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  • Writer's pictureMark Hartmann

Exiting Tips From One Of The Top 40 Under 40

Illustration of a person in a suit, carrying a briefcase, hurriedly exiting a room through a door marked 'EXIT', highlighted by a beam of light on a gray background.

Exiting Tips From One Of The Top 40 Under 40

Wind Mobile founder Anthony Lacavera has started 12 businesses, six of which he has exited. His exits have ranged in value from the $6 million he got for one of his recent start-ups to $1.3 billion when he sold Wind Mobile. He did it by following two essential tips. 

Understand what kind of company you are running

Lacavera has owned hyper-growth unicorns and lifestyle businesses and urges entrepreneurs to be clear about their long-term prospects. Lacavera started a business supplying hotels with internet access and understood the company would be a good cash generator but would never sell for a mint. He ran the company for almost two decades and used the cash it generated to fund various other ventures. Recently, he finally sold the business, generating $1.5 million in pre-tax profit, for $8 million—a relatively modest five times earnings, which was fine by Lacavera because it had served its purpose of funding other companies along the way.

The role of CEO and owner are not the same 

Lacavera, a proponent of effective business management, encourages entrepreneurs to understand the distinct roles of CEO and business owner. Even though they may be the same person, they have different functions. At some point, your business may be better served by separating the two roles. Entrepreneurs who are comfortable handing the reins to a professional manager may do better in the long run than those who need to control everything. This understanding is key to successful business management. 

Lacavera had great success, which is visible in the fact that he has won almost every business award, including 2010 CEO of the Year, Top 40 Under 40, Deloitte Technology Fast 50, and Canada’s Fastest Growing Company. One of the top secrets to Lacavera’s success is knowing when to bring in a CEO to replace himself in any of his ventures.

Mark Hartmann - CEO of HartmannRhodes

Mark Hartmann is a three-time Inc 500|5000 CEO with a rich sales, operations, and leadership background in the insurance, financial services, and healthcare sectors. With extensive experience growing and selling his own businesses, Mark leverages his expertise to help owners grow and sell businesses valued at $1M —$25M. He’s earned a master’s degree in organizational change management from St. Elizabeth University and a graduate certificate in executive coaching from Columbia University. Mark’s professional certifications include Certified Mergers and Acquisitions Professional (CM&AP), Certified Business Intermediary (CBI), Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA), and Certified Value Builder (CVB).


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