Dear Aunty B,
I have been approached to sell my three-year-old business at a fantastic price.
Trouble is I love it! It has been a financial struggle but now I have a great team, we have fun, our clients love us and we are making good money. I also see enormous upside during the next few years.
But my wife wants me to sell. She keeps reminding me of the 60 hours a week, staff troubles and stress of the first few years. And I can hardly climb into my bed at night due to the travel brochures with beaches and golf courses she keeps leaving all over the floor. She often jokes that I am married to the business and she’ll only get me back when I sell. I think part of her problem is she is a bit bored now the kids are older. (She works part time.)
I am 55 and this is my second business. (First one I had to close.) I don’t think I will be starting another one, so I want this one for a while yet. Any advice?
Forget the business for a minute and take a close look at your wife. Is she really joking? Do you want to spend time with her? Would you like to take a long holiday with her?
Because Rob, you are a workaholic and workaholic men in their 50s often get dumped by their wives who are not joking when they leave the travel brochures on the floor and tell their husbands they are married to the business.
You know what you should do? Book a long holiday now. No excuses. You say you have a great team – then let them run the show.
The holiday will give you and your wife another perspective. Outline to her the plans for the business. Is there anyway she can be involved? Is there a role for her?
Also tell her how you will be cutting back a bit on your hours. Tell her you will work from home one morning and include a quick round of golf when you can.
Rob, if you sell, you will resent it. But do keep the channels open. And start to imagine another life for yourself outside the office!
Your Aunty B.