Is there life after exit?
- Sit by the swimming pool drinking G&Ts, or devote yourself to your favourite sport or hobby, or travel the world, or whatever floats your boat. There’s a whole array of leisure activities that help pass the time and, as that phrase implies, it’s great for a bit. But after a while you start to miss the mental stimulation, the drive and excitement, the intelligent social interaction that you’ve become used to in your working life.
- Start a new business.Yes maybe, but you’ve just escaped the years of high pressure and crazy hours, are you really ready for that again – and so soon. Life is pretty short, so isn’t it time to move on and tackle a new personal challenge?
- Work for someone else. After years of running your own show, is this really possible? Are you actually employable by anyone other than a most enlightened boss? Will you cope with being told what to do (even in the nicest of ways), with decisions being made that you don’t support and, however it’s done, by someone else monitoring your performance? It’s likely to end in tears I think.
- Become a multiple non-exec. So you’re going to attend board meetings giving the benefit of your experience – is that really adding the value to a business that you’d like to? Are you really going to spend the rest of your working life attending meetings and chewing the cud? Most great entrepreneurs that I know aren’t very keen on long internal meetings.
- Do some charity work.This is laudable and to be encouraged but will it provide you with the stimulation you need? It has the potential if you can get involved in the business end of charity work, whether that’s in finding innovative methods of fund raising or actively delivering on the charity’s goals. If not, perhaps this should be a part-time rather than full-time activity.
- Help the owners of other businesses achieve success. Entrepreneurs who are likely to make it already know the benefit of utilising top expertise whenever they can get it. So you could become their expert resource, working closely together to create opportunities, unlock potential and to build success.
When it comes down to it, it’s horses for courses. These decisions will depend on your age, your energy level, your personal situation and your motivations.
I can however guarantee that there’s one thing very few successful entrepreneurs will do: nothing.
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