Life after exiting your business
October 22, 2018 - 3 minutes read
Posted by Claire Parker
For most business owners, eventually selling your business for a sizeable sum is the ultimate goal. The possibility of making a considerable profit is often what encourages many business owners to put in the long hours and make the personal sacrifices creating a successful company demands.
When the time comes, however, many business owners sell their company with very little idea about what lies next. Only 4% of business owners have a formal, written ‘life after business’ plan. Testament to the engrossing and consuming task of running your own business, it is perhaps unsurprising that this is the case.
This can make life after the sale a little daunting. Selling your business forces you to ask yourself deep existential questions. You have to question what it is you really want from life and, without the daily routine of work you have more time to ponder such issues.
Freedom can sometimes be your worst enemy. When you are aware that the possibilities are endless, the sheer vastness of opportunities available to you can appear overwhelming.
Your career restrains your options, and this can be a blessing (although an often unappreciated one). Running a business anchors you to a place, to certain people and to a routine; when you are cut loose, everything can feel up in the air.
Whether they know it or not, most business owners are workaholics and, like any addict going cold-turkey, a withdrawal period follows. This is understandable – you are leaving behind a great part of your life and, probably, a great part of yourself!
Preparing for your life after business is not to be taken lightly. Doing it right can be the difference between a prosperous and cheerful future, and being stuck in the post-business doldrums.
The thing about taking on all this freedom is that it can allow you to really make the most of this life’s endless possibilities. However, whether you do so is up to you. If you don’t seize the opportunities life grants you, it can be easier than you might have thought to fall into listlessness and lose the fiery passion that drove you in your business life.
If you decide to sell your business, here are a few things that can help you live a fulfilling life:
Talking to people who have already done it is a great way to gauge not only what life is like post-sale, but also to find out what things people do that they later regret, or what provides them with satisfaction. Although there is not very much literature on selling your business, there are plenty of online blogs that deal with these. It’s definitely worth your while checking some of these out.
Also, if anyone you know has sold their business it may be worthwhile to take them to lunch and ask them about their experience.
Accept that your life (and who you are) is going to change. Selling up is going to be a process of transition to a vastly different life. This will be a life where you can live your dreams, but also one where you’ll be separated forever from years of hard work where you could craft something in your image. You may find that the experience of looking at your old company’s website might feel a bit like looking at photos of you and your ex girl/boyfriend.
Try to embrace this time as a period of exploration, rather than ‘fighting it’ and trying to falsely assert rigidity into your life.
Develop a game plan for a prosperous future. Planning your goals and knowing how much money you’ll need to reach these can help you to shape the future you want. This can also provide you with a feeling of certainty at a time when your life might be lacking in clear direction.
Something to note is that it is important to develop a healthy relationship with money. Having sudden access to a large some of money can cause some impulsive purchases, some of which you may later regret.
After years of working, endless freedom may feel weird. This is normal. Try your best to make the most of it. If you want some help in getting the best out of your money, you can contact Xentum here.