Dear Aunty B,
I am the founder of a mid-size company. I have recently had an offer from the dominant company in our industry. They are a pack of bumbling gorillas who couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery. They will kill my company if they buy it and many of my staff who have been with me for decades will leave.
But I am in my early 60s, my health could do with a bit of attention and I don’t have the stomach for another recession. The price is also excellent. What do I do, and what do I do after that?
Let me guess. Telecommunications?? Never mind. OK, so here is what you should do.
You should not get emotional. The price is excellent and we are bang smack in the middle of a downturn – don’t listen to the recession deniers, who all live in Perth or Potts Point and claim otherwise.
D, you have a duty to your shareholders, your family and yourself to take advantage of this opportunity now. Your staff have gained a lot working for you. You should not feel guilty.
It’s time to move on. What will you do after? You will write your memoirs so younger people can learn from your mistakes. And you will go on boards… ditto. You will spend more time with your grandchildren, your wife and on your health. And you will do more community work.
But just before you do sell, can you go to their closest competitor? Tell them of the offer and that you will sell. Tell them that you will sell to them for slightly less and what a great team of people you have. You never know what might happen!
Go forth to the next stage,
Your Aunty B.