How Michael Ellison Navigates The Deep Waters of Partner Buyout

Michael Ellison talks about buying out your business partner.

Gaining a new perspective has helped Michael Ellison finally kick off a plan he’s had for years. As President of Corporate Insight, Inc. – a New York based research and consulting firm that helps companies improve their digital offerings – Michael has long considered viable options for buying out his business partner, who’s looking ahead to his retirement. But it wasn’t until he spoke to his fellow entrepreneurs at the Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program that he decided it was time to get the ball rolling.

Buying Out Your Business Partner Takes Strategy

“It’s always been something on my mind, but they helped me recognize it even faster.”

Initially, Michael set himself the one year goal of putting together a stellar management team to help take his company to the next level. He was surprised by the response this plan received.

“I had it all wrapped up in a nice pretty package,” he reflects. “And then I presented it on the last day and everyone said, ‘That’s not your goal. Your goal is you need to move forward in buying out your business partner.’”

His partner – a founding member of the company – is actively exploring retirement planning. Michael was mindful that this event was on the horizon, but thought prioritizing business growth was a better one year plan. After attending the Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program in September 2017, Michael came away with a different focus – generational planning. He broached the topic for the first time and began conversations with his advisors. By June he intends to present three vetted options to his partner, along with a vision of where he sees the company going.

“It’s given me confidence to realize I have support for when that next step comes,” he says.

For more on how our Fellows have handled exit strategies and partner buyouts, you might like How Bill Roark Takes Stakeholder Capitalism to the Stratosphere.

Sharing Challenges With Entrepreneur Peers

Meeting with his fellow entrepreneurs has also given Michael a much-needed opportunity to talk frankly about his business and the challenges he faces.

“It’s nice to talk business with people,” he says. “I have 50 employees, and I can’t talk about all the challenges to all of them. There are things they don’t need to know and that they wouldn’t understand. So it’s nice to have an environment where I can connect with other business owners, share war stories, and wrestle with some issues.”

The Birthing of Giants community offered Michael a fresh set of eyes to help him see what was right in front of him. He says he’s learned a lot from the other fellows, and enjoys the opportunity to pick their brains.

“You get an outside perspective from folks who are not so close to the problems you see on a day-to-day basis,” he explains. “Even though we’re all in different businesses, we all have successful businesses and we all have challenges.”

Birthing of Giants is a gathering of business owners of fast growth companies focused on advanced education via strategy-planning programs lead by a team of leading entrepreneurs in American business. Our programs, including the One-Day MBA and the Birthing of Giants Fellowship Program, allow business owners and entrepreneurs to gain from the wisdom of thousands of top business leaders. We help you implement proven strategies for sustaining and enhancing business growth.

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