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Mini-cast 137: Growing EO in Adjacent Spaces

Bret Keisling identifies great opportunities to grow EO using Clubhouse by educating business founders, owners, professional advisors, and advocates in adjacent spaces to EO which in turn will generate EO/ESOP transactions.


Mini-cast 137 Transcript

Bret Keisling: [00:00:08] Welcome to the ESOP Mini-cast. Thank you so much for listening. My name is Bret Keisling, and as it says on my business cards, I'm a passionate advocate for employee ownership.

[00:00:19] If you're a regular listener or follow me on social media, you know that I've been a big advocate for the app Clubhouse since I joined in March, 2021. Within a day or two of joining Clubhouse, I recognized tremendous potential for employee ownership. As you may know, Clubhouse is an app designed for audio drop-in conversations. There are currently more than 10 million users on Clubhouse, and at any given time there are hundreds and thousands of rooms covering any subject you can imagine.

[00:00:49] I formed a club called Employee Ownership and with the help of other people in the ESOP and EO community, we host 6 to 10 rooms a week covering a variety of topics important to employee ownership. Ultimately, I hope that many members of the EO community will join Clubhouse and help us build a robust ecosystem there.

[00:01:08] It certainly will take the time to build a significant EO community, but every week I see more folks joining the app and joining the conversations and I think that's great. While we wait for more of the EO community to arrive. I've noticed some important opportunities for EO that I want to share with you.

[00:01:25] There are thousands of individuals on the Clubhouse app who are in what I call adjacent spaces to employee ownership. For example, every group you can imagine has some representation of advocates on the app. I've made friends who work to address poverty; employee ownership addresses poverty. I've met advocates working hard to improve their communities through economic development and stability; eO does that.

[00:01:49] There are professional advisors in adjacent spaces. For example, a number of rooms are devoted to company culture and employee engagement. As you know, once the transaction's completed, company culture and engagement is critical to the success of an EO company.

[00:02:06] Clubhouse has many rooms devoted to business owners and founders, exit planning, and increasing the value of a business are discussed every day. Those are both very important to employee ownership.

[00:02:18] I've come to realize that almost no one in these adjacent spaces knows about employee ownership. Even worse, those who are aware of EO don't really know about it, but feel it's too complicated or exotic.

[00:02:31] There are great opportunities to dramatically increase employee ownership education through Clubhouse. There's a small group of ESOP and EO professionals already there and we're working together to come up with short presentations that we'll then take to other rooms on Clubhouse to educate business owners, advisors, and advocates.

[00:02:52] I've set a goal within the next 12 months there will be at least one new ESOP transaction that arose purely on Clubhouse. And if you know anything about building momentum, if we have one new ESOP transaction, there's bound to be actually several of them.

[00:03:08] And one final note, one thing that I believe the other EO and ESOP professionals on Clubhouse understand is that as we go forth and educate people on employee ownership and they in turn add it to the work they're doing, if they have a potential transaction, who are they going to reach out to? The professionals on Clubhouse who steered the way. I think it's a great opportunity to build employee ownership. It's also a great way to build an ESOP or employee ownership practice.

[00:03:43] I hope you'll join us next Tuesday for our primary EO/ESOP podcast and visit our archives of more than 280 episodes at or wherever you get your podcasts. And if you like our work and would like to support us, I'd be very grateful if you'd subscribe to the podcast and like the episodes, and even mention them on social media. We really appreciate your support.

[00:04:08] Thank you so much for listening. This is Bret Keisling. Be well.

Bitsy McCann: [00:04:13] We'd love to hear from you! To contact us, find us on Facebook at KEISOP, LLC and on Twitter @ESOPPodcast. To reach Bret, with one "T", email, on LinkedIn at Bret Keisling, and most actively on Twitter at @EO_Bret. Again, that's one "T". This podcast has been produced by The KEISOP Group, technical assistance provided by Third Circle, Inc. and BitsyPlus Design. Original music composed by Max Keisling, archival podcast material edited and produced by Brian Keisling, and I'm Bitsy McCann.

Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are my own and don't represent those of my own firms or the organizations to which I belong. Nothing in the podcast should be construed as guidance or advice of any kind in any field and the fact that I mentioned an organizational website or an advocate or a company on a podcast does not reflect an endorsement, but if you've heard your name or your group's name mentioned on this podcast, I'd love to have you come on and talk about it yourself.

A note on the transcript: This transcript was produced by Descript, an automated transcription service. While it has been reviewed by The ESOP Podcast, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the transcription. Please refer to the original audio when citing sources.


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