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Finish Big: How Great Entrepreneurs Exit Their Companies on Top

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  155 ratings  ·  14 reviews
“No two exit experiences are exactly alike. Some people wind up happy with the process and satisfied with the way it turned out while others look back on it as a nightmare. The question I hope to answer in this book is why. What did the people with ‘good’ exits do differently from those who’d had ‘bad’ exits?”

When pioneering business journalist and Inc. magazine editor at
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 28th 2014 by Portfolio (first published August 1st 2013)
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Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
It doesn't get much more relevant to my current work than this. Great perspectives from business sellers.


* Four elements to a good exit/succession:
1. Owners felt they were treated fairly
2. They had a sense of accomplishment
3. They were at piece with what happened to other people who helped build their business
4. They had discovered a new sense of purpose outside of their businesses

* Eight common characteristics of well-prepared sellers:
1. Seller had crystal clear understa
Cody Faldyn
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In his book Burlingham dissects dozens of interviews he made with entrepreneurs that have left their companies and pieces together actionable information that all business owners must know about creating a solid exit plan. The goal of the book is to help you find the right time to exit a business, overcome the stress of leaving a company, and leave your company in better shape.

For your convenience, I had Bo Burlingham on my podcast, The Entrepreneurs Library, to give a deep dive on Finish Big. W
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
If you’ve ever perused or your local bookstore looking for information on how to exit your business, you’ve probably come up with a short list of resources. While there are countless titles about starting and running a business, there are precious few that tackle the work of how to successfully leave one.

Fortunately, Bo Burlingham — author of Small Giants and editor at large at Inc. magazine — goes a long way towards filling the void with "Finish Big: How Great Entrepreneurs Exit Thei
Jason Carter
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, leadership
There are tons of great books out there shelling out advice on starting a business. Not too many, though, on finishing one. Burlingham, editor at large at Inc, notes that all entrepreneurs are headed for an exit one way or another, and that the best are those who realize that up front and begin with the end in mind.

Full of both practical advice and anecdotal evidence (on both sides of the good/bad exit spectrum), this is a must-read book for any entrepreneur who desires to avoid the pain of an u
deleted d
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good stuff for business owners. Start planning ahead or just be aware of the possibility.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that leaving your company is a simple feat you can accomplish quickly. A good exit strategy requires a great deal of long-term planning. Think about the life you want for yourself after you leave and guide your organization through a predictable transition period. When you plan well, your exit will be a positive and healthy experience for everyone.
Stephen Heiner
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
This is such a rare and important book. There are many "startup" books but there are so few, if any "end up" books, and the stories collected by Bo Burlingham resonate deeply with anyone who has exited a business before and I think would be of great use to those who have never exited. It's the "what if" that Jim Carrey refers to when he said something like, "I wish everyone could have money so that they could see it doesn't solve everything." What happens if and when you do sell your business? W ...more
Julio Alonso
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
De todas las compañías se sale, aunque sea con los pies por delante. Cómo afrontar, planificar y optimizar el proceso para los distintos tipos de salida que puede haber.

No es un libro sobre m&as o sobre el proceso de venta de tu compañía. Pero sin embargo me ha parecido muy útil para entender el contexto y cómo planificar a medio y largo plazo, y también los aspectos más soft del proceso, como por ejemplo los casos de emprendedores a los que les cuesta encontrar sentido a su vida después de vend
Fred Mcbreen
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
As owner of a UK business I enjoyed this book. The case studies are American but the issues the exiting entrepreneurs face are universal. Bo Burlingham clearly loves the world of small business and small business owners in particular. Some great lessons like starting early and surprisingly for me, thinking about the post exit world before it happens seems to be really important. Well worth a read.
Paul Waring
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well worth a read if you own a business, because at some point you will have to exit, voluntarily or not. Although all the case studies are from the US, the lessons are generic and could apply to businesses based anywhere. I’ve seen business owners struggle with exiting and it’s generally not pleasant for anyone involved if the moment hasn’t been prepared for.
David Cristello
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic read

Bo pulls together compelling insights and thought provoking questions for entrepreneurs at any stage of their business. Highly recommended read
Douglas S
Jun 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Good book, mostly on the psychology and effects of entrepreneurs selling and settling into a new life.
Feb 03, 2021 rated it liked it
If you are building a company or have built one, this is an awesome resource for preparing for the future of your company and your own future.
Effendy Yahaya
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Think big has also to be able to finish big. It takes a real guy to put a step down in making an exit for all the hopes and efforts, to what have done, in this particular case business. It is not just an economic per se, money as a platform, also in considering social efforts that last forever. Love this book, put myself into what is having now and the most important, what am gonna do next??
Patricia Snell
May 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Re-reading this book, it's 3 years later.... ...more
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“Canadian entrepreneur John Warrillow, who has started five businesses and sold four of them. “I don’t believe you are really an entrepreneur until you’ve exited, because you haven’t completed the cycle. You’re still standing on third base. It is not about starting. Anyone can start a business. Until you’ve actually sold one, you haven’t touched all the bases.” 1 likes
“First, the process will lead you to look for and adopt better business practices, as Ray Pagano did.” 0 likes
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