Exceptional results often have their genesis in little decisions and small actions. Suppose that five years ago you had decided to prepare your business for sale, starting the ball rolling by meeting with your professional advisors. That initial decision and the steps that followed may have led you to a sale last year – before the pandemic hit and economies crashed. It would have been quite a difference from still owning it today.
You might argue that this pandemic and market weren’t predictable. Actually, health and science experts have been predicting a pandemic for years. The information was available and I referenced it in my book – The Business Transition Crisis.
Like the potential of a pandemic, the predicted crisis generated by the retirement of boomer business owners has seemed a long way off. After all, you’re still a young 65 or 70, in good health, and you like what you’re doing. Why mess that up?
Because the little decisions you make today start you down a path that could either leverage your business, assets, and life or diminish them. Often these decisions cost little or nothing to start and yet the long-term impacts can be enormous.
Little decisions can have big consequences:
- Invest ten percent of your earnings in a pension or RRSP
- Prepare your business for sale
- Think about retirement and what you’ll do next
- Improve communications with your family members
- Exercise after a lifetime of sedentary work
- Eat sensibly to achieve an ideal body weight
These small changes will pay huge dividends down the road.
But it doesn’t happen overnight. Compound interest is only exciting after it has years to work. The full impact of healthy eating and exercise requires time to accumulate. Preparing your business for sale and yourself for retirement takes years. Re-establishing and building relationships with the important people in our lives requires an investment of time.
Assessing, reflecting and acting upon important decisions requires time away from the hustle and bustle of daily activities. This period of self-isolation may be the perfect opportunity to think and make some good decisions. Don’t squander it. You could be starting down the path to get the slight edge and achieve a proportionally bigger pay-off down the road.
 First edition in 2010 updated for republication this spring by Self-Counsel Press.