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Is There Life After Owning a Business?


One of the nice things about having a business where you work with clients for years vs hours is that you develop friendships and a business relationship. Since I sold my last company in 2015, I can’t say I miss all my old clients, but there were many of them that I respected and learned from immensely.

Learning to Grow Despite What Life Challenges Us With

Recently, an old client called to catch up. We were close back in the day, so it was nice to hear from him. His company did business with us for about 18 years. He was quite successful and cashed out a couple of times with business ventures over the years that we helped him with. The only thing I struggled with is that he’s a die-hard Bronco’s fan, but I never held it against him. I learned his wife passed away, and other things have changed in his life. He wanted me to know he’s still traveling and enjoying life despite the loss of his wife who was a sweetheart. He was positive and spirited while finding his way again. Always such a gentleman.

I also heard that another long-term client had cashed out at a young age. He was one of the most dynamic operations leaders I ever knew. We had many late night discussions about living a dynamic lifestyle. His passion and desire for excellence was a foundational mechanism in the organization.  We helped him merge his operations and three other families into a twelve store organization. They were one of the first in John Deere history. I held him in high regard for many reasons. He’s been traveling between homes and skiing in Colorado. I called him and he’s living life and doing really well.

Life and Business Planning Go Hand in Hand

That got me to thinking about my own life. I remember the plans my wife and I made in the early days and compared that to how we live today. Our planning process and delayed gratification, along with consistent investing, has paid off. We live on the beach so every day is filled with turquoise waters, sunlight and great seafood. We’ve achieved many of our life and business goals and are working to set new ones. We knew for years that we could financially stop working, but can we channel our energies and contiunue to be satisfied? It is the same questions I asked clients when I work on their life or business plans. Is there life after owning a business? Can I emotionally stop working? What will I do with my time and creative energies? How else can I contribute? When should I get out of the company? What happens if there was the sudden death of a loved one that abruptly changes my life? Is life all about work?

Life is a Journey of Exploration

There is life after being a business owner. A business can be your master or a means to achieve something you’ve set out to do. When you quit having fun and driving to your office every day is starting to seem like a drag, it is time to start exploring other lifestyle options. Being useful is a function of changing and the older you get, sometimes that’s hard to do. Many times, it’s not about when you want to get out but that the opportunity is there, so then it is time. More often you have to make the first decision, then all the others fall in place. Really, they do.

Making a good life plan leads to coming to peace with yourself and creating more satisfaction. Deep meaning satisfaction, know what I mean? As I wrote about in the article What Does Dynamic Living Mean to You? having money isn’t always what makes us the happiest in life.

Business planning is an essential tool, but it is not life planning. The Owner of a business should be doing both at the same time. Business and life continuation planning go hand in hand.

How are you doing?

Is your life what you thought it would be?

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