhere in the 33 to 38%, maybe 40%. You’re going to find that EBITDA margins are somewhere between the 12 and 15%. Take a look at days inventory outstanding, your DIO. Take a look at your days sales outstanding. You’re going to see some really good information there. If you see a DSO or DIO, you look at your EBITDA margins, you look at the gross margins, you look at the sales growth over the last three to four years, and you see who is really getting a premium for their stock. That would be a good target for you to shoot for, because if they’re getting a premium it means you’ll get a premium.
Neal Asbury: If you’re underperforming against the medium of that group and you’re not benchmarking well, then it shows you the work you need to do in order to get you into that club. If you’re there, then you have a really great story to tell, a really great pitch to tell to the investment community of why investing in your company that’s performing at a class A pace, and why you deserve the upper end of the multiple.
Luke Peters: It’s great advice, and it’s honestly not that hard to do. I mean, all this is publicly reported, like you said, and it’s going to let … Those are exactly, specially the first two. You’ve got the gross margin and the EBITDA, these are all things that we can compare against these publicly traded, especially if your company is reporting in gap format, it makes it a lot easier.
Neal Asbury: Yeah, it can’t be … You got to do gap because anybody worth their salt is going to come in and do due diligence and hire a quality of earnings, and someone Alvarez Marsal, or FTI, or one of these big consulting firms will come in and they’re going to be looking and making sure that when you’re recording your income that you’re doing it correctly, and it’s normalized according to gap, as you said. Teach yourself and make sure that you understand the way that a potential investor would look at you, and that’s a great exercise, by the way. It’s a great exercise to do and to know how you’re benchmarking against the industry, and if you’re going in the right direction.
Luke Peters: Yeah. Well, thanks for sharing that. I was going to share just a funny story. I got to keep my friend’s name hidden here, but I got a buddy call me up for some advice, and his company is, it’s under $5 million, but he just needed some advice on some accounting things and some suggestions because he’s not as sophisticated internally because he doesn’t have as big a team, right? He’s only got about five employees or so, but he’s doing 50% net profit margins, okay? And after he shared that I go, “You know the funny thing is you’re probably making more money at the end than 95% of the people you’re talking to, even though their businesses may be two, three, four times bigger, whatever the case is.” In his different business groups that he’s in. So it’s funny, we’re all growing businesses, but at the end of the day I was just so impressed by what he had done with this company and how lean they were, and how during Covid, when growth had happened, they were able to basically pump out more widgets with the same team size. He loves his business, he’s not looking to sell it or anything, but it kind of fits into really tracking these things that are really, really important instead of just the top line and numbers that at the end of the day aren’t paying the bills.
Neal Asbury: Yeah, it’s interesting. I mean, like I said, there’s all kinds of companies out there that’s got all these very interesting metrics. As an M&A guy, as an entrepreneur, it’s fun to kind of go and pick through that and see where the gems are.
Luke Peters: Yeah, and Neal, kind of back on. So we talked about this a couple ways. I’m going to ask this a little different question, but just because really understand what makes you tick and what you’re spending your time on. So in a weekly, on say even a daily or a weekly basis, however you want to answer, your time is limited. You’re growing a diverse organization, hundreds of people, multiple physical locations around the country, where is your time going basically? Also, is there a specific strategic planning process that you like to follow? Where is your time and how do you know what to do every day? Do you have something that drives you on that side?
Neal Asbury: Well, when you have a company as diverse as we are and just with all the M&A and lender relationships, and the relationships, customer relationships, employee relationships, regulation, government regulation, just what’s happening obviously with the financial markets and Covid, and how to just keep our doors open. It’s just like every entrepreneur. You wake up every morning and you’re unemployed, and you have to go out there and make things happen to get a paycheck. Every day those things can be very different. So I can’t say that there’s just kind of like a normal day, and especially in these abnormal times. It’s very hard to predict from one day to another where I can make the greatest impact. It’s exciting but it’s also daunting too, right? Because you never know what’s going to come at you. That’s what makes you get up in the morning, that’s what gives you your drive. So it’s hard to say, Luke, that here’s typically what I would be doing. It’s just like any other entrepreneur with a smaller business, like the one that you just described with the five employees and the 50% EBITDA margins. They got to wake up and handle many, many different things in the course of one day to be successful.
Neal Asbury: I think that’s what entrepreneurs are by definition, is that they’re very flexible people, that has to go and move and groove with whatever is thrown at them. As I’ve gotten bigger and I got more employees, and just a lot more real estate and a lot more things, that really has not changed. So from day to day just never can tell, never can tell what’s going to come at you.
Luke Peters: Yeah, I can relate to that. Listen, I do want to have time to kind of jump into what you talk about in your book. So why don’t we transition from business, and I think we talked about a lot of great subjects here, so appreciate all the openness in your answers on that end. You wrote a book called Conscientious Equity: An American Entrepreneur’s Solution to the World’s Greatest Problems. What are the main problems that you identified in the book? What really stood as huge problems that entrepreneurs can be a solution to?
Neal Asbury: Well, Luke, my career, I graduated university in the US, and I spent a year in Manhattan working at a trading company on Lower Fifth Avenue, and then from there I was on the way to my dream job in Singapore in Southeast Asia. So I was in my early 20s, and here I am in Southeast Asia. I was working for a large British trading firm, and I was the sales manager of one of their divisions that sold commercial kitchens, commercial food service equipment throughout Southeast Asia, East Asia, Australasia, South Asia and the Middle East. So my job, young guy, just traveled all the time.
Neal Asbury: For seven years I never really had an apartment, I just lived in hotels everywhere that I went, even when I was home in Singapore I stayed in an apartment hotel, that once I stayed there for a few weeks and worked out of the head office. I was on my way for another three month trip, and I just did that for a long time. I was selling American food service equipment, and I was traveling throughout this very, very fascinating diverse part of our world. I was competing against very large European companies, Korean companies, Taiwanese companies, Japanese companies. This was before China had opened up, so the Chinese weren’t part of this yet, but we were competing against all of these different countries. Competing for three, four, $5 million projects, the catering operations of an airport, that’s big. Catering operations of a large university, I mean, these contracts are big. The food service operations of a Hilton Hotel, the Shangri-La Hotels, you name it, and we were out there bidding and competing for that business, and we won a lot of it, but we lost a lot of it too.
Neal Asbury: What I came to see is that American businesses were being openly discriminated against with impunity from our trading partners, and these trading partners were supposed to be our allies, and they were putting up tariffs and other non tariff restrictions to what’s selling our products. We couldn’t get our products into these countries at a fair and reasonable price, there was regulations, all sorts of things. Then on top of that there were government subsidies being given to their contractors and exporters, the corruption in all of this. In my country we didn’t have the government behind this. I was an entrepreneur against the world and I didn’t have my government supporting me. In fact, I’m not advocating for corruption, but whereas these people were out there openly bribing different officials in order to get jobs, in the United States that’s a felony. There’s a lot of people that’s gone to jail because of the foreign corrupt practices that was enacted by the US Congress.
Neal Asbury: I was being blocked from selling because of tariffs and non tariff restrictions. I was competing against people that was getting heavily subsidized that were not playing by the same rules, and American products were not flowing into the market in a way that they should have been. Yet, foreign manufacturers had complete access to my country, I just did not have access to their countries.
Neal Asbury: Coming back to America and meeting the various factories that I’ve represented throughout Southeast Asia and these various areas that I was doing business in, I was meeting with people working in these factories that I was selling their products, and everybody was nervous and scared because they see the foreign competition, and that their jobs are being taken away, and it was so sad to see these people at home so fearful of their jobs because of foreign competition. I knew if they would unshackle me, if they would take off the handcuffs, and if I can compete in the same way that they were allowed to compete, we would win and we’d win a lot, lot more.
Neal Asbury: So Conscientious Equity is my story of what it was like being an American, selling American products throughout Asia and the Middle East, and competing against all these other subsidized countries, and the jobs that we were losing because we could not compete. Then the same foreign manufacturers using all the money that they’re making because of the unfair trade practices ended investing it to sell their products back in the United States at lower costs to drive American manufacturers out of business. Some of these regimes were the most corrupt, despotic governments of the world that abused their people and made them live in poverty and squalor, and have no access to clean water and healthcare and so on. I thought that boy, this world is very, very screwed up.
Neal Asbury: So Conscientious Equity, conscientious because it’s the right thing to do, and equity because we all have ownership in doing the right thing. So imagined in Conscientious Equity a world where America competed freely and fairly, and I described what that world would look like, and I described the policies that we enacted that were hurting us and policies from oversees, allies of ours, that were hurting us, and giving solutions on what we needed to do to clean this thing up. If we would, all good people of the world would benefit, not just us. Conscientious Equity is not just for America, it’s for the world. If we all competed in this sort of way, the world would be a much, much better place. So that’s my first book, Conscientious Equity.
Neal Asbury: Lo and behold, what is happening in America today in the debates that we’re having, in the solutions that we’re discussing, have all been written about before in Conscientious Equity. I told the story of what is happening today 10 years ago, and it’s kind of fascinating to me that exactly the sorts of things that I talk about in Conscientious Equity is unfolding today pretty much as I predicted.
Luke Peters: Well, let’s dive into that, because it’s … I’m a lifelong free market guy, but then when you get into it you realize obviously we have the China tariffs. I can ask you your opinion on those. But the interesting thing is I think, and you know a lot more of this than I do, but our products are tariffed everywhere, right? And for the longest time economists or leaders would say, “Well, it is better that we’re not charging tariffs for X, Y, and Z reasons.” Which everybody can make an argument make sense, but it does seem like one big result that no one ever wanted to talk about was that okay, if our stuff is tariffed going out but nothing is tariffed coming in, it really does put our companies, or USA based companies at a big disadvantage. I guess nobody was looking out for them along the way.
Luke Peters: Now tariffs are on China, and it was funny, I had a friend, really, really smart friend, by the way, brilliant guy, and he said, his thought was, “Look, I actually agree with the tariffs.” And he was being negatively impacted by this. He goes, “I agree with them. The only thing I want to know is will they be there for 20 years, because then I can plan. But if things go up and they change next year, and then they go down, then it comes a huge problem.” Why don’t we get your opinion on that since I’m sure you have a strong opinion. What are your thoughts on kind of the current situation there?
Neal Asbury: Well, the tariffs, in my opinion, are misplaced. I’ll give you one example. Is that 50% of what we import from China are components and materials that goes into US manufactured product. The steel and the aluminum prices in America are the highest in the world. So, how can we be competitive internationally when the most basic manufacturing materials are the highest price in the world, right? So by having these artificially high prices on commodities, and products, and materials, and components and so forth that the American manufacturer needs in order to build really great products and to be able to export them and sell them around the world, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot. We’re not helping the American manufacturer. We’re making their products more expensive, we’re making it more difficult. To say that we put these tariffs on China, no, we haven’t put these tariffs on China, we put the tariffs on the importers of the products coming from China, which by and large are all American entrepreneurs and companies.
Luke Peters: Yeah.
Neal Asbury: Ultimately those tariffs are being pushed on to our customers because many of the products that they’re tariffing have no other source to buy from, right?
Neal Asbury: So it’s not like oh, we’re going to put a tariff on this product so it’s made now in the United States. Those products are never going to be made in the United States again, it doesn’t make sense whether they’re made in the United States again. So ultimately it’s the American importer who has got a lot of people on their payroll, and then the same time the American consumer, who is getting hammered because of these tariffs and the price is just being tacked on. I mean, President Trump is wrong. I mean, he’s saying, “Well, China is paying the tariffs.” They’re not paying the tariffs, they’re not paying the tariffs. Americans are paying the tariffs and American manufacturers are paying the tariffs, and we are now less a competitive global source of many, many, many products because we have higher manufacturing costs of our materials.
Neal Asbury: This is only accelerating products to be shipped offshore. It’s even worse than that. Steel and aluminum are tariffed very high as a raw material. If you import a range, a commercial range, a fryer, many of these products that are made from steel and aluminum, if you import it as a finished good there are no tariffs.
Luke Peters: Yeah, exactly.
Neal Asbury: So you’re tariffing the things that the American factories need and you’re allowing the products that are coming in, using those same materials, coming in duty free. It’s the most insane thing in the world. The implementation and the execution of this, they just don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t know what they’re doing.
Luke Peters: Well, I think it’s botched, there’s probably a lot of lobbyists. There’s a lot of lobbying going on for individual categories, and you gave a good example. Some categories they don’t get tariffed, other categories do get tariffed, and it’s honestly kind of hard to understand one from the next, but yeah, you bring up a great example.
Neal Asbury: So that’s a problem. If we’re going to have access to foreign markets and we say we need to have access to foreign markets, which by the way, I’m at the forefront of that whole thing. We got to have access to foreign markets, I fervently believe in that. But if we don’t make competitive products because the tariffs are driving up the cost of our manufacturing, then how are we going to sell these products once we have access to foreign markets if we’re not competitive?
Neal Asbury: So yes, let’s open up the markets and let’s have these markets opened up to us in the same way that their products are being sold to us. What many of our competitors have done, Luke, is that they have said, “Okay, we’re going to lower our tariffs.” And if you look at the official tariff rate on a lot of these countries that we do business with, they have come down remarkably and they’re much, much less than they were when I first started my career in Southeast Asia in the late ’70s, early ’80s. The business is very different, and the access to these markets have increased because the duties and the tariffs have come down across the board in many of these countries. But what have they done instead? Because tariffs became very political. So oh, we’re going to have very low tariffs. They created regulation, and approvals, and all these different things that restrict the product not because of paying a tariff but because of having a certification that you need on that product to be able to import it into the country. Then they charge you very high fees and excessive fees to get the certifications.
Neal Asbury: If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re looking at that and you’re saying, “Wait, it’s going to take me three or four years to be able to sell that product, to be able to pay for the certification cost that this country is imposing upon me, even though that the tariff rate is very, very acceptable, but it doesn’t justify me spending that 15 or $20,000 to get that certification. I’m going to take that money and spend it elsewhere.” So they have accomplished the same thing through their certification protocols. So, unfortunately our trade infrastructure, and I talk about this in Conscientious Equity, is a shortstop over, the senior positions are a short stopover on the way to another career.
Neal Asbury: It’s like you’re punching your ticket here that oh, I was in the administration. I held a very important position in trade and now I did that for a year, a year and a half, and now I’m moving on to some big fancy-schmancy lobbying position in Washington or some other job because you had that administrative sort of role. Unfortunately, many people running our global trade infrastructure are that mindset, and we’re competing against career trade negotiators that are trained at an early age and they stay in these positions for decades, and they’re running circles around our neophytes. We’re giving them more and more neophytes and they keep training their people to wait us out and then don’t worry, someone else will be in that position, and it’s going to take them a year to understand where the restrooms are, and then after that they’re gone, and then whatever they say we’ll just wait them out.
Neal Asbury: They’re making a mockery of us, and I discuss that also in Conscientious Equity with real life examples of it.
Luke Peters: Wow, wow, that’s great insight, Neal. I mean, you’ve been on the front lines, you know exactly how it’s done in those countries. It seems like the problem … Why don’t we end with … I’ll give you another question here, we’ll end on this one because it is a complicated one, but it will be interesting to get your thoughts, and I’m sure the listeners will enjoy it. It’s related because it’s around the change in … It seems like there’s an everflowing consolidation. I don’t want to go too far in a tangent, but in science there’s something called entropy, and there’s a law around it, by the way, and it’s that everything goes from say a state of order to disorder.
Luke Peters: It’s like we went through that stage when say in the digital side, when it first opened up everything was new for the pickings. But now there is these economic forces that have come together and you have huge consolidation, Google, Amazon, Facebook, so on and so forth. Along with this consolidation these become global companies, and they often get our support. They have huge lobbying groups, and then the companies they’re competing against, say from China or other countries, are going to have their government support. Then you have to do it on your own, I got to do it on my own. So you have this bifurcation basically, and if you’re one of these huge companies you have advantage and benefits, and for everybody else you got to figure it out from bootstrapping it. Do you see it a different way or do you see this as a big problem, or has it kind of just always been there?
Neal Asbury: It’s always been there.
Luke Peters: Yeah.
Neal Asbury: The entrepreneur is not asking for anything for free. We’re willing to fight the good fight, but at least make it fair, right? Make it fair. We all believe in economic freedom, we’re not asking for handouts. We just want to have a fair shot at things. That’s it. If our government that we pay taxes to, and if our government is taking our money and their job is to protect us and to make sure that we have access to markets in the same way that they have access to ours, that if there’s all these other games being played around the world, that America, the strongest country in the world, 5% of the population of the world, 25% of the world’s wealth, and if we’re relying on this government and they’re not showing up for us, that’s a big problem. Then when they show up they’re doing it with people who really haven’t thought this thing out. Then you look at the administration, and I’m not beating up on Republicans or Democrats because this has been going on forever. I mean, Democrat as well as Republican administrations have been equally guilty to just being there for their period of time and not really fixing problems, having a vision, having a strategy in order to defend the American entrepreneurial community. Despite that, look at all the things that we’ve been able to accomplish.
Neal Asbury: But I’m not looking at what we have accomplished, I’m looking at what we could have accomplished and what more we could’ve done. At the same time I’m looking at the risk that we have if we don’t get this right. Let me tell you, I mean, China is coming at us very hard. They’re coming at us very, very hard. They’re in this to win it. They’re in to win, they’re in to win. I’m not criticizing them for being in it to win, we should be in it to win. If you’re working from a position of strength, you’ll be able to accomplish great things. But on Conscious Equity I talk a lot about the structural issues and what’s happening in foreign countries, and what’s happening in our country, and the type of policies that would really, really, really help our American entrepreneurial and exporting community. If we were to do these things, the jobs we would create, the prosperity that we would usher in. It would be like nothing we’ve seen in our history. It would be so beautiful and so big, but it’s going to take some real skill to pull this off. Up until this point I haven’t seen that sort of visionary come into power to where they know what buttons to push. We’ve got to figure this out, we’ve got to figure it out quick.
Neal Asbury: What I believe, and I’ll end with this, that I believe that the vast majority of the world’s wealth has still not yet been created. It’s a very important statement. That the vast majority of the world’s wealth, no matter what we’ve done from the history of the world until today, pales in comparison to the wealth that will be created from this generation onwards. So the question is, not if this wealth will be created, because this wealth will be created, and it’ll be so much greater than what we’ve experienced up until now. But the question is not if, it’s where. Where will this wealth be created? Will it be created in our country or will it be created somewhere else? And if it’s not created in our country, what is that risk that that imposes on us and who are these people that’s going to have that power, and will they have our interest at heart? I suggest they absolutely will not. Will that wealth be created in our country and invested in our schools, in our roads, in our hospitals, in our universities, in our social programs? And if it is, think of this country like my goodness, it is going to be so incredible. But if we lose this and we miss this, the risk for our children, our grandchildren, and their children is unimaginable if we don’t get this right.
Luke Peters: Well said, and we have to play the long game for that reason. So we’ll leave it at that because I think you said it beautifully. Neal, again, I just want to thank you for joining me today on the Page 1 Podcast. I think our longest episode yet, but I loved all the topics that we got into and I know the listeners are going to get a lot of value out of this. Before I let you go, how can listeners find you, connect with you maybe on LinkedIn? I know your book is Conscious Equity, it’s on Amazon, so they can find that book there.
Neal Asbury: Yeah, I have my second book is being published in March. I’m very proud of it. It’s with National Geographic, the best-selling National Geographic author of all time. He and I have partnered to write a book. It’s called The Birth of America, that’s another thing that I’m very passionate about. I have a huge, one of the largest collections of antiquarian maps and engravings in the country I have. So all that knowledge and everything I learn from that together with Jean-Pierre Isbouts, we put together this beautiful book, it’s being published in March. It’s going to be available everywhere, it’s going to be a great book. Conscientious Equity, as you say, available on Amazon. Neal Asbury’s Made In America is produced by Radio America in Washington D.C. We’re on 100 plus terrestrial stations. You can see on where you are and if a station is nearby you. We’re in many, many places. We’re also heard, and I’m very proud of this, in broadcast every week by the AFN, the Armed Force Network. So all of our military bases, embassies, all of our ships, wherever there is an American government outpost anywhere in the world is broadcasting Neal Asbury’s Made in America every week.
Neal Asbury: So if you went to either nealasburysmadeinamerica.com, or you went to radioamerica.com and just look for Neal Asbury you’ll see all of my shows that I’ve ever done have been archived there. So we talk to a lot of fascinating people, like you do, Luke, and it’s very, very interesting topics. Kind of going from one to another, to another in a very short period of time, but we cover a lot of different things. Remember, it’s all about policy, it’s not about personalities. What do we got to do to promote economic freedom? Because that is the only way to the American dream and American prosperity.
Luke Peters: Well, listen we’re going to have all of that in the show notes, and thanks again for being a guest. I couldn’t agree with you more on the last point. Look, I got kids, right? And I’ve been fortunate enough to have a successful business, but then you have the next generation and that becomes more and more important. We got to make sure that there is and are those same opportunities for them. We’ll leave it at that. Thanks again, Neal. We’ll have all this in the show notes and links to the various ways that people can find you and to your books. Wish you a lot of success on the release of your upcoming book next March. Definitely will check that out.
Luke Peters: For the audience, hope you enjoyed the interview today. Really appreciate your reviews on iTunes and hope you join us for the next interview.
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