Reinvention—Time to Reap the Rewards of Your Harvest / by

Before you get to that transaction table with all your advisors, transaction experts, and the buyers; you must have a plan for how you will engage your mind and fill your time for at least the next 365 days.

This is NOT just a broad-brush idea of what you’ll do next, but rather a full-fledged plan with goals, milestones, and projects to consume you. This will take time to explore and prepare. This plan must be tested and validated in the years leading up to your exit. It is essential that you lay out this plan before you complete the transaction. Here are a few places to start. You can:

• Start a new venture — Reinvest part of your new liquid wealth in building a company around a new idea
• Take an adventure — Not just a three month tour of Europe, but sail around the world, go mountain climbing on every continent, move to Belize
• Pursue an avocation — Become a teacher, artist, designer, author, translator
• Give back—Engage actively in your philanthropic interests or invest in entrepreneurs you believe in
• Immerse yourself in a hobby — Whether it’s cooking, golf, hiking, languages, wines, investments, et cetera, it must hold your interest for more than three months. Be sure it will consume you and leave you fulfilled long term, maybe another 30-40 years.

Whatever your definition of reinvention is, you must have a plan. You must write it out. You must build out the plan to consume your time, energy and passion for at least the next 365 days. And you must test that plan for two to four weeks at a time at least once a year ( a.k.a vacation from the business you are preparing to exit).

Start with a self-assessment of your ambitions, skills, interests, commitments, joys. With the wealth you have acquired, make a plan for putting it to work for you, your family, your legacy, maybe a foundation, or other philanthropic endeavor.

Evaluate how much you need to live on and how much is available for you to pursue other interests or to risk in other ventures. What do you want to do differently in this reinvention—maybe more time off, more time with family, more education, more giving back.

Every hour you invest in your reinvention plan (like a business plan for your future), three to five years before your exit, will pay dividends in satisfaction, pleasure, fulfillment and security in the decades beyond your business.

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