How to Fill Those Sixty Hours?
Selling the business isn’t an end. It’s a beginning. But the beginning of what?
If business owners fail to see what’s out there for them if they sell, they will prefer to stay in that protective trench of their business. It’s important for such owners to have a clear vision of their future.
There is a general and unspoken fear out there that if you don’t have something to do after you retire you will be dead in three years (Challenges of Retirement). We have heard that statistic many times. People work all their lives to get their pension when they turn sixty-five. And then they’re dead at age sixty-eight or sixty-nine.
To leave work after thirty-five or forty years may sound like a great idea. You may be ready for it. But when you begin to consider the reality of what it will be like after retirement, the uncertainty can be pretty intimidating. If you haven’t planned, you may be dragging your heels. Fear of the unknown is a powerful disincentive.
Here’s a tale about a savvy entrepreneur who understood the value of making the transition and filling in those sixty working hours in a very practical way.
The following is an excerpt from Doug’s book “There’s Always a Way to Sell Your Business”
Just Another Day at the Office
When Charlie was seventy-three, he sold his company, which was housed in a 150,000-square-foot building that he also owned. His sales were about $30 million a year. He told the buyer he would sell his building and his business only if they let him use a corner office for as long as he wanted. In addition, he needed somebody to answer his phone. The buyers thought this was a small price to pay and didn’t really object to his request.
Every day Charlie went to the office. He read the newspapers. His buddies came to the office to visit and they would go out for lunch. His secretary answered his phone calls and gave him his messages. She even got him the occasional cup of coffee. He remained quite active in Rotary, sitting on several committees.
Charlie didn’t give up the part of his life he recognized as being essential. He said he kept that essential part by going to work every day. He also said his wife would kill him if he tried to manage the house.
Charlie lived for fifteen years after that.
As much as owners say,“Oh yeah, I want to sell my business,” there may be another part of them saying, “Oh my gosh, I don’t want to sell my business. What will I do with myself with all that extra time on my hands?”
As mentioned, those two to three years after retirement – whether retirement happens at sixty-two, sixty-five, sixty-eight, or seventy-two – are critical in terms of longevity. Some people don’t make it. Retiring and adapting to new circumstances can play a significant role in people’s lives.
Tragically, some will not have the opportunity to make that decision about retirement. It is taken out of their hands by sudden illness or unforeseen circumstances. In these cases, it is left to a family member or partner to carry on.