Your key to being happy, fulfilled, and successful are life lessons.
If you’ve sold your business or are planning to, life lessons are a must-have in your arsenal.
I should know.
I was that kid who started an EdTech business, Embanet, right out of school with no money, experience, or team.
Despite the many setbacks and failures along the way, I grew Embanet and enjoyed a 9-figure exit.
And while I could talk about life lessons learned to build my business, let’s focus on life after the sale.
Why should you care, you ask, and what’s in it for you?
Let’s leave the theory in the classroom. Instead, let’s focus on over a decade of in-the-trenches experience of life after the sale.
I’ve made the mistakes (many) and have done the heavy lifting for you so you can read and prosper.
What are the 9 life lessons from my 9-figure exit, you ask?
Another great question.
And the only way to find out is to keep on reading.
Life Lesson 1 – Don’t Become The Next Emperor Without Clothes
Comedians are the ones who have to tell the emperor he has no clothes on. – Chris Rock
The sale of your business puts you in an elite group of achievers. The more zeroes after your sale, the smaller your group and the more you have to be proud of.
Celebrate your accomplishment, it’s well deserved.
Amongst your friends, family, and colleagues you’re a rockstar. You have the magic touch and can turn lead into gold.
Check your ego at the door and acknowledge that the sale of your business may be your only grand slam.
If you’re not careful, you’ll become the emperor with no clothes.
After the sale of my EdTech, my ego took over, and in the blink-of-an-eye, I became the owner of a diabetic supply company.
What did I know about diabetic supplies and diabetes?
My ego went into overdrive. It wasn’t hard to do.
Between my 9-figure exit and accolades from those around me, I was a legend.
A legend in my mind.
The diabetic supply company resulted in a 7-figure exit.
A 7-figure exit of losses!
In the process, I became the emperor without clothes.Trading in belief and passion for greed when starting a business is a great formula for failure.
Take life lessons to heart and don’t become the next emperor without clothes.
Life Lesson 2 – Momentum Takes Years To Create And Vanishes In An Instant
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. – Confucius
Momentum, which takes years to create and can vanish in an instant, is your ‘X’ factor for success.
Momentum vanishes in an instant when you sell your company.
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you are the company, and the company is you.
No company, no momentum.
Two questions for you.
Does your company run without you?
Do you have hobbies and interests outside of your company?
Don’t pass go unless you answered ‘yes’ to both of the above questions.
While you may kick and scream when the new owners escort you out the door, your non-compete will keep you out.
Say hello to perpetual boredom.
Too much time and too many zeroes in your bank is a disaster in the making.
Life lessons are often learned the hard way. My 7-figure loss in the diabetic supply company is no exception.
Have your company run without you so you can discover new problems to solve.
Find and solve those problems before you sell your company.
You’ll be happily rich, as you should be.
A rich but unhappy person is a failure.
When it comes to life lessons, master momentum and master it well.
Develop momentum in different areas of your life so when you close out one area, you have can turn to other areas.
Life Lesson 3 – Thrive, Prosper, And Succeed By Taking A Mini Retirement
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. – C.S. Lewis
Here’s a life lesson for you: It’s your journey and not the destination, that’s your ultimate reward.
After the sale, slow it down. Way down.
You’ve earned it.
Easier said than done for most entrepreneurs.
Looking back, I’ve made more mistakes AFTER my 9-figure exit.
I felt the pressure to go from one venture into another.
Sounds great on paper.
And sounds even better to your ego and your entourage who now have you believe you walk on water.
But you don’t.
Take a mini-retirement and enjoy the moment.
Have long and leisurely lunches.
Clear your mind.
What’s your rush?
Life lessons ensure your next adventure is already waiting for you. But this time it’s on your terms and your way.
Money can’t and won’t buy happiness. But money can make the path easier.
With life lesson three, you learn that when you take a mini-retirement, you’re the better for it.
With the pressure off you’ll rediscover the inner child within you that wants to make a dent in the universe.
Run with it and enjoy every moment.
And when the mini-retirement is up, you’ll know.
My 9-figure exit was over a decade ago, and this is one life lesson I only appreciate now.
If in doubt, remember the wise words of American Author Catherine Pulsifer.
“Retirement, a time to enjoy all the things you never had time to do when you worked.”
Life Lesson 4 – Surround Yourself With The Absolute Best Advisors Before And After The Sale
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn’s quote is something that should be taught in every school but isn’t.
Who are you spending your time with?
When it comes to business, who you surround yourself with is even more important to your success.
When you sell your company, dominate and win when you know how to choose an investment banker.
After the sale, surround yourself with advisors to protect you from, well, you.
You’ll soon find out that earning and making money is easier, much easier, than keeping the money.
My dear reader, learn these life lessons and learn them well.
Like compound interest, when done well, life lessons pays you compound interest. Forever.
Surround yourself with top-notch money managers, tax advisors, and accountants. And don’t forget about over-the-top business lawyers and life coaches.
Your ultimate happiness, success, and peace-of-mind depend on this.
Don’t blow it.
Why is this important?
You’re about to learn why life lessons are crucial, starting with the fifth life lesson.
Life Lesson 5 – Just Because You Can Write The Check Doesn’t Mean You Should
No one went broke by saying no too often. – Harvey Mckay
As far as life lessons go, the power of saying ‘no’ is right up there, especially after the sale.
To build your business, you learned saying ‘no’ to opportunities is saying ‘yes’ to success.
Why stop now?
Life lessons have you saying ‘no’ more than ‘yes’ in life after the sale to preserve your capital and happiness.
Don’t get me wrong.
After the sale of your business, splurge on yourself.
Travel the world first class.
Buy your toys.
Give generously to noteworthy causes.
Have your way and get it out of your system.
My EdTech, Embanet, because the success it did because I couldn’t write the check even if I wanted to.
What a blessing this was.
Straight off the heels of a 9-figure exit was my 7-figure loss.Just because you can write the check doesn’t mean you should. And most times you shouldn’t.
I wrote the check when I had no business being in that diabetic supply business.
Those ‘rare’ opportunities that are only here for a day unless you write the check, of course, aren’t so rare.
These so-called opportunities are a great opportunity for the recipient of your check.
Get over it.
Live lessons help when you have money in the bank and a great team of advisors. Time is on your side.
Remember the past five life lessons because they will help you master the art of happiness with life lesson six.
Life Lesson 6 – What Makes You Rich In Happiness Is Found In The Most Unlikely Places
Memories are the best things in life. – Romy Schneider
Life lesson six has you rich in happiness and high on life itself.
After my 9-figure exit, I was fortunate to travel the world and splurge on myself.
But here’s the ting.
That five-star hotel, whose name I can’t remember, blended in with the next one, and the one after that.
Despite my large and excessive wardrobe, my go-to selection of clothes was small.
During this indulgent phase of my life, I likened myself to an adrenaline junkie looking for the next hit.
Don’t get me wrong. Money can and does make a difference. But money is a means to an end.
Life lessons taught me that what made me rich in happiness was always in front of me.
There’s nothing like watching a beautiful sunset with a loved one.
Or how about enjoying a simple but delicious meal with people you love.
Walk into any hospital, and you’ll walk out high on life that you’re healthy and have a life.
Laughing so hard until you cry and sharing a tender moment with the love-of-your-life is at the top of my list.
Life lessons taught me that true happiness comes from magic moments, not money.
Surround yourself with people you love and trust
Laugh at yourself. Laugh with each other. Just laugh.
Life Lesson 7 – You’re Not Your Company, And Your Company Isn’t You
Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s game. – Babe Ruth
For most entrepreneurs, you are your company, and your company is you. It’s a merging of the soul and needed when you first begin.
Life lesson seven is all about claiming back your independence and your soul.
In preparing to sell your company, it’s crucial you make a mental shift.
Your baby, aka your company, has grown up and is about to take on a life of its own.
If you’ve been smart about it, you’ve created a rich and thriving company culture. And your company culture is one that thrives without you.
With life lessons, welcome and embrace the fact that you are not your company, and your company isn’t you.
And this is how it should be.
The harsh reality is that there’s a new sheriff in town, and it’s not you. When in doubt, your non-compete will remind you.
Cherish the memories. Smile at yesterday’s accomplishments.
But the day after the sale is a new day, and one without your company.
Life lessons have you finding other problems that you’re passionate to solve.
Go forth and prosper. Don’t look back.
Your former team is looking forward. Without you.
It’s not personal. It is what it is.
Life lesson seven is here to save you and your sanity.
And you’ll need your sanity for life lesson eight.
Life Lesson 8 – Have A Plan After The Sale Even If Your Plan Is To Do Nothing
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? – Mary Oliver
Well before you sell your company, have a plan of what you’ll do after the sale.
A plan to do nothing at all is superior to no plan at all.
Life lesson eight is all about permitting yourself to do, well, nothing.
But like any plan, you’ll have a start date and an approximate end date. Run with it.
What’s the difference between life lessons three and eight, you ask?
A great question.
Life lesson three has you detox from your former life, aka your former business. You’re getting back to center.
Life lesson eight is about being.
From being you to being in the moment to thinking about who you’ll be in the next chapter of your life.
The only expectations are to have no expectations.
Find your inner child and enjoy the ride.
Life lesson eight is one of those things I would school my younger self on, well before my 9-figure exit.
My path of mistakes, heartache, and pressure would have given way to enjoying the journey.
And when you master these eight life lessons, you set yourself up beautifully for the next and final life lesson.
Life Lesson 9 – You And Not Money Is The Key To Your Happiness
You aren’t wealthy until you have something money can’t buy. – Garth Brooks
If you’re looking for true happiness, life lessons have you looking in the mirror to find your answer.
You and you alone are the key to your happiness, not money.
A quick story.
The morning after my 9-figure exit I still had the same hopes, dreams, fears, and challenges.
Yes, money can and does make a difference.
But money is only a means to an end.
Although it took me longer than I would have liked to learn life lesson nine, I’m the better for it.
Magic moments, and not material things, are where it’s at.
Always has been. Always will be.
Conclusion On These 9 Life Lessons
Looking for happiness, fulfillment, and success after the sale?
Regardless of where you are on your life journey, know that life lessons are a must have in your arsenal.
I’ve shared 9 life lessons from my 9-figure exit.
I’ve left the theory for the classroom and given you my in-the-trenches experience.
Believe it or not, keeping the money is harder than earning it.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Let these 9 life lessons be your north star and guide to living a fulfilled and happy life.
I’ll take it a step further and share that success without fulfillment is a failure.
Not sure what to do and how to get there?
I have great news for you.
Knowing what not to do is often more important than knowing what to do.
My 9 life lessons from my 9-figure exit tell you both what to do and not to do.
All you have to do is to take action.
So what are you waiting for, my dear reader?
Here’s to you and your success!
Your BIGGEST Raving Fan,