21 June 2007

Exit Strategy

A question was asked in the comments of a previous post about a potential legal battle between Robert and Sharon. I can talk about it because Robert, Kim and Sharon have been very open with the company and our partners about what is happening here.

The bottom line is that for years, there has been a difference of opinion as to the direction of the company. Sharon is very passionate about educating kids. Her focus has always been on products, events, programs, curricula, etc for schools, clubs, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges. It is an inspiring thing to see her passion toward wanting to educate kids so they will be better off financially than their parents.

Robert and Kim, however, do not have kids. Therefore, their focus has always been on sales to markets that yield the biggest return. Back to my earlier post about sales - either you sell or you suck. Now, that is not to say they are not concerned with education. That is their main driver for sales. The idea is to generate sales by providing education. It is clear when you see either of them on stage. They are there to educate.

So, you have these fundamental differences that have been festering for a long time. The issue simply came to a head. At first, Sharon offered to buy the company from Robert and Kim. Then, Robert and Kim decided they wanted to buy the company from Sharon. So, that is the situation we are in right now. No one knows who will buy whom. The rest of us are simply doing our best to keep the business running and to make sure our customers are taken care of.

The lesson this brings up for me is the importance of having an exit strategy, in any transaction. Whether it be real estate, business, a partnership, a trip to the mall with my wife, etc. Imagine how clean this process would be if a clear exit strategy would have been in place.