Youpreneur’s have a problem. Let’s talk about it. Many people in the Youpreneur community are solopreneurs. There is so much that is good about that. Why do I say it’s a problem?
Here is the rub; most, not all, solopreneurs cannot monetize their business in a way that allows them to sell it, exit and retire. I’ve seen it too often.
Here is what happens – you start a business. You are the brains and the energy; you know where it’s going, and you are very good at it. People hire you. You expand your reach. You are on the road much of the year. The cash is rolling in. Speaking gigs, writing articles and books, coaching – all that. You’re dog tired when wheels touch ground Friday. Spouses, kids, family and friends fill the gaps. Then, you catch the next flight. Planning for years down the road? Meh!
Should you save for retirement or create it?
Here is what I say – you can save for retirement, or you can create retirement. Which do you prefer?
As a solopreneur from financial services, an industry of lone wolves, I get it. It is a hassle to hire and train, to delegate, to manage. It’s a distraction from all that you love, and from all you are great at doing.
Here’s the thing. Years tick by. Houses and cars and schools and vacations. Catch the next flight. Suddenly, you’re in the grocery line and someone says “sir” or “mam” and you look behind you to find out who’s the old person? It’s you. You’re 50 and you’ve done well, yet, you’ve got not much for retirement saved and no business to monetize.
Your business is the key. It is time to monetize. But how?
Creating a marketable entity
This is where some real work begins. Frankly, if you’re under 50, you can start now too and you are ahead. You’re going to create a marketable entity. Why? It’s an asset and you can sell assets. If it is your brain and body, you’ve got nothing to sell. If it is a self-sustaining entity, that requires brains at the top, it is marketable. If it is a personally driven entity that consumes all of you, it is not marketable.
The entity requires a few things. People who can do some, if not all, of what you can do. You’re going to learn how to delegate. So, you’ll need some office space. Your created name on the door. Financial systems. In other words, you have a real, actual business. It’s not just you and your personality flying around anymore.
To be sure, that is less free and less fun. Question is, do you want to be doing this at 70? Probably not. I can’t tell you how many people at 65 suddenly wake up to find they have nothing. No real assets and no way out unless they keep grinding.
Making things happen
Where does it go from here? You can head that ugly wake-up-call off and make it different because you are good at making a difference. Youpreneurs make things happen every day and this concept of building a business is similar. It starts simply. You create a legal entity – whatever that looks like in your country. You get office space. You hire a person at first. Train them to do some of that junk you fill your time with. Trust them; and hold them accountable for it. You may have to go through a few people to get it right. Then, take your freed-up time and sell more services or products. Use that revenue to build more organization, hire more people to take more junk off your plate.
Here is where it gets hard. You can look at this extra revenue as a bigger house, a fancier car, more stuff, stuff, stuff. Or you can realize that it is this revenue invested in your business that is creating an asset you’ll sell someday for bigger money. Retirement income!
If you do it smartly, you’ll have a retirement plan – your business! You’ll also invest outside your business as you grow your business – to sell someday.
In another article, I’ll write about how the sale might play-out. For now, realize that you are targeting an accomplished sale of your business.
I sold my business at age 60 which had kept me and my family living a good lifestyle. For many years I did the things that I’m writing about now. The result, as well as the process, is a good deal. Come join me.Invest your revenue back into your business and create an asset you’ll sell someday for more money. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
Bill Heestand offers the new book The Ownership Ladder. In thirty-two years in business Bill successfully bought and sold a family-owned business, not once, but four times. The book explores one way that you can own a business, called internal succession, aka be an intrapreneur. This may be the way that you market your business for your retirement.