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In this enlightening episode, we explore the nuances of elevating a business to an impressive $100 million valuation. Accompany Susan Sly, an experienced entrepreneur and business coach, as she unravels the intricate fabric of company valuation in the ever-evolving landscape of today’s market.


-Susan Sly

Topics covered

Crafting a Company to Achieve a Valuation Exceeding $100 Million

Nurturing Entrepreneurial Self-Worth

Navigating Valuation and Growth Amidst Shifting Economic Realities

Investments for Startup

Exit Strategy

Susan Sly’s Bio

Susan Sly is a tech investor, co-founder, best-selling author, keynote speaker, entrepreneur and podcast host of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime Television, The CBN, The Morning Show in Australia and been quoted in MarketWatch, Yahoo Finance, Forbes, and more. Susan is also a member of the Forbes Business Counsel. She holds a Certificate in Management and Leadership with a focus in AI, Certificate in Strategy and Innovation, Advanced Certificate for Executives in Management, Innovation, and Technology, and Certificate in Artificial Intelligence in Pharma and Biotech from MIT and is the author of 7 books.

As a highly acclaimed keynote speaker, Susan has spoken for MIT, NVIDIA, Intel, Lenovo, and shared the stage with Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Robert Kiosaki, and more. And she has been a featured guest speaker for the National Restaurant Association, Executives Next Practices Institute, Forbes Roundtable, Corenet Global and the Edge AI Summit.

In 2022 Susan was honored to receive the Rosalind Franklin Society Award in Science and a nomination for the Rising Star in AI from Venture Beat.
Susan Co-founder of RadiusAI – an award-winning artificial intelligence company with offices on three continents.

Susan has completed the Boston Marathon 6X and placed Top 10 in the Pro Division of the Ironman Triathlon in Malaysia. Susan is passionate about philanthropy and has dedicated a significant amount of time and money working to liberate girls from trafficking and invest in education to support women and girls who have survived trauma and abuse both domestically and overseas.

Susan is the mother of four children and resides with her husband in Scottsdale, Arizona. Find out more about Susan at

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Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Susan Sly 00:00
All right, it's Susan here, I'm so grateful that you stopped by to listen to today's episode. I'm going to be talking about what it takes to build a company that has $100 million plus valuation. And that includes with everything that's going on with the economy, with interest rates, money isn't as cheap as it was. And with the competitive landscape that is happening out there in the startup world. So we're going to talk about that I'm going to talk about specifics, I'm going to be referencing some of the great guests we've had. And also with regard to what it takes that VCs are looking forward to give you that valuation. And so it's going to be a lot of fun. And before we get into the episode, I want to thank you, listeners, for being here. And I'm never afraid to share a little bit about what is going on in my personal life. So I think of all of you as friends and family and I know many of you listen to the show. I just got back from Barcelona, I had the privilege of speaking at HPE Discover. And if you don't know what HPE stands for, it stands for Hewlett Packard Enterprise and I was speaking on AI and the need for diversity and datasets to make them more accurate in AI ethics. It was absolutely incredible. And that wraps up a year of speaking on AI, computer vision, edge technology. I think I've spoken, I don't know, 22 plus times this year. It's been crazy. And so it was wonderful to be there, wonderful to be in Barcelona. And if you're listening and you were there, I would love a shout out on social. Thank you! And speaking of social, if you're not following me, please do @Susansly on Instagram is my personal Instagram, on X @Susanslylive, and on LinkedIn @Susansly and then we have all of the show pages for Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. Make sure you are following and subscribing so you get updated. We have new episodes dropping every single week, sometimes two a week. If you didn't hear my last episode on the open AI saga that continues, I think you will find it absolutely enthralling. Let's put it that way. And another thing that's going on in my personal life, I know some of you have written in, and I have mentioned over the course of 320 plus episodes, my dad Joe, Joe in his career, he was an amazing engineer, he helped to work on the pacemaker, the microprocessor. Even when I was a little girl, we went to see Top Gun in the theater and he's like Susan see those engines on those F14s? And I'm like, Yes. And he said, I helped work on those engines. So my dad has not been well. And it's been very touch and go so I've been running back and forth from the US to Canada. Prayers are welcome for my dad. And as I've been saying in the last few episodes, I do have a big announcement coming. I am not ready to make that announcement yet. But it is significant. So for the latest details on that make sure you are subscribing, go to make sure you are on the list. I am also going to be adding in the New Year free coaching, startup coaching for free to my subscribers, but you have to be a subscriber to get the invitation to have my wisdom from three decades in business, in sales, in marketing, growing companies in technology and AI in order to get the benefit of that. So please go to and get subscribed. So with that, let's go ahead and jump into this episode because my wish for you is that you will be able to start your company, grow your company, scale your company and most importantly, build something that has a positive impact on the world. So let's go ahead and get this party started with this episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship.

Susan Sly 04:00
This is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, the show that brings the no nonsense truth of what is required to start, grow and scale your business. I am your host Susan sly.

Susan Sly 04:15
Well, what is up on Raw and Real entrepreneurs wherever you are in the world, I hope you are having an amazing day. This is episode 320 something, I don't even know. I sit back and go oh my gosh, I think about all of the incredible entrepreneurs that have been on the show, 12 year old entrepreneurs like Shadi millionaires like Glenn Stearns, and all of these incredible founders and some of whom I've invested in their companies. People like Jen Pelka, who is the co founder of Une Femme wines. And if you're not following Jen on Instagram, she's absolutely hilarious with all of her wine posts. If wine is not your thing, don't follow her. And, you know, it's just been, it's been been fun, it's been a journey. And I want to give a shout out to Lori Harder. Lori's been on the show a couple of times. I invested in her company. Initially, she had Lite Pink. And then she pivoted to Glōci. And it's been amazing. She's been so transparent about the the challenges around that pivot, being transparent with her investors, people like myself who invested in the company, and invested in one vision and then the vision shifted. And we all stood by Lori and celebrated her and they just had a massive launch. And make sure you're following Lori on social media, because I'm so proud of my sister. And we're working on our mutual schedules to get Lori to come back and share about the pivot and what's going on with that company. So, so excited for her. Anyway, let's get into this. So $100 million valuation. And I know, because I have had the experience of building a company that got to that valuation, I've had several founders who've been on the show that have built companies that have had exits for that valuation. And I was really thinking, I was talking to Tisha, our producer, about what it would be like to do a show to really get into that raw and real truth of what it takes. And even for friends of mine who are with companies that had to do down rounds, what that means is the company got to a significant valuation, I know some friends, their companies got to a billion dollar valuation. And because of the market and where things were at, they were getting that valuation, even 33 times their annual earnings, it's crazy. But then their next round of funding, they had to do what is called a down round, which means investors had to invest at a lower valuation, and the ones that came in at the higher valuation, their investment actually went down. So we're going to talk about that. And as tough as it is, you know, the thing I want to say from my heart is that it's worth it. And it comes down to, to how you, as a founder, as a co founder, or a potential founder, value yourself. And over the years, even when I wrote my book, Organize Your Life, I said, we teach the world, how to treat us. And if you do not have a self worth, a genuine self worth, where you feel that your time is valuable, and your product and your service and what you've created and what your employees have created is valuable, you are always going to struggle. And one of the things I've learned, interviewing all of these founders, in meeting with so many founders is that the founders who actually achieve this 100 million dollar valuation and exceed it, they have a different sense of self worth. And you may be thinking, Well, are they ego maniacal? Well, I will be very candid. Some people do have a very healthy ego. Whereas I've also interviewed very humble founders, like Glenn Stearns, who has endured cancer, he has been on a feeding tube for five years. He is the most generous person I know, he started absolutely scrappy from nothing growing up in Maryland, and was the first undercover billionaire and Glenn and his wife, Mindy are dear friends of mine, and the nicest, kindest people. So what I mean by this value is not associated with ego, but it's how you value yourself, your product, your company, your employees. And that's what I want to start with, which is so nothing that I really planned in this episode, but it's just on my heart to share because I know for myself that any time that I have been in a business building role, a contribution role, when I feel good about what we're doing and where we're going, and I see so clearly the value we're providing the customers, that's when things like raising money and getting sales are very easy. And so you want to ask yourself, am I giving more in value than I'm receiving financially? And if you are, then that is a great place to start. So as we get into this concept of the 100 million dollar valuation, there are some founders that come to mind that I've had on the show. One is John St. Pierre, I just had John on the show, he's originally from Montreal, la belle province de Québec for my Canadians. Canadians, you have fallen out of number two. United States remains number one, but you follow at number two for listeners, not because the listeners are declining, it's just that they're increasing in other countries like India and the UK faster. So Canadians you know, get your groove on. And then David Perry, their exit was over 350 million for Gaikai, which was a gaming company. And then Will Moore, I'm going to talk about my friend Will, coming up a little bit later in the show where they had a $300 million exit, and there have been several others. And this concept of this nine figure valuation, you know, it's definitely rife with challenges, but there are a lot of rewards. And I want to start with this current landscape. So right now, we are seeing higher interest rates, and money isn't cheap. And so at the peak of valuations, we were seeing interest rates were next to nothing. And we were seeing crazy valuations. But VCs are definitely more cautious, I have a friend who is a partner at a VC firm, they were going to deploy 90 million in capital in 2023. So far, I don't think they've deployed anything. And they're sitting on the sidelines, and they're looking at economic signals to see when might be the right time. And then another thing that we're also seeing, I've heard from several VCs, they're looking to pair a new investment with a current one, kind of like a mash up or an arranged marriage. So if they have a company that they've invested in that does one thing, and you have a company that has something that's complementary, that can actually drive business for that first company, company A, let's call it, that makes you more interesting. And the reason is, is because if they deployed capital in 2020 or 2021, they may have invested when that company had a higher valuation, now it's coming down. And so the, you know, as a result of that, they're saying, hey, if I invest in your company, and you can make sales and company A better than, you know, that makes you more interesting. And founders in this landscape, you have to have both business intelligence and emotional fortitude. And that's not just to get to nine figures, that's in anything, whether you're starting a company now, I've had a lot of founders, who started companies in 2020 who've been on the show. And they were sitting at home, and it's like, oh, okay, let's Zoom with some friends. And we're gonna start this company, we see a need. And again, money was cheap, money was cheap, money was cheap. If you are thinking of starting a business, eventually, you're gonna get to something called a 409 A valuation here in the United States, and that is going to tell you what your shares are worth given your sales pipeline, the economy and so forth. And I was talking to an independent third party 409 A valuation firm. And I said to the guy, like, just give me the skinny, what are you seeing in terms of the companies are working with? He's like Susan, over 90% of them are either down for their 409 A, or they're the exact same as they were last year. And, and a lot of startups that got started when there was easy money, they're not used to this landscape unless they have experienced founders. So we're not seeing as many companies get to the nine figures right now, it doesn't mean that that isn't going to change. So I want to talk about, in this episode, what VCs and acquisition partners actually look for, and what you can do to prepare. I'm going to talk about what it takes also mentally, and we're gonna have a lot of fun. And so if you are sitting there, and maybe you have a, you know, this show is for everyone, it's for someone with an Etsy business, it is for someone who is a tech founder. It doesn't matter, I promise you, you're gonna learn something in the show that you can take away and apply to whatever business you've got right now or a business you're thinking of. So let's start with the basics of evaluation. So the company, your company's worth, isn't just about its current revenue or profits. There are more complex factors that go into the valuation things like market size, your growth rate, your profitability, your future potential. McKinsey puts it this way, valuation is an art, not a science. And we see that all the time.

Susan Sly 14:07
PitchBook recently said that there's a significant shift, especially in the tech sector, in terms of how companies are valued. So we saw multipliers in the golden days of 2020 to 2022. 10x, I've seen 20x, I even saw 33x, Not even kidding you. However, those figures have now been adjusted down. Several VCs that I spoke to prior to doing this episode are saying you know, usually it's a five to 6x. What that means is five to six times your annual earnings. And this shift reflects the rising interest rates and more cautious investment, as I said earlier, so when we're thinking about getting that $100 million valuation, one of the key pieces is to understand the kinds of questions that are going to go into achieving that valuation. So the first one is does the company have revenue that is over 10 to 20 million in ARR, that's annual recurring revenue. And so 10 million it for you to get $100 million valuation would be a mixture of luck, networking market timing, we've seen it. I mean, we have seen companies that have like, open AI, multibillion dollar valuations, but they don't have revenue, that is going to be 10x. But the tech they have is incredible, right? So that can happen. Uber was losing money when it reached the unicorn mark, we've seen so many companies that are like that, but this, in this current landscape, unless you are a very rare company of tech, no one else has you have the blessing of like a Microsoft or whoever it is, that's what you're looking for to get to that valuation. And then does the company have any debt, the VC or acquisition partner is going to ask you that, and it's as much as you physically can, outside of your investors, try not to take on any debt. Now there is debt based financing instead of equity based financing, meaning that a firm or individuals will essentially loan you money. I'm talking about the kind of debt that happens with credit card bills, I'm talking about sitting on a lot of inventory needlessly, or debt that can occur based on making speculation. For instance, like you say, Okay, I need an office in San Francisco. But I have two employees, but I'm going to sign a lease for 20,000 a month or whatever it is, you don't need to do those things because your lease obligation is possibly going to be concerned future debt. Now, the next thing that we're going to look for is what is your EBITA, and this stands for earnings before interest, taxes and amortization. And it's a financial metric that evaluates a company's operational performance without the impact of financial and accounting decisions. So let me break it down very quickly. Earnings. This is essentially the profit a company makes, it's what remains from revenues after the company's expenses are subtracted. Before Interest. This means that when calculating EBITA, any expenses related to interest on debt are not included. This is useful because it allows a clearer comparison of the, of companies regardless of their financial structures. Taxes, taxes can vary depending on a range of factors, including location, business structure, and other variables. By excluding taxes, EBITA provides a more uniform metric to assess a company's operational profitability. And I just want to say as an aside with taxes, we're seeing more companies, I'm seeing more companies and all of the interviews I do, where you have a team of people that are not centrally located. And you might have one founder or perhaps in Silicon Valley, but then you have people maybe scattered all over the country. And the reason this is important, is because where you decide your company's head office is also going to dictate the amount of taxes that you're paying. Amortization. This is the accounting technique used to gradually read off the value of an intangible asset over time. So when EBITA expenses related to amortization are not included. This is particularly relevant for companies with significant intangible assets, such as patents or software. So there's your little EBITA exercise. And if you already know what EBITA is, then you know, don't worry about that. You can just gloss that over. So the next questions that they're going to ask, they being VCs, acquisition partners, what is the mix of customer diversity, so how many customers make up that revenue. And so if you're doing b2b sales, so business to business, and your deal size is fairly large, one of the things that VCs and acquisition partners will often look for is a minimum of four to five customers that make up that revenue or more. If you're an a B2C play, that's great, because your revenue, that 10 to 20 million is made up of 10s of 1000s of customers, if not hundreds of 1000s of customers depending on how much the customers are paying. So that can be great in terms of the customer diversity, because as the cautionary piece around this is that VCs and investors, they do not want the eggs all in one basket so to speak. Alright, so has the company previously raised money before? If so, was it at an up round or down round? As I said earlier, so was the, what was the valuation the last time they raised? Is the right leadership team in place. Do they have experienced leaders? Do they have people who can sell, do they have people who are technologists, do they have the right CEO in place? Do they have people who've already had successful exits? What is the exit strategy of the company? This also plays into potential valuation. And does the company have any patents or intellectual property? If so, how much? Are there any lawsuits, past or present? Are there any formal employee complaints? And I just want to say about those last two points. My mentor Harvey Mackay always says, if at all possible, always settle. And lawsuits are, the lawyers always win. And it's wonderful if you're an attorney, love you, love our attorneys, it's just that they can be exhausting, they can be distracting from a company. And if at all possible, try to settle and when you're the, you know, sometimes

Susan Sly 20:44
this is Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. I've had founders who have been in multiple lawsuits. And I've also had founders who've had, you know, successful exits, and they didn't even have one lawsuit. And I think that is a testament to them, it doesn't mean that they didn't feel wronged or slighted at some point, but they figured out a way to navigate it. And so just something to think about. And then the next question is, is the product or service scalable? That is the other question because you're not going to get that big valuation if there isn't a path to get more users, more customers, to have the next generation of product or spin off products, and so forth. So based on my experience, I want to give you some advice in terms of things you can do to prepare. So one is keeping detailed records. Those include meeting minutes of your board meetings, architectural diagrams, employee records, these are just a few of the things to do. Number two is update your data room every six weeks. So it's all, six to eight weeks, so it's always ready to go. So your data room is, it could be in your Microsoft Office Suite, it could be in a Google Drive, it could be in a Dropbox, it could be wherever it is, somewhere secure. And what are some things you want to have in there, your pitch deck, current pitch deck, your capitalization table, that means, you know, if different people own equity shares, and so forth options in your company, that's going to be reflected there, your corporate bylaws, those don't really change very often. Any master services agreements or other kinds of customer agreements, your accounting that includes your PNLs, you know, any of your accounting documents, again, always be updating threre. Marketing materials, such as your videos and flyers, your sales pipeline, three year projections, it used to be five years, but the landscape is changing so rapidly, that very rarely is a company going to align with what has said it was gonna do five years out. I mean, as I said, 18 months ago, who was on chat GPT. Now toddlers use it, I mean, seriously. And then your org chart. That's your organization chart of all of your employees, including you. So I had Jeremy Delk on the show. It was a great interview. And it's the only interview Jeremy has ever done in his life where he didn't swear. So cool. And he has founded several companies. He was on the show, his company was raided by the FBI, I read his book, loved his book, it was amazing. It's on Audible, highly recommend it, Jeremy Delk, D E L K. And Jeremy admitted that he had not been diligent in keeping records. And that became a huge problem when he was raided. And so one of the things I suggest is that founders and co founders should schedule a monthly meeting just to pause and review any changes to require documentation. The reason I mentioned this, is because at some point, we're already seeing acquisition activity. So when I was in Barcelona, as I mentioned, the the CEO of HP was showing some of the companies they had acquired, and I know Cisco has acquired companies this year, or their acquisitions that have taken place. It doesn't mean acquisitions aren't happening. But if you have a hot company, and you have a lot of great things going on, my advice to you my friends is always keep your data room up to date, speak to your attorney, make sure all the right things are there, there's a checklist, because should an offer come and you are ready to sell, you've maybe got founder fatigue, then you will be ready to go. If you are also going out there to raise money, I cannot emphasize it enough. All of those things I just shared, at some point, once you get a term sheet happening, they're going to ask you for all those things. So why would you spend a lot of time trying to go find them, just have them ready to go. Alright, so as I said, money is no longer cheap. Valuations aren't as high. It's a different landscape. So how do companies scale in such a, like a such a changing environment? So let's go to our friends at Harvard Business Review. I'm a subscriber to HBR because I'm a nerd and I admit it. And one of the things they said is successful scale ups are not just bigger versions of small companies instead, they think and act differently in three critical areas. So check this out. Number one, they learn to delegate. Number two, they use data to make better decisions. And number three, they have a clear sense of their priorities. And I cannot emphasize number three enough. So in other words, if your company is going to hit a nine figure valuation, data is gonna need to be your friend, you've got to make data driven decisions. And it's great to have a solid gut. But things like your cogs, your cost of goods sold, that is a data decision. So how much does it actually cost to sell your product that includes the production costs, that includes insurance, that includes legal, that includes your staff, your employees, your rent your overhead? What is it that for that particular item, and then knowing your profit margins, right, and you must be super clear on what you will say yes to and what you will not. So when I was co CEO of Radius AI, we had the opportunity to go into healthcare, and we knew it'd be amazing, but it would also be costly and possibly extend the length of time to get to revenue. And we came together as a team and made the tough decision to focus on retail because we saw a faster path to revenue there. And once we did, we see signed a significant deal. And that shot us out of an amenity, to being a known player in computer vision, AI. And so scaling means being able to focus and so take this one thing away, regardless of the size of your company, if you started the company, if you're thinking of starting a company, you will never get to the valuation you want if you can't scale, and you can't scale if you can't focus. I'm gonna say that again, you will never get to the valuation you want if you can't scale and you can't scale if you can't focus. So let's talk about a couple of founders who have focused and they were able to scale. And so the first one is Whitney Wolfe Herd, and she's the founder of Bumble. I've spoken about Whitney many times, I'd love to have her on the show. And she just stepped down as CEO. And she's doing a lot of interviews. And I think what she's doing is amazing. She really, she left Tinder, and she had a falling out with her co founders, she sued them after she left for sexual harassment, there was a settlement, neither party is allowed to discuss what the settlement was. But I love that she stood for herself, stood for women, stood for her value, which was huge. And when she left she, she really took a look at the data that they had at Tinder and she looked at that user experience. And she said, You know what, women are, there's a rallying cry for something different. So she created Bumble, that was an app that empowered women to make the first move. And not only did she get to nine figure valuation, she became, I believe, one of the youngest billionaires, and the day she went public in February of 2021, she had an IPO, I believe it was the Friday the 13th. I'll never forget, I was like, Girl, you're doing your IPO on Friday, the 13th. Okay. And I think her personal net worth was to something like $7 billion in a day. And so she really focused. She, now, bumble is beginning to explore different spin offs of that dating app. But she focused this app is for women, this is going to be the user experience, we're going to make the data driven decisions. And timing was a big part of it, too. There wasn't anything really like it in the market. Another founder that I have had on the show is Will Moore, so he and his co founder started a food delivery service that eventually was acquired for 300 million. And Will's interview is great, check it out. And he had some differences of opinions with the cofounders. And at one point, the acquisition deal almost fell through. And the bottom line is that they were able to salvage it, and eventually heal the relationship. But timing was a big component for Will's company, because they had cornered a specific geographical area, they had a solid user base, and it made them very enticing for the larger players in the space. So when you think about it, to build $100 million company and beyond, you have to have that focus. As I said, you have to have the timing. You have to be organized and you are going to have challenges. There might be challenges with your co founders, you might have challenges, entrepreneurs have the highest divorce rate, they work longer hours than employees. You might have personal challenges or like me, you know, you've got an aging parent. And you also have kids and I have aging in laws, both my in laws have dementia, and so that's a heartbreaking situation. My dad and my father in law were best friends in high school. And so it's really hard. It's hard for my husband and I, and I'm an only child. And, you know, so I don't have siblings who can help with this. And so it is, it's really hard and to be able to say, Okay, I have to press pause on my life, I have to reprioritize, I have to, you know, create a life that is gonna allow me to serve who I need to serve, but also to take care of myself. And that's tough. All of these things happen on the journey, because you can't control what life is gonna throw at you while you're building this company to $100 million and beyond, you cannot control it. I had a friend, Ken, if you've been a longtime listener of the show, Ken, I have a picture of him on my desk. He was building his startup, and he ended up getting stage four cancer and dying at age 47, left behind his beautiful wife, Rachel, their two children. And, you know, and he said, Susan, building this startup gave me cancer. So you cannot control it. And all sounds well and good. And I'm going to build this 100 million dollar company, and friends, I want to share with you a final thought. And John St. Pierre, who built his company to $100 million valuation, we were talking about that, in terms of giving up equity. So I want you to imagine that you found a company, and you go through and you build it to unicorn status. And along the way, maybe you get exhausted or cost you your marriage or it costs you your relationships with your children, and you're obsessive about it. And it's fantastic. And you do multiple investment rounds. So you have an employee stock option plan and ESOP so there's like carved out 20% there, but you have the controlling stake of the remaining company, and you don't have any co founders, but by the time you sell it for a billion dollars, you now have maybe 1% of the company left. So 1% of a billion dollars, you're gonna have $10 million, or you build $100 million company, you didn't have the unicorn, but you still had date nights. And when your mom needed you or your dad needed you, you were there and you didn't miss the soccer game, and you got your workout. And it wasn't always perfect. Some days, it was 20 minutes. Some days, it was 90 minutes, you took time in the morning, to pray, to meditate to get your head on straight. And after all your investment rounds, you retain 10% of a company, your employees were really happy you did a great job and you sold for 100 million, you still got 10 million. And so something to really think about is that as you grow and scale your company, every time you take investment, you're going to give away a piece, give away a piece, give away a piece, give away a piece and so forth, every time you have advisors, maybe board members, you give away a piece, give away piece, give away a piece. And at the end of the day, when you do sell that company, if you don't have a lot of equity left, you're gonna look back and go, Wow, was it really worth it? Because you didn't just give a piece away of the company. Every time you gave away a piece of the company, you also gave away a piece of yourself. And nothing is worth that, my friends. And so you may say, well, Susan, you're a downer, like I want to, I want to build a unicorn, a friend offered me a CEO job at his startup. And he's like, I want to build this to be a unicorn and I need someone like you who has CEO skills. And I'm like, I won't say his name, I'm like, Yeah, I do have CEO skills. And you know, I don't know if I'll say yes or not, I don't know, to be very candid with 1000s of you all over the world as you're listening. But one thing I do know is that before I look at entertaining any opportunity, one of the things I want to always ask is what is your exit plan? How much of the company are you retaining? Who's on the cap table?

Susan Sly 34:22
And, you know, what is your number? What is that number that's going to be enticing? Because when the company gets to a certain point and the acquisition offers do come, you know, are you going to hold out and have your ego rule out just to get to that unicorn valuation but sell off pieces of yourself in the process? I don't know. So with that, do me a favor. Go to If you have a question or something you would like me to do a show on or a video on, I would love to do that for you. And I don't do solo shows very often. If I am traveling and we're behind in our production schedule, I have been on the road every single week since the third week or second or third week of August. I have not been at home. This week I am actually at home and I'm recording multiple shows, sometimes I do solo shows. And this is a question that has come up, you know, what does it really take to build that valuation? So, to those that you've asked it, I'm sending you much love. Hopefully this has been helpful. I would love a shout out. Please share the show. Wherever it is, you watch the show, listen to the show. And with that stay ambitious, and stay inspired. God bless. Go rock your day, and I will see you in the next episode.

Susan Sly 35:42
Hey, this is Susan and thanks so much for listening to this episode on Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. If this episode or any episode has been helpful to you, you've gotten at least one solid tip from myself or my guests, I would love it if you would leave a five star review where ever you listen to podcast. After you leave your review, go ahead and email reviews at Susan Let us know where you left a review. And if I read your review on air, you could get a $50 amazon gift card and we would so appreciate it because reviews do help boost the show and get this message all over the world. If you're interested in any of the resources we discussed on the show, go to That's where all the show notes live. And with that, go out there rock your day, God bless and I will see you in the next episode.

Susan Sly 36:39
Are you currently an employee looking to start your own business? Maybe you've been thinking about it for a while and you're just not sure where to start? Well my course Employee to Entrepreneur combines my decades of experience as an entrepreneur with proven methods, techniques and skills to help you take that leap and start your own business. This course is self paced, Learn on Demand and comes with an incredible workbook. And that will allow you to go through this content piece by piece by piece, absorb it, take action and then go on to the next module. So check out my course on Employee to Entrepreneur.

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Susan Sly

Author Susan Sly

Susan Sly is considered a thought leader in AI, award winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker, best-selling author, and tech investor. Susan has been featured on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime, ABC Family, and quoted in Forbes Online, Marketwatch, Yahoo Finance, and more. She is the mother of four and has been working in human potential for over two decades.

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