Letting go of your business can be difficult.

The very idea of giving away what you worked so hard to build can fill even the steeliest entrepreneur with fear, dread, and uncertainty.

For many entrepreneurs, their business has become part of their identity. It consumes them. It is the passion which drives all their decisions. Many would argue that it has to be this way in order to succeed.

It can leave many business owners feeling very empty when the time comes to hand over the reins to their business, especially if they’re the type who associates retirements with endings, rather than new beginnings.

Below, we’ve included some mindsets and plans of action to help you get used to the idea of handing over your business.

Picture New Beginnings, Not an Ending

With every door that closes, a new one opens. This is really useful to remember when retiring from your life as an entrepreneur.

Ideally, you’ve made a solid plan of what you’re going to do with your life after retirement. If you have, it’s advisable to focus on this, not what you’re leaving behind.

You’re retiring into something, not from something. It’s exciting to realize that for most entrepreneurs, retirement is the first stage when they can sit back and appreciate the great things they’ve done for their employees, their customers, and the local community. Before this stage, their focus remains on what’s next or how the company can improve further. After all, every great leader knows the importance of not getting too comfortable at the top.

How to Plan for Your Succession

By planning for your departure in advance, you can get used to the idea of doing something else slowly, rather than having retirement thrust upon you.

It’s recommended to find a successor well in advance of your actual retirement date. This way, you can get involved in their training, embed the company’s future strategies in their mind. Consider it the best way of continuing your legacy of success.

By having a strong idea of your retirement data, you can forge a detailed plan for leaving the company with a great selling value - and in the best position to scale.

How to Leave Your Company

In Jeffrey Sonnenfeld’s book, ‘The Hero’s Farewell’, the author describes for main types of departure for an entrepreneur leaving their company. They are:

  • The Monarch: The leader who believes the mission never ends and is only replaced due to death, illness or revolution.
  • The General: Another archetype who struggles to live without the battle of improving the company, the general is replaced following the decisions of others.
  • The Ambassador: The leader who departs gracefully continues to advise the company leaders as and when he believes his advice his needed.
  • The Governor: The governor leaves gracefully but struggles to achieve the feelings of accomplishment described above. Typically, they go on to chase other endeavors outside of the company.

The author suggests that most leaders will relate to a mix of these archetypes. Recognizing these archetypes and deciding which one suits you better can help you prepare mentally for retirement.

At Succession Link, we make it simple to find the perfect individual to sell your business to. Click the link to learn more about our business model.

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