As you think about transitioning or selling your business, you are probably planning to reduce or eliminate ongoing responsibilities with your former business. Once you step back, what are you going to do?
You may be thinking that you’ve worked hard all your life and that you deserve to relax. You get to take it easy. You might just want to be a couch potato.
No you don’t. Not really. That’s not who you are or what you do. You’re an entrepreneur! You thrive on adrenaline, you love problem solving, control, and being the head of the pack. You’re probably not that good at relaxing. You may be tired and ready for a break; but shifting from being active and running a business to sitting in a rocking chair would likely kill you. Don’t go there!
Gail Sheehy, author of the ground-breaking books, Passages andUnderstanding Men’s Passages, said this about people in their sixties:
No matter what your record of external achievement, you will need an internal mission to fortify your resilience in meeting the obstacles and exit events ahead. The optimum goal is to find a pleasurable commitment that allows you to exercise parts of yourself that had to be ignored earlier. A mission can give this stage of life its own meaning and even guarantee you a sliver of immortality.
How can you continue to exercise your mind, your imagination and your problem solving skills – activities that are known to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia? Here are ways some have continued to be active, helped others and in doing so, helped themselves:
- Join boards of community organizations. There are hundreds of them. Find one or two that are doing work you feel is worthy and interesting.
- Volunteer time with service clubs. Members of clubs like Kiwanis, Lions, Optimists, and Rotary are engaged and engaging. And they live longer.
- Volunteer with hands-on organizations like Habit for Humanity, disaster relief, micro-banks, or Engineers Without Borders, so you can help and learn in different parts of the world.
- If you’ve got the money to do so, start a foundation or join and contribute to one that supports a cause that is close to your heart. Build a hospital wing, save nature, or fund research to cure a specific disease.
The skills, knowledge and abilities you’ve learned over the years that have helped you to build a successful business are invaluable to the many not-for-profits which have passionate volunteers, boards and employees. They need people like you. Get involved.