The Emotional Fallout

Selling your business ought to be a triumph, a capstone on a significant portion of your life’s work.

It ought to be a relief too, freeing you to pursue interests outside the all-consuming entrepreneurial endeavor that has likely been your focus for decades. It should be a high time, but surveys tell us as many as 75% of people who sell their businesses report that they are unhappy in the first year after the sale.

You’re A Nobody

One day, after you’ve signed all the papers and stopped going to the office, you’ll find yourself sitting at home and it will hit you. You’ve traded being the busiest, most necessary, most powerful person in the company you built, for being (as far as the company’s concerned) a nobody.

Do Nothing

The single most common mistake by former business owners is to move too quickly.

There are thousands of deals out there that can make or break a former business owner. Someone is always there to separate you from your money. People will be “pitching” you almost daily. Every salesperson will try to make you think his or her deal is the “last good one”. Every single investment bank will try to sell you with the idea that you have to be invested. Move slowly – you don’t have to be in business again immediately. Why would you take $25 -$50 million and immediately further someone’s career on Park Avenue, that you don’t even know? Be patient and take delight in looking at all of the opportunities. More and more good deals will come your way.

When the company was yours, you could bounce back after hard times. But when losses come after selling the business, bouncing back is no longer an alternative.