The Business Transition Blog

Business Proctologist

I think I’m going to change my title to “Business Proctologist”. It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it and it could save a life.

There are some craniums that need to be removed from that dark place and that requires a special approach. People don’t want to be told they have their head up their ass. It’s a little embarrassing. It implies they are stupid and no one wants to think that. I’m talking about the millions of baby boomer business owners who should be planning for the transition of their business, but haven’t thought about it yet.

The good news is, they aren’t stupid. They are intelligent, ambitious, responsible and successful. The bad news is, they are afflicted. They have what is defined by Margaret Heffernan as “Willful Blindness”. In her book of the same name, she says that when the truth is uncomfortable or in opposition to what you want to believe – regardless of the facts – you simply won’t see it. She cites many examples of people who had the facts in front of them, but chose not to ‘see’ or act on the reality; Nazi Germany, sub-prime mortgages, Ponzi schemes, weapons of mass destruction, global warming, the link between tobacco and premature death, and the list goes on.

Eventually, the chickens come home to roost. Hiding from the facts or pretending they don’t exist only works for so long before reality happens.

If you own a business and you are 50, here are some facts. (If you’re over 50, it gets worse.)

  • You have a 15% chance of dying before age 65.
  • You have a 33% chance of having a serious disability before age 65.
  • You have only a 20% chance of selling your business.
  • You probably have most of your money tied up in your business – including what you plan to retire on.
  • You probably like working and don’t see yourself retiring, but there are many events that can change your mind.

Not planning for the smooth transition of your business is irresponsible. But you’re a responsible person. There’s the disconnect. You’re a smart, responsible person, but you don’t see the coming tsunami that is about to wash away your community, your business, your life as you know it. That’s willful blindness. That’s hiding your head…

That’s why you may need a Business Proctologist. I’m putting on my gloves now…

Give me a call. It might save a life.

Business Proctologist