5 Strengths that Sabotage Business Exits

The successful entrepreneur is a unique breed of business leader with an undeniable ability to drive through barriers, endure vast amounts of volatility, push beyond uncertain limits and create their future from nothing with relentless tenacity.  The paradox is that while these characteristics are essential for building a business, they may be destructive at the point of exit.  Avoiding the …

Bah Humbug is Bad News for Business Exits

Christmas and New Year can be a frustrating time for many non-retail business owners. The working hours are scattered, staff get paid for hours not worked, and business momentum can be temporarily stalled. But, they offer a great test for just how ready a business owner is (or is not) for a business exit. And, this test is of utmost …

Overcoming the Exit Planning Gap

STOP! Before you read this make a list of the top 3 things that you know you should do, but you have not done. If you are a business owner I’m betting that your advisor wants to see exit (aka: succession or transition) planning on your list. And, I’ll double the bet that it did not make your list. How …

Detrimental Exit Planning

Advisors often lament the challenge of getting owners to take important steps to protect their wealth and legacy by planning for their inevitable exit. Owners report knowing they should plan, but they do not plan. This knowing-doing gap is what we refer to as the Advisor’s Dilemma and many advisors respond to the dilemma by providing more technical information to …

M&A Success & Soft Skills

 M&A activity reached an all time high in 2015 with $3.8 Trillion in deals (Bloomberg)  in with the vast majority of transaction volume in the low to mid market. Unfortunately, the majority of those transactions will not realize the intended results. Why? Consider the similarities between M&A and organizational change initiatives: Merger & Acquisitions Change & Transformation Initiatives Success rate …

The 5 Stages of Grief & Business Exits

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”  ― Viktor E. Frankl Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross is synonymous with the model (5 Stages of Grief) she made famous in the 1970s. Her model is so engrained in our culture that most people are able to rattle off the stages: Denial Anger Bargaining Depression …

When the Barrier to Success is in the Mirror

“The greatness of an organization will be directly proportional to the greatness of its leader. Organizations will rarely rise above their leaders.”    —Henry Blackaby Truly successful entrepreneurs are very rare. To build something from nothing requires people who are hard wired to drive the business forward by taking control, embracing risk, tolerating ambiguity, constantly innovating solutions, and excelling at …

6 Irrelevant Exit Planning Stats & Why They Matter

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics” wrote Mark Twain. Social media constantly buzzes with statistics – “don’t eat meat”, “do eat some meat”, “eggs were good for you – but now they’re not”. In response the majority of us do little or nothing in response other than perhaps “oh that is interesting” and if really …

A Business Owner’s Mind is Their Castle

 “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.”  — Shurnyū Suzuki  Many successful business owners find themselves living in psychological castles that are much like physical castles: they reinforce isolation, security and limits.  The building of psychological castles occurs over time as each new level of success leads to increasing self-efficacy and …

Owners can avoid exit failure if. . .

A few weeks ago I was at an owner’s forum listening to a panel of 5 owners at various stages of exit. The 3 in the middle had pretty common stories for owners willing to publicly share their story (we rarely hear the ugliest stories in a setting like this). All 3 had exited with varying degrees of satisfaction and …