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Last Update: Sunday July 25, 2021

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Buy A Business You Love


Libertyville, Illinois: In this episode of the television show, we discover how two men changed the face and the fortunes of a town. They dared to dream an impossible dream. Pat Elmquest and Bill Sugars invested in their local community when no one else would. The old downtown was virtually abandoned -- over 60% vacancy -- with pawn shops and the like.
Pat started with the pub; then with a $2 million loan, the two created a brewery and restaurant... and the transformation was underway. They were true pioneers ...the visionaries.
As people began to return to the old downtown, especially over a drink after work during the golden moments of sunset, others began to see all the possibilities and potential. The rest is history. Today, Libertyville is an award-winning historic business district.

These two entrepreneurs teach us about financing, about partnering, and about the restaurant business. But most of all, this is a story about two men who never abandoned their dreams. Both dropped out of corporate America. Bill and Pat cashed out after thirty years. Then, they put it all at risk. Their wives thought they were having a delayed midlife crisis. But the statistics were with them. They were over 50.  Learn more...

Corporate dropouts have over a seventy-percent success rate when they become entrepreneurs!  It is their rebirth.  They know what works at least some of the time. And, most know how to work!  Studies show that this combination -- experience, actualizing a deep-seated dream, and risking it all (they could not afford to fail) -- profoundly increases the chances for success.

Mickey Finn's Brewery & Pub is a classic case study.

Bill says, "Pat knew when his time was right to leave corporate life and buy the bar in 1990. I knew when my time was right. And everyone will know. There just comes a time in your life when you say, `I gotta do something different; I don't want to be doing this when I'm 65 years old."

Since we taped this story, Bill and Pat decided it was time to cash out and let the next generation take over.  Mickey Finn's Brewery is now owned by Brian Grano who was good customer, Bill's friend, and a neighbor -- he lives a couple of blocks away. The general manager is John Elmquest, Pat's son. 

Go to all the Key Ideas and Video...

There are literally dozens of ways to find an episode of the show and then the key ideas within each episode.  The key search tool is opened by clicking on VIDEO (always just above in the header bar), then click on "Choose Search Type" in the right column.

The simplest search is by "Episode Title" which is usually the name of the business.  Just type in the key word of the business.  For example, for "The French Laundry" just type the word "French."

If you are not sure of the name of the business, use the "Text Search" and enter a key word.  For example, enter the word, restaurant.

Also, explore the options for Location, Subject, Industry and Question.

Restaurants are where most of us get our first job...

There are many stories about restaurant owners within the library of Small Business School.  To find all of these stories, click on Video (just above in the header bar), then click on "Choose Search Type" in the right column. Select "Industry" and then select "Restaurants."

Entrepreneurs always have at least four options in life:

Bugs_Bunny.jpg Start a Business

Renegade Animation competes effectively against Warner Brothers, the "big boys" of animation. Ashley Postlewaite and Darrell van Citters just knew they could do it faster and better, so they started their own business and charged even more!
Key Question: Should I take a partner?

Hattie1.jpg Grow a Business

The Internet is the Infrastructure for Business. Hattie introduces us to early adopters with insights to help grow a business.
Key Question: How can I grow this business faster?


Buy a Business
Learn directly from Chef Thomas Keller how he discovered The French Laundry and kept his dream of owning his own business alive. He had no money! He had failed twice. He had a job (I was miserable), yet he kept his dream alive!
Key Question: How do I buy a business?


Sell a Business
Ebby Halliday didn't sell her business; she gave it away (yet at 96, she's still chairman). That's a $6B business!

Learn eight possible ways to exit your business: Which way will you go? Click here to reinvent yourself!
Key Question: How do I find buyers for my business?

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