Buy Then Build

By: Walker Deibel

buy than build book cover

Buy then build is a great book for anyone thinking of starting or running their own business. The author’s first two chapters layout a compelling case why it makes more sense to buy an existing business with established customers and proven revenue than starting from an idea.

The reason why businesses fail is often talked about and Walker Deibel suggests you can shortcut that pain and heartache buy buying a business.

I really enjoyed reading this book because it confirmed a lot of information I already knew. However it laid out the concepts in a very logical and concise way. If you are thinking of buying a business – read this book.

The CEO Mindset

After convincing everyone to start their own business, Deibel suggests you understand what type of CEO you would be. This concept is referenced in nearly every chapter of the book.


Look at the list below. These include some of the most recognized character traits of successful CEOs in companies between $1 and $20 million in revenue. A few of them seem like they would be characteristics of strong entrepreneurs, but they actually are not. As you read through it, consider how strongly you see each attribute in yourself and what traits might be missing. Also, consider what might be missing from the list.

  • Strategic-thinking skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Intellectual ability
  • Industry experience
  • Ability to deal with ambiguity
  • Tenacity
  • Organized
  • Laser-focused
  • Achievement-oriented
  • Thick-skinned
  • Risk tolerant
  • Self-confident
  • Creative
  • Optimistic
  • Assertive
  • Decisive
  • Methodical
  • Perfectionistic


Successful entrepreneurs all have something in common. One of the most tremendous predictors of long-term success is having a growth mindset.

a growth mindset is one that views the world as more malleable, believing success is achieved through effort. A growth mindset is the little difference that empowers people to have a sense of free will. They embrace rather than avoid challenge, and they persist during times of setback. A growth mindset views effort as the path to mastery. They learn from criticism and are inspired by the success of others. Hard work, good strategies, and input from others are the tools utilized by those who believe their talents can be developed. They put their energy into learning.

“Aptitude is made up of both raw intelligence and competencies. These are your skillsets—your strengths and weaknesses.”

pg. 50

Above all, strategic thinking, persistence, assertiveness, and being achievement-oriented, optimistic, and thick-skinned are the attributes most shared by successful entrepreneurs.


Imagine your perfect work day. What are you doing with your time? What drives you?

Every potential acquisition worth being considered comes with a built-in opportunity. You need to know whether you are growth-oriented or operationally oriented. Moreover, you need to acquire a business where the execution of the opportunity for increasing value matches not only your skillset but aligns with your vision of what you want to do on a daily basis.

Defining The Target

If you are an operational expert, you may wish to find an opportunity with solid marketing efforts in place, but that lacks efficiency in processes and has obviously needed areas of improvement in quality assurance. You’re obviously looking for something where you can roll your sleeves up and start improving the company from the bottom line up. Or, if you are an online marketing expert, there are plenty of well-established companies out there that sell products successfully through traditional channels that have, so far, ignored online sales efforts. This could be a perfect fit for your skillset.

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