6 Tips for Life After Family Business Succession or Retirement

The big question that many people ask themselves when they start thinking about retirement or family business succession is “What do I want to do with my life next?” The reality is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for everyone. Some people know exactly what they want to do and some might not have a clue. Either way, it’s important to go back to the basics of what you truly value in life and figure out how that can impact your future. For folks in a family business facing succession, this has a significant impact on the whole family.

Depending on your history, you might be an experienced entrepreneur or business owner like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg and want to continue running another company. Other people may have skills in writing, teaching, public speaking and want to take a more simple approach- but still do something that can make a difference in the world.

Whatever your past, the first step is following what brings you joy and a sense of purpose.

This is where many people get stuck. They put too much emphasis on the HOW and not enough emphasis on the WHAT. This focus on the “how” prevents them from even identifying what they truly want in their next act. Don’t jump into the next phase of life after your business without first thinking about what you want to do.

Spend some time figuring out what it is that makes your heart sing.

Maybe you’re daydreaming about traveling the world or taking up golf lessons every morning before breakfast (or whatever floats your boat). While there’s no one ‘right’ answer for everyone on deciding what to do next, here are some tips from experienced entrepreneurs and family business owners who have just made their transition into second careers.

Number One. Start Meditating.

Meditation can help with all sorts of different things- from managing stress to easing pain. It’s not just for monks and yogis anymore. Meditation is a powerful tool that has been shown to increase productivity, focus, creativity and happiness! It allows you to master the “monkey mind” and find focus and clarity.

If you are new to meditation, guided practices that focus on the breath are a great place to start. Try The Breathing App from Eddie Stern.

Number Two. Don’t put pressure on yourself or your family to figure it out right away.

Instead, take some time and explore experiences and activities that might appeal to you. You may be surprised at how many opportunities are available when you start prioritizing your values and your passions. Your next joyous adventure awaits!

Number Three. Have a plan so there is something meaningful waiting when you wrap up work every day.

Even if it’s just enjoying time with friends; find joy in whatever stage of life you’re in today (not what will happen tomorrow); identify one goal per week that moves towards achieving your dreams and build a social network around you with people who will inspire and challenge you.

Number Four. Reflect on what you want to do with your life and THEN learn how to do it!

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What really makes me happy?
  • What are my core values?
  • How can I make joy a priority today?
  • Who are some of my favorite people who have done this before me, and why am I inspired by them?
  • Will they talk to me or offer guidance or advice about which steps to take next?
  • What does my ideal day look like?
  • Why is this dream important enough for me that I’m willing- even eager-to invest time and energy into making it happen?

Number Five. Take part in activities or learning opportunities you enjoy but haven’t tried or participated in recently if you were feeling owned by your business.

I learned a powerful lesson from my grandfather before he passed away. He went back to school in retirement at the age of 70 simply because he enjoyed learning and knew that it kept him young. He taught me that life’s too short to not be living it fully along the way. You deserve this time of joy and fulfillment and your family deserves you showing up as your best self as often as possible.

Number Six. Find someone who can help you identify your blind-spots.

The joy and fulfillment that you deserve IS available to you. But many of us still hold stories and paradigms that have been programmed in us since our childhood and are holding us back from achieving the life we truly desire. We can’t see the forest for the trees.

This is where outside council is critical. Whether that be trusted friends or family in your life to point out these areas or a coach or a consultant.

If joy, peace and fulfillment is something that you’ve been waiting for your whole life and have yet to achieve, chances are there is a belief you still hold and are unaware of that prevents you from getting there. Getting help will be one of the best decisions you make in your lifetime.

Remind yourself of the following things:

Joy and peace come from living your purpose.

“Only those who have learned how to live on their own terms can teach others how to find joy in theirs”. Author Unknown

Life is short and will end for all of us. Take advantage of the time you have NOW to create amazing life experiences.

What next?

The majority of the work that we do at The Center for Conscious Living and Fulfillment is with folks who are approaching a major transition or succession in their business and their life.

They may have fears like: where does my significance lie if not in my business? How do I let go of something I have created for so many years? What if I don’t know what to do next? How will my family be affected?

These are all questions we can answer together.

Our clients have created amazing second acts in their life where they live fully alive creating wonderful experiences. We know that the transition out of your business and into a new chapter of life can be difficult. But there is joy in knowing you are transitioning on your own terms and not someone else’s.

At The Center for Conscious Living and Fulfillment, we have seen many people who were looking to make this shift in their lives find success by treating themselves as an entrepreneur would treat his or her business- with joy, dedication, commitment, and faithfulness.

To request a complimentary alchemy call with me to talk about your specific situation, business transition, or phase in life visit chrisyonker.com/alchemy.

Additional Resources:

The 6 Pillars to a Successful and Peaceful Business Transition (video series)

The Secret Thoughts of CEOs Podcast Episode with Dave Hoeffel

The Vision Workbook (free PDF)

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