Matt Flanagan

Matt Flanagan – Founder & CEO of Flanagan Business Management

Matt Flanagan focuses on introducing entrepreneurs to business owners who are coming to the end of their working lives.

What’s your story?

After nearly 20 years in management, I decided to pursue a master’s in business administration. I did this to help me further understand different aspects of business and open my company. The reason why I decided that I wanted to open Flanagan Business Management is because there’s so much opportunity that is just going to disappear.

What excites you most about your industry?

Flanagan business management aims to change succession planning for small businesses. It is estimated there are between two to four million businesses owned by baby boomers in the United States alone. Amongst those businesses, it’s estimated that 70% of them still do not have a succession plan in place. It’s estimated that on average 10,000 baby boomers retire every single day. Many of these small businesses will close their doors due to an inability to sell.

Matt Flanagan and family

What drives you in your career to push beyond what other people consider normal?

I truly believe that it is our responsibility to leave every situation we enter better for the next person who’s coming in. I don’t think it is pushing beyond normal. Other people may consider it going above and beyond. I just truly believe that if we make every situation easier for the next person coming into it, we can all experience growth together.

What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?

The most useful skills I’ve learned and applied during my journey are the strength of listening and watching. When I was first promoted to a managerial role, I thought that I was promoted because I knew what to do. I learned through many missteps that it’s not about what you know but about how you can harness what’s happening around you. Being able to recognize what’s going on in other people’s lives and what drives them will always help you succeed.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

The best piece of advice I have ever received was to listen without my ears. When I was first given that piece of advice I looked up at my manager with bewilderment. I didn’t understand what he meant. He then went on to teach me an extremely valuable lesson on emotional intelligence. I learned about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and how different employees have different needs. Witnessing what was going on through staff interactions and through how people just carried themselves gave me a better understanding of how to develop environments in which individuals can thrive.

Who inspires you?

My children inspire me. As a young man, I chased titles and money thinking that would be fulfilling. I realized later in life that there’s nothing quite like raising children. They’re so hopeful, so insightful and you can display in them the best qualities of life. Every single day I wake up I strive to be a better person so that every day my children wake up they can wake up in a better world than the day before.

What have you learnt recently that blew you away?

I was recently reading an article about sustainability, and I came across a company named Orsted the company used to be named Dong Energy. It was a coal and gas powerhouse out of Denmark. Over a decade this company was able to transform from a gas and coal powerhouse into a completely sustainable energy company, creating profitable offshore wind developments. That had never been done before. Orsted’s transformation is proof of concept, that sustainability is not that far off.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

If I went back and did things all over again one thing that I would do differently would be to listen more. As a young manager, I used to think that I had all the answers. That I was put into my position because I was the one to drive something forward. What I learned is that’s not the case at all. What a good leader does is learn from others who have been in the same situation.

How do you unwind?

I unwind by hooking up a camper and hopping in a truck with my wife and daughters. We love going to state and national parks. Setting up the camper and spending a whole weekend just hiking through the park. There’s nothing like unplugging from a cellular network and when I say unplugging, I mean just losing reception altogether, and just spending time with your family.

What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your career?

A major mindset shift that I had in my life was when I got injured on the job. I ended up with two torn shoulders and saw a drastic change in the way that I was viewed by others and the way that I viewed the things that were important in my life. This was the turning point that made me want to start a company. To make sure that I could not only create a more sustainable and better life for my family and do it for founding families of small businesses, and college graduates who are seeking entrepreneurship.

Everyone in business should read this book:

The E-myth Revisited by Michael E Gerber talks about how there are differences in people from technicians, managers, leaders, and owners, and how people fall into those different classifications. I think understanding those classifications; how to grow out of them, and how to grow into them, is truly beneficial for anyone seeking business knowledge.

Flanagan Business Management logo

Shameless plug for your business or career:

Flanagan Business Management works with entrepreneurs to create a perpetual royalty that the founding family collects for generations upon generations. Flanagan Business Management also works with state and local universities and trade schools to source high-quality entrepreneurs to step into existing businesses instead of closing. This helps these businesses grow and continue to develop within the communities they’re already in. Through Flanagan business management entrepreneurship can be rewarded and celebrated throughout retirement. You should reach out to Flanagan Business Management because we will keep your business in your community while creating opportunities for new entrepreneurs.

How can people connect with you?

Social Media Links?



This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.

About The EnterpriseZone Writing Team

Shining A Light on the Small Business World and highlighting Entrepreneurial Investing Opportunities.

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