Do you want to Love It or List It?

Where are you with your business?

If you watch HGTV, then you’re likely familiar with the show ‘Love It or List It‘. If you haven’t seen it, the show is about a home-owning couple who are very frustrated with their house after some number of years. They previously loved their house but they have a list of issues and challenges that are piling up and making life difficult. The show pairs them up with both a designer/remodeler and a Real Estate agent who work on parallel tracks to help them solve their problems – either by fixing their current house or finding a new one that better suits what they really need now.  Miraculously, by the end of the show, the couple makes a choice of whether they’re going to stay in their newly redesigned space or head off to greener pastures – hence the title, ‘Love It or List It’.

How does this apply to my business?

Most business owners go through a stretch (or even multiple stretches) where they aren’t happy with their business. Perhaps the business isn’t performing as well as they’d like or maybe they’re putting in way more hours and effort than they like to. Or maybe that day-to-day grind is getting to be too much.

That’s the time to apply the concept of Love It or List It to your business – and that’s what the Value Builder System is all about. Author John Warrilow (Built to Sell, The Automatic Customer) first developed the concept after building up and selling a couple of businesses on his own.  Through that process and through his research into writing Built To Sell, John recognized that most business owners might be great with their particular service or product, but they don’t have much insight into what it takes to build a truly healthy and valuable business.

There are two main points that came out of this realization:

List It

As John experienced first-hand when you go to sell your business, especially to Private Equity groups or large investors, you as the seller are at a big disadvantage. The buyers are experienced and have likely done this more than once, whereas you are likely selling your first business. Experience matters. It turns out buyers are looking for very specific traits in a business and if those traits aren’t clear in your business, you’re not going to get much for the business, even if it’s generating revenue and growing.


Love It

The other key point that John realized is that when your business has all the right traits, when it’s healthy and built the right way, it becomes a joy to own. You as the owner can focus on your strengths or you can even step back and mostly let the business run itself (become the Chairman of the Board…).  A truly healthy, well-built business is not only a lot more valuable to potential buyers, it’s also more profitable and a lot easier to run (which is a big part of what the buyers are looking for…).


The really great news is that the Value Builder fundamentals aren’t all that complicated. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. to implement these ideas. However… you do have to be willing to learn and implement new things and you have to find some different perspectives, but it’s all very do-able for pretty much any business.

Where are you with your business?

If you’re completely thrilled with your business and the direction things are going – congratulations and thank you for reading along this far. Enjoy it and keep doing whatever you’re doing.

If that’s not the case, (which would be most business owners), then it’s a great time to start thinking differently about your business and looking for ways to make it easier to run and more profitable. If you’re looking for a place to start, I’d suggest taking the Value Builder Assessment. It only takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete and it doesn’t cost anything to get your score – and typically just going through the assessment is good learning experience.

If you’re in the Kansas City area, another suggestion would be to check out the upcoming, February 8th Freedom Workshop. This is a 1/2 day, hands-on event that will go into detail around the 8 fundamental value drivers and how you could apply them to your business.

Finally – if either of those piques your interest and you’d like to do more, you’re welcome to Contact Us anytime to talk about additional, more in-depth ways we might be able to help you.

Every business can be improved and the great thing about making that effort (and investment) is that it will pay off in multiple ways. Obviously, your business will be worth more should you decide to sell it sometime down the road (List It) and it will start becoming easier to manage and more profitable (Love It) in the meantime.

What do you think?  Have you thought about Loving or Listing your business?  What keeps you from working on making it better?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach (and Certified Value-Builder Coach)

4 thoughts on “Do you want to Love It or List It?”

  1. Carolyn Faver says:

    We need a new house! There are too many upgrades to fix our 21 year old house!
    Love your article, Chris!

    1. C. Steinlage says:

      Carolyn, knowing how well Jim takes care of things, that is probably the best maintained 21 yr old house in the country! Glad you liked the article, but my business partner, Shawn Kinkade gets the credit for this one. It is a great post and the analogy is pretty spot on. Great to hear from you! Chris

  2. Joe Steinlage says:

    Shawn, Great Post!
    This relates to any job as well. You may have everything running smoothly and a great supporting cast or you may be struggling getting the support you need and not feel like things are going as you had hoped. It is a case, once again, of “Love it or list it!” You may choose to list it to move on to greater challenges or more responsibilities if things or going well, or you may list it because you have decided to look elsewhere for a better fit for your talent and skill set.
    Either way, I think we are all constantly evaluating whether we want to Love It or List It!

  3. Vivek Dayal says:

    Shawn,you hit nail on the head, Love it or list it!

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