Self-Imposed Slavery

Do you want to sell your business?

For many entrepreneurs who own a service company this is not a yes or no question.

In some cases their indecision is driven by the fact that they so love what they do that they would choose to one day die while doing it.

As a commitment to your craft that takes some beating.

For the others, their lack of clarity about The Last Day comes from an over-emphasis on today supported by three false assumptions.

One. That because a business makes them a lot of money today it will make them a lot of money for as long as they need.

Two. That because a business makes them a lot of money it will make someone else a lot of money.

Three. That selling a successful business is a transaction negotiated largely on their terms resulting in freedom.

If your company provides a service there are only two ways you can create a retirement from it.

1. Make so much money while it it is successful that you don’t need the income once it’s not.

Because any business built to be dependent on you dies when you die. Which is disappointing for your family and employees on a number of levels.

2. Make yourself irrelevant to your business so that owning it is valuable to someone other than you.

If you do neither, you will one day reach a point when getting out is a lot more attractive than staying in. And your options for doing so will be slim and none.

Buyers buy businesses because of what they will do in the future.

If the success of your company is dependent on your personal involvement, the only way you can sell it is by selling yourself along with it.

And for three to five years you’ll be taking orders from someone else, doing it their way, and hoping their way doesn’t screw it up so badly that there’s actually money left to pay you when all is said and done. Not to mention the impact on your hard earned legacy.

If your business depends on you and you want to retire in five years, start shopping now. And then hope you can convince someone you’re not as good at running this business as they will be. And that you’re dying to work for them.

Or you can avoid all this by building a business to last. Regardless of who owns it.

This comes with a number of benefits. Including but not limited to: lifelong income; potential wealth; employee security; reward for loyalty; negotiation leverage; personal legacy; reputation; family security; quality of life; inner peace.

Actually the last one is less certain. We are complex beings, after all. The others are guaranteed.

It takes as much effort to build a business to last as one built only for today.

Doing so provides for that eventuality that overcomes all strategies. Death.

And will make your employees grateful for one thing when you’re gone.

They get your desk back.