That’s a tough question for many business owners — especially the ones that are busy, making a good living, and have a relatively comfortable lifestyle.
I say “yet” because as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow morning there will come a day when that busy business owner will want to slow down and separate himself from the day-to-day hassles of running his business.
I don’t see this as a bad problem. It’s the way life is. When we’re young, we have the energy and drive to do whatever needs to be done. As time goes on, we see that there’s more to life than living the same day every day.
From where I sit, business owners often wait far too long to create an exit strategy for themselves. For example, I recently spoke with a business owner who, in 18-plus years, built a great business. His business does over $15 million a year and he lives a lifestyle many people only dream about.
But he never took the time to build a business that depended on systems, processes, and procedures. Most importantly, he didn’t take the time to build a business that could function, operate, and grow without him.
When a business is young, it’s all you – your energy, tenacity, and resolve. As the business grows and matures (and you along with it) you divest yourself of various activities, hiring people to do what you don’t want to do or like to do or personally need to do.
The problem is that while a business owner may hire and train employees to do routine support activities he very likely never takes the time to teach or hire someone to run the business for him.
It’s still his energy, tenacity, and resolve. The problem is he has a whole lot less energy, tenacity, and resolve today than he did 18-plus years ago.
The moral of the story is that just as businesses have a life cycle, so do their owners. Without taking that one bold step to hire or train or teach someone else to take the helm, he’s stuck – tied to his business in exactly the way he was the day he opened the doors.
It’s not exactly where he wants to be and he knows it, but for him the clock is ticking.
While you could answer yes to being exactly where you want to be today, there will come a time when you won’t be. The best way to avoid ever saying no is to start preparing for that day today.