Thinking of Retiring? How about taking a Test Drive First?

Thinking of Retiring? How about taking a Test Drive First?

Everybody thinks of retiring at one time or another. You don’t have to be a certain age in life to consider the idea of retiring and doing some of the things you enjoy. But how do we know if the time is right or if we would really enjoy retirement?

In my recent book “Hidden Wealth” The Secret to Getting Top Dollar for Your Business, I touch on one of the ways you can take a test drive on what it would be like to be retired without actually retiring. The following is an exert from the book.

What will I be doing after I sell my business? Are you planning to retire and spending more time with your family or playing golf or traveling around the world or enjoying your favorite hobby, or maybe you have another business venture that you want to spend time with? It could be a multitude of things.

Here is a suggestion that I will make that may save you a lot of money and possibly grief. If your plans are to sell your business and engage in some of the pleasurable activities listed above, I suggest that prior to doing so you take a month off and do just that. Engage in one of the activities that you think you want to do for the years to come. It is like getting a chance to peep into the window of what you think you want and get a taste for it before you really do it.

For several years, I sold businesses in Southwest Florida, to people who had moved from the north to spend their days fishing and playing golf and boating. Most of the people to whom I sold businesses discovered that after selling their business up north and moving to Florida and engaging in their favorite past times and hobbies, life wasn’t what it was cracked up to be. In other words, they were bored and if they were married, their spouses were threatening to throw them out of the house if they didn’t go get a job or buy a business. And that is what most of them did. They bought themselves a job. The ex-business owners who I worked with were very successful individuals who shared a lot of information with me. One bit of advice was that they were disillusioned about what they thought their new lives would be after they sold their past businesses and moved to Florida to settle down and enjoy the good life.

What had happened is they failed to distinguish the difference between the end result and the pursuit. Most people enjoy the pursuit more than they do the end result. It happens every day. In America, we generally want something more than we need something, so therefore, we spend an exorbitant amount of time pursuing the thing we want only to find out after we have acquired the item, we have been pursuing that we really didn’t want it as bad as we thought we did.

Therefore, based on the theory that the pursuit is more satisfying than the item that has been acquired I have always suggested that prior to engaging in the pursuit that one should do a practice run. In the case of selling one’s business I suggest the business owner spend at least 4 weeks doing the things that they think they will be doing after they sell their business to ensure that they really are on the right track and is what they want to do. You will discover one of two things. Either you are not sure about whether the time is right for you to sell your business, or the time is right to sell your business and you can’t wait to get rid of it. But either way it will set the stage for the next step, which you cannot proceed to unless the first issue of being mentally prepared is addressed.

So, for the first 30 days of the selling process I want it to be about you.  The first week I want you to take one complete day without being involved in the business. You won’t make any calls to people involved with your business nor will you take any calls from anyone involved with your business. Start out at one day a week then work your way up to 2 for the first month then 3 days and so on until you build up to a week with being involved in the business. Remember when you sell your business it is going to be a life changing experience and I want you to have a preview of what you are going to doing later. If after selling your business you will be living in a different geographic area, then immediately start spending more time there. Make sure you either rent or buy a place in the geographic area in order to get a sense of permeability, not the vacation mindset. I know what I have suggested will be hard to do for some, but regardless it will give you an idea what it will feel like if you are not in the daily grind of your business. And who knows you may actually end up liking the time off.

To get the rest of the story of what it takes to retire and get top dollar for your business send me an email at and mention this article and I will send you a FREE copy of my book “Hidden Wealth” The Secret to Getting Top Dollar for Your Business.


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