Most recently in our Sellable Business blog series, I’ve been dissecting the business characteristics that maximize or multiply our company’s resale value. Starting in episode #4, I’ve shown you how to master competitive advantage, make your business scalable, hire a great staff, and build a cash reserve to weather the business storms. Before leaping from our business’s growth phase into its exit phase, I want to talk to you about the personal side of your business’s sustainability – your personal sustainability: your physical well-being and how it affects your business’s value.
In Episode #2 of this series, I compared directing the course of your business to mapping out directions for a road trip. To know how to get from East Tennessee to Portland, Oregon, you must have a readable map or a reliable navigation system. You’ll also need to have alternate routes ready in case you run into construction, road closures, or other delays.
But mapping out directions only tells you how to get to Portland. It doesn’t guarantee you’ll get there. If you haven’t set aside enough cash reserve to pay for fuel, overnight stays, and food during your trip, your trip will end before you reach your destination. Likewise, if you haven’t prepared yourself for the 40 hour drive, you’ll wear out physically before you can finish the trip.
You have to anticipate the effects the long trip will have on the driver. You have to prepare your mind and body to withstand the monotonous sitting and seemingly endless driving. Maybe you plan to take the trip with others who can take turns driving with you. Or maybe you plan stops along the way to walk around flea markets or state parks to keep your circulation flowing. Perhaps you plan an extended stay at a vacation destination in between Tennessee and Oregon to rest your mind and your spirit. Whatever you do, you have to take care of yourself in order to reach the destination you’ve already mapped out.
Building a business is hard. Making a business sellable, or attractive on the market, is harder. Actually selling the business gets even hairier. It takes a lot of time and energy. Strength and resolve become more important than speed.
Your business’s survival, or its sustainability, is one thing. Your personal sustainability is another.Click to tweet
If you as a small business owner haven’t adequately prepared yourself for the grueling business journey, your physical body or mental stability could give out before your company does. If you want your business to survive trials and tribulations, don’t you want to make it to the finish line with your business?
Your business’s survival, its sustainability, is one thing. Your personal sustainability is another.
We business owners are notorious for burning the candle at both ends. Typically, we spend 60, 70, and 80 hours a week working on our business. Since eating, sleeping, resting, and exercising don’t appear to contribute to our business’s immediate profitability or sustainability, we don’t make them priorities in our lives. Our personal welfare becomes the sacrifice on the altar of our business.
However, ignoring your needs will eventually lead to a crash within your business. Your physical body cannot sustain lack of sleep, poor diet, and constant energy consumption. When your physical body starts to break down, your mind will begin to lose its clarity and sustainability as well. With both physical and mental fatigue affecting your abilities, your business’s capability will struggle as well. How can you make logical decisions with no sleep or direct your team from a hospital bed?
Yes, spending time working on your business is important. However, spending time taking care of your physical health and mental well-being is equally important. As you make business plans, gather team members, and implement systems, you also need to plan time for yourself. Don’t just make a business plan; make a personal sustainability plan. Include time to:
Why not take a little bit of time over the next few months or year and invest in yourself? It really is that simple. If you are not sustainable personally, your business will never be sustainable. Your team will fall apart. Even your family could fall apart. I’ve seen it all throughout my years working with clients. I’ve seen business owners file for bankruptcy and divorce. They’ve been hospitalized or stricken with preventable diseases.
This post is just a gentle reminder to take care of yourself. In order to prepare your business for sale, you must take care of it and create value in it. To make it to the business sale alive and in good health, you have to be physically and emotionally prepared. In the next few episodes, we’ll be diving into some pretty intense instruction to prepare your business for its actual sale (starting with creating a vision statement). Be prepared.
Like I always say, life is hard. Life can be fun. Business is stressful. Money doesn’t have to be. Let’s continue to make our lives, at least, financially simple.