For many RIA founders, strategic planning—including succession or exit strategies—is not a fun, “can’t wait to get started” activity. I’ve walked in those shoes.
It felt easier, for awhile, to just go with the flow of how the business was naturally unfolding. After all, our asset levels and revenues were up! Dealing with the more urgent, day-to-day tasks filled my days so it was easy to be the queen of avoidance and procrastination until circumstances were such that I—we—had to act.
We Were Pushed
For the record, I hate being pushed! Most people do.
But we were literally pushed to take succession planning action by both external and internal events in our business. In our situation, there was unexpected staff turnover, a partner’s illness and another’s untimely retirement.
A push could be any number of things that are happening to (and within) your business. A push could also be personal: your health, your marriage, your family. Whatever the circumstance or event, you feel forced to do something when you aren’t ready to take action, or it’s not what you thought you wanted.
Pulled by Vision
In an earlier post, “Mirror-Mirror”, I spoke of the importance of self-reflection and truly knowing what your own personal “win” is relative to your business as well as to the next chapter of your life and career.
For me, clarity around my own vision for our business and my own next chapter (aka my WIN-WIN) was key to experiencing a major shift in perspective.
My excitement about what I wanted next, truly pulled me forward. The feeling of being pulled to the next chapter actually helped to erase the worry and anxiety that had me resisting the process of negotiation and second guessing the sale of our business.