What Do You Really, Really Want?

What do you want out of retirement?

When I meet business owners who are interested in preparing their companies for sale one of the questions I ask is, “Relative to selling your business, how do you define success?”

How do you define success?

  • I want to make enough money to retire and not worry about running short
  • I want to continue to work for the company but without the responsibility
  • I want to make sure all my loyal employees get a bonus and keep their jobs
  • I want to do it quickly and not have it drag on
  • I want my child to take over and pay me a monthly income for life

Of course almost everyone would like that, so I encourage them to be more specific.

Be specific

  • How much money would a worry-free retirement take? What other savings or assets do you have?
  • For how long and in what role do you want to work?
  • How much is the bonus and does it include problem employees?
  • How quickly? When do you want to start?
  • Does your child agree?

But, those represent mostly rational factors and logistics, and we know emotional reasons provide us with a stronger motivation for change. So look even deeper. What do you really, really want for your life?

Retirement Might Look Like:

  • A cottage on a lake so you can relax and have quality time with your kids and grandkids
  • A sailboat so you can explore the islands and feel free in the sun and the wind
  • A red Ferrari that you can show off to your old schoolmates who thought you were a nerd
  • A trip for your whole family to Africa
  • A chance to drive your RV from here to Costa Rica
  • Winning the over 65 category of the Boston Marathon
  • Joining the Eagles rock band and playing the keyboards (They’re still playing and apparently they keep bringing in new members)
  • Donating enough money to get your name on a plaque at the hospital. Maybe you want to be remembered as a person who gave back to the community

Only you can determine what your values are and decide whether they align with your stated goals and sub-goals.

Successfully selling your business is a great goal. It’s one every business owner should have – even if it is several years away. And if you want to get motivated to start the process, it’s better if you figure out now what you really really want.

January 4, 2021

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