Ferne Kotlyar

Have you ever been pressured to make a life-changing decision in a short amount of time? Have you ever been worried about making the wrong decision?

Betty has been working long and hard on making a dating app. Now, someone wants to buy her out, and they are offering her a LARGE sum of money. Betty feels stuck. She is elated that someone wants to buy her app, especially for such a high price, but she isn’t sure she’s ready to move on. The buyer is giving her three days to make a decision. Betty doesn’t want to let an incredible deal go, but she also isn’t sure she’s ready to give up her app.

First, I would celebrate with Betty, “Congratulations on your first offer!”. Then I would urge Betty to push back on the buyer’s three-day time limit. If her app is great and they are willing to buy it at such a high price, why are they giving her a time limit? When there is this external pressure to sell or not to sell, it becomes harder to make a decision from a point of clarity. Moreover, if this company is willing to buy her out for such a high price, maybe someone else will want to buy it for even more.

What would YOU do in Betty’s place?

Do you have an interesting case you’d like to share? Let’s talk! If you want to share your thoughts on this episode or the show, or if you’d like to share your experiences with us, please reach out!



Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] Kim Ades:
Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™ and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast. And today is Fridays with Ferne where my daughter Ferne comes onto the show and gives me a challenging case to work with and talk about.  

Ferne, welcome! 

[00:00:23] Ferne Kotlyar:
Hello, thank you for having me!  

[00:00:26] Kim Ades:
So what's the case on your docket today?  

[00:00:30] Ferne Kotlyar:
All right. So today we have a case about a woman named Betty. Now, Betty created a dating app, which skyrocketed became pretty popular and, you know, she really loved working on the app, it was really fun, she had a team. It was all good and well, when she gets an offer.  

Somebody wants to buy the app, buy it off of her for a large chunk of money, huge sum, something that she never thought that she would get for that app. And she's super excited about it.  

The issue is that she has three days to make the decision, so they're putting pressure on her to make the decision quickly. And she's really not sure if he wants to sell her company. Like, she wasn't ready for it, she's not sure if she wants to sell, and her husband, the people, she usually consults, her husband and her close friend are both away, either on business or on vacation.  

And she feels like all the whole entire decision is on her shoulders, after all it is her app, and she doesn't really know what to do. And she doesn't feel comfortable with making such a big decision all alone. So she feels a bit stuck and she feels worried and a bit lost and she's looking for your help.  

[00:01:43] Kim Ades:
So the first thing I would do is I would celebrate with Betty to say "way to go on your success, way to go on the growth of your business, way to go on establishing a value for your business". So she got an offer. An offer she never expected, something way beyond her wildest dreams possibly, but now she knows what her company is worth and that's something really, really worth taking a moment to take in and absorb and truly celebrate and acknowledge. So that's thing number one.  

Thing number two is I would explore very briefly actually the actual offer. 

[00:02:23] Ferne Kotlyar:
Why briefly?  

[00:02:24] Kim Ades:
I'll explain why briefly. Because when a person is not sure about a decision they want to make, I would always encourage them to slow down and wait until they are sure before making the decision. So I would never push someone to make a decision when they're not a hundred percent sure that that's the direction that they want to go. 

So in this case, she got an offer. Great. My question is, why is there a three-day limit on this offer? If the businesses desirable and if the company wants this, why is there a three-day limit on this offer? And so I would push back on the three days and I would say to Betty... I would encourage her to not succumb to the pressures around her, to respond within a three-day limit, and to give herself the time she needs to make a decision that's appropriate for her.  

There are lots of factors when you consider whether or not you want to sell your business. Number one, is it at its peak? Are we optimized in our business? Is this the maximum value we can get? If this company wants to buy and is pressuring her to buy within three days, maybe there's another company that's willing to pay an even higher sum, and she's just not aware of it.  

She doesn't actually know the value of her company, so she needs to get someone in to create a valuation for her company. So I never want her to push to make a quick decision just because there's something on the table and she wants to take advantage of it for fear it's going to go away. That's not a good decision.  

So I would encourage her to slow down. I would encourage her to say "I cannot make a decision in three days. My husband's gone, I really need to talk to him. And so I need, you know, 30 days, not three days. And if you're not willing to give me 30 days, this is not a good offer for me". 

I would encourage her to walk away for the time being. And if it's truly a business that they're interested in buying, they will come back. So what happens is when she's feeling the pressure, she's undervaluing and giving away the power in her decision-making. So I would help her balance the power. They want to buy? She's in the position to sell. 

So in fact, she's the one who holds the cards and what she's done in kind of creating a bit of chaos is to say "I have no power. There's an offer. It's yes, yes, no, no. I got to make a decision fast otherwise they're going to take it away from me". And so what what's happening here is she's being forced, pushed against the wall to make a decision that she hasn't thought through yet. 

And to be honest, if they're pushing her to make a decision that isn't a good decision, that is a pressured decision, that's not necessarily a good buyer for her.  

[00:05:23] Ferne Kotlyar:
And how does she deal with this fear of losing out on the offer? I mean, if she thought that this was more than her wildest dreams and she doesn't think that she can get that again, how do you deal with that fear? 

[00:05:34] Kim Ades:
So there are many people who sell businesses in the world and I would approach one of them and say "Hey, I just got an offer on my business. They're pressuring me to make this deal in three days, I'd like to get your opinion. Is it actually a good deal? Are there other potential buyers? Could you represent me and explore it? Can we actually get a valuation for this company?"  

And so, it's very important for her to make a decision from a place of clarity, but also an informed decision. And I would suggest to you that this decision is not informed, not emotionally or not intellectual.  

[00:06:11] Ferne Kotlyar:
And what happens--  

[00:06:12] Kim Ades:

[00:06:13] Ferne Kotlyar:

[00:06:13] Kim Ades:
So I would not encourage her to make a quick decision. 

[00:06:17] Ferne Kotlyar:
And what happens if she talks to these people and they say "yeah, you're not going to get a good deal like that ever again"?  

[00:06:23] Kim Ades:
Well, that's already more information.  

[00:06:26] Ferne Kotlyar:
Right. But what happens then?  

[00:06:30] Kim Ades:
First of all, she can decide that they're correct or accurate, or she could say "I don't really believe you. If I got this offer today, my company is only going to grow and I imagine that the offer will increase". So she has to take the information she has and process it and decide what to buy into and what not to buy into.  

But at the same time, she also has to think about "so, they're going to buy it off of me. Maybe they'll ask me to work here for the next year, but what does that mean for me? And am I ready for that decision?"  

And so there are lots of different moving parts here, but for me, the most important part is never make a decision from a place of pressure. And very often we make decisions from a point of pressure because we feel we have no choice. And very often that is not true. We just don't explore our choices. We believe that they don't exist.  

[00:07:30] Ferne Kotlyar:
How do you break those boundaries? How do you say, like, "here's your offer. You have this choice or that choice"? How do you break that down and say "no, actually, I want a different choice"?  

[00:07:40] Kim Ades:
Well, this is the first thing is to say someone's made you an offer that, number one is to say, this is not the only choice on the table. Just because they made you an offer, doesn't mean you can't counter offer, doesn't mean you can't look for other offers, doesn't mean you can't put the offer away for now and come back to it in a month, two months, a year. Right? If now is not the right time, that's okay.  

You know, and the other piece of it is a lot of people think "well, if I don't take this opportunity now, I'm missing an opportunity of a lifetime". Ever heard that?  

[00:08:16] Ferne Kotlyar:

[00:08:16] Kim Ades:
Well, the truth is there's so many opportunities coming at you in this lifetime that it's hard to even see them in front of us, and that's a huge issue. And the truth is there isn't only one opportunity in this lifetime. There are many, many, many, so many opportunities. And so my job as her coach would be to help her calm down and to help her not feel trapped or backed up against the wall to make a decision in 3 days.  

Now secretly, she might've been dreaming about this offer for years and years and years, and suddenly it's there, and I might say "Hey, we've been talking about this for a year, and this is exactly what you've been waiting for. No reason to have fear now". Right? So that could be the case too.  

But if it is coming to her out of the blue and it's not something she expected and it's not something she's ready to do, I would help her slow down. 

[00:09:14] Ferne Kotlyar:
Fair enough. And if they just, you know, she says no and no other offer comes back in, you know, whatever the few months that... few months later, how do you reconcile that?  

[00:09:28] Kim Ades:
I think that's fine. I think that what that means the timing wasn't right and the timing will become right again. And if she really wants to sell, she should do it properly by understanding what her company is truly worth and exploring all the potential buyers, not just one. 

[00:09:45] Ferne Kotlyar:
Makes sense. So from what I hear you saying is that we want to eliminate the pressure. Just because someone's putting pressure on you doesn't mean that you have to accept that. 

[00:09:54] Kim Ades:
Absolutely correct. 

[00:09:54] Ferne Kotlyar:
And that there's always more options.  

[00:09:58] Kim Ades:
And that your hand is stronger than you imagine it to be a lot of the times. And again, just because someone is pressuring, you doesn't mean you have to accept the pressure.  

[00:10:09] Ferne Kotlyar:
It's good to know and super encouraging. So, if you were to give her one last piece of advice, what would it be?  

[00:10:16] Kim Ades:
Always the advice is when you feel trapped, when you feel squeezed and pressured, the truth is you have way more options than you are conscious of in that moment. And so I would help her slow down and really look at all the options available to her. And from that point of view, help her choose the option that feels the best for her that makes the most sense, that resonates with what she wants right here, right now, in this timeframe. So there's always many more options than you imagine. 

[00:10:43] Ferne Kotlyar:
Good advice. Thank you.  

[00:10:45] Kim Ades:
Thank you! That was a good one. I liked that one.  

[00:10:48] Ferne Kotlyar:

[00:10:49] Kim Ades:
For those of you who are listening, if you have a challenge or case that you want to share with us, please reach out to us. Ferne, how do people reach you?  

[00:10:57] Ferne Kotlyar:
Please email me at fernekotlyar@live.com. 

[00:11:04] Kim Ades:
Amazing. And you can reach me at kim@frameofmindcoaching.com. For those of you who have been listening and watching, please continue to do that. We love your comments, your feedback. Please like, please share, please do all the things. We definitely want to hear from you.  

And if you have a case or a challenge that you want to share on the podcast, please reach out to me as well. We are always looking for guests for our Tuesday episodes. Until we see you next time!

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