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  • Writer's pictureJayne McQuillan

Life After an Exit: How do Entrepreneurs Transition to the Next Stage? (4 of a 4 Part Series)

Journey Consulting Green Bay WI Business Consultant

The first three parts of this series addressed preparing to sell your business, deciding to sell your business, the first year after the sale, and beginning to plant some new seeds.  Now, it's time to look at getting into the flow once more.  If you haven't read the 1st three parts, you can access them at

You've now been a year or two after the sale of your business.  You've spent some time evaluating your skills and talents that achieved your initial success and have probably done some exploring as to how best to leverage them into your future endeavors.  Now, some of you may have found your next fulfilling activity (ies), and others of you are still in that process.

Many of you have done exceptional things during this state of so-called unfulfilling wandering, such as traveling to exotic places, writing books, starting foundations and family offices, mastering complicated investment theories and practices and launching interesting but failed companies.

However, many of you were not fulfilled in this chapter.  In fact, the fulfillment only comes when you are once again absorbed in what you were doing.  Still others in this chapter are not looking to be totally absorbed again and would continue doing other activities such as philanthropic and civic work, teaching, investing, and other things that you acquired as activities and interests on the road to the new chapter.  Harmony with family and true friends may also be a part of this next chapter. 

In this later stage, many entrepreneurs come to care about preservation of wealth and adopt a more conservative investment philosophy for their liquid investments.  Most have found trusted advisors and settled on a percent managed by the advisor and a percent managed by themselves.  Most continue to keep a percentage of their investment in private direct investments into companies on a more selective and focused basis.  And in the later stages, foundations and estate plans have been created.  In planning for the estate, how much to leave to philanthropic institutions versus children and grandchildren become clearer. 

The journey of selling a business and the wealth creation event should be a time to move one and one's family forward to new harmony and fulfillment.  These goals can be achieved through understanding the potential changes of finding one's next identity.  With some understanding and foresight, a significant wealth creation event can be a time for positive celebration of accomplishment and anticipation of an even greater next chapter.

Lange Entrepreneurship Center, Eugene . "White Paper 03. Life After an Exit: How Entrepreneurs Transition to the Next Stage." Credit Suisse 1 (2013): 32. Print.

Jayne McQuillan, CPA, MBA, CEPA is a strategic management consultant, and the owner of Journey Consulting, LLC, in Green Bay

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