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Transitions Are Tough. Take a Lesson From Stephen Covey. Part I.

Transitions in life are almost always difficult. A transition is a change, and we know how much most of us love change. Even if the transition is a very positive one – a promotion, a new baby, a move to a new place – adjustments have to be made to make it as successful as possible. So, take a lesson from the late business guru, Stephen Covey,  “Begin with the end in mind.” He advised in his Seven Habits to look at what was desired on the other side of the transition and then work backwards to the present and decide what has to done to create “the other side” you want. In the three examples above –a promotion, the birth of a child, a move – be as detailed as you can in visualizing how you will manage your relationships with people in your company when you assume your new position. Create a mental picture of your new child, how he or she will be raised, how you will adjust to the arrival of a new life.  Look at the opportunities to energize your personal life in your new surroundings or how a new location for your business will propel it to a new level of success.

However, there is one transition every business owner eventually faces that is often daunting – the transition of the business to new owners, whether they are the next generation in the family or external buyers of the business. The daunting part is the owner’s ability to create a situation on the other side that maintains his/her relevance to others and financially supports the desired lifestyle. Both outcomes require diligent thought and thorough preparation.