Life After The Exit

One day, you’re an entrepreneur, running a successful company and doing what you love.  The next day, you’re riding off into the sunset with the fruits of your labor in your bank account.  Now, you can do whatever you choose!  You’re FREE!  You’ve dreamed of this day for years and here it is!  But what you don’t realize is how much this question will impact your life:  Now WHAT…?

  • What’s next in life?
  • What is my purpose?
  • What is my new identity?
  • What is going to motivate me to get out of bed each day?

Here are the keys to transitioning from “life in the fast lane” to “PARK.”

  1. Take Some Time.  Before you jump into what is next, settle into the empty calendar.  I remember that feeling the Monday after I sold my business.  I had no meetings, no lunches, no emails to check…. nothing!  Sounds great, right?  It’s harder than you think to walk away.  60% of entrepreneurs that sold their business say that it took them 1-4 years to settle into a satisfying life post-exit.  Think about it, you’re still the same person with the same entrepreneurial appetite.  That doesn’t shut off once you sell your company.  But, before you jump into “what’s next,” take some time to savor the moment and relax.  
  2. Experiment.  Use this free time to find what fulfills you.  It’s most likely going to be a combination of multiple opportunities.  Start by focusing on what you do well and where you can add value.  Next, think about what your “rich life” looks like.  Is it spending time with family, focusing on your health, donating time to a charitable organization or non-profit, traveling, mentoring other business leaders?  There are a multitude of opportunities that you can devote your time, treasure, and talent to pursuing.  Explore them all and then jump in.
  3. Don’t Overcommit.  Which leads me to the next takeaway…. remember how to say “NO.”  Trust me…once people know that you have some free time on your hands, you will be asked to participate.  Here’s the problem…. you’ll have the drive and ambition and want to say “Yes;” however, resist the temptation or you’ll find your calendar as full as it was when you were running a business.
  4. Nurture Your Network.  It was surprising to me how quickly your network will fall away if you don’t stay engaged.  As you transition, it’s important to stay in the game on social platforms and stay connected with your key contacts.  Make this a priority each week since these connections will be the source of new opportunities.
  5. Acknowledge Your Feelings.  I know for me there was a period of loss and sadness.  That was the part I wasn’t prepared for – the loss of my identity.  For years, I was the “Boss Lady” and entrepreneur.  Then, one morning, I wasn’t.  It’s important to acknowledge that and realize your feelings are completely normal.  Sit in those feelings and then pat yourself on the back!  You have reached the pinnacle that a lot of business owners never reach!  And then, decide how you move forward.  

And that is the precursor to next month’s blog… “Life After Exit:  Serial Entrepreneur or Retirement?”  Stay tuned!

For assistance on how you can prepare yourself and your business for the Exit Strategy, consider working with Greenlight Leadership Development Group.  We come alongside leaders to help them scale their business for exit!  For more information, visit our website or reach out to 

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