• John Lim

MF 323 : Changes, updates, and why you should have an exit before you start

Updated: Mar 7




Today, I cover updates and changes for 2021 and the importance of having an exit strategy. More at www.bemovingforward.com.


Moving Forward is also available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, Spotify, and now Amazon Music.

"Change, my dear! And it seems not a moment too soon." -The Sixth Doctor


I've moved!


The website address is still the same at www.bemovingforward.com but like the TARDIS after the titular character regenerates on the tv show Doctor Who, you'll see that the interior has been given a facelift.


When I first started Moving Forward in 2015, I had a simple website on Wix. Back then, I was part of a boutique consulting practice and the podcast was a very different animal. Over time, the podcast changed and in 2016, I migrated to WordPress to reflect a new direction and a fresh start.


As I came to the end of 2020, I had a decision to make and on episode 323, I talk about why I made the switch back to Wix.


Poshmark book


Throughout 2020, I worked on a manuscript detailing how I helped my dad take his business online with Poshmark. Since then, interest in the online platform has grown considerably. Recently, Poshmark made a huge leap forward with its initial public offering (IPO) and is now a publicly traded company (symbol: POSH).


On episode 323, I share where I am with the book and a little of my journey trying to sell the manuscript to literary agents and publishers.


"Irreconcilable differences" and a collector's item


Finally, I've made some other big changes that I talk about on the episode. In 2017, I first told my Star Trek fan film story in an article for Cracked.com. From there, I was inspired to tell the fuller story with two co-written books.

However, as I’ve learned, co-writing a book and being business partners are two very different things. While discussing business matters is not always sexy or fun, it's vital for hashing out assumptions and identifying points of divergence before collaborating on any endeavor; be it a startup or a book. I forgot this all-too important lesson in my enthusiasm to get the story on paper and the cracks-in-the-seams started to show soon after.


Throughout last year, it became increasingly clear that things were not working out on the business side. It's not necessary to go into details but suffice it to say, we had a number of irreconcilable business and creative disagreements. We weren’t aligned on several key issues and didn't have a clear exit strategy. This was a huge mistake. If we had started with the hard discussions before writing the first paragraph, we would have made a much more informed decision about whether to collaborate in the first place.


Because of this oversight, we found ourselves in a tricky spot, which led to the necessary but difficult decision to part ways and withdraw our respective stories from the collaborative works.


The two books are now unpublished. You may be able to find a few paperback copies from third-party sellers on Amazon or eBay but for all intents and purposes, the books are now out of print. If you happen to have a copy of one or both books, you may want to hold on to them as they may become collector's items.


If you're interested in my Star Trek story, I will be reworking it into a whole new book with added material and insights. This will be the definitive, final telling of that part of my life.


More news on this will be forthcoming so stay tuned.


"It's the exit strategy, stupid." -Me


Today's episode is a stark reminder of the importance of exit strategies. It’s a lesson I keep learning the hard way.


I've interviewed guests like Tim Fulton who practice and teach putting the exit front and center of any project. It's a concept I learned in business school and yet, I still find myself making the mistake of skipping this crucial step.


Fortunately, I'm making progress on this problem. I was reminded of the importance of exits last year when I did the audiobook for I Am a Professional Metalhead. The book is replete with great examples of exit strategies and a few cautionary tales about the risks you incur in not having one. In a life imitates art moment, Angelo and I came up with a formal contract that included a clearly defined exit. I discuss this more on episodes 291 and 295. It's why I can sleep well at night about having said yes to that project last year.


Now, I look at everything with an eye towards the end-game and that includes the podcast. I finally have my exit in place for Moving Forward and while it won't be tomorrow or next week, I know where the light at the end of the tunnel is and how I'm going to get there. Similarly, the decision to separate and repackage my fan film story into a solo book is driven in large part by having a well defined exit.


If there's one thing I want you to take away from this episode it's your exit. Start with that first and let it guide the important discussions and decisions about how (and whether) to proceed. Do this before you record that first episode, write that first passage, or create the next Apple with your high school BFF inside your garage.


Take it from me. You'll save yourself a lot of headache and trouble if you plan your exit at the outset rather than have it imposed on you down the road.


What I’m reading / read

  1. Beating the Street by Peter Lynch (****)

  2. Jim Cramer's Get Rich Carefully by Jim Cramer (*****)

Books by John

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Audiobook narrated by John

  1. Get the Audiobook of I Am a Professional Metalhead, by Angelo Spenillo and narrated by John for free with a trial to Audible.

Get a free trial to Audible and I Am a Professional Metalhead (Audible affiliate).

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