Written by Bob Regnerus

business transitionA business transition can be difficult.  Heck, transitions in any part of life are difficult.

As an entrepreneur, you’re wired to do new things constantly, so transitions are part of the program, but when you pour your heart and soul into something and it’s dying, and needs to be buried, it hurts.

I’ve had several business transitions in my career, but it was always moving from a current opportunity to a better opportunity.  So there was no feeling of resentment or loss, it was an opportunity that brought excitement and challenge.  Those business transitions are fun and terrifying all at the same time.

However, when you stand at the edge of a project or a venture that is no longer producing or profitable, that produces all kinds of fear, loss of confidence, bitterness, grief, anger….you name it.  All kinds of emotions and feelings that do not motivate you, it paralyzes you.  Even the most successful of us can be paralyzed by this moment.

For me, it was the realization I had to close my agency business.  For a myriad of reasons, with factors both within and outside of my control, the signs were there, but the emotions and identity I had tied to the situation prevented me from making the hard choices.  I delayed hard choices despite the fact that “the supply lines were cut off”.

You can’t win a war when the supply lines get cut off.  It means the end is near and you either surrender or get annihilated.  The choice is clear, but the decision is damn near impossible to make.  You don’t ever want to admit defeat.  You are taught to never give up, so whether it’s pride, determination, ignorance, or stupidity, you place yourself in a precarious position by delaying the inevitable – you use up remaining precious resources and put everyone including yourself at great risk.

I believe in order in this universe. I believe in a higher power that looks out for the good of people.  I believe that sometimes love dictates that it’s time to kill off something that’s no longer productive in order to replace it with something better.  I believe God gives us signs to move and we can choose to heed or ignore them.  One of those signals for entrepreneurs to make a business transition is when the supply lines get cut off.  In reviewing my career and business history, I always knew when to move on when the supply lines got cut off.  Most of the time I saw the event an moved on quickly.  For my agency, i stood my ground.  I didn’t foresee changes in the market, changes in demand, or flaws in the process.  I became paralyzed as the supply lines got cut off and tried to half-heatedly fight when the right decision would have been to surrender and move on. It would have saved me a lot of money. I probably would have been spared a lot of grief too.

I have come to appreciate business transitions as normal and good for business.  I can be emotionally engaged in my business, without allowing myself to get so detached that I miss the signs for when I need to act.  As I coach several entrepreneurs going through their own business transitions right now, one of the things I do for them is help them see when and where the supply lines are cut off so they can steer their business in the direction that’s best.

Are you facing a business transition now – email me or comment and perhaps we can work it out together.

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