The typical difference between those business owners that transition successfully, and those that don’t, is a commitment to planning – not just of the exit but to a transition into life after business.
The exit event and your transition to another life after business should not happen sequentially (i.e. exit then transition); rather, transition should be progressive, such that by the time you have moved on from the business, the business is largely independent of you, and you have already started to embrace your new life.
Successful transition stories show that where this is well done, and as exit time draws near, instead of producing feelings of loss and dislocation, the transition is embraced, and looked forward to; producing its own “new energy”.
Most business exits do not happen quickly and the actual exit process can cause massive disruption to the business operations, frequently diminishing value, and increasing stress and uncertainty on the owner and staff – it can produce its own, very special type of limbo: caused by a lack of commitment to continued growth and investment, uncertain and delayed decision making, owner frustration, and uncertainty amongst staff.
A well planned and implemented Progressive Transition Program (PTP) will anticipate this and usually deal with all of those issues.