Far too many business owners fall into a negative mindset after exiting. They feel empty, anxious, depressed, and even angry. I’ve been there, and I’m here to tell you that those feelings are normal.
On the flip side, I hope I can convince you to truly appreciate your success. Everyone exits in some form or another, if you know what I mean. The fact that you did it your way is phenomenal. Even if you’re missing the grind and challenge, please, take in and appreciate these three luxuries:
- Time to Enjoy
Completing an exit is no easy feat. If you’re fortunate enough to have a buyer and a salable business in the first place, you then have to manage the closing costs and do all the little things it takes to complete the sale—workers’ comp audits, payroll taxes, liability insurance, and so on. After you’ve jumped through all of those hoops, let yourself destress and unwind a little. Sure, you might find yourself antsy to get back to business, but come on, even the most ambitious and obsessed of us can force ourselves to enjoy a vacation.
- Time to Reflect
It’s even more difficult to exit a business while also being responsible for continuing to run it. Those who are able to put in the time and see it through are a special breed. Instead of lamenting the void you might feel in no longer running a business, reflect on the entire experience from the seedling of the idea through the exit. Amidst the nostalgia, you will realize that you made many sacrifices—first to grow your business, and then to sell it. Level-headed reflection balances the many emotions you may be grappling with.
- Time to Embrace
Selling a business is similar to winning a gold medal in the Olympics. Its’ seemingly instant validation quietly preceded by years and years of work. Realize that only about 20 percent of businesses are successfully sold. You got into business because you crave the win, and now you are the ultimate champion. If you decided to liquidate instead of selling, that’s not so bad either. Exiting the business that you built, on your terms, is something few people get to experience. Whatever you do with the newfound time, don’t let regret, restlessness, or longing overshadow your accomplishment. Embrace the Win.