In our succession work we find that agency owners who are ready to exit their agency actually have no idea how they want to exit. This is too important of a moment for your team, your clients, your family and for you to let it be decided by chance or in haste. Now is the time to begin thinking about it.

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Hey everybody, Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute, this week coming to you from New York City. I’m actually here because we are spending the weekend with a dear friend who has been in a Broadway play that is closing this weekend. So, she’s been in this play since they opened it in La Jolla, California, just to test audiences, more than a decade ago. And other than a brief hiatus, and of course Covid, she has literally been in the show that whole time. So, West Coast previews, then bringing it to the East Coast to preview, and then, finally, opening night on Broadway. Later that year, she was nominated for a Tony and since then has built a huge fan base, created an amazing career, which she had already started before this play. And now, tonight is the final performance. And she will stand on that stage and she will feel the respect and love and accolades of fans who have traveled all over the world to see this final performance. That’s an amazing and fitting end. And it got me thinking about us and how we wrap up our careers. One of the things that I’ve seen in the succession work we’re doing is that a lot of agency owners haven’t really thought through that final performance, that final bow on the stage and what they’re going to do next. And I will tell you that that’s a thought process that takes some time. It takes time to think about how you want to show up to say goodbye. Whether you’re locking the doors and just walking away, whether you’re selling your agency to an employee, whether you’re selling it to an outside buyer, nonetheless, you have created an audience who has enjoyed your performances for many years, odds are, and they’ve enjoyed seeing you succeed, they’ve enjoyed your time, your talents, the relationship they have with you. And you deserve, and they deserve, a really fitting final show. So, I want you to start thinking about, no matter how old you are, I want you to start thinking about what that final show might look like. And then when people say, “Hey, now that the show’s over, what are you going to do next?” Be thinking about where you want to go. But, for this video, what I want you to focus on is where is that stage? What is that final performance? Is it a sold out audience? Is it a small, intimate group of people? You get to decide, but you get to decide because you’re thoughtful about it, because you’re intentional about it. Otherwise, what I have seen is with many agency owners as we’re helping them sell their agency, is it sort of sneaks up on them, and they really haven’t given it the time, kind of in their heart and soul, to think through how they want to say goodbye. So, that’s what I’m asking of you in this week’s video, is to start thinking about 5 years down the road, 10 years down the road, 15 years down the road, whenever your time to wrap up your professional career in this career, you may have another one after you sell your agency. But when you’re ready to wrap it up, what does that wrap up look like? What would be meaningful for you? What would be meaningful to the people that matter most to you professionally? What would be meaningful for your family? Start thinking about it now so that as that day approaches you have a pretty good picture in your head of what you want that final performance to look like and what you want everybody, including you, to get out of it. All right, I’ll see you next week.

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