When is it Time to Sell Your Company, Change.
***Originally posted on May 14, 2012
Well, I made the decision to sell my company. It was surprisingly both a tough and easy decision. Tough because my plan, unlike other companies I began, was to ride out the wave of ups and downs in the industry. It has been a bumpy ride. I owned this company for 10 years getting it to $7 million at one point and an Inc 500 fastest growing company but ever since that 3 year growth period it has been all downhill. We are now at $2.5 million in sales and the reality is that this company just can’t produce enough results worth the stress.
The first 3 years were rough, the next 4 years good and the last 3 years terrible due to the recession and how the dynamics of the industry changed. It effected my health in so many bad ways that over time, my body began to break down with injuries, caused many sleepless nights, and the worst…malaise towards my work. I used to love to work. I also continued to say to people that I hate my business and workday, leading many people to advise me to move on.
The easy part of the decision was that I knew what it is like to make changes in your life, having made changes numerous times. It was the right thing to do and after a few days of thought, I knew selling was the right decision.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t scary. Even after numerous times in my life when I have made major changes, this one still was worrisome because I am 1) afraid that I maybe leaving money on the table and 2) I am not exactly sure what I will be doing next.
The funny part is that once I made that decision to move on, I slept better, my mood improved and my strategy going forward crystalized.
In the past 2 weeks, I have been out of the office much more often and it is completely obvious to me that the company I own now was really the wrong company for me. It required me to be in the office a lot and I had almost no interaction with customers or new people outside my company. Being that I am a people person, it is now more obvious to me why I have been so unhappy. Of course, it all came down to money. When my company was really growing and producing good profits, I was very happy and it isn’t like I hadn’t worked hard trying to find my next company. I started a new one and I continued to put time aside to find another but I haven’t succeeded yet.
I should know in the next week if the sale will happen. I am waiting for the buyer to make an adjustment to the sale price/plan. It isn’t like I am getting a ton of money for my company either which would make this a much easy decision but what it does do is allow me a cushion to move on to figure out what I will do next.
In the past, I have had a glimpse of what it is like to sell a company, and it is a tough, distracting and stressful time. Mentally, I have already prepared myself that it is time to move on regardless if someone buys my company or not.
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