As a psychologist, I believe that we grow our way through life, and we do it in stages, which are somewhat uniform across individuals. Stages are bridged by transitions, and transitions between stages have similar features. Selling one’s business, the product of decades of one’s personal investment of creativity, time, passion, fortune, sacrifice, identity, integrity, etc., is obviously a monumental transition in life. Yet, it still consists of the same psychological tasks as every other transition in life, however small. First, the emotional aspects often include, for example, grief over the loss of pleasant parts of the past, and joy over the anticipated gains and reward that lie ahead. Second, the intellectual aspect refers to the fact that the new stage will require us to learn new skills. Think of skills like toileting, homework, safe sex, keeping a job, or planning a kid’s wedding. We are always breaking new ground, and hopefully have some guidance from those who have gone through it before us. Third, the behavioral aspect consists of the real time and focused effort that must be spent to successfully transition.
It is vital that any business owner engaged in selling his business understand this basic three part anatomy of life stage transitions. It is but one of several concepts and skills what can help the business seller create a smooth and successful transition to his “afterlife.”
“My passion is ensuring that every adult is mentally ready to succeed in all transitions that comprise the adult years. The meaning in my life comes from helping my patients see themselves, their situation, their future, and the entire world with new eyes and a newly courageous attitude.