David Chilton balancing a brand new enterprise with writing a brand new guide
The Wealthy Barber author is currently writing his third book and has just published ‘Chilton & Associates’.
The pandemic has forced many people’s lives to slow down, but in many ways the life of bestselling author David Chilton has sped up.
He’s used to being on the road for almost a third of the year, but since most trips are paused, he stays but stays grounded. Chilton spends his time between his two home bases these days; Kitchener-Waterloo and Sarnia.
He was born in Sarnia, but grew up in Waterloo and attended university in Wilfrid Laurier. In the pre-pandemic period, he might have spent the week flying across the country, but now he’s stationed at one of his two outposts.
“My whole life has been traveling,” said Chilton. “Even when I was running business, I still did it a lot from hotels, airports and airplanes because I’ve been The Wealthy Barber for nearly 30 years.
“You are on the road 100, 100 days a year. When I’m not on a plane, I’ve been to the Royal York in Toronto and have worked a lot at that facility. So it was different to be home non-stop, and I really enjoyed it. “
The author of Wealthy Barber recently started a new company, Chilton & Associates, helping small businesses and entrepreneurs implement exit strategies for selling their businesses. He developed the concept about a year ago and officially introduced it last spring.
One reason he’s so busy with this new venture is the demographics of his customers, who are mostly baby boomers who started their own businesses in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. You are now looking for a succession plan in which Chilton & Associates will support this transition.
As someone who started their first business at the age of 18, Chilton is no stranger to the world of small business and entrepreneurship. He enjoys the diversity of this new company and said this will likely be the last business he will run.
“It’s one of the things I’ve enjoyed the most in my career,” said Chilton. “I’ve been lucky enough to like most of what I’ve done, but that’s true in my hotspot. I love the negotiations, the deal structure, I like dealing with the entrepreneurs, all of that. “
Kitchener-Waterloo has long been the home of author The Wealthy Barber, and if he’s not swimming in Lake Huron at his other house in Sarnia, he’s back home in Waterloo. Many of Chilton’s best friends still live in the Waterloo area, which is why he often wanders back to KW.
“It’s a great community, it’s well-diversified and there’s a high level of community engagement,” said Chilton. “There aren’t many economically similar areas to Kitchener where you have all of the success and broad base of industries that have led us to all sorts of opportunities with infrastructure and everything else. There aren’t too many places I would rather live. “
If he’s not helping people sell their business, Chilton is working hard on his upcoming release, a third book to follow up on The Wealthy Barber and The Wealthy Barber Returns.
He aims to have it ready sometime next year, and the new book will be outside the realm of personal finance. Here is an example of a chapter he posted on Twitter earlier this year:
I hope you enjoy this brief chapter from the upcoming book and benefit from its lesson (as I did). pic.twitter.com/koLysI0PC3
— David Chilton (@wealthy_barber) September 18, 2020
Chilton published his two previous books in 1989 and 2011, but writing and marketing a book in today’s environment poses unique challenges. With an endless stream of distractions, he said Twitter was his greatest weakness, and he was sometimes dragged into the time gap when researching the book.
With seemingly unmatched attention spans and hundreds of distractions swirling around readers at any given time, Chilton reveals the secret of keeping people busy with a book.
“Everything you write has to be entertaining,” said Chilton. “You can’t just be an information provider, even if the information is important, even if you’ve written it relatively well, it won’t work. How can you rise above the noise, get people’s attention and, more importantly, keep it once you’ve caught it?
“You have to do it through stories, you have to do it by being brief, you have to do it through very convincing examples, and you have to do it probably through humor in many cases.”
Aside from his best-selling books, most people know Chilton for his three-season stint on CBC’s Dragon’s Den show. He enjoyed all of the people he’d met through the program – the entrepreneurs, the dragons, and the crew – but after doing all these deals with new partners from the show, the time commitments got too big to cope with .
In one case he joined the company as quasi-CFO because the business wasn’t big enough to have its own. Chilton loved the opportunity to be on the show but admits it was overwhelming towards the end.
Today Chilton doesn’t miss the constant hustle and bustle of traveling on planes, trains, and cars and living out of a suitcase. He enjoys this once in a lifetime opportunity to slow down, appreciate his surroundings, and do what he loves for a living.
“I’m a pretty lucky guy. I love what i’m doing. I am happy about things every day. I tell people this and they think I’m kidding, but often I go to bed at night and have trouble sleeping because I’m so excited about the next day and looking forward to all the things that come up to me. “