Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership Authentic Negotiating Deal-Driven Growth

Discovering Your Distinct Advantage

Dave Sanderson is the president of Dave Sanderson Speaks International. On January 15, 2009, Dave was one of the last passengers off the plane that crashed into the Hudson River, an event best known as The Miracle on the Hudson. He has built a career as a motivational speaker, mentor and author. Recently named one of the top 100 Leadership Speakers in, Dave averages over 80 speeches a year for major corporations across the world. His book, Moments Matter, details the lessons learned from the Miracle on the Hudson. He truly understands how one defining moment can create a lifetime of purpose!

Dave also works with established and emerging leaders to help them find their distinct advantage. Once that’s established, clients align with their purpose through employing leadership skills. They’re also able to ignite their performance through focused execution, resourcefulness, and gratitude.

The Miracle on the Hudson

I saw Dave speak many years ago at an EO event. There, he was sharing his story of The Miracle on the Hudson, an event I actually saw live from my New York office. I love that he shared a bit more about that extraordinary event during our interview!

For starters, Dave noted that he wasn’t supposed to be on that plane. Usually, his flights were at the very end of the day. It just so happened, however, that Dave’s work finished early that day, and he had felt super lucky to get moved to an earlier flight. As luck would have it, his new flight just so happens to have had to make an emergency landing in the Hudson.

When the captian instructed passengers to “brace for landing”, it was clear that this was going to be a flight like no other. After saying his final prayers, Dave started putting his game plan together. He knew that if he survived the crash, he wouldn’t be in the clear yet. There would still be the matter of getting to land, which was clearly going to involve dealing with the icy water of the Hudson.

Although his personal mantra had been “Aisle up, out. Aisle up, out.”, when it came time to move, Dave found himself off course. Instead of focusing on his own escape, he could hear his mother in his head, reminding him that doing the right thing was the most important thing.

If you’d like to hear more about this amazing story, you can listen in to the full interview here.

Lessons Learned

The day after the emergency landing, Dave stopped in at his office to let everyone know he was alright. One of the first questions asked was if he was still heading to Michigan for their planned work trip. Even though the VP let him know he didn’t have to go, he did. But the exchange got him thinking. Ultimately, he realized that he had a greater mission in life than just selling software.

Using what he called the Zig Ziglar approach, Dave gave his first 50-75 talks for free. He continued working in software sales as he grew his expertise and ability. Eventually, he was able to transition into his own business, which he continues to run today. In this time, it became more and more clear to him that revenue only considerations are no way to live your life.

Even though he was the top producing sales person in his company and was incredibly successful, he knew he couldn’t stay. This was partially because of leadership changes that created limitations he hadn’t felt before. (Listen in to hear what his new manager said when he handed him his $63,000 bonus check.)

This exchange got me thinking about the fundamental deal-based exchanges that occur between employers and employees. Years ago those relationships weren’t necessarily thought of as deals. In today’s world, however, increased employee mobility and options have shifted the balance. Now, these relationships are the result of deal-making and negotiations more than ever before. People choose not to stay in situations that don’t work for their lives, needs, desires, or personalities. A paycheck for your time is not enough to keep you with a business, and a deal-makers mindset is necessary to increase employee retention.

Discovering Your Distinct Advantage

Dave has become a firm believer that every single person has a distinct advantage. In his book and keynote addresses, he shares how our gifts and passions come together to form that advantage. He also notes that we each have a point in time that changes everything. 

Through his own life experiences, Dave helps others understand how they can tap into their skills, gifts, and passions. In order to make an impact and live a life of fulfillment, it’s key that you learn how to access these parts of your life.

After Dave graduated college, his dad told him he had 30 days to get out of the house. In order to pay his bills, he got a restaurant/hotel job to pay the bills and get started. He was working 2nd and 3rd shift as he learned the business. Fortunately for him, a frequent customer, Bill,  happened to be called “the Sam Walton of Charlotte” because of his prosperity and business success, took an interest in Dave, and worked with him to change his mindset around wealth and money.

This mentorship provided Dave with the opportunity to change his life and grow in ways he could have never imagined. It also inspired him to put those teachings into a book in order to keep them alive long past his own life. 

To hear more from Dave (and to hear about his massive deal-making lesson from Coke & Pepsi), listen to the full interview here.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast..

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal-Ready Assessment today!

Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership Authentic Negotiating

The Power of Feeling Worthy

Renee Reese is The Worthiness Queen. She helps leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals heal their relationship with money and success and finally experience the power of feeling worthy of their next-level dreams. She’s also a transformational writer, speaker, and teacher and an innovator in the personal development industry. 

In addition to all that, Renee is an attorney, certified success coach,  NLP practitioner, T.I.M.E. techniques practitioner and hypnotherapist. She speaks and teaches all around the world, focusing on mindset and personal development. She is a dynamic, in-demand speaker and audiences love her for her practical application and takeaways, transparency, and relatability. You can listen in to our full conversation here.

Childhood Joint Ventures

Growing up, Renee always wanted to write. Now, writing is a huge part of her platform and work (she has a book coming out soon)! She also had aspirations of being an actress, which didn’t materialize. Her speaking and teaching does put her on stage and in front of crowds frequently, however, which she enjoys.

The first deal Renee remembers was negotiating a sleep-over at a friend’s house. Her early strategy was to wait till her mom was in a great mood, and to then have her friend do the big ask, since her parents were less likely to say no to someone else! We might consider her a master of the strategic alliance, or even a joint venture!

As an adult, Renee now works with leaders, entrepreneurs, and more. She got started as an attorney, but found herself burnt out and exhausted early in that career, despite financial success. Unfortunately, she was noticing that a lot of technically successful people were lacking confidence, passion, and positive relationships with their money too. In her heart she knew: there has to be another way, because this can’t be all that success is.

If you’re healthy, with friends you love and money in the bank, but you’re lacking a sense of worthiness….none of it will feel good. All too often, high-performers go from one thing to the next, hitting goals yet feeling empty. Renee helps people create alignment so they can experience success both internally and externally.

As an entrepreneur myself, I know how powerful alignment and personal money relationships are!

Owning Your Worth

I know that owning your own worth is a huge part of successful negotiations. When you’re dealing with fear, scarcity, and lack — it’s almost impossible to create strong negotiations you can confidently bring to the table.

Renee has noticed that when people are struggling with worthiness, they often struggle to come to the table with clarity on their non-negotiables. It’s not about being aggressive, it’s about matter-of-factly knowing what you need, what you’re willing to compromise on, and what you plan to take away from a deal. When you’re not coming from a place of worthiness, you tend to feel a strong sense of urgency around forcing deals to go through. Why?

Because your sense of success and worth are tied to the outcome of every deal. When you KNOW you’re coming from a place of worthiness, you don’t have to feel that your own reputation, worth, ability, or success are tied up in the deal. You are empowered to hold firm to your own non-negotiables, and you know you can walk away if the deal isn’t a good fit for you.

This is easier said than done! Owning your value and knowing our worth are powerful….but often they are concepts we only understand intellectually. Living it is a whole different ball game. Renee shares that owning your own value starts with your relationship with yourself.

You have to know your own desires, know your own strengths, and know the outcomes you want. Renee literally tells herself: “Self, you can tell me anything.”

She knows her boundaries, she knows what she craves, and she defines herself on her terms. Rather than trying to escape and avoid feeling bad feelings, awkwardness, loneliness, or scarcity, we often try to run (and force things to happen). Instead, you can actually allow yourself to sit with yourself, feel those hard things, and know that you can trust yourself to listen to yourself, be with yourself, and show up for yourself.

Trust Building With Ourselves

In a romantic relationship, you expect to build trust slowly. The relationship with ourselves is the same. We have to start slowly, communicate openly, and demonstrate acceptance and care.

One way of building self-trust is to keep the promises you make to you. If you said you were going to make your bed every day….ask for the promotion…write the book….you can build trust by actually showing up and doing those things. Pay attention to the ways you show up for yourself, and also take note of the ways that you don’t show up. Actually listen to yourself: what’s happening when you don’t show up? Why won’t you keep your word to you? Be willing to listen, learn, and make changes as needed.

When it comes to achievement and growth, Renee says we can build trust in our ability to experience success as well.

She recommends writing down three things you’ve already succeeded in, and three things you’d like to succeed in. Just like you’ve succeeded before, your mind starts to see your new list as things that are possible as well. Whether we believe it or not, we are constantly creating in our own lives. The best way to tap into that power is to be intentional about creating the vision we actually desire.

We all carry subconscious beliefs about topics like money, achievement, power, and success. Everything in our world starts with belief.

Self-Belief and Deal-Making

If you walk into a negotiation with the belief that the other person at the table is better and smarter, or that they deserve more, of course you’ll be dissatisfied with the deal you make. You’ll sell yourself short, and make compromises.

When you believe in yourself as someone who is intelligent, deserving, and successful, you’ll show up at the table differently. 

I teach that being crystal clear on your objectives and outcomes is an essential part of deal making. What Renee is saying here is so true: if you come to the table with a lot of internal blocks and haven’t done core level work, it does impact your negotiating.

Self-worth also impacts the deals you’re willing to attempt to make. If you can’t get by your fundamental self-worth struggles, you deeply limit the rest of your life.

Building the Life You Deserve

Renee’s work centers on helping people overcome these internal struggles and limitations so they can truly experience alignment and success.

One of her favorite clients was experiencing some level of success, but also dealing with massive amounts of doubt and fear. People on the outside wouldn’t have known, based on how she showed up, but she was unhappy.

From her business structure to the way she was showing up….she knew she wasn’t owning her work or her worth. When Renee started working with her, she was going through a dry spell, which was a repeating pattern in her life.

She would hit new income goals, then go into a complete slump and have no money again. It was the feast or famine cycle, which many entrepreneurs are familiar with!

Renee used strategies and tools from her NLP training that helped the client go straight to the root of her money beliefs. Internalized beliefs about being secondary, not deserving, and less than had impacted this client since childhood, and when she understood what they were based on she was able to blast through them and experience transformation.

Clearing past beliefs opened up so many new doors for her, and it all started with the root. Renee’s clients find that clearing these blocks changes their lives and their businesses.

Externalization + Personal Value

I noted that our society sends us so many messages about what we need to have and how we need to look in order to be valuable or worthy. That deeply impacts our confidence and self-worth, which bleeds over into our businesses and deals.

Renee agreed, sharing that consumerism is a huge driving force for many of us. It fuels a more, More, MORE mentality that makes it impossible to understand the abundance that is available to us in the present moment. And the reality is….there is never going to be enough in the external world.

There will always be something new, something different, something bigger and better that tells us we aren’t enough. We cannot understand our own personal value and worthiness when we are constantly looking at external measurements for validation. 

When we are building our relationship with ourselves and our own self-trust, we have to be able to detach from external messaging and gain clarity about our own values and desires. That’s the only way to maintain an internal sense of value and confidence, regardless of external circumstances.

Another way of coming at this is to clarify our WHY. If we are pushing ourselves to achieve because we are measuring ourselves against what we “should” be doing, it’s not going to work. Growing for growth’s sake to fuel vanity isn’t going to serve you in the long run. Get real with yourself about what you truly desire, and why it matters to you. Those are the goals that matter – that’s what you need to pursue.

To hear more about Renee’s take on negotiations and worth, listen to the full episode here!


Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal-Ready Assessment today!


Authentic Deal-Making

Referable Brands Help Grow Deals

This week’s guest, Michael Roderick, shares so much valuable information about the power of creating a referable brand. When you can get people talking about you when you’re not in the room, more folks will come your way. Some of you may think this only relates to growing organically, but that’s not true. People who have brand value beyond just sales are that much more attractive as acquisition targets. They’re also set up better for possible joint ventures, strategic alliances, and more. Referable brands and deals were made for each other!

Organic Growth & Unique Selling Propositions

As a deal maker, Michael differentiated himself with a unique selling proposition. He appealed to the people with whom he was dealing. He points out that every industry has vulnerabilities. If there’s a normal doorway that everyone is trying to use to get into the space, where are the windows? What other model can you use? How can you be different?

As humans, we are wired to look for contrast. And when you take an approach that is high-contrast to what others around you are doing, you’ll draw attention naturally.

People will talk about what you’re doing, and they’ll remember that you were different.

In Michael’s case, he combined his creative and business interests in the realm of Broadway. Rather than taking the fundraising approach that he saw everyone around him taking – rasing money in exchange for a producer credit, he looked for the proverbial “window”. In his industry, that looked like initially raising money without asking for any credit. This gave him access to more shows. He could then present a portfolio of potential shows to investors and setting up events for theatre companies and actors as a way to raise money.

In the course of putting these events together, Michael started meeting people and getting known. From off-Broadway producers to Broadway producers, he built a reputation that served as the basis for his growth.

And as he grew, he got questions —

People wanted to know how he was meeting these big names, how he was hosting these events, and how he was raising money so effectively. Part of his answer revolved around understanding who was on the other side of the table.

The Benefit Doesn’t Have to Be Financial

Broadway isn’t usually about investing to make money, which means the selling point isn’t going to focus on financial gains. Even though a large part of his role was based on financials and raising capital, Michael understood that what mattered to the people he was making deals with wasn’t just dollars and cents.

On Broadway, there’s an old saying:

You can’t make a living, but you can make a killing.
By its nature, Broadway is high risk, high reward. And the reward people most wanted wasn’t about the money. Rather than try to force a financial focus that wasn’t there, he had the awareness to consider what mattered most to the people who were doing the investing.

In this case, it was often experiential. Often Broadway investors have theatre backgrounds, and their investment exchange is attached to outcomes. They’re interested in learning more of the process, connecting with producers or actors, or otherwise gaining enjoyable experiences in the theatre community.

Michael shared that he often felt out how exciting a project opportunity may seem to a potential client. If they didn’t have an intrinsic desire for a certain project, he never pushed it on them.

Most investing scenarios are similar. You can share the value behind a deal. You can also share why you think it makes sense, but you shouldn’t want to force it. The right person will see the value in what you’re offering, and they’ll step up to the plate.

Negotiating with the “Halo Effect”

Using simulated networking experience, Michael was able to identify common behavior patterns that cropped up during social and networking interactions. He was also able to build a framework to help people do better.

He recognized that many of us don’t consider how to package ourselves in order to get others to talk about us. But when other people DO share about us with their friends and acquaintances, we can start to harvest the power of a referrable brand.

When your name is frequently getting dropped in positive, powerful ways, you walk into the room, the conversation, or the negotiation with the “halo effect”. The positive regard and social clout you’ve garnered pave the way for any sort of deal or interaction you may encounter. It also brings you into contact with more people and connections, which means collaboration opportunities abound.

This packaging of ourselves is something we have to be intentional about. All of us have unconscious competence; things we do that we are good at, but that we hardly recognize. You may find it worthwhile to work with someone who has a bigger picture view of who you are and what you’re doing, because it’s quite likely that you’re missing some of your own points of genius!

(You can go all the way back to an earlier episode to listen in to how Ramon Ray garners affiliate deals using this type of approach as well!)

To learn more about income ceilings, re-positioning, deal-driven strategies, and more, listen in to the full episode!

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Negotiating Deal-Driven Growth

Deal-Driven Growth

Stephen Woessner is the founder and CEO of Predictive ROI, host of the Onward Nation podcast, a digital marketing authority, speaker, educator, and bestselling author of two books. He comes from a long lineage of business owners, and the early exposure to entrepreneurship primed him to follow a similar path. After serving in the Air Force for four years, Stephen landed a job with an advertising agency in La Crosse, WI where he became a partner in just three years. There, he honed his craft in digital marketing and devoted his energy to understanding how business owners think, act, and achieve.

Predictive ROI

Predictive ROI has always operated as a digital marketing agency, but over the last ten years, it has transformed into something entirely unique. Predictive’s core services were built to help business owners identify financial opportunities and hemorrhages in the digital space. But recently, Stephen and his team have added podcasting to their service line. Now, Predictive ROI helps business owners build their thought leadership through podcasting and supplementary content, so they can monetize that content with courses, workshops, events, sponsorships, and a variety of other opportunities.

Inorganic Growth in the Agency World

While Predictive ROI’s client base continues to grow organically, the agency is finally at a point where the world of strategic partnerships and acquisitions is finally opening up to them. It means Stephen and the leadership team at Predictive can look into different plays such as acquiring a software company that will increase their analytics capabilities; possibly even absorbing smaller agencies in different verticals with client rosters that are strategically advantageous. But if you are considering inorganic growth as an option, there are a lot of indicators you should be watching to determine if it is the right move.

Will it help you hit your revenue goals within your current timeline?

Are you making the right acquisition or is there a better alternative?

Stephen shares advice for navigating this process in the latest episode of Fueling Deals.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Authentic Deal-Making

Authentic Leadership & the Hero’s Journey

Acting From Your Inner Truth
Dov Baron works with the world’s top business leaders and high-level entrepreneurs to help them answer the question, “What’s next?” It may sound like a simple question, but when you’re already operating at the highest level, there is rarely an obvious choice to make. Dov takes his clients on a heroic journey to chip away everything that isn’t real. The journey enables leaders to unbind their success from their identity so they can leave old parts of themselves behind and move into their soul’s purpose.

It is an intense process that only rewards the committed, but the people who push through see incomparable results.

(Interested in growing your own ability to lead authentically? You can get a FREE copy of Dov’s ebook, Authentic Leadership!)

Discover Your Soul’s Purpose

When Dov’s clients grow their businesses and achieve new successes, it is not because they are focusing on business and strategy. Rather, it is because they are focusing on building a stronger connection with their soul’s purpose. Really doing that work has measurable results; one of Dov’s recent clients even grew his business by 5000%. But in our own world where we may already be highly successful, it is extremely difficult to be willing to go deep and chip away everything that is not truly who we are.

We are always doing, but we are rarely being.

Learning how to enter that state of being will put you in a position to handle anything life throws at you. Doing this work will also transform you, your personal life, your business and the deals you do.


We have talked about the fundamental principles of negotiating and dealmaking many times on Fueling Deals. With Dov’s philosophy, we can build on those ideas.

In a deal, we always want to serve the souls on both sides of the negotiating table. One way to do that is by figuring out what drives the other person so we can reshape the context of the negotiation. Shift away from the win-lose mentality and approach the deal intent on enriching the lives of every party involved (beyond just the money). By creating a deeper connection with our soul’s purpose, this is all possible. But only you can make that happen.

You can always make the deal a win-win-win.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Authentic Deal-Making

From High School Dropout to Entrepreneur

At the age of sixteen, Ralph Peterson was told that he was a hands-on learner destined for manual labor, so he quit school and began working in construction. Despite the fact that he always wanted to be a writer, Peterson took these words of “wisdom” to heart and spent eight years on the mud-boots path until he woke up. Peterson always knew that he was capable of doing so much more with his career, but it wasn’t until twenty-four that he decided to finish high school and enroll in college, where he eventually received an associate’s degree in creative writing, a bachelor’s degree in U.S. history, a second bachelor’s degree in business administration, and a master’s degree in organizational leadership.

The Power of a Good Story

Ralph Peterson achieved his dream of becoming a writer, but with all of the accolades aside, he considers himself a teacher before anything else. At its core, Peterson’s role is to teach people in the ancillary departments how to make their processes better, but the ability to monetize his expertise came through an unexpected opportunity during his time as a sales representative.

One of the main reasons that Peterson was driven to become a writer was his passion for storytelling and public speaking, but he only got to employ a half-hearted version of his skill during a thirteen-year career selling housekeeping management systems. The client-facing role provided a means to showcase his skill in the art of speaking, and eventually, he was asked to fill-in for a keynote speaker at a seminar for “housekeeping as a business.” Peterson un-begrudgingly agreed to do the event for free and at the end, he was offered a consultancy opportunity by one of the attendees and his business was born.

Housekeeping in Long-term Care

Peterson deals with two competing business models in the realm of housekeeping and long-term care, but he was able to find a solution that spans both sides. With housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, and dietary, some businesses will come in and take over everything including staff, purchasing, training, oversight, management responsibilities etc. Other businesses choose to opt-out of paying for everything while still providing the management, training, and oversight. Peterson’s niche is right in the middle, where he comes into the same businesses and develops a program for them to follow, then provides oversight of the program moving forward.

Doing Deals as a New Small Business

Initially, Peterson was doing everything himself, but as his client roster grew and the territory expanded, he brought on a Director of Operations for support. The business had limited resources since it was just starting out, but Peterson forged a PTO and benefits package that no one could resist. He prioritized company culture at a very early stage, but he also learned the importance of doing deals internally to increase performance, morale, and employee retention.

On top of increasing his capacity with an additional employee, Peterson is moving a lot of his work to digital platforms so that he can travel less and do more. He hosts webinars with current clients to ensure the success of their new programs, but he is also using technology to bolster a new offering; education and breakdown of nursing home systems and processes. The new product is taking off right now, and 75% of it is done online.

Pay it Forward

Peterson wants to work with clients who are motivated, passionate, and want to get better. It is not about the size of the client so much as their intention since they are both fighting for better care. This includes prospective students for which Peterson is currently building a business model. He is extremely passionate about teaching other adults that there is more to a career than what they currently understand, and he wants to give them the tools to achieve entrepreneurial success in the same industry like he did, regardless of their specialization. Housekeeping used to have a negative connotation for Peterson but now, he understands that it gave him every opportunity and he wants to pay it forward.

You can learn more about Peterson’s story in his episode on Fueling Deals.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Authentic Deal-Making

Corporate Therapy

Dr. Rachel Headley is the type of person who always wants to dive into the next project, and she has never been content in stagnant situations where her skills and processes aren’t being pushed to their limits. That said, entrepreneurship is kind of a double-edged sword. But the type of work Dr. Headley’s company focuses on is in alignment with her need to tackle new challenges regularly.

People-First Solutions in the Workplace

Rose Group International helps people work, by providing companies with organizational efficiency coaching and training to address challenges around teamwork, productivity, time management, and retention. Dr. Headley was inspired after she identified a major disconnect between executives and their employees and knew that there was a solution. With Rose Group International, she examines the organizational deficiencies on a case-by-case basis and tailors a solution that will help her clients achieve their aspirations and transformational goals.

People are the main culprit when a company is experiencing inefficiencies, but it is often addressed by leadership in the wrong way. M&As and other types of deals provide a window into the abyss because productivity usually tanks in these types of deals. Different types of deals have a major impact on the employees because executives generally do not approach them in a way that allows their people to thrive.

Visualizing Employee Traits to Create a Strategy

You can draft the best legal agreement or integration plan in the world, but if the people are unable to work together it is not going to yield the desired results. This is where Headley comes in and her process starts by understanding how the people work. Her first step is to identify the different personality types including fixers, stabilizers, organizers, and independents. Headley assesses all of an organization’s employees so leaders can start to understand who is on their team, who is going to pose a challenge, and the strategies that need to be developed to get different types of employees on board.

Once you understand how people are going to react to change, it enables you to form a strategic plan to roll out your deal to the rest of the organization. It doesn’t have to be utter chaos, and that is why getting Dr. Headley involved sooner than later will only help smooth out the transition. This type of coaching and training is much more effective as a preventative measure than a restorative measure, but it will help either way.

Leverage Your Employees During Periods of Change

Whether it is an internal reorg or restructuring a marketing plan, a lot of CEOs are willing to roll over and accept that it is going to suck for a few years instead of taking the initiative to tackle the problem right away. Dr. Headley and her team come in and help employees adjust to these organizational changes and thrive in ways that you haven’t seen before. If you can get everyone on board with change the effects are powerful because it enables employees to enter an innovation stage, where hesitations are overcome and creativity flourishes. The same change that was a force of destruction becomes an agent of growth, and the company will benefit drastically in the long run.

Dr. Headley developed this assessment to reflect who your people are in a way that is actually relevant to your decision making. The whole point is to problem-solve with your people in a way that no one else does. Change doesn’t have to be hard or take a long time and once you give people a toolkit that works, they will take it and run with it.

Listen to Dr. Headley’s interview in the Fueling Deals episode.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Authentic Deal-Making

Evolving With the RIA Industry

From an early age, David Selig was exposed to financial advisory because his father was a thirty-five year veteran of the stock exchange. But, after a significant life event took place that essentially forced his father to retire on the spot, Selig was inspired to pave his own way and help others avoid falling into a similar fate with no succession plan.

Before his interview with Pershing in New Jersey, Selig truthfully didn’t know what an RIA was, but despite mispronouncing the term and pulling terminology out of thin air to sound well-read, he landed the job. As Selig began his journey, he became familiarized with the world of RIAs, its opportunities, and its challenges. The RIA industry is extremely fragmented and there is a lot of difficulty surrounding the fundamental concepts of expansion, succession and scale, but Selig learned to navigate them while acquiring valuable lessons to take into the next chapter.

The Formation of Advice Dynamics Partners

After Selig left Pershing, he ended up in a consulting role for one of the industry’s largest aggregators, and the nine-month project forced a shift in mindset that would lead Selig to entrepreneurship. He liked the aggregator’s business model and the work he was doing, but he was faced with a huge window of opportunity that he couldn’t ignore. Selig started to look at the aggregator as his first client instead of his employer and was hungry for more; eventually, Selig would found Advice Dynamics Partners, where he is currently CEO.

The Evolution of the RIA Industry

At Advice Dynamics Partners, Selig has been focused on M&A advisory and succession planning from day one, and is approaching the eleven-year mark with undeniable success. Part of the reason for that it ADP’s ability to evolve in alignment with the evolution of the RIA industry. The statistics surrounding companies that have a viable succession plan has not necessarily changed during Advice Dynamics Partners’ lifespan, but what has changed is the number of options those businesses have in forging a succession partnership. The options for monetizing a business has expanded far beyond the banks and NFPs to include things like private equity firms with short or mid-duration investment timelines. In addition to bespoke M&A advisory, ADP has a specialty in helping large wealth managers navigate the complexities of evaluating financial sponsors to find the right permanent capital partner.

The buyer landscape has also evolved and afforded RIAs more choices, but with more complexity comes more challenges. Nevertheless, ADP’s job is to help their clients navigate the different options so they can articulate their value and choose the best partner for their business; the industry may have evolved but ADP’s fundamental function has just been adapted to match the changes.

There are a lot more options for external succession nowadays, but internal succession is extremely high on the menu for most advisors and their clients. However, there is a major gap as approximately 80% of businesses would prefer an internal succession plan while only 20% have the ability to carry it out. In order for internal succession to work, businesses need to have certain things in place such as the ability for the parties involved to compromise. There is always a tension between buyers and sellers when it is an internal context and the price becomes an issue, but it is still a lot easier to finance now than it was before.

Doing Deals in the RIA Industry

Aside from succession, there are some exciting things happening in the deal space of the RIA industry. A lot of entrepreneurial firms with younger management teams are seeking an outside partner to buy them and help them achieve scale. These deals are more attractive now because it is no longer a binary choice. Outside partners can enable these firms to achieve succession, growth, and scale while helping them accomplish their long-term vision. There are at least fifteen options in the investor category, and ironically, it is a lot more common for investors to prefer a lower-risk minority stake nowadays. The industry has matured as a whole, and it has been mutually beneficial for both the management team and the partner because the management can run the business with financial backing that will help them reach the next level.

Listen to David Selig’s interview on the Fueling Deals podcast episode.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Leadership Deal-Driven Growth

Entrepreneurial Freedom

As the CSO of Popdog, Niles Heron embodies an entrepreneurial spirit driven by freedom and the ability to control his own destiny. He has witnessed successful careers built under the restraint of golden shackles, but when the going is tough and failure is imminent, Heron finds comfort in the fact that his decisions yield the final outcome. Wealthy and untethered is the name of the game, and Heron has lived by that notion since he started his first internet radio business at fifteen years old.

Popdog is fundamentally focused on content creation and consumption in the world of live streaming, and they provide services and technology to some of the top content creators in the esports and video-on-demand spaces. This includes analytics tools that better portray their value to brands for sponsorship and monetization, and management services for nearly the top 40 content creators in the gaming industry.

Organic and Inorganic Growth in the Startup Space

Heron’s experience with accelerator programs in Michigan gave him a lot of access to early-stage startups where he found inspiration in nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs, but a lot of businesses try to raise money to solve problems without finding a proper product-market fit. This led Heron to realize that his true passion was not in raising capital, but in helping people make their products work. As a result, Heron shifted his focus to consulting and built a powerful resume that paved the way for his future endeavors.

“If all you need is money, you can go to the bank, but what you need is proof that your business works.”

There are many types of deals out there and organic growth has to be the foundation, but once you’ve found the actual customers for your actual product, you can start augmenting. From this position, you have the ability to force growth in any number of directions, but if you go in all directions you will grow much slower. If you’re trying to scale, you need to pick one direction and understand that this is where investment really matters.

The reason you need to have one customer is so you can comprehend why you don’t have two customers, and if you can’t answer that you might as well have zero. The whole point of the partnership is to expand your customer base by deepening the relationship with existing customers or finding new ones. Demand limit is important to consider but if you can’t figure out why you’re not acquiring more customers, the partnership grows frail.

Doing Deals vs. Adding Value

People don’t go and seek deals because they often don’t understand the problem they’re trying to solve when they get the deal. The reality is that you can’t do deals if you’re not willing to be extremely self-critical. On the other hand, if there is no natural limitation set, deals become arbitrary since your focus should always be getting more customers. Unfortunately, that is not the way most businesses work since the markets have become over-saturated.

Before this episode, Niles Heron never saw himself as someone who does deals, but he always identified as somebody who seeks to add more value by any means necessary. Whether he is helping someone generate organic growth or finding a partner that can provide the means, he stresses that anyone trying to “do deals” should really be focusing on how they can add value. This requires time, but if you strive to accomplish something a “deal” is just the facilitator.

Click here to listen to his Fueling Deals podcast episode.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!

Authentic Leadership

8 Books to Help You Run an Authentic Business

I have found that reading is one of the best returns on your investment in the business world and it is the way that I keep myself grounded and ensures that I remain authentic in my business. When you arm yourself with the ideas and innovations of the best in their industry, you will be continuously collecting tools and ideas to keep you operating authentically and at your own highest and best use.

At Authentic Enterprises, I make it a point to attend every client meeting and every team meeting with my whole self. There are several ways I remind myself of the big ideas which influence me. My time with my forums and coaches helps me center and recalibrate my goals and realign my actions and mindset with those goals. The energy I put toward self-care keeps my lifestyle sustainable and, occasionally, I reassess if my needs have changed and adjust my focus accordingly.

There are several books which have influenced me and the way I do business. Below are 8 of my favorites (in no specific order):

  1. The Birth of a Brand by Brian Smith, UGG Founder
    Brian is a talented businessman and his book explains his journey from accountant to founding the internationally known and loved UGG. He gives generously of his time and talent in The Birth of a Brand and gives a look behind the curtain at what makes an idea ready to launch a business.
  2. The Book of Mistakes by Skip Prichard
    Skip’s new release is an excellent example of learning from past mistakes. You will always make some of your own, but what you can learn from observing others’ mistakes will help set your business apart. The Book of Mistakes reminds you to move on from the past to focus on building your future.
  3. Master Your Cash Flow by Al Zdenek
    Al is a good friend and a financial wiz. This book gives business owners the knowledge and leverage they need to manage the company finances. Whether your business is a fledgling startup or has been running successfully for more than a decade, Al’s Master Your Cash Flow is worth a read.
  4. Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
    It’s no secret that I run both of my businesses based on Mike’s Profit First idea. The premise is to allocate a percentage of each incoming check to different parts of your business such as marketing, administrative, etc. The main idea of Profit First is to pay the owner first!
  5. The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles
    Many people are not aware of the work of Wallace Wattles but his work is one of the foundations of much of the personal growth work over the last century. Fortunately, as his books were written in the early 1900’s, they are now out of copyright and in the public domain. The title link is to a PDF of his book, The Science of Getting Rich.
  6. The Image of Leadership by Sylvie di Giustio
    Sylvie is a dear friend and fellow NSA NYC member. She is an expert on “People Packaging” as she puts it. Her book The Image of Leadership explains the ways that we project a message to the people around us without even trying. Sylvie rightly suggests making sure your projected image presents your product in the best possible light.
  7. Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
    It is no secret that I am a big Gary V. fan. In fact, I sent a recent Tweet offering his team free negotiating advice. Most of the advice in this well-known marketing book is timeless. Gary V. has updated his messaging to clarify that the right hook can require some more nuance and planning than cleverly placed jab. If you haven’t read Jab, Jab. Right Hook yet, you are missing out!
  8. I Can See Clearly Now by Wayne Dyer
    One of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s most wide-read books, each of his books are best sellers. In I Can See Clearly Now, he uses his memoir to share the truth and wisdom he amassed over decades of studying manifestation. For me, Wayne Dyer was a master teaching people how to connect to source and manifest in their lives from that place. He wrote countless books and gave many talks including several for PBS fund drives that are available without cost. Check out his work at

I hope you celebrate National Book Lovers Day with your fellow book lovers. I would like to know what you are reading and which books are inspiring you in your own business. Comment below or tag me on Twitter @coreykupfer.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.

If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!