May 16, 2024

Discover What’s Possible

Let it go…I expect you’ve heard that one before…

Letting go of anything that you value or hold dear is never easy. But perhaps it’s the lens that you are looking through, that is the biggest challenge to overcome.

It’s consumed every waking hour of your life. You’ve had sleepless nights and committed vast amounts of time and energy to it. It’s understandable that when the time finally comes to walk away, the ‘doing’ is harder than the ‘saying.’ But there will be a time one day, and perhaps not too far into the future, when you will need to make the decision to let go of all that you earned or hold on to it to the bitter end.

Time and time again, I hear stories of Founders who feel trapped by the wealth they have worked so hard to acquire. Instead of giving them the freedom to live the life they dreamed of, it has become a poisoned chalice – an indefinite prison sentence. They chased the dream, but the reality didn’t always match the expectation, and when expectations aren’t met, feelings of regret, guilt and shame inevitably surface.

Over the years, I have typically met two types of people who I regularly meet in my work – those who only focus on the financial capital and those whose attention is heavily weighted towards the human and social capital. Yet, there is a whole other group that is lost in the middle. They long to get from one side to the other, yet have no idea how to do so, so they stay where they are. They struggle to find the bridge connecting their wealth to the bigger picture – one that doesn’t suffocate them or leave them deflated or exhausted.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way. What if you could discover the key to let you out of your self-imposed prison? What would it feel like to be a free man with a newfound purpose, a sense of freedom that can only come with an inner peace that you have truly let it go?

I can tell you from personal experience and from the countless families I have worked with over the past twenty years, that it feels good…in fact more than good, it feels incredible.

So how do you get there?

  1. Understand why you are so keen to hold on. Once you know what is behind your reluctance to let go, then you can open up the conversations with those to help you realise that letting go may be just what you needed and wanted.

  1. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. It may be a well- versed quote, but you can’t begin the process too soon. Both the founder and the successor need time to adjust and to feel equipped and ready for the change. I encourage you to be open-minded enough to seek professional assistance or advice from those who have already walked the path.

  1. Don’t be a backseat driver. Give your successor space to carve their own way forwards. Define your boundaries and involvement from the very beginning, so that both of your expectations, needs and wants are met.

  1. Consider what your life might look like after the succession. Voids need to be filled with healthy alternatives, so make sure you spend some time to think about what you might do after you leave the business.

Succession is not something that needs to be complicated, messy or fearful, but without advance preparation that involves open and honest conversations, it can become so. There is no easy way to release yourself from the burden that your wealth can sometimes create, but as with anything in life, the only way is to begin.

As the creator of your wealth, you deserve to enjoy it and to not be burdened with the responsibility of the race that you no longer need to run. It’s your time to hand over the baton, hang up your running shoes and enjoy being a spectator.

And I’ll leave you with an excerpt from a conversation I had last week with one of my past clients who said, “I wish everyone could feel the miracle of what this work and what it means to be free.” I replied… “It’s not a miracle, it just requires you to take the first step.”

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