I’m excited today.
Tomorrow I’m been invited as a special guest to an afternoon session run by the Supper Club (a network of the UK’s fastest growing and most impressive businesses). In attendance will be 20 of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who’ve built up and sold businesses.
I’ll be presenting and sharing my approach of how I successfully sold my business and as importantly what do you do afterwards.
As I prepare my notes for tomorrow, I realise that my approach will almost certainly be different to everyone else in the room. The traditional route for an entrepreneur is to build up your business, to sell it and then go off and do the things that you’ve always wanted to do.
I was doing that route. Until we decided to take a different route.
We decided to turn things on their head. With my wife, we jointly decided on some things we really wanted to do in life. In our case, that happened to be sailing around the world with our children.
We set a date. It was the 1st August 2014. We decided on that date we were going to set off sailing around the world. We made decisions about how we wanted to do it, where we wanted to go, what sort of boat we needed and how much money we’d need.
That one decision changed everything.
Rather than building a business to sell at some point in the future, we were now on a timeline driven by an incredibly vivid shared picture of the future. We told everyone about it - especially our children. We made it as visible as possible. We wanted to be held accountable.
We gave ourselves 5 years to make it happen. I won’t dress it up. They were 5 tough years. Some things went well. Many things went wrong. We had to learn more than we’d ever learnt before. I became a better leader, our business thrived in a way that I just don't think it would have done had we not set a personal ambitious goal.
Driven by the vision of sailing around the world, we totally transformed our relationship, our wealth and our relationship with our children. I sold my business but not in the traditional way. I left in place an incredibly impressive team running the business and we actually sold the business whilst we sailing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (I’m not sure, but that may be the first time someone has done that).
We achieved our vision and are now following exactly the same blueprint and formula to design the next chapter of our lives.
So. Whats the message?
Rather than putting business or work first. Work out (much better with your partner) whats really important to you in life. Paint that picture of the future. Make it vivid. Make it real. Work out what you need to do to achieve that goal. Then go for it.
In the journey to get there, its pretty much guaranteed you’ll have to go through massive learning, to embrace new ways of doing things and to become a better leader, team member and contribute more to all the teams you work in. My business thrived because I had to build an incredible team who could run it without me and that led to a successful exit.
When would NOW be a good time to design your future and make it happen?
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