Author Interview – John Warrillow, Built to Sell

Author John Warrilow, Built to Sell

Q: When did you start writing, and what inspired you to write?

A: Studying small business for 15 years allowed me to see the statistics: 97% of all businesses are small businesses; 50% of all small businesses want to sell their business in the next 10 years yet 1% of all small businesses successfully change hands each year. I personally tried and failed to sell my business in 2004 before ultimately selling it in 2008.

Q: How long did the book take you from start to finish?

A: 6 weeks to write. 6 months to edit

Q: Where do you write?

A: I have a loft in a funky warehouse in the west end of Toronto. I have a huge boardroom table I spread all my notes out onto like some sort of mad scientist.

Q: What’s the best thing about being a published author?

A: Your mother in law knows what you do.

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?

A: John Grisham.  Jim Collins, Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell

Q: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

A: I hear from my readers through my blog They tell me I’m providing equal helpings of reality and advice.

Q: What are your current projects?

A: Promoting the book. Moving my family to France.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

A: Teaching my kids new sports (hockey, baseball, skiing, soccer) Adventure endurance races Ironman triathalon, Marathon. 24 hour spa escapes with my wife.

Q: How did you come up with your title?

A: Brainstorming with my friend and mentor Ted Matthews.  There was an old fast Company article called Built To Flip and it always sat with me as a good title. I guess I was inspired by that.

Q: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

A: Most businesses (99%) are no sellable. Follow the 8 steps in the book and you’ll turn your business into something sellable which puts you in the top 1% of all business owners. Once you sell your business, you’ll how freedom over your time, and money. It’s worth the sacrifices and effort needed to follow the 8 steps.

Q: What’s the hardest part of writing a book?

A: The 6 months between submitting the manuscript and seeing it in print. Once you write “The End” you want the book immediately, but it takes months of editing and layout and printing. The waiting is brutal!

Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

A: I’d find a way to shorten the cycles of editing per above.

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