We talked to Justin Goodbread of Heritage Investors, LLC on how to provide comprehensive strategic planning and business strategy services, all while managing your company’s risks and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Justin Goodbread: Our family lives on a farm in a more rural town outside Knoxville, Tennessee- so our lives have not changed very much. We already homeschool our kids, so our lives have not changed during this year in a lot of ways. Overall though, my family is doing great- thanks for the asking.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Heritage Investors, LLC.
Justin Goodbread: I didn’t begin my financial career in the traditional sense. I didn’t graduate from a public high school, go straight to a four-year college, leave with a finance degree, join a firm, and move my way up through the ranks. That’s not who I am.
I’m just an ole country boy from the small town of Brunswick, Georgia. I grew up on the ocean, running around barefoot and chasing alligators in the smelly air. I had homeschooling, so I had the opportunity to learn and complete classes at my own (quick) pace. That independence led me to start my first business cutting lawns when I was just 15-years-old to keep busy and work outside with my hands on the land that I loved.
The direction of my life changed when I met Emily, the love of my life, and got married. We decided to move to the “big city” of Knoxville, Tennessee, to be close to her family. I sold the landscaping business I had down in Brunswick, took the profit I earned, and came to Tennessee.
Some years later, a friend of mine recruited me into the world of finance by offering me a $5000 sign-on bonus if I could pass three exams. He didn’t think I could pass the test with only 30 days to study, but I sure did! A week after I passed the tests, the company shut down the local office that hired me. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do from there, but I knew for sure what I didn’t want to do.
As I gained more and more experience in business and financial planning, I realized that I had a knack and a passion for helping fellow small business owners. I loved breaking complex financial concepts into financially simple terms. That led me to earn the CEPA (Certified Exit Planning Advisor) and the CVGA (Certified Value Growth Advisor) designations. I would use my skills to help guide business owners through business sales, mergers, or buy-outs, and ultimately prepare them for the next chapter in their lives: retirement.
How does Heritage Investors, LLC innovate?
Justin Goodbread: Our company innovates in our creation of content. We have created and written books, The Ultimate Sale and Your Baby’s Ugly. We have created a strategic planning course to help business owners better handle how to set their business up for strategic growth. We continuously innovate in the processes we take our business owners through personal financial planning and business planning. We are continually thinking of how we can create more efficacy in our processes, the education, and the information we present.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Justin Goodbread: The pandemic did the same thing to Heritage Investors as it did to all businesses. It revealed where the business is weak or deficient. The fantastic thing about that is that we can take those areas that need improvement, that need work, and focus on fortifying them moving forward. That has been a massive part of our year; evaluating our business was weak and how we can bridge the gap to make it robust and healthy.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Justin Goodbread: Absolutely, I had to make difficult choices- and it taught me that business owners do have to make unpopular decisions sometimes. Moreover, it taught me that sometimes you have to trust your gut, and when everyone around you is unsure, you have to learn from your intuition. The biggest lesson I learned, though, is to know that we don’t have all the answers, and that is okay- we do our best and make the best choice we can.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Heritage Investors, LLC in the future?
Justin Goodbread: I am notorious for not handling stress well, but I have developed a team who has worked with me long enough to recognize ways I exhibit stress and work with me to brainstorm solutions or, depending on the situation, sometimes can handle it better than I could hand on. It is the way I protect myself and my company, by working with people I trust who ensure I am balancing all the different areas of my life and my stress and emotions.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Justin Goodbread: Our team intends to continue to evolve as a company. That is how we will continue to be competitive. We are unique because we approach business value growth in both the personal finances of a business owner and the business efficiency and planning. This double-minded approach sets us apart to serve a business owner, holistically.
Your final thoughts?
Justin Goodbread: Thank you for the opportunity to share with your audience, and I hope you all stay safe and healthy.