This is a common refrain going on inside the heads of a great many business owners? What else would I do if I didn’t have this business to go to every day? If I didn’t have the responsibility of running the place? If I no longer had a role here that added value? What else would I do? The reality is that many owners are facing this very real issue. They are not comfortable selling or transitioning the business because they don’t have an emotionally compelling what’s next. They still derive income from the business, and that is attractive to many, but they also just don’t have an exciting plan. Habit s and patterns, built over time, are hard to change, and going into the office several days a week is a habit that is hard to change. Even owners who want to change that habit struggle to do it. So what is an owner to do?
How do you develop an emotionally compelling what’s next?
Start with getting in touch with things that you are passionate about. Don’t know what you’re passionate about? Well, think back to the kinds of things you enjoyed most as a child, young adult, even as recently as a few years ago, but never had time to really pursue. There are clues in our past that can begin to inform our future. Maybe you loved to play sports or build model cars. That doesn’t mean that you want to do that now, but it’s a clue that can be used to put some framework around what you might be passionate about today. Allow yourself to explore.
Then look at your strengths. The things your employees, friends, business associates, church members tell you consistently that you are good at. You may dismiss their comments because they come so naturally to you, but start paying attention. What are you really good at? Maybe you are a visionary thinker or maybe very analytical, a numbers guy. That doesn’t mean you want to sign up to be treasurer of your Rotary club, but it’s another clue. Watch what others respond to in you.
Now look at what kind of a lifestyle you want at this point in your life? Simple things like how early in the morning would you choose to get up – if you didn’t have to be at work by 8am? How often do you want to travel and where do you want to go? Who do you spend your time with and what are you doing when you are together? Start to paint a picture of the lifestyle that speaks to you, outside of the office.
The sweet spot across these three holds the biggest clues to what will be an emotionally compelling what’s next, and when you get clear on that, it will be hard to hold you back!