Several years ago, when I was working on publishing my first book, Know And Grow The Value Of Your Business, I found myself locked in battle of wills with my publisher about the subtitle. I wanted to use the phrase: “Treat Your Business Like an Investment.” But my publisher had other ideas.
In the end, I lost the argument and the subtitle was changed. After all, it’s the publisher’s primary responsibility to sell books and, to that end, I had to concede that “An Owners Guide to Retiring Rich” was, in fact, more compelling. That being said …
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It’s Not Always About The Money
Of course most people, if given the choice, would rather retire rich than poor. But what does “rich” actually mean. After all, it’s not every business owner’s dream to sell their business for top dollar for the purposes of funding a luxurious retirement lifestyle. No. To me, the word “rich” is much more than a bank account balance.
Merriam-Webster provides us with multiple definitions of the word “rich.”
Having abundant possessions and especially material wealth
A) Having high value or quality
B) Well supplied or endowed (a city rich in traditions)
A) Vivid and deep in color (a rich red)
B) Full and mellow in tone and quality (a rich voice)
C) Having a strong fragrance (rich perfumes)
Highly productive or remunerative (a rich mine)
A) Having abundant plant nutrients (rich soil)
B) Highly seasoned, fatty, oily or sweet (rich foods)
C) High in the combustible component (a rich fuel mixture)
D) High in some component (cholesterol-rich foods)
Having worked with business owners for more than two decades, I have discovered that, when selling their businesses and embarking on retirement, owners feel “rich” for a variety of different reasons – and not all of them include “abundant possessions and material wealth.” From selling their business for top dollar, seeing the next generation successfully continue the business or assisting a charity with the wealth they’ve created from the business to watching long-term employees take ownership of the business or even staying in the business and being productive into their 90s, “rich,” when it comes to exiting your business, is as much a state of mind as it is a about monetary wealth and possessions.
What Does ‘Rich’ Mean To You?
What exit strategy will bring you the greatest long-term satisfaction and fulfillment? There is no right or wrong answer and only you can decide what it is that you really, truly want. After all, the definition of “rich” is different for everyone. Once you decide on what “rich” means to you, we can develop a plan that will help get you there.
As Ben Stein (American actor, writer, lawyer, and political/economic commentator) once said, “The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.”
Email Rea & Associates to learn more about your options for an exit strategy or to speak with a member of our business valuation team.
By Tim McDaniel, CPA/ABV, ASA, CBA (Dublin office)