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Last Update: Monday June 21, 2021

Key Idea: Enjoy Life After the Sale

As you go through the process of selling your business, you have to prepare to reinvent your life.  Know what you hope to be doing a year after the sale ...two years?   ...five years?   ...ten years?     More...

Key Question:


Each started with just an idea, brought it from mind to market, and nurtured every possible value component of that concept to such a level it became somewhat self-sustaining, and then they sold it.

  What did they "really-really" sell? A second question, although seemingly rhetorical question, it needs to be asked: "Did the integrity of that sale release them to engage their 'many-possible futures' more openly and easily?"

A:  Of course. And going back, each has their own version of the answer to the question, "What did you sell?" Each had an economic answer: "They sold their EBITDA." A philosophical answer: "They sold the future." Or a legal answer, "They sold a promise." In each instance, they were transferring real values, both tangible and intangible, that accrued over more than ten years of tenacious work. And because each had a deep sense of integrity -- their financials were squeaky clean -- they truly knew the value was real.

Lorraine, Jim and Peter open one of the most important discussions we can have as a small business community. Here you find three very different perspectives on the future and what they plan -- to be, to do, and to have -- now that they have fully completed one business cycle within their life. Once this kind of sale-deal-agreement is consummated, the seller is truly liberated to engage the rest of his or her life -- all the myriad opportunities -- without having to look over one's shoulder nervously or wistfully.

Bottomline: Time is illusive and we are all always too busy working on today's problems to take time to project for the future. Simple. We've got to change. As a business, Small Business School is beginning to do it and we invite you to join us in this struggle. What are we waiting for?

Certainly not Godot.* You've never waited for anybody or anything. You've always followed your heart. And, you know what is right.

You have had 1000 other ideas, or so it seems; however, if you are feeling locked into the business that you started because it is your bread and butter, then it may be time for a change. Take an evolutionary step up into a new cycle of business. Lorraine, Jim and Peter have all become business advisors, true volunteers, and gracious givers to the causes they love.

Though Peter says, "It's recess" and it is true they are not working around the clock like they once did, those with a 9-to-5 orientation to work, might be exhausted to follow these folks around just for one day of their 'day of play.' Once a value creator always a value creator. These folks have discovered the meaning and value of life.

Think about it

If and when you sell your business, what new ways can you begin to create value?

Clip from: Selling Your Business

Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and Bend: Three people -- Lorraine Miller, Jim Schell and Peter Schenck  -- tell us why and how they sold their business.  Each wanted a change. They knew their business could live on and thrive, so they went to work to find buyers who could take the business to the next level.

Here is a rare opportunity to study those who have fully completed all eight steps within the business cycle. 

Go to all the video clips of this episode...
More video on the eight steps to exit...

We all must prepare today for the invevitable tomorrows.

Small Business Owners Everywhere in the world, We all will exit our business someday.

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Enjoy Life After the Sale

LORRAINE: What I loved about Cactus and Tropicals was birthing it and growing it. I loved that creative part. I loved going in every day knowing, `Ooh, I can do something new today. I can create a new part to this. I can add to this.'

At a certain point it becomes more maintaining it than creating it, and then the spark burns out for me. And then a new person comes in and picks it up at that level and sees creative opportunities that I had lost sight of because it was such a maintenance job for me.

HATTIE: So you're not 'Peter the Ad Man'?

PETER: No. No. No, I'm 'Peter the Renaissance Man.' I mean, you must understand people say to me all the time, `Do I miss having the calendar or the list of things to do?' And, yes. By rote and routine, I miss not having a prescribed, diary of things to do on a given day. But in life, it was anything but. I mean, it was recess. It was all of a sudden, the doors kicked open, the whole world was out there; there was no particular obligation. You could make a contribution to your community, you could manage your time in any way you chose or you could go anyplace you wanted to go. Who wouldn't find that absolutely engaging? Come on.

JIM: It happens all the time. Companies outgrow entrepreneurs every day, and I was just another one.

LORRAINE: I didn't just grow plants; I helped grow people. And if they want to stay with plants or, you know, make their degree in horticulture more meaningful, then that means a lot to me. But what I really want to see is people know that they can be more than they think they can.

PETER: I'm living. I have to believe that given an opportunity, almost everybody that has the same set of circumstances that I have would want to say, `It's recess; let's go play!' Why not?

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Jim, Lorraine and Peter each started a business with merely nothing and years later sold for big bucks. Now they are rich in many ways. They deserve to be proud that they created value for customers and employees and that they tried the nearly impossible and succeeded. You just met three smart, strong, bright, independent entrepreneurs who all sold their businesses. To make those sales successfully, they did not try to go through the process alone. They all reached out for experts to guide them. We'll see you next time.

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