Selling a Business to Transition to Retirement – 3 Steps That Will Make it an Adventure

Oct 26, 2016

IBA, as the premier business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, is firmly established as a respected professional service firm in the legal, accounting, banking, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and financial planning communities. Periodically, we will post guest blogs from professionals with knowledge to share for the good of owners of privately held companies & family owned businesses. The following blog has been provided by Bhaj Townsend of Focus & Sustain (

Selling a Business to Transition to Retirement – 3 Steps to Make it an Adventure

Some people are really excited at the thought of retirement, like they are going on a great vacation. They have their first year all planned out as one big and exuberant vacation, away from any demands of work.

But you are different. You are not ready to retire. You are in control of your life. You know what to do each day. You know how to navigate most of the relationships that you have at your work. You are appreciated. You are somebody. Why would you want to lose all that when there seems to be nothing to replace it with?

Leaving a business can be a tough decision.

Without knowing what you want in your retirement, you are more likely to drift once your initial honeymoon or vacation period is over. You do not want that. You still have more to give.

If you cannot visualize your significance in retirement, the thought of retirement is unsettling. You do not want to leave behind a world where you have great responsibility, purpose and a sense of duty. How can you continue to have that same sense of relevance somewhere else? Instead of seeing retirement as a mindless time-sink, you have to be willing to find significance and relevance in what you believe in and keep busy with things that are meaningful to you.

How can you transition out of your company to a new chapter of life where you can keep the feelings that matter to you-significance, relevance, and meaningful connection alive?

How can you feel like you have something to give and share, away from your business, that is fulfilling and can still make an impact?

The first step to take is to look at what it is you want to accomplish for yourself outside of work. If you feel you know more about what you do not want than what you do want, start with that “list.” When you are done with your “Do Not Want“ list, put it aside and begin to focus on what you do want, even if it seems slight or insignificant. It is a start. You do not want to be dragged down by bucket lists and mindless travel or computer games. You can create your own significance if you take the time to identify what you want.

The second step is to reconnect with your family. This is your opportunity to rediscover them while allowing them to get to know you as the person you are with your values, with what is important to you, in addition to the successful business owner, and head of the family that you are. There is a wealth of value that you and your family have yet to discover and share with each other.

The third step is to learn to communicate to your spouse/partner in such a way that you two are crafting this next chapter of your life allowing both you and your spouse to shine together and independently. Conversations that support what each of you want to accomplish, ones that honor each other’s actions will add to the usual trivial communication.
Your retirement can be the most fulfilling chapter of your life; after all, the word retire does not mean retreat; it means “draw again”. You have the great opportunity to add a new intriguing dimension to your life. Make your meaningful retirement the adventure of your life.

To find out what is keeping you from that meaningful retirement you want, we invite you to click here: to take the Life Focus assessment.

If you would like support addressing family business succession or estate issues, Bhaj Townsend of Focus & Sustain is available as a resource at (425) 823-0934 or

IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, and mergers & acquisitions community on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family owned businesses. IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.