Lessons From a Long Time Client’s Business Journey

A little over a month ago I had a long time client sell his business.

I’m delighted for him. He found a buyer that will preserve what he built. I’m grateful to him. We have a bond we will carry on forever. Yet for me it still feels like suffering a loss

Not a loss like losing a beloved pet which happened to us last February. I was an utter mess for weeks leading up to when we were faced with the fact his time had come. That kind of loss has a lasting sting!

Whereas, the experience of losing a client due to selling the business has left me feeling… REFLECTIVE!

Here’s why:

No matter how you slice it, business is a journey.

Recently on LinkedIn I saw his anniversary appear. Want to guess what that anniversary number is? Forty-one [41] years since he started his business. Which already puts him past retirement age! So the sale of the business isn’t premature. In fact it had been part of our discussions all along.

He's the type that probably would have kept going had it not been for his loss. The loss of his business property due to the construction of interstate 540. This obviously created a major fork-in-the-road for him. Change is eminent no matter the journey. And you can’t always be sure where it’s going to come from.

During the journey maintain a desire to learn and adapt.

When we started our engagement he had reached a point where the business had grown beyond his ability to keep up. His managers didn’t hold back during meetings. Early on they told me what they needed from him to help them do their jobs better. Most importantly, he didn’t back down from doing the necessary work to make things better and focus on the long term vision.

No matter your age or experience there’s always something new to learn and adapt to. Yet his clarity of his vision, and the results, didn’t appear overnight. We spent 10 years together as he grew the value of the business to more than 3 times its value from when we started. I became part of his journey, and he became an ideal client. The final result speaks to patience and desire. Business journeys aren’t as easy as they sometimes appear. You have to put in the work.

No two business journeys are the same.

One thing that made this business journey unique is that it’s in the field of environmental services. There wasn’t a clear cut roadmap for businesses in this space. He didn’t choose me because I was an expert in the field. Instead, we bonded toward a common goal. We adopted and implemented common sense business strategies. As a result, the business grew as he learned to become a better leader for his business. Make sure to follow your own journey, not someone else’s. And find a trusted advisor!

How's your journey going?

Drop me a quick message if you'd like to have a chat.

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