Life After Business
Why is it that some people can sell or transition out of their businesses and happily move on with a very busy and fulfilling life while others struggle with feelings of “what now”? Baby boomer men in particular can struggle with life after business, in a country where work-life balance is continually worsening. They have spent the biggest part of their lives building and working in a business and then, when it’s not there, they feel lost. The business has been a big part of their lives. It is who they are. It makes them proud (quite rightly so) and it is what has driven them with a real sense of purpose.
Why then can some people move from a sense of purpose coming from their business to a genuine sense of purpose and fulfilment coming from something else, while others put their head in the sand and do nothing?
A good friend of mine once posed a question to me. At the age of 22 we are full of dreams. We adopt the attitude that we can take on the world and that really anything is possible. Yet at the age of 52 or 62 we are full of doubt and only seem to view future options through a very narrow range of possibilities.
At 22 we have possibly just completed our formal education process but have very little real world experience and consequently very few real world skills. At 52 or 62 we have a wealth of real world experience and loads of real world skills. Yet as we age our view of future possibilities seems to narrow and become more limiting.
Why is that?
Perhaps we need to learn to live again. Perhaps we need to remove ourselves from the everyday riggers of our businesses for a while, relax, laugh and adopt more of a care-free attitude for a bit, and at that point only assess what might be possible in the future. Maybe we need to learn to dream again?
There is an interesting quote from Suzy Kassem that says “doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will”. As 50 or 60 somethings, are we scared of failure or just not dreaming anymore?
If we want to maintain and build the value of our businesses so that younger people will want to take them over and buy them from us, then it is our responsibility to set an example for them to follow. If as baby boomers we are not really enjoying our lives and not looking to the future with a sense of optimism and imagination beyond our current businesses, why would younger people be interested in following in our footsteps? Why would they be interested in following in the footsteps of a generation that is stuck in their business and not game to move to the next stage of their lives?
Baby boomers have so much living to do, and so much to offer in terms of setting an example for the next generation to follow, but many of us are our own worst enemies by failing to take the step to formulate and implement a real succession plan.
Talk to us for help on planning on how to achieve your business goals, even after you’ve retired.