Navigating beyond the uncertainty
No one made a successful business by treating it like a part-time job.
Running any business is a full time, all-consuming thing.
When it is your business, that you have pain stakingly built from the ground up over many years, then everywhere you look, you see your work. You remember hiring the team around you, leasing the premises, building up the client base, even designing the logo! This is more than a business to you; IT IS YOU. Running and owning this business has become an integral part of your identity.
So when we help our clients’ transition out of a business, we understand the critical importance of helping them to address what it means to take on a new identity, post transition.
At the beginning, this can sometimes feel a bit like staring into a night with no stars to navigate by; as owners start to contemplate a life free of the demands of their business, they frequently look up and exclaim ‘but my wife isn’t going to want to see me all day!’
We understand that there is a lot lying behind this simple statement.
To begin with, most of us, and particularly business owners, derive a major proportion of our sense of standing in society from what it says on our business card. Thinking about the absence of that card can be a challenge, with all that this implies for how you describe yourself when meeting new people.
Additionally, you are used to being busy. All the time. While the prospect of your now having time for more hobbies and travel is no doubt attractive, it is also important to consider your needs for mental stimulus, and just what it will feel like when “the phone stops ringing”.
Then there are the expectations of your partner. While you have been building your business, the two of you will likely have evolved into natural roles as you shared the responsibility of your family, and your relationship. As you transition out of your business, this balance will change, and this can even be a little threatening to your partner, as they contemplate your involvement in tasks they consider to be ‘their domain’.
At Altus Q, we have been having these conversations with many clients, over many years. We understand that a successful business transition is about a lot more than numbers; it is about asking the right questions and helping our clients find new stars to navigate by.