American Business Brokers & Advisor Founder & President PROFESSIONAL INTERMEDIARY & MARKET MAKER FOR PRIVATELY HELD COMPANIES Author of ‘The Art of Buying and Selling a Convenience Store’ & ‘Selling with Certainty’ Involved in the Sale of 800+ Businesses Advisor • Consultant • Speaker
Are You Addicted to Your Business?
“I understand the challenges of uncertainty associated with exiting a business — especially after becoming so accustomed to the challenges, excitement, and chaos of running a business.”
Why It Might Be Hard for You to Exit
For all human beings, certain experiences lead to certain emotions. This has been proven on a scientific level. Our brains register experiences though charges in our neural networks, which cause chemical reactions that we feel and describe as emotions. By studying and understanding these chemical reactions, we can discover which experiences cause certain emotions. For business owners in particular, understanding the link between our business experiences and our emotional responses to those experiences can help us determine whether or not we have an emotional addiction to our business. Addictions occur when the brain habitually delivers certain peptides to the cells of the body. Over time, our cells begin to expect this level of peptides and begin to crave more. When the body does not receive the expected dose, it craves what it is used to. Being driven by emotions, we will actually create situations to feed the body experiences it is accustomed to. We may not even be aware that we create situations to feed our emotional addictions — thus they unwittingly drive our behavior. Because of this, many business owners may know they need to sell or transfer their business but will fail to move forward. Subconscious addictions prevent them from protecting the wealth they have accumulated over many years. If you’ve procrastinated on moving away from your business, it might be because you’re addicted to it. This resistance will only increase when you’re planning your exit and proposing radical changes to your future.
they felt. As a former business owner and operator myself, I understand the challenges of uncertainty associated with exiting a business — especially after becoming so accustomed to the challenges, excitement, and chaos of running a business. If you’ve been a business owner for a while, you understand that anything can happen unexpectedly. Someone could drive a car into your building, a customer could slip and fall on your wet floor, employees could be feuding with one another — the list goes on and on. Even though none of that sounds appealing to deal with, after a while it can become normal, exciting, and even addicting to tackle those challenges. But when you exit your business, you say goodbye to that rush. When it came time for me to sell my businesses, I was reluctant to do so, but I knew financially it was the right decision and the right time. I did not know I was addicted to the thrill of running a business, but looking back, I can see that I was. Even today, when I see an opportunity to acquire or become involved in a business or project, I’ll ask myself: Am I doing this because I need an adrenaline rush? What is the upside of becoming involved in this? It pays to ask oneself these questions, because often there is no upside, and I am glad I passed on the opportunity and devoted my time and energy to what I do best. And that is helping business owners determine what their businesses are worth and advising them on their options going forward.
I have seen this type of behavior in many clients I have worked with over the years. I can relate to how
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