We do a lot of work with agency owners who are in the process of selling their shop (often to members of their own team) and one of the critical elements of success is the selling owner’s head space and plan for the future.
Here’s my thoughts on how to navigate this complex time.
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Hey everybody, Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute, this week coming to you from Boston. I’ve been doing a lot of work with a couple of agency owners who are beginning to think about selling their agency. And they asked me, what was one of the key elements that made that a successful transition for other agency owners, who have stepped away from their baby, who have left the day job they probably have had for 20 plus years, and either sold it to an outside buyer or a team of employees? And honestly, the answer may surprise you. The number one reason that a transition is successful between an old owner or a founder and the new owners, is that the original owner, the founder, the seller, has something they’re excited about doing when they leave the agency. So, when you think about it, you have raised this baby, this agency of yours for a really long time and you have nurtured it, you’ve stayed up with it when it’s been sick, you’ve celebrated when it’s been successful. So this is a part of you and it is a part of you that you are going to miss. And even though, even if you’re ready to be done, even if you are out of there, what you need to have, what you want to have is something to move towards, something that you are excited about doing, a new hobby. The fact that you’re going to be babysitting the grandkids every Wednesday, a new job, a new challenge, you’re going to buy a new business. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but it has to be something that you are excited to transition to. So it’s not enough that you are tired. It’s not enough that you are of a certain age or you have a certain amount of money. What an agency gives us as owners, it gives us purpose. It gives us a mission. It gives us something to think about and plan and care about. And so to be successful in walking away from all of that, what we have to have is something to walk towards. All right? So, if you you’re in that phase of life, and by the way, for some of you that’s 35 and for others that’s 65, but if you’re in that phase of life for you, where you’re thinking about maybe this is your last chapter of owning your agency, and I’m talking maybe it’s 3 years away or 5 years away, begin thinking now about what you want to transition to as much as you’re thinking about what you’re going to transition from. Okay? I’ll see you next week.