I am honored today to share an article that Karen Brown, taking time out of her extremely busy schedule, wrote specifically for this blog, Karen just published her second book Unlimiting Your Beliefs which I recommend reading, I believe you will find this very interesting.
"The #1 thing I see that gets in the way of successfully selling a business is not funding, terms, valuation. It’s cold feet because the seller doesn’t know what they are going to do after they sell the business.
Being an executive leadership/business owner coach and human behavior expert, I work with business owners prior to sale to alleviate this problem. Here is the short version of why this happens and what can be done to alleviate it.
Unconscious Values Get in the Way of Selling
All of us have conscious and unconscious values. Conscious values are things like, Integrity, which we are aware of. Unconscious values we are unaware of, and drive 90% of our daily actions. They encapsulate our purpose, and identity. Therefore, our motivation and drive. Here’s how they apply to the business owner sales situation I eluded to earlier.
To unearth unconscious values, I would recommend using a technique called a Values Elicitation. This is a five-step process of identifying them, along with conflicts within, and then resolving and in so doing, align with the result you are after. Here’s an example:
Step 1: Ask yourself: “What’s important to me about my life.” Write down the first things that pop into your head, in the way you think of them. Don’t write what you think you should.
Ask yourself a second and third time, “What’s important to me about my life.”
Your list will most likely be 8-15 values. If some are redundant, combine, so you have a clean list. Notice what’s in the top 5. If they aren’t pointing to a purpose outside of your business, you may not be able to sell and walk away from your business because too much of your identity and life’s purpose are in it. Or, if the values pointing to a purpose outside of your business are outside top five, same result. They are literally too far down the list to provide drive and motivation for you daily. They are simply a distant bell that will never be rung. This is exactly where we see business owners crater great deals to sell their business.
There can also be conflicts within and/or between values. This comes through in feeling conflicted about selling your business. Some days you want to, others you don’t.
If you are considering selling, or building growth in your business to sell, walk yourself through this technique and see what comes up. It may surprise you and better with the information now than blowing up a viable sale."
Content provided by Karen Brown, CEO of Velocity Leadership Consulting, professional business coach to entrepreneurs, business owners and senior leaders. To learn more, visit: https://www.linkedin.com/company/25026152/or www.velocityleadershipconsulting.com.
John Hamel is the Managing Member of Austec Business Transitions, LLC. helping businesses optimize value relative to exiting their company.