Dissatisfied with the state of public education, I dropped out of high school at the tender age of 17 and started my own local web design business.
I went on to co-found a number of companies including Wired Investors, Kingmakers, and ultimately Acquira. I have boot-strapped several 7-figure businesses and acquired over 30. I have deep experience developing systems to scale businesses. I am also an investor and adviser and sit on the boards of several companies.
The Quick Bio
Hayden has acquired over 30 businesses and developed systems to scale them. He is an investor, adviser, and he sits on the board of several companies.
Please tell us a little bit about your business – what is Acquira all about?
Acquira is an accelerator for Acquisition Entrepreneurs. We train people how to find, vet, and buy small businesses. Our integration services then help them grow those companies, creating a path toward an eventual exit.
What are your plans for the future, how do you plan to grow this company?
Maybe the best place to start is with the problem. We are about to experience the largest generational transfer of wealth in history. The Baby Boomer generation is retiring, many of whom are small business owners, and most of them have no succession plan. This represents tens of trillions of dollars of value being threatened, and over 30 million jobs at risk.
Acquira exists to not only preserve those jobs and legacies, but to breathe new life into them by investing in culture, capital, and curiosity.
We do this by identifying Acquisition Entrepreneurs with strong servant leadership qualities. We provide them with training, mentorship, systems and governance, and make equity investments in them and their acquisitions.
And we aim to do this at scale.
How have the pandemic and Lockdown affected you or your new business?
Fortunately for us, we have always valued a remote-working environment. Our team is spread out across the globe and we believe this provides a certain amount of flexibility and agility to change with the times and adapt to world events.
We have also noticed over the years that our offerings tend to do well in times of crisis. Business acquisition is a solid investment, and that’s the type of thing people are looking for during unprecedented times.
How do you separate yourself from your competitors?
We do this in three ways. First of all, we have a distributed, global ecosystem of business searchers with an incentive scheme to reduce centralized costs and capital needs, allowing us to execute on 50+ deals per year.
Secondly, we have developed a process to identify strong leaders from within that ecosystem and grow them into leaders within Acquira.
Finally, we have the ability to create training and educational content that doubles as processes for our Acquisition Entrepreneurs much faster and more thoroughly than the competition.
What were the top three mistakes you made starting your business, and what did you learn from them?
When developing our products, I believe that we lacked a feed-forward communication process in fulfilling our services. This was only compounded in times of great change.
We also have a tendency to try and do too many things at once.
In both of those instances, we learned to focus and simplify. To really get to the heart of what our offer is and how it contributes to our goals and vision as a company and a member of the community.
Tell us a little bit about your marketing process, what has been the most successful form of marketing for you?
SEO and email marketing have traditionally been the most successful for us. CRO is also huge.
What are you learning now? Why is that important?
We are always learning while integrating the businesses we buy. How to form a leadership team, how to inspire others.
What’s a productivity tip you swear by?
- Constraints in everything I do
- My personal flywheel
- Tracking everything
- The power of while
- I walk while I work. That works out to about 9 miles per day.
- I learn while I drive. Usually in the form of podcasts or audiobooks.
What helps you stay driven and motivated to keep going in your business?
I have various journal templates that help me “sharpen the saw”. Also I host off-site leadership retreats, that always gets the juices flowing again.
What valuable advice would you give new entrepreneurs starting out?
If you can, buy a business instead of starting one from scratch! I have started 7 businesses, but bought over 30. Why? The 5 year success rate is 50x higher, and you make money day 1.
You get cashflow, skilled workers, and a book of work – and you can often do it with very little money down.
What is your definition of success?
I believe the purpose of life is to discover your gifts, the work of life is to develop them, and the meaning of life is to give them away. If I can help other people do this, I consider myself successful.
For Acquira, I want to help people solve for money. I think it is the biggest obstacle to their quality of life.
Within ten years, I want to see that Acquira is invested in over one thousand businesses that are each giving back to their employees and communities.
I also want to see Acquira University providing a university alternative for free, teaching leadership from a principle center to hundreds of thousands of aspiring leaders per year and putting tens of thousands of graduates per year into apprenticeships.
I’ll also consider Acquira successful if everyone who works with us has a deeper understanding of themselves.
How do you personally overcome fear?
Any fear I have is usually anxiety, and I do things to help relieve that anxiety. If I’m feeling anxious/fearful I will limit alcohol/caffeine, try to meditate/do yoga, etc.
How can readers get in touch with you?
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