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Are You Building a Legacy? Consider Your Options. Part I

At some point either you make a decision or one is forced on you about what you are going to do with the business if you retire, or become disabled, or die, or just want to quit. Sometimes, owners just close the business and go on to another phase of their lives. But, what if you want your business to have “legs” beyond your leadership or even your involvement? The answer to this question is very difficult for many people because their business is a cornerstone of their life. It can even be the primary view of their self worth (and financial worth.) The answer also depends on the vision you have for the other side of implementing the decision. For many, life without the business is unthinkable. It’s like looking into the abyss. So, for this series of blogs, let’s say you want the business to go on. You want it to become a legacy business. So where do you start with your legacy plan?

The first step is to create a vision of what you want your life to look like after you step down, completely or not. A key part of that vision is to establish the extent of your involvement in the business. Another key part is how and where you want to spend your life outside of any level of work. You then need to develop a financial plan for what you will need to support that work and life. Then you have to set out the financial and strategic milestones to measure your progress along the way. No matter what your vision is, you then work to make the company so valuable, that you can become flexible about when you implement your plan. The next several blogs in this series will talk about options you have in structuring your legacy.