The Power of a Solid No. 2

Being a proud Brit, I watched the televised funeral this past Saturday of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. He’s been our Queen’s No. 2 for the past 69 years.

Born in Greece to Danish parents, Philip Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg was sent to Germany and Scotland for his education, then joined the Navy and became an officer.

He married the Queen in 1952, renouncing his own royal titles and patronage to become her right-hand man.

That’s amazing loyalty and service.

If you have watched The Crown (I absolutely LOVE that show — it’s amazing and compelling), Prince Philip was more than just a confidant. He was a strategic part of the Queen’s role as monarch. A clever, witty, man who left an indelible mark on everyone he met.

He was the patron of more than 800 charities and attended more than 22,000 public engagements during his working life.

The Queen wouldn’t have been such a successful, long-serving monarch without his support and duty.

I, too, have a very powerful No. 2 in my life… my wife Julia. She takes care of our family and home, allowing me to close deals and coach thousands of entrepreneurs all over the world.

So what has this got to do with acquiring businesses?

No. 2s are essential in all walks of life, especially in business… and especially when it comes to closing deals.

We all need partners — ideally steadfast No. 2s who can do the heavy lifting when it comes to implementing certain steps of the business buying process… AND when it comes to managing and growing the business you acquire.

Closing Deals

When approaching the buying process, a strong No. 2 can help you:

Running the Business

Once you have closed the deal, a No. 2 can add tremendous value by:

I’ve had several No. 2s on deals I’ve done… and I’ve been a No. 2 as well. I have several one-two relationships even today.

Dealmaker Wealth Society’s co-founder Adam Markley and I are partners in multiple businesses. I’m the No. 1 in Dealmaker, he’s my No. 2. In PROX Capital Group, it’s reversed.

When I acquired Radio Express in July 2018, I desperately needed a solid No. 2. There were multiple reasons for this…

Radio Express was a complex radio content syndication and licensing business based in California. It was a relationship-heavy business in an industry undergoing a lot of strategic changes.

Though I could have studied the market in detail, my preference was to partner with someone who already understood it.

Furthermore, the business was a 12-hour flight from where I live in the U.K. It needed a CEO to drive it forward and integrate the existing team. I didn’t want to do that.

Enter Paul Hollins — a seasoned player in the industry and existing service provider to Radio Express through his own business. I brought him in, merged everything together and shared ownership.

Paul made a big success of the business and later acquired my shares to own the business outright.

In summary, dealmaking doesn’t have to be a singular sport. It’s not just about leveraging money—it’s about leveraging people as well.

Most highly successful people have had loyal, productive No. 2s (and in some cases, more than one No. 2.)

Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak. Mark Zuckerberg has Sheryl Sandberg, the COO—and real operator—of Facebook. Maverick had Goose. Rocky had Mickey…

I could go on.

Yes, you have to share ownership with partners. But it’s better to own LESS than 100% of a deal to get it done so you can own and grow the company…

Versus not closing at all because your gaps (be they skills, experience, geography, etc.) are insurmountable.

Transform your dealmaking journey today by finding and leveraging your own Prince Philip.

Until next time, bye for now.

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