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Chris Snider Shares 5 Updates in the Newest Edition of Walking To Destiny
by Colleen Kowalski on January 19, 2023
This year, Christopher Snider, CEO of Exit Planning Institute, will release the second edition of Walking To Destiny: 11 Actions an Owner Must Take to Rapidly Grow Value and Unlock Wealth. Originally published in 2016, Walking To Destiny has become the guiding framework for exit planning professionals. The book is designed to bridge the gap between advisors and owners to get them on the same page. From an advisor perspective, the Value Acceleration Methodology has become the leading process for exit planning and is prominently utilized by exit planning advisors across the world.
As we head into the eighth year of Walking To Destiny, we spoke with Chris to learn what changes are coming in the second edition of the book, why he decided to update Walking To Destiny, and how the writing process has evolved between the two editions.
What made you decide to write a second edition of Walking To Destiny?
Chris Snider: The new book includes another seven years of insights using the Value Acceleration Methodology and about how the industry has developed and changed since I wrote the first edition of Walking To Destiny. The average age of a baby boomer business owner is now 68, with the youngest being 59 and the oldest 77. In just 10 years the youngest boomer will be 69 years old. Since Walking To Destiny was first written I estimate one million businesses have transitioned from baby boomers to the next generation.
When Walking To Destiny was first released, boomers owned two-thirds of the privately held businesses in the market. In 2023, that number has fallen to 51%. That’s significant because boomers have been driving social and economic values for 70 years. The influence of NextGen business owners is growing and will continue to grow. They have a different set of economic and social values. They are more educated, more aware, think more holistically, and recognize the benefits of exit planning. As key advisors to these new, younger owners, we need to adjust our approaches to accommodate this new paradigm in the market-a new paradigm I’d like to think EPI and CEPAs have created or at least certainly influenced significantly.
In this second edition, what new resources can readers look forward to?
Chris Snider: The second edition of Walking To Destiny includes three completely updated chapters, two bonus chapters: one for business owners and one for business advisors, and updated market statistics. Additionally, Scott Snider provided many more insights into this book. So much so, I added him as a contributor!
We reorganized section two, the Leadership Concepts of Value Acceleration, around the 5-4-3-2-1 theme, which is how we teach it today. The book also includes a new appendix with a set of reflection questions for each chapter. I thought this would be a nice tool for our CEPAs to utilize in client meetings. When CEPAs gift a book to clients they can ask them to read a chapter and then meet with them to review and discuss the reflection questions with them. This will help the owner and the advisor internalize the lessons more effectively.
The second edition of Walking To Destiny includes some of my own personal experiences as an aging business owner too. Finally, I created several supplemental downloadable tools for the owner and advisor which will be available at www.WTDDownloads.com. We’ll also have an audio version of Walking to Destiny to provide advisors and owners with more ways to engage with this educational content.
What content were you most excited to include in this updated version of your book?
Chris Snider: The book opens with a summary of the Value Acceleration Methodology and its benefits. It is hard to believe the first book did not include that. The second section includes a whole chapter on why value should be the owner’s one goal. And finally, probably the reflection questions in the appendix. I really think these will help build connections between owners and advisors.
When can the EPI community read the second edition of Walking To Destiny?
Chris Snider: We are working on final edits now and Walking To Destiny is set to be released in late March.
How did your experience writing the second edition of Walking To Destiny compare to when you first wrote the book years ago?
Chris Snider: This time around we hired a professional publishing company to help me. They provided access to so many more resources than the first time around. The experience of actually writing was similar. I made a couple of trips to Florida over the summer. I stayed at Captiva Island this time where I rented a house, and wrote 8-10 hours every day for weeks at a time, to get the book initially written.
The initial copy was around 94,000 words as compared to 73,000 in the first edition of Walking To Destiny. As such, the editing process was significantly enhanced as I had to really cut back the word count. This is where several of the supplementals came from. I think we went through four or five rounds of edits. We are in the final round now and I cannot wait to share this new edition of Walking To Destiny with the exit planning community!
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