Posts tagged with: exit planning

Exit Mindset Shift

Exit planning is a whole new job that you never had before and you’ll probably never have again. Your exit mindset will decide if this is a rewarding experience leading to the lifestyle of your dreams or a traumatic experience that wears you out even before close the deal. You need an exit mindset shift.

Transitioning to and maintaining an exit mindset shifts your priorities, focus and goals. With an exit mindset, any strategic decision you make in the business will be driven by a desire to show growth and add value for the buyer, and maximize the liquidity and financial freedom for your reinvention after the exit.

This mindset shift is taking all the strengths, assets, experience and opportunities for your business and applying them to one specific outcome – your exit on your terms on your timeline. They include all your:

Drive                  Motivation               Belief — spiritual
Passion             Determination        Conviction – emotional
Inspiration          Resiliency              Clarity

That’s a big shift. It’s a shift that most business owners do not and cannot make. They get stopped right here in their mindset along with their naïve exit criteria.


Your mindset going in to exit planning is the most critical determinant of your successful outcome. There are a number of mindset factors that you must recognize and consider. Your mindset will determine your ability  to set and achieve your hopes and dreams. You have to be able to recognize and adhere to the process to achieve them. Most CEOs have dreams and goals of the outcome they want from their business. Many fewer CEOs reverse engineer their goals into a timeline, process, and a sequence to get to that exit.

Challenges will occur that could derail your exit plan, guaranteed. Fighting or resisting those challenges is an unproductive waste of time and energy. Instead, install and master a mindset to address, overcome, resolve, and circumvent each challenge as it arises.

Attitudes/mindset are often ignored or minimized when exploring what we need to learn to achieve our goals and get to an exit.

Most CEOs trained to emphasize the strengths of left-brain thinking, resist addressing or developing the right-brain skill of mindset readiness. Mindset readiness requires the most time to develop and is not easily measured or demonstrated. But your mental and emotional attitudes are the most important of all learning components because your attitude/your mindset is the gatekeeper that determines how well you acquire, master and apply any other skill set and knowledge.

Entrepreneurs stubbornly adhere to tired outdated thinking which in turn sets up their business to continually struggle, not achieve its full potential and settle for selling their business for only a fraction of its worth. That downfall is totally preventable.

In the area of mindset, attitudes and beliefs, do you experience any of these? Make note of the ones that apply to you.

  • Have no exit goals
  • Can’t set exit goals
  • Don’t know how to set exit goals
  • No consensus on exit goals
  • Can’t delegate/afraid to delegate
  • Prisoner of the entrepreneur’s trap  – Trying to wear all the hats
  • Scared to grow – because of past experience, old belief systems, systems or staff that slow or prevent your growth
  • Scared to share control, responsibility, ownership or profits
  • Scared to lose control
  • Easily distracted – by environment, people, events, equipment
  • Minimal goals/easy goals/short-term goals that don’t stretch individuals or the organization – to play it safe
  • No personal accountability of the leadership team/ of you
  • Still running the business as an opportunist
  • Resist building a strong business foundation for growth or increased value
  • Ignore or deny the need for exit planning
  • Ignore or deny the need for contingency planning
  • Ignore or deny the need for continuity planning
  • Ignore or deny the need for succession planning
  • Ignore or deny the need to plan for your transition
  • Ignore or deny the need to plan for your reinvention

You’ve heard the phrase:

Your attitude determines your altitude.

Your mindset is the key to everything you will achieve to exit your business when you want to. When you decide each of these elements is important enough to the business and to your future beyond the business, only then will you take action and:

  • Develop the skill sets
  • Acquire the necessary knowledge (direct learning or surround yourself with experts)
  • Develop plans, strategies, and tactics to achieve everything you want for your business and from your business when you exit.
  • Apply the discipline and leadership to accelerate growth and maximize value on your timeline.

“It’s a mindset – you’re only limited in scope by your own imagination and your ability to see through problems, challenges and roadblocks to the opportunities.”


Is It Ever Too Early To Plan Your Exit?

Never. It’s never too early to plan your exit. It’s your biggest goal for your business. Achieving the goal of your ideal exit strategy is the ultimate accomplishment for goal achievers.

Ideally, your exit strategy should be part of your business plan from the outset, not just for businesses with outside funding. Every business needs an exit plan, even if you never got outside funding. If it wasn’t part of your business plan or your strategic plan, add it to your agenda for your next annual planning retreat to ensure that starting this year, you will lay out your exit strategy tied to your operational goals.

Here are four steps to ensure your successful exit strategy:

1. Take a holistic approach to planning your exit. That requires systematizing your whole business: not just finances, and cleaning up the books; but also:

• succession
• ownership
• control
• extracting value for you and your family
• maximizing value before you exit or sell
• the structure – what’s easiest to sell, or what can be monetized most easily
• systems ,strategies, process – get them out of your head
• team impact – organizational dynamics, contracts, continuity
• client/sales impact.

2. Consider and evaluate all the possible exit scenarios that might work for you and your business, e.g., sell a practice or sell your list; buyout by employees or partners, be acquired, appoint a successor or family member to continue the business, IPO. With each option, explore all the variations that might suit you.

Remember, your choices are greater the sooner you start planning your exit and the clearer you are on the goal you want to achieve and when.

3. Include your exit strategy in your annual goal setting. Align your short-list of chosen exit strategies with every goal they set so that each goal achievement moves you closer to your exit every year.

4. Make your exit strategy one of the criteria of every decision you make, every goal you set, so every goal you achieve is tied to and focused on that ideal exit strategy.

Exit Essentials – How to Get Out

Can You Help?

Here’s my introduction to why I’m raising funds to publish this book.

I help owners and entrepreneurs to prepare their optimum business exit strategy. I’ve been consulting to entrepreneurs and business owners since 1988, helping them build a stronger company that can grow to fulfill the owner’s dreams.

My project is publishing and promoting my new book,

Exit Essentials – How to Get Out – Exit Planning for Entrepreneurs

Exit Essentials is for every business owner to wants to take control of their own exit planning.
It makes exit planning easy, painless and risk free for the owner.

  Exit Essentials is essential reading for the 21 million Baby Boomer
business owners expecting to sell their business over the
next 15 years. This book is urgently needed by fast-track
CEOs, serial entrepreneurs and Baby Boomer business
owners who are leaving 30-50% of the value of their business on the table,
accepting a lesser sale price and compromising their retirement.

Stephen Covey taught us to “begin with the end in mind“.
That wisdom applies to your business as well.

  Most business owners are not prepared to sell, pass on, let go, or in any way leave the businesses they have built. They don’t know how.

That’s exactly why this book needs to be published. With your help, we can get it released this year.

There are rewards, bonuses and perks for every donation – no matter how big or small, every donation is critical to achieving the goal. Check it out here: 

Exit Essentials – Fundraising Campaign

A Fundraising Campaign to publish Exit Essentials – How to Get Out on exit planning for entrepreneurs who want to sell, scale or pass on their business to a successor in the next 3-5 years.

I am launching a campaign to raise funds on, to publish my second book: Exit Essentials – How To Get Out. Exit Essentials is about exit planning for entrepreneurs like you. Exit Essentials educates and prepares business owners to be able to monetize their business when they plan to get out, instead of simply shuttering the business and walking away. Exit Essentials reveals the secrets the transaction experts want entrepreneurs to know before selling a business, but no one tells them.

In Exit Essentials, I introduce the 95% of all entrepreneurs and business owners who do not have an exit plan for their business; to the decisions, options and opportunities they need to know about years before they decide to get out of their business.

“[Exiting small business] owners are preparing for the deal of a lifetime with possibly zero experience.” – (MorganStanley SmithBarney publication, 2011) [via Blackbridge Newsletter 2011]

They think they’ll be able to sell when they want for what they want with no lead-time or preparation of the business, the team or the business owner. That’s a diet of hope and promises that will satisfy no one.

“Because of a lack of pre-planning, most business owners are leaving up to 50% of the value of their business on the table when they exit. This situation is totally preventable.“

Exit Essentials should be required reading for all business owners in order to take control and achieve their goals in the business and beyond.

Every donation at is important to get this book published and distributed. To thank donors in tangible, measurable ways, I’m offering some big perks. In addition, supporters of this fundraiser will be able to get the book Exit Essentials and other rewards first.

I need your support to get Exit Essentials published fast, so owners like you will be prepared for the coming sellers’ market. Thank you very much.

Plan Your Business Exit BEFORE You Plan Your Market Entry

“Most traders never plan or even discuss their Forex exit strategy. “

In the world of Forex trading, that’s what Pete Visconti says. In his world, traders pay more attention to their entry, setting up a good trade and timing profits.  They forget or don’t look at the cost of not having a Forex exit strategy for each trade too.

As Visconti learned the hard way himself:

“Although, traders will argue which is more important,
you need to understand that they both are.
Just make sure they are planned and part of your trade plan.”

Analogous to his advice for traders to have a Forex Exit Strategy, here are my four points for Entrepreneurs/CEOs to plan your business exit strategy before you plan your market entry:

  1. Know What Your Business Exit Strategy Will Be BEFORE You Launch Your Business.

If you are in business and didn’t do this up front, you are already behind. It’s already harder for you to make good clear decisions about your business day to day, because you don’t know what your exit options are; what you are aiming for.

Therefore, if you don’t have an exit strategy in place, put exit planning on your critical exit strategy, path now to increase the value of your business at exit – whenever that may be.

  1. Consider Multiple Exit Strategies

When you lock down your exit strategy too soon, you eliminate the possibility of alternative opportunities providing even better solutions. When you maximize the number and variety of options on the table; you have more choices, more opportunities, and can make better decisions along the way

The sooner you start exploring alternatives open to you, the more control and more choices you can position you and your business to benefit from. The longer you wait and the smaller your exit window, the fewer options you can consider and reducing the value you can realize at closing.

  1. Always Initiate a ‘Stop Loss’ as Part of Your Exit Strategy

In the context of your business exit strategy, a ‘Stop-Loss’ is a contingency plan if things go awry and you must get out fast.

You have an emergency exit from the building. You have a backup of your hard drive offsite. You also need a plan for other crisis scenarios.

It could be an insurance policy, a backup successor, a backup exit plan that is not ideal, but fulfills many of your criteria and can be invoked quickly. It’s like having a co-signer on a key bank account or having a second key holder for your lockbox.

  1. Stick to Your Business Exit Strategy just as Conscientiously as Your Business Strategy

One of the biggest obstacles business owners face is getting distracted by the ‘new shiny object’. They get restless or bored working the sound strategy they are implementing and decide to shake things up without any stopgaps to protect them or the business. That lack of discipline can cost you your retirement and the business in the end. Revise it strategically if necessary. It’s in your best interest to trust your exit strategy and follow it with discipline.

Most entrepreneurs will skip these elements of laying out their business. Most CEOs will trivialize the importance of their exit plan in building the success of the business.

The flaw in that thinking is that business is all about making a profit.

Planning your business exit strategy from the outset is an imperative to achieve your goals for the business. Consequently, your daily decisions all lead to how much profit you achieve and what you want to do with the resulting profits.

It’s never too early or too late to start planning your exit

CEO Supersaver Summer Offer

Save 40%                  Offer ends Sunday, July 15

It’s never too early or too late to plan your exit.

There’s always a lull in business from Independence Day through Labor Day
when many people take advantage of the season to get out of the office and take vacation. Myself, I just returned from almost two weeks on Cape Cod.

As a result, operationally, things are a bit easier to manage over the summer.
I want you to take advantage of the freed up time to dedicate just
one day to planning how you intend to get out.

Instead of putting it off one more time, like 95% of all business owners do,
I want you to start planning for your reinvention this summer.

I also wanted to make it easy, quick and painless.

Act now. This offer expires Sunday, 7/15.

 A One-Day Exit Planning Consult

We work through a tightly structured exploration of your exit strategy to identify and outline business goals, timelines, lead-time requirements, criteria, risks, options, the required team & your definition of reinvention; to ensure you can get out on your terms on your timeline.

You walk away with worksheets, assessments and a template you can revisit periodically. You have a personal exit strategy to drop into your business plan. Whether this remains private or you share it with your team, I guarantee you will be better prepared for any exit opportunity that comes your way.


It’s all about results. CEOs who spend a day with me one-on-one:

  1. Establish a clear idea of where they are going and why.
  2. Know their ‘number’ (to get out).
  3. Have an equation to calculate the value of their business now.
  4. Have a timeline for exit decision making —
    [This is the Secret the transaction experts WANT you to know but no one tells you:     It takes 2-5 years to exit successfully!].
  5. Understand the tradeoffs between how to get out and the terms of their exit.
  6. Start exploring and planning for their reinvention beyond the business.
  7. Walk away with all the answers, insights and decisions made to complete a 10 page exit plan they can slide into their strategic plan ready for implementation.


Some of your benefits of spending one day (or two half days) on exit planning:

  • Easier/simpler to exit when you want and how you want to
  • Avoid hurdles, obstacles and risks
  • Leverage results early
  • Low upfront cost, low risk effort
  • Business is easier/more attractive to sell
  • Business stability and continuity secured
  • Clarity, confirmation & incentive to build out your business towards your ideal exit, and move on to your next steps/reinvention
  • Increase value of the business, making it more appealing to a strategic buyer
  • Expand exit options
  • Stronger negotiating position whenever a potential buyer inquiry comes along (maybe years earlier than you thought possible)


Bankers and attorneys have valued this consult at $8,000.
As a virtual consult (no travel) I offer it for $2,500.

This week only, I’m offering the same one day consult
(to be booked for July or August) for just $1,497
(that’s another $1,000 off).

Must be booked and paid for by Sunday, July 15.

Is this of interest to you or CEOs you know?
Email me now to take advantage of this offer.

Forward this email to anyone you know who needs to start planning their exit now— that includes every business owner who has even an inkling of selling/scaling or grooming a successor in the next 2-5 years.

Fact: If you do not have an exit strategy yet, you need to start planning now.
Book Your Private Consult Now.

Plan Your Exit From The Outset

Exit Statistics

  • 95% of all business owners have no exit plan
  • 90% never scale, sell or pass the business to a successor
  • CEOs walk away with only 50-70% of the value of their business.
  • Because of a lack of planning by sellers, buyers have more leverage in  the selling

Don’t be one of them!

Call 508.820.3322 or email me now. 

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