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Carl Taylor is an Australian, born with an entrepreneurial spirit that many do not develop until years into a profession. Carl Taylor started his first business at age fifteen, and nine years later, is involved in his fifth business. Carl, at the age of 24, has used this entrepreneurial passion in product sales, web design, a gift hamper company, his current company in the publishing industry, and a business dedicated to the education of entrepreneurs. His most recent accomplishment is writing and publishing a book titled, Red Means Go! Secrets to achieving a happy, effective and successful life with you in the driver’s seat.
Red Means Go! rose to #1 new and noteworthy business audio-books on itunes in less than 4 weeks. The book is perfect for people who are tired of philosophical self-help books, and want to actually take action! The extreme success Carl has had has prepared him to mentor other business owners, even those twice his age! Carl is truly an inspiration to young entrepreneurs looking to start something powerful.
Inspirational is a word often used to describe you. Can you explain what motivates you to succeed in each different venture?
Yeah it’s interesting, I’m motivated by a number of different factors but they are all ultimately towards the emotion of pleasure rather than trying to avoid pain, a topic I discuss a lot. I love being able to show that something is achievable and that challenges can be overcome. There are always challenges and that is part of the excitement. Of course, I’m also always looking to make money from most ventures too.
Who is your book Red Means Go! targeted toward, more specifically, what benefits can this book give readers?
Red Means Go! is fantastic for the individual who is a little lost. They know that life can be better than it is, they have dreams, but just don’t know what to do to make them reality.
Red Means Go! is really a practical guide on taking control of your life, and doing the things that need to be done to put you on the path you want to be on.
I wrote it in a really easy conversational style, so many people come up to me and say they felt as if I was in the room talking to them as they read it. It’s great feedback actually because I’ve personally read a lot of books, and there are plenty that you really struggle to read because it’s written in such a bland boring way with so much fluff, and no substance. I stick to the point and give the reader what they need.
I am truly impressed by your success at the age of 24, what type of advice do you offer to the older business owners whom you mentor?
The biggest advice is: know your exit strategy. Most business owners have never thought about how they will exit their business, and at the end of the day every owner will exit, whether voluntary or involuntary. Even if you work to the day you die, that is the point that you exit the business, and if there is no plan or strategy in place it can all fall apart.
With a plan in place you can maximize the value of the business and make decisions along the way that will ultimately lead you to where you want to be when you exit the business.
Your first business, started at age 15, was a costume company that quickly turned into a web design company. Can you explain why the change needed to be made, and how that transition happened?
It is a great lesson filled story actually; you see I, as most business owners do, thought I knew what my market wanted. Being 15, as far as I knew, my market was other 15 year olds. I brought in a costume from overseas and took it to the market to sell or rent, and while everyone thought it was cool, no one wanted to buy it or rent it. But in the process I had set up the website for the company, and had been speaking to a couple of local business owners that expressed interest in getting a website done. It was a matter of survival really, but it’s a great lesson in showing that most businesses will not be the same as when they first start out. Businesses evolve and adapt to what will actually work in the marketplace.
You bought a gift hamper business for the sole purpose of selling it. Can you describe what this process was like, and how at such a young age, you knew what you were doing?
I am a big believer in self-education and having mentors. A mentor of mine always talks about Buy, Build, Sell, being the best strategy for business. So I went and spent three days learning from him about Buying, Building, and Selling Businesses then I continued reading books on the subject and getting advice from accountants, then I just went for it.
I find buying a business interesting because buying a business can be very emotional for both the buyer and the seller, the trick is to take the emotion out of you, the buyer, and understand the emotion of the seller. Most people selling a business started the business themselves and they have poured sweat and tears into building it. So to be selling it is a big deal to them. To be good at the negotiations you’ve definitely got to understand people and be a good listener to get the story behind them and the business. But once you know this story it opens up so many opportunities to create Win-Win deals for the purchase. The process really is about setting rules for yourself concerning what you will buy. You don’t want to buy just any business. Write out your rules, and then start searching for business that are listed for sale and also businesses that aren’t for sale, yet, but meet your rules. Then start talking to them and always be checking they still fit your rules.
Generally you look at 50, talk to 25, negotiate with 10, do due diligence on 3 and put an offer on 1.
Five companies in nine years, is an impressive feat for an entrepreneur at any age, what can we expect next from you?
There is a lot going on with me right now actually, a number of new projects and ventures are happening but the future will be more heavily into providing practical education. There is a huge need for practical courses and products that will take you through the processes you need to succeed, not just in business, but in life in general. There are far too many, “this is what can be done” type books and courses without the specifics of how to do it. This is what I want to change.
I have another book in the Kaizen Series being released soon called, “Health Before Wealth: How to double your energy, eliminate stress and never get sick because money doesn’t matter when you’re dead” as the title and subtitle suggest, it’s about living healthily and not focusing on money because true wealth isn’t about money.
I’m also launching a number of products and services in regards to business education, particularly in the areas of buying and selling businesses. If you want to be a serial entrepreneur, these are the type of things you need to know. Now is a great time to be in that space with a lot of Baby Boomers heading to retirement, the number of businesses for sale is rising.
Of course along the way I will continue to start, buy, build, and sell businesses because I love it, and I believe the best way to inspire people is to lead by example. I refuse to be one of those people who teaches people theory and not practical advice.
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