A Tale of Two Exits

By Nina Kaufman, Esq.

Originally seen in


What’s in it for me?

I don’t see enough business owners asking themselves that question.

They’re so excited about getting started—and then so overwhelmed with running the business—that they don’t ask What do I want to get out of it … when I’m ready to get out of it?

The results of not asking are Dickensian.

Just look at the two clients I spoke to in the same week:

Client #1 has owned his construction company for 10 years. After just two months, he got offered $2M to buy his business. 80% of that will be paid in cash at closing. He’ll stay on for just 6 months to help integrate the clients and the team into the new ownership.

Client #2 has owned his urban design business for 8 years. After trying to unload his company for the last 12 months, he’s selling the customer list to his main employee for $50K. He’ll be paid in monthly installments over the next year.

Quite the difference, don’t you think?

Here’s the most significant one:

Client #1 designed his company with the end in mind.

Client #2 kept putting that off.

When you begin with the end in mind, you have a vision for your future. Like “eulogy exercises” in personal development seminars. Looking backwards, what do you want to be able to say about your business? Here are some ideas:

  • You earned a fantastic income from it to support your family while you were alive
  • You grew it to sell to someone else so you could retire early … or start the next business
  • You planted a seed your children could grow for the next generation

Client #1 was very clear about his end game. That’s why we could work together for a terrific result.

Client #2 “said” he wanted to build to sell, but kept taking money out of the business and didn’t have solid systems. His actions didn’t match his goals, so he got whatever he got.

What do you want?

Do you want to build to keep, build to sell, or build to pass on?

It takes focused attention to reach these decisions. And to keep taking the action steps that stay the course. That’s where an accountability partner comes in.

I can help you get clear—and honest with yourself—about the goal. Help you put the right foundation, strategy, and systems in place. And follow through on a consistent basis.

I’m working with clients who want a more intentional plan for success.

Is that you?

Have questions about working with Kaufman Business Law? This is the video to watch.