“Retirement is not the end of the road. It is the beginning of the open highway.” – Unknown
Back in early 2020, after she sold the shares of her company to her employees in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), Patti Plough considered retiring.
She’d been through a lot. Creating the ESOP took some heavy lifting. It was the right decision, though. The employees at Healics Inc., the health care company she’d led, were now its owners. Their futures were secure.
Something still nagged at Patti. Her ESOP experience was incredibly educational. She’d learned so much. Knowledge about ESOPs, though, in the general business world, seemed to be greatly lacking.
A new mission formed … and Patti opened Excel Legacy Group to help organizations design and implement ESOPs.
Patti tells this story in a new YouTube and podcast interview titled “The Power of Employee Ownership,” hosted by marketing guru Arjun Sen. A former Fortune 500 executive, Sen operates the ZenMango branding firm, and has produced more than 100 episodes of his “Secrets to Win Big” podcast.
ESOPs do offer options for retirement or exiting a business, Patti told Sen. Or, an owner can stay on in their current role, at the same salary. This flexibility is one of the most attractive elements of an ESOP.
Highlights of their half-hour conversation:
- What do small businesses miss?: Patti advised all companies, regardless of size, to implement best practices that everyone follows. Doing so creates consistency for customers. Standardizing processes and protocols across an organization strengthens culture and maintains a high level of service.
- What would she tell herself in her 20s?: Read “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, to fine-tune a mindset and block out the naysayers.
- What would she tell herself in her 90s?: Take time to smell the roses.
- What are the benefits of an ESOP?: Unlike selling a company to a third party, which is often disruptive and risks employees’ jobs, an ESOP delivers a windfall retirement benefit to them – a “401(k) on steroids” that transforms lives. Shareholders are bought out at fair-market value. The organization’s balance sheet benefits by freedom from corporate taxes. Via the “second bite of the apple,” original shareholders can get another payout equaling a significant share of a company’s equity value, if they provided financing for the ESOP transition.
Like to have a conversation of your own with Patti about ESOPs? You’ve heard about their benefits – contact Patti to start a “beneficial” chat about what one can do for you!