Probably the hardest thing for an entrepreneur to do is nothing. Yea, some people will have to read that again. Others won’t believe it and say, “Who can not do nothing?”
After I sold Fat Atom in March of 2017, I was at a low. Again, a paradox I know. After working tirelessly since September of 1999, 18 years of 60+ hours weeks, countless headaches, employee issues, close to financial ruin not once, but twice and the ups and downs of getting, keeping and losing clients…and all of a sudden I thought had no meaning.
If you haven’t been in that situation before, let me describe it like this. It’s like you are a race car driver driving at 230 mph and you lock of the brakes and your car stops. You get out of the car and hand someone the keys. The next day you wake up, and you don’t have anything to drive. Sure you are still a race car driver, but without a car.
Back to my story.
So I get a check, they get a business to run. I wake up the day after the sale of my business and what do you think I do? I go to the office of course. I still own the building and still have an office there…seems logical right? Well that doesn’t last long. Employees still came to me with questions. What should we do about this client? Where are we at with that prospect? Why aren’t the new owners doing it the way you did it? I could tell very quickly I needed to not be close to the business….but it’s all I have known. Hence the problem.
So what transpires next? We decide to sell our house, move to NC, buy a much bigger house, sell our little boat, buy a much bigger boat and start 2 new businesses all within the first 6 months after selling our business. Damn it to hell if I could go back in time.
What advice would I give myself?
Easy. BE STILL.
Take a vacation. Relax. Focus on doing nothing. Clear your mind. Dream.
BUT DON’T ACT.
Selling a business is a lot like divorce. It is a major life changing event. You wouldn’t go out and buy a sports car, get a new girlfriend and buy a timeshare the day after the papers are signed…or at least you shouldn’t. And you shouldn’t do anything after you sell your business.
You need time to reflect.
I try to always look forward and live a life without regrets. I wish someone would have come along side me at the crucial time and hit me with a 2×4 over the head….saying now do nothing…you earned it.