I was having coffee with a friend and client today, and out of our conversation came a really powerful insight: getting clarity about your dream exit is a powerful tool for an entrepreneur.
I have touched on long-term exit strategy with clients before, and often this leads to thinking about buy-sell agreements or rights of refusal or life insurance funded trusts for my client’s lawyers to create (you’re welcome), but today it was really about envisioning the exit my client wanted, taking a look at what the company had to look like in several years to achieve that, and defining short and medium term concrete goals to get there.
It was exciting.
On of the awesome things about being an entrepreneur is that you are creating your own work life. You really do have the power, at least within the limit of your skills and finances, to do the work you like and not to do work you do not like. You can envision the life you want, and make a plan to get there. Once you have done that, with specificity and clarity, the day-to-day decisions take on a new meaning. You can measure the decisions by whether they are working the plan.
In our case today, we were discussing an opportunity that had come up, which was exciting. We thought we had it about down. Then we had the conversation about long-term goals. At the end of that conversation, even though our discussion about long-term goals is only beginning, we could both see that we had missed an important part of the opportunity we thought we had thoroughly covered. The goal drove the opportunity, and by tweaking it a little we made the opportunity a better part of the long-term success.
Most entrepreneurs are very, very busy with what is happening right now. If it is not both important and urgent, it gets done tomorrow, not today. But taking time to think about what that dream exit looks like, or even what the dream company looks like, is time well spent. The time spent for that planning will pay you back in making those day-to-day decisions a little easier to make.
So clear some time and some head space for thinking about what the dream future looks like, and how you can reduce that to specific and measurable short and medium term goals. You will not regret the time.
If coffee and a conversation with me would help, call me.