Kristina Schmitt – The freedom is in understanding why. Every business succession expert will tell you the same thing: Begin the process early! Some would suggest that you start as soon as you open the business, but how can you plan your ending before you begin? In his book The E-Myth, Michael E. Gerber advises that one of the first things you should understand when opening your business is your Primary Aim, or your “why” for your life and how your business supports that – emotionally and financially. Understanding your why will guide you throughout the life cycle of the business, enabling it’s success beyond your time.
The Freedom is in Understanding Why at the Beginning
New business owners know when you start, you envision an immense future and although you want to “do it all” understanding your why will help you:
- Set, prioritize, and achieve your goals. Because you know where you’re headed, it’s easier to see what leads you closer as well as identify the distractions.
- Get others on board. In Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why, he drives home the importance of beginning with why when communicating because it taps into the emotions that compel listeners to follow you. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you’re doing it.”
- Motivate yourself when the going gets tough. At TAC, we stress the importance of What’s-in-it-for-me (WIIFM’s) when setting goals. Understanding your deeper why will help you identify WIIFM to motivate you when times get tough.
- Clarify when it’s time for a change. Not everything in business or life will go to plan. However, when you understand your why, you’re focused on the long goal and it’s easier to adjust.
As your time in the business begins to wind down, you will find that if you’ve been focused on your why the to-do list of preparations will be shorter. You will have:
- Created and implemented strong processes,
- identified and developed your successor,
- ensured that your business is financially attractive to potential buyers, or
- worked with your successor to help build the funds to buy you out at the price you want.
When you understand and work toward your why, life and business become clearer. You’re able to enjoy the journey of life and ultimately achieve what we’re all looking for when we become business owners: freedom.
You may not have done this when you started your business, but it’s not too late. Do it now!
To assist you in your succession journey, request a free Business Size Up survey by clicking here.