George Bernard Shaw had an interesting perspective on the role satisfaction plays in life. He saw dissatisfaction as a driver of innovation, creativity and progress. He wrote:
You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream of things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’
Will a person who is satisfied with the way things are be motivated to seek a better way? Can you be satisfied and still be determined to do more, do better, and dream of greater things? As an entrepreneur, do you ever get to the stage where you say, “That’s enough; I don’t need to push or stretch any more?”
You probably started your business because you were dissatisfied with your current situation. You wanted to be your own boss or work hard for yourself instead of someone else. Over the years, you grew your business, made it better, implemented processes to make it more efficient and strived for more sales and more profit. Were you ever truly satisfied?
As you consider transitioning your business and preparing it for sale, are you satisfied with the way it is running? Is it a thing of beauty or are you putting lipstick on a pig? Perhaps you’ll never be truly satisfied with the deal you’ll make, but is it enough? Is it healthier to be satisfied or dissatisfied?
Many entrepreneurs will wrestle with these questions as they get closer to retirement. What’s driven you in the past is dissatisfaction with the status quo – a desire for something better. It’s hard to turn that off. It’s difficult to contemplate a time when you’ll sit in a rocking chair or a fishing boat and not have something that needs to be done or improved upon. How will you keep the flame going?