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Life after Business

Marti Benjamin

In transitioning from business ownership to post-business life, most people focus on managing financial transition and future assets. And while finances are important, they’re not the whole picture. Other major resources of life are also impacted by selling your business. Are you planning for them as well?

Time, vitality, creativity and relationships are the personal resources that determine how this next life stage and adventure will unfold for you.

Time: In the midst of the hectic pace of running a business, the fantasy of a never-ending vacation seems appealing. Fast-forward to retirement reality: after a well-deserved sabbatical, boredom sets in and the abundance of time stops feeling like a reward and starts to feel like uselessness.

The bottom-line challenge is how to gain control of your calendar and find a new and rewarding allocation of time. This is the opportunity to commit to community service, mentoring or consulting, enjoying a neglected hobby or re-connecting with friends and family.

Design a balance of time that is most satisfying for you, and allow your ideal schedule to emerge as you go. You may be surprised by some exciting outcomes.

Vitality: Our grandparents, and maybe even our parents, did not expect to live long after leaving the daily routine of business. Not so for the baby-boom generation! As we face what was formerly known as being put out to pasture, we expect to live a physically and mentally active life for many years.

Continued vitality, though, is not automatic. It demands the same rigor as building and maintaining muscle. If you fail to exercise both your body and mind, feed them properly and use them regularly, they will atrophy. Plan to learn something new a foreign language or a new skill something that stretches you outside of your usual comfort zone. Build recreation, exercise and enjoyment into your new, ideal schedule.

Creativity: Life as a business owner demands creativity to solve problems, grow the company, motivate others and identify opportunities. In post-business life, you need a new channel for that creative resource.

Perhaps your creative channel will be in the arts; perhaps it will be in community projects, the outdoors, or local politics. Give it a nudge into action by asking yourself: where will my creative style be valued?

Relationships: Business provides a network of relationships based on common and mutual interests. You have come to depend on those relationships, perhaps more than you realize until they are no longer a part of your daily life.

You don’t have to give them up. Identify those business and personal relationships that give you energy. Devise your plan for staying connected with those important people after your business role changes. It will take a different effort on your part to transition from the daily contact you have had to a new arrangement.

Make that effort a new habit.

Letting go of the role of business owner offers both challenge and reward. There may be some separation anxiety and adjustment as you go and grow. In planning for all of your available resources money, time, vitality, creativity and relationships before you turn over the keys, you’ll be enhancing your ability to thrive in this next stage of life.

Marti Benjamin, a professional certified coach, is president of Business Energetix Success Coaching, where she provides career and business coaching for all stages of life and work. Contact her at 337-0661 or Marti@BusinessEnergetix.com.