Welcome to the “Show Me The Way” podcast with David Seitter
In this episode of “Show Me The Way,” Dave continues his discussion with Denise Logan, author of The Seller’s Journey, to discuss her storied journey moving from an employee, to president of a company, to now being a fractional CFO and business advisor. They talk about the struggles of business growth, and some of the successes she had along the way.
Ep. 15 — From Employee to President to Advisor with Aggie Cooper
Introducing Aggie Cooper and Her Background
Dave begins by asking Aggie to share her personal history and how she got to where she is now.
- Aggie says her career began in commercial lending at a bank, and then was asked by a company to come be their controller as they looked to sell the business.
- Over the course of a decade, she became the president of that company before it selling the business.
- After prompting from Dave, Aggie discusses how she views challenges as new opportunities for more experience rather than be worried about the unknown.
Dave notes that through that experience, she helped the company grow from $25MM to $70MM, and asks how she achieved that.
- Aggie briefly recounts her experience working with two very different types of entrepreneurs.
- Dave leans on this and asks how her definition of ‘entrepreneur’ has changed over the years, if at all.
- She says that her definition has evolved as she has gotten more exposure to the entrepreneur world, and describes what this looked like for her.
International Business Growth and Bankruptcy
Dave looks to the next chapters of Aggie’s career, asking her what the next business was.
- She discusses a business local to Kansas City that owned multiple companies, and recently opened up a factory in Honduras.
- Aggie then recounts her time working with this company, including the shifting dynamics at play in Honduras and Central America, due to a large influx of Iraqis during her time there.
- Dave and Aggie continue on to the third company she joined, where she helped take a company out of bankruptcy.
- She notes that oftentimes challenges work out, but not always on the path that you initially expected, describing how that company was bought on the courthouse steps.
Dave then asks about her current job, and asks Aggie to describe what her day to day involves.
- Aggie says she is currently a fractional CFO at Tarsus for a number of their clients.
- She continues by describing what a fractional CFO is, and the myriad of responsibilities it entails.
- She says one of her favorite parts of her job is to work with upper or middle management teams to figure out what KPIs they are looking at to make decisions.
Successes and Challenges of Running a Business
Dave asks Aggie about some of the challenges she has had to deal with over the years, as well as some of the successes.
- She says how the times she has loved the most over her career are the times when things were really tough, because she is able to confidently lead.
- She tells a story from one of those difficult times in her career, and explains how she made her way through that.
- Aggie continues by talking about one of her greatest successes that came out of a difficult situation.
- She notes that there is a difference between winning and succeeding, noting that her best successes are cards she received from people she worked with over the years.
- Dave asks her to dig into the difference between winning and success, and Aggie gives an example.
Dave notes that Aggie has seen many businesses succeed, and asks if mergers and acquisitions have helped those companies grow along the way.
- Aggie says she thinks it’s actually the other way around – that you need to help the company be successful in order for them to have a good merger or acquisition.
Advice for Business Owners
Dave wraps up by asking Aggie for a couple of bullet points of advice for the listeners.
- She says first the sooner you start improving the company internally, the sooner you start increasing the multiple when you go to sell the business.
- The second piece of advice is to be conscious of who you are surrounding yourself with, especially when you are going through an equity event, such as a merger or acquisition.
- Aggie says her final piece of advice is to carefully choose who on your internal team you bring into the fold, and finding good outside professionals that have been through mergers or acquisitions before.
Dave asks Aggie what is next for her and her career.
- Aggie discusses her continued work at Tarsus CFO Services.
- She also mentions her role on the board of Avila University, and changes she is helping to implement.
This podcast is provided for educational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. The recommendations contained in this podcast are not necessarily appropriate for every individual or business. In determining the best course of action, business owners should consult with an attorney on their distinct circumstances.