Exit Planning: Decision

As with any journey, getting to a decision phase is what we all work toward.

After discovering the value of your company and the expectations of your personal finances, formulating a plan, the time or execution of “getting to done” is nigh upon you.

In the decision phase, a business owner, now armed with sufficient data and a plan, can answer that all-important and timely question:

Do you want to continue to grow or get ready to exit the business?

Keeping or selling a business is much easier (if this decision is ever easy) because the owner is much more educated at this point.

Remember ready, fire, aim? There will be none of that now.  You know where you can go, if you so choose.

Beyond this step allows the owner who wants to keep her company to go to and advanced value creation step and process.  By the same token, those who want to sell or leave the business are ready to initiate a selected transaction program.

Each phase or step leads to the next and a final decision.  We look forward to helping you through this process using our Value Acceleration Process.  Call us with any thoughts or questions you might have about this or any other aspect of your business.

 The New Paradigm Advisors team

Summarizing the Four Drivers

We’ve talked in this space individually about the four drivers of a successful transition.  Let’s finish this series up by putting the four all in one place and tying them together.

As you recall from earlier blogs and a recent workshop, the four drivers are:

  1. Creating a future vision for your company and you.
  2. Building a structured environment that is flexible.
  3. Detaching yourself from the organization and affirming that position.
  4. Fashioning a team environment.

The order is significant as well: create a vision, build an environment, detach yourself, and put the team in charge.  While there is some overlap and some of the work you do in each of these areas is concurrent, the outcomes should be the same if you pay attention to the specific sections and concentrate on the end result.

In fact, the vision is most likely an on-going refinement exercise, once you get the key elements down and in place.

Truthfully, the structured environment is most likely there, it just has to incorporate flexibility.  And, as we noted in that specific post, is an organic process that relies heavily on teamwork and simplicity.

The detachment piece is probably the hardest element of this process for the founder-owner-entrepreneur.  Letting go and watching “your baby” thrive without you usually takes some getting used to.  But countless business owners have done it and do it well.

And, finally, having the team in place to keep everything moving forward and into the future.  Remember the team includes not just your internal team (employees and staff), it includes your suppliers and partners and your customers.  The well-oiled machine has many moving parts.

Good luck with your transition.  Should you have any questions or would like to explore this topic further, contact us.


Fashioning a Team Environment

Before you get into too much of hurry to flee from your company, are things in place that will allow you to depart?

Delegated authority? Check.

Flat organization? Check.

Company sufficiently “you proofed?”

Created a team environment?  Wait a minute…

Oh, yeah.  Have you put the right team in place AND have you put the right, minimal structure in place for them to operate?  In other words, is it a TEAM environment?  Let’s look at the attributes you should have in place for your team:

  • Do they have a team mindset? That is, are they willing to give in for the right decision?
  • Can they agree to agree?
  • Are they respectful of one another and their roles?
  • Any slackers, willing or unwilling?
  • Do they not tolerate gossip?
  • Are the contributions of all team members recognized?

So the environment is possible.  Do you have the right people as team members?  Here are the attributes of a good team player?

  • Always reliable.
  • Communicates with confidence.
  • Does more than asked.
  • Adapts quickly and easily.
  • Displays genuine commitment.

That a good guide for team players.

OK, let’s review: a solid team in place with a team environment.  Check.  You should be in good shape. If you still have doubts, drop us a line or give us a call.  We can be part of your team, too.

Affirming Personal Detachment

If you founded your business and have been involved in it from Day 1, then you are truly invested in the enterprise.  It’s hard to step away, even for lunch.

However, for your health and the health of the company, you need to consider how to detach yourself from the company. But you also need to affirm this detachment in a positive way.

Truly, if you have the correct organization and team in place and have empowered them to make decisions, you are half way there.  The other half lies inside you—you need to give up on some things and you can do that with some simple acts:

  • Before you leave the office, leave instructions on any critical projects with your team lead in charge at the end of the shift.
  • Have the day start and end at a specific time. 8am is early enough and 5pm is a good time to close up.
  • After hours leave your phone off or in the charger in your garage. 99% of decisions can wait until morning.
  • Close your home office door. Office hours ended at the office and have at home, too.
  • Make standing appointments for exercise and other non-work pursuits. And keep them.
  • Take up and pursue a hobby that gets you out of your head—draw, paint or color.

You aren’t abandoning your enterprise, just freeing it and you up to go in new directions.  While you have earned the right to pursue other things, the enterprise itself has also earned something.  It’s time to consider the next act for the company.

But it all starts with you positioning yourself as a detached part of the organization.  Important, just detached.

Call or contact us should you want to explore this topic further.


Could Having an Operating System Help Your Business?

Operating systems are the heart and soul of whatever they power.  The drivetrain for your car. The OS in your computer.  The processes and procedures by which you run your company.

Wait. What’s that last one?

Oh, you hadn’t thought of your company as needing an operating system? Or, if it had one, it would be called that?

Without an operating system for your company, your organization can’t function. If you’re struggling to get your business under control, it’s time to consider implementing an operating system in your company.

One of the premiere sets of tools to help entrepreneurs to get results and build their organizations is the Entrepreneurial Operating System or EOS®.  One of the components of EOS® is establishing processes and creating plans and systems for organizations.

Truthfully, everyone needs a plan.  And everyone in a company needs to have the same plan for that company to succeed. You know that old adage, “plan your work and work your plan?” Yes, it applies to the infrastructure of your company.

This idea isn’t new.  Nor is there just one way to approach this challenge.

This is about getting your business under control.  And it fits hand in glove with the philosophy of New Paradigm Advisors:

  • Freedom. Processes help companies run without their founders.
  • Value. Having a culture and roadmap helps companies grow their value.
  • Future. Everyone (including the company) has a future if there are processes in place.

Taking these concepts and matching them up to those of EOS® and you have a set of tools that helps companies of most any size and age and in any industry excel.  The EOS®system relies upon:

  • Instilling a vision organization wide on where you’re going, and how you plan to get there
  • Giving a focus to every day for the entire team to execute on the vision.
  • Creating a healthy, functional, cohesive leadership

Starting a company is one thing.  Having it progress, grow and thrive over time is quite another.

Contact us to get your organization positioned for increasing value and getting result for long-term success.



Staking Out a Future for You and Your Company…and Family

Marty McFly has got nothin’ on a founding business owner.  Oh, sure, he can buzz into the future and back, but what did he do to really secure that future?

That’s the trick you have to master as the owner of your business.  Once you found the keys to freedom and have determined or grown its value, then the time (there’s that word again) to go back to the future part of the equation.

What kind of future can your business provide to you and your family?  And what is the future of the business itself? Future is quite a term, but in this context it is all about your future coupled with the future of your company.  Since it now can run without you around 24/7 and it has a measurable value (and an increasing one), why can’t it work for you?

What’s that old saw about you working for your money versus making your money work for you?  It is true when it comes to your enterprise.  Fact is, your company can provide a stream of income for you and your family and grow for the next generation of ownership or the next owner, should you sell.

Beyond a legacy of a name or an asset, an enterprise that outlives its founder or last owner is a good thing.  Let’s make that a great thing.  In fact, it should be a goal when you start or acquire a company.  Where am I taking this thing should be as important a question as how does this thing run each day. That phrase goes back to the concept of working on the business rather than in the business.

This third concept, while conceptually is in this last position, it is really parallel to the first two concepts we covered.  Future is a natural follow on to freedom and value, but it is also a peer—something to be prepared at the same time.  You wouldn’t cook each dish of a meal independently and then end up with two of three of the courses cold when it came time to serve, would you?  So it is with freedom-value-future.  They are independent at the same time, co-dependent.

When the time comes for you to determine the future you want for your company and yourself, call us.  We are experienced in setting people free and valuing companies.  So it is with futures—we always come back to it.

* photos by Franck V and Tomasz Frankowski from Upsplash


Always Traveling But Where Are We Going?

Zig Ziglar had a saying that the reason we’re never at peace or satisfied is that we’re always “traveling. “

When we’re at work, we’re thinking of the things we should be doing for our family or friends.

When we’re with our family and friends, we’re thinking of what we should be doing at work.

We’re never present in the moment — we’re always “traveling.”

We talk to a lot of very successful business owners and they are typically some serious travelers. The interesting thing is that they don’t see themselves that way.

Are You Chained to Your Business?

While they enjoy their work and their lifestyle, almost to a person they feel chained to their business.

Some part of their mind is always on the business. They’re always traveling back to the office.

Is there anything that you can do about it?


What Can I do About It?

First, let’s accept the fact that, as an owner, you’re going to be traveling. There’s no getting around it.

And it’s OK! But, since you’re going to be traveling anyway, the best thing to do is to be clear on your destination.

When was the last time you reflected on this question, “Where do you want to be in 20 years?” This is more than what are your goals for this year. It’s more than your three-year or five-year goals. It’s what are you expecting to do after your business career?

Pause and Reflect

When was the last time you really focused on that?

While it should be blatantly obvious, the answer to this is supremely important. The answer is important.  However,  in order to answer it, we must fully understand the depth of the question. This is way more than our immediate goals. This is what are we doing and being “next?” Because there is a “next”. Everyone’s answer to this is unique to them, so let me tell you some destinations that don’t typically work:

  • Playing golf or tennis everyday with your friends
  • Fishing
  • Settling into our lake house and taking life easy
  • Traveling
  • Fill in the blank

Will Any of These Work for Me?

Think about it.

You’ve been going fast and furious your entire career.

Building your business, juggling not only your balls, but everyone else’s. Spinning more plates than anyone could imagine. It is and has been an exciting life.

Now you’re just going to stop? Step out of that race car and go sit on a golf cart? Or fishing boat?

Not for long you won’t.

What’s Next?

There’s been purpose in your life up until this moment. What’s going to be your purpose in the next phase of your life? If you don’t know or you’ve been thinking along the way of the things I’ve listed, let me challenge you to rethink it!

We’re going to be talking about this over the next few months. We call it your “third act.” Come along with us and let’s figure this out together.


When you slow down long enough from your “travels” take a moment to take this quiz to help assess what’s next.


*Photos courtesy of Upsplash photographers Kaley Dykstra and Joshua Ness

Your Third Act

What is your end game? Your next act? What do you intend to do when you are finally done doing what you’re currently doing? Retire?

It’s your “third act”.

If you’re like me, it’s difficult to think of it as a third (or last) act. After all, we’re doing great right now: we’re contributing to a retirement fund and this is our life and we love it. Why do we need to think of anything after this? There isn’t anything after this. Is there?

Well, maybe so — if you plan for it.

There are so many reasons to be planning your third act.  The biggest one is being able to afford to do what you’ve been planning on once you’re no longer the business owner. This is a different perspective than the typical financial planning question of how much do you want to retire on. Let’s use an example.

Let’s say, you desire to buy a full-size motor home to drive around the country seeing all the national parks and monuments that you’ve always wanted to visit. You’re planning on spending three to six months every year on the road doing this. Have you done the math on this? Have you figured out the financing on this? You may have figured your financial plan based on what it will take to maintain your life style – or maybe even lowered that so you can downsize. But what about this motor home thing? This is in addition to your normal life-style costs. You must add this to the total and when you do, you’ve got to be targeting that new number as your new goal.

No matter what you want to do if it’s anything other than sitting around the house watching TV all day, it’s going to be “plus” your expected normal living expenses. So, calculate it and begin now planning on it. If you have a qualified financial planner, they can assist you with this (If you don’t have someone with this capability, we can recommend one). Once you have this revised figure, now you can begin to look at what it’s going to take to achieve that number.

So, what’s going to be your third act? What’s going to keep you living? Literally. If you intend to exit your company vertically at some point in the future, what will be your next great adventure?

I’d like to hear your next story.


Where will the resources come from for that motorhome? Take this quick quiz first.

*photos courtesy of Junior Moran and Tyler Callahan