Cut the Ties of Dependency Between You and Your Business

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Owners wear many hats as they grow their businesses: rainmaker, HR manager, CEO, cheerleader, and director of finance, to name a few. Yet if they are still wearing all these hats as they move toward their business transitions and Next Adventures, that’s a problem. If you don’t cut the ties of dependency between you and your business, you face a huge obstacle on your road to a successful transition.

Think for a moment:

???? Does the success of your company depend on your knowledge, skills, relationships, and experience?

???? Does your sense of self depend on your role as leader of your successful company?

Dependency ties down business value.

Dependency is a two-way street that can jeopardize a successful business transition whether your successor is a family member, partner, group of key employees, or outside third party. Unless your successor is prepared to lead and your managers poised to continue to perform, can you expect your company to succeed after you leave? Third-party buyers don’t, so if they are even willing to purchase a company whose success is dependent on its owner, they don’t make premium offers. The risk is simply too high.

Risk and Reward

Most owners spend years forging relationships with financial institutions that provide capital in exchange for the owners’ personal guarantees. When these owners transfer their business ownership, financial institutions hesitate to shift their relationships to successors they don’t know and who are unproven. Owners who mentor their successors give themselves far better odds of transitioning these relationships and reaping a well-earned return on a lifetime of investing in their companies and putting their personal assets on the line.

A New Source of Fulfillment 

Some owners feel so connected to role as leader of a successful enterprise that they wonder what post-business endeavor could be as meaningful. Let’s look again at your relationship to your business.

???? Why are your transitioning your business? Have you planned a life after business that is as meaningful to you as your life as an owner?

???? Have you taken time to explore activities that you might enjoy after you leave your company?


It’s not unusual for companies to be dependent on their owners’ relationships with customers, key vendors, and strategic alliances. It’s just as common for owners of successful businesses to value the important roles they play in their communities.

We’re all about relationships. In fact, our No. 1 guiding principle is: Put relationships first. We understand how difficult it can be to imagine life without the relationships you’ve developed as an owner. As transition strategists, we also know that owners who can transition these relationships to successors and nurture their relationships outside their businesses increase the odds of a successful business transfer.

Cut the ties of dependency between you and your business.

We work with owners and founders to loosen the ties of mutual dependency. By doing so, we lay the foundation for a successful business transition. If you know that there’s level of mutual dependency between you and your company, let’s talk about how we can help you change that dynamic and put you on the road to your Next Adventure™.

Elizabeth Ledoux is a co-author of the award-winning It’s A Journey: The MUST-HAVE Roadmap to Successful Succession Planning,  as well as Accelerate Your Entrepreneurial Flight and Understanding the Growth of the Entrepreneur. She frequently speaks to organizations and business owners about challenges and opportunities in private and family business transitions, business and individual growth, and the business succession journey.

She serves as Chair for TIGER 21 in Denver, Colorado and was Chair for 14 years of the Women Presidents’ Organization’s Denver chapter.

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