Entrepreneurs work hard and sacrifice so much of their time and money to build a new business from the ground up. Unfortunately, not every venture expands to become an empire like Microsoft and Apple. Most of the time, bright ideas are not enough to make the business profitable.
Only half of small businesses reach the five-year mark. After 10 years, about one in three small businesses will survive.
Deciding to sell your business in the hopes that someone else will be able to bring it back to life and make it prosper is tough, but it is the right thing to do. Still, putting their business for sale can be devastating. How do entrepreneurs emotionally cope with the loss?
Create a Plan
Not knowing what happens next can exacerbate your negative feelings over the sale. It would help to have some things to look forward to once the task of running the business is off of your hands.
You do not have to jump to your next venture, but you should not waste your time moping at home, either. Start small. Create five things you want to do in the next couple of months.
For example, you can spend your free time learning a new hobby or volunteering at a local charity. You can teach your child how to play a sport or take your family on a vacation out of the country. It does not have to be all about opening your next business or finding a job. Do something that you have always wanted to do but did not have the time while you were busy being an entrepreneur.
Stay Away from the Business for a While
After the sale, you might feel compelled to check out the business. However, unless the new owner has asked you to visit, it is not a good idea to monitor the store.
Likely, a lot of changes have been implemented since you left and it might upset you to see how unfamiliar the business has become to you. Do not ask your former employees for updates.
In a romantic relationship that has come to an end, people have to sever contact from their ex to move on. You are going to need to do the same with the business to allow yourself to get over the situation.
Treat the Sale as a Chance to Reinvent Yourself
Selling your business would feel like closing a chapter of your life. The experience would be similar to retiring from a job you love; there would be both relief and heartbreak.
However, it is not the end of the world. Think of it, not as a loss, but an opportunity for reinvention, a door opening to a new adventure.
Take everything that you have learned from your first attempt at running a business and then use it for whatever you decide you want to do next, whether it be developing another brand or a transition to a new career altogether.
Losing a business that you built from the ground up with your own sweat and blood is a tough decision to make. It would break your heart. Allow yourself to grieve and feel whatever emotions you have. It, too, is part of the process of moving on.
However, remember that this experience is only temporary. Eventually, you will be able to look forward to whatever comes next.