My Entry Into Exit Planning – May 23, 2014

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Entry Post“In the absence of a valid exit strategy, events will inexorably dictate the final exit for the business.” – Gardner H. Russell

I was honored to be asked to speak at the North Texas Chapter of the Exit Planning Institute in Dallas recently.  My colleague, Joan Ridley, who is with Business Wealth Solutions, served as chief moderator .  The event was sponsored by Hillcrest Bank and BB&T.  I met some great people that day and in following up with a number of the professionals who heard my talk, I came to realize that a whole new world was opening up to me – the world of exit planning.

As I understand it, exit planning is a subset of succession planning.  But truth be told, exit planning is a much more than that.  In all honesty, I’m still learning about it.  Just today I was given a great book by Glen Katlein of B2B CFO called “The Exit Strategy Workbook – The Best Guide for Selling Your Business.”   I just recently learned that it was possible to become a certified exit planner and I plan to pursue such a process very soon.

So it should come as no surprise that on this day I did not do that much talking about exit planning per se.  Instead, I told my story.  And in the story that I did tell, one theme was made clear – families united by values survive for generations.

Far too often when people think of an inheritance, they think of money and, in particular, “how much will I get?” without realizing they have already received their real inheritance – the values passed down to them.  A number of case studies show that the families who remain together through successive generations are united by a common set of values.  Their sense of purpose is defined by the family history and by the values which they hold sacred.  These values are passed down from generation to generation.

This is one of the key reasons why I am writing my book and telling my story.  I believe it has value and perhaps the greatest value in the story in this notion that a multi-generational family enterprise cannot survive without shared passion and vision.


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