Are You Building A Job Or A Company?
Today I am going to tell you how you can get your company into top shape for the highest level investors and lending partners. Now I’m sure you love your company. You’re probably thinking – I didn’t nurture this enterprise just to sack it off to the highest bidder – right?
“Someone said” – “If you have an exit strategy, it’s not a passion…” – but that’s thinking small and here’s why:
In other words, there will be a point where you do let go. Why not plan for this now? Why not give your company the kind of solid valuation that will enable you to walk away when the timing is perfect? Why not increase the value of your company – for you and for its future growth beyond you?
Planning for your exit strategy is not about being unfaithful to the company you worked to create. In fact, it is the opposite. Planning your exit strategy is paramount to being faithful to the company you created and everyone involved.
Think about this: Are you the heart and soul of your company?
If you found yourself nodding in agreement to all or most of those questions, then here’s a newsflash for you: you’ve built yourself a job, not a company!
As an entrepreneur, it is your job to get things done, not do everything yourself. If you are the main, indispensable cog in the wheel of your business, you’re the principle constraint to its success and value growth.. Remember you don’t just build a business. You build people. And then those people build the business. Resist the urge to do everything yourself – remember you’re building a company, not just a job
You get together a great team of professionals, make sure they know their job and have your systems in place. You then delegate and make sure that you have an organization that is equipped to function. One which doesn’t need you to be the energy that powers it. Each member of your team should know their job and pull their weight. They keep things on track, they interface with the customers, they keep things chugging along.
Keep this in mind. Your company does not die off and disappear when you sell your share of it. All those people who helped you get it to the point of grand intrinsic value should have the opportunity to reap the benefit of their contribution too. Those people should be afforded the opportunity to work for the healthy, vibrant and existing company they helped create. And it’s your responsibility to make that available to them.
Your company must have intrinsic value – value independent of you.
As an Activated Leader myself, I help companies develop and execute an exit strategy that benefits all, and gets their valuation up 3-10x from when they walked into my door, and usually I see five common limiting beliefs that have blocked them from their highest possible valuation. Five universal belief barriers that hold most people back from building that successful, sustainable, scalable owner-independent company rather than an exhausting owner-dependent one.
Belief barrier no 1 – It costs too much.
Belief barrier no 2 – It takes up too much time.
Belief barrier no 3 – No one can do it like I can.
Belief barrier no 4 – It’s too complicated.
Belief barrier no 5 – Right now is not the right time.
I’ll do it when the time is right, they say. What I hear is fear of the unknown. It is coming from a space of not wanting to let go of what is known, or perhaps an uncertainty of the future. But this belief could cost a lot. Waiting for the right time to create an exit strategy is like waiting for a drought to hit before drawing blueprints for a reservoir. Very importantly, this waiting and putting off more often than not means a decline in the valuation of your business. Draw up the blueprint today to enjoy a better future.
Your company has value. Let’s just ramp it up further.
So this is what I want you to think about right now – what are the limiting beliefs that have been holding you back? Are you unable, or simply reluctant, to make your company less owner-reliant and more intrinsically valuable? Introspect and identify these limiting beliefs and habits. Once you do, see if you’ve passed it onto others in your company. Look around to see who else has caught this limiting belief from you. Who has become used to taking direction rather than making decisions?
Now replace these self sabotaging beliefs with new forward looking empowering beliefs. An activated leader will not only evaluate themselves for his or her limiting beliefs, they will also take action, look to see where they have corrupted or constrained the culture of the company, and make the necessary course corrections with a new set of super-empowering beliefs. Activate and empower your team to become more self-reliant and autonomous. Permit them to take action independently of you, replacing that old mindset with this new mindset. Be willing to allow them to do it their way; even if it fails the first time or two. Let them learn to take the reigns of responsibility. Let them grow into the leader the business needs them to be.
In one instance I had to persuade the CEO of a company to slowly relinquish decision making even for things like which CRM the marketing team should use. In the end he was actually surprised at how empowering decision makers led to a huge increase in the amount of time he freed up for big picture thinking, and he slowly came to terms with the novelty of letting others take on bigger and bigger decisions. Once he felt that freedom, he quickly started to see himself in a more visionary role with his team taking over more of the day to day nitty gritty. This divestment empowered and grew his people, grew the quality of the company, the quantity of dollars generated in revenue and profit growth and most importantly added very significantly to value to his company.
Don’t wait. Right, now, work on your business in a way that will work for you.
If it seems chaotic and busy and burdensome right now, then right now is exactly the right time to make this change. Right now is the time to start to distance yourself and divest yourself of some of your daily responsibilities. Right now is the time to delegate creative authority,, streamline operations and automate. Start small if you have to, but muster up the courage to do this now. It’s the only way you can go from a successful but exhausting, owner-reliant, low value business to a successful, high-value, owner-independent company. A company that is sustainable, scalable, valuable and sellable.
In another episode, I’ll give you the four-step plan to get started on the path to an owner-independent company: a company that yields higher value for you while giving you the freedom to try something new. But first things first, identify your limiting beliefs, so that when you get to that episode, you already have an idea about how to deconstruct, distance and divest.
I’ll close with this: – Chase the impact, not the money. Do this, and the money will end up following you. That’s the way of the Activist Capitalist.