The Emotions to Expect in Selling Your Business…
and why you should pay attention to them


Exiting your business is a major life change similar to starting your career or getting married.  Remember those emotions?  Exiting your business is similar and possibly an even larger change that will affect everyone around you, especially those closest to you.   Not only are you exiting your business, but you are facing another unknown phase of life.  Going through these changes trigger a variety of emotions.  It helps to know that these emotions are normal and that taking action on your plan will reduce your stress.  

What are some examples of those emotions? 

  • Worry about whether the financial results will be enough to meet your desired retirement/estate goals. 
  • Concern about what you will do with yourself without this work. 
  • Anxiety about not being in charge anymore. 
  • Unsettled about not having an interesting group of people to interact with on a daily basis. 
  • Worry about how this impacts my relationship with my spouse, my family and close friends. 
  • Uneasy about changes to routine and how that impacts my health.
  • Sadness related to handing over my company that I’ve built from scratch to someone else. 
  • Uncertainty about what my options are for exiting and how does that process look. 
  • Frustration at not having a management team ready for succession after all these years. 
  • Regret that I have to continue to work on/invest in growing the business to get to my desired financial goal. 
  • Fear about getting old and becoming irrelevant. 

No wonder less than 20 percent of business owners has an exit plan, in spite of knowing that planning will yield positive results. The good news is that having emotions related to this process are normal, most everyone has them and they are a sign that you are ready to invest in creating a plan.  

You’ve heard about owners who thought they were too young or did not want to face the need for an exit plan and died unexpectedly, leaving their wife, children and/or minority owners with no plans.  The value of those companies are usually greatly reduced since the company is often not ready for the transition either. No one really wants to have that happen. 

The way to reduce anxiety is to begin the process.  It starts with a value for the business that includes an assessment of strengths and weaknesses and comparing that to your needs.  If it doesn’t achieve the necessary amount, you build a plan to improve profits and salability. 

Another way to reduce anxiety is to being to find your new identity.  Most successful exits involve the owner exploring and developing his/her new identity where time, talents and passion are applied to meaningful “work.” The best time to explore these alternatives is years before the desired transition date.  

*work would include volunteering and other variations

If you’d like to discuss selling your business, how to get started with your exit plan or ways your company can maximize its value, we’d be happy to have a confidential complimentary conversation

You can reach me via email: [email protected] or on my cell phone a: 224-688-8838.

We’re here to help you Harvest Your Potential!

*It’s a proven fact in negotiation.

Alison Hoffman

has more than 25 years of experience in strategy, operations, mergers and acquisitions and delivering business-to-business client solutions. Her areas of expertise include managing operations for profitable growth, organizational design and strategy activation. She brings a wealth of experience through her work in evaluating, valuing and purchasing over 30 companies, leading company-wide cultural and business integration projects and consolidating best practices among business processes and corresponding computing systems. Read Full Bio