Business owner “Joe” and I had been talking over several months about selling his business. He had been in business for over 40 years. At age 67 Joe knew it was past time to retire. However, he was having a hard time coming to grips with the realization that it was time to move on. In addition, the company was having an excellent sales year, and Joe thought maybe he could just hold on a bit longer.
When we last spoke it was a Wednesday afternoon. Joe called me and told me that he had come to a decision. He would be sending over the signed contract to engage our firm to sell his business. Thursday morning I thought of something I wanted to tell Joe to ask his CPA. I called Joe’s cell phone and the call went straight to voice mail. I thought nothing about it and decided to just call his CPA as we had talked previously about Joe’s business. The CPA firm receptionist answered the phone and sounded rather peculiar. I was told to hold for Joe’s accountant. What I heard next threw me for a loop. Joe had been killed in a traffic accident Wednesday evening while going home from work!
Sadly, we see these types of situations all too often. This is a cautionary reminder: Folks, get your lives in order. Don’t leave your family with an unintended burden. As most do, this owner had planned for the sale of his business to help fund his and his wife’s retirement years. Unfortunately, once a business is compelled to sell because of an illness or death, the price most likely will drop. In some cases the sale of the business becomes a fire sale. It’s hard to let go of what might be one of the greatest achievements of your life, but there does come a time to move on to life’s other adventures.
Take control of your destiny. Don’t let what happened to Joe happen to you and your family.