After Ben Allen founded Allen Technology Advising (ATA), he struggled to find work-life balance. “After starting ATA it was really painful for me as a business owner,” he told us, “If I went on vacation I was always on edge, I had to leave my phone on.”
His situation will be familiar to most business owners — after all, we found that 63% of business owners work 50+ hours a week.
Allen wanted to increase the value of his business, while still finding time for himself. How would he eventually achieve that?
With this formula:
Personal Vision + A Bucket List = Increased Company Value!
The first part of the formula is your personal vision. Have you revisited it lately? Are you working on those areas that will have big picture impact on your company, or are you mired in the lower value operational details that should be delegated?
Allen’s personal vision was to build a company that didn’t rely on him, so he could spend time pursuing other passions, like travel.
What is your personal vision for your company? Look at work role and time involvement, material desires, non-material values and intellectual rewards, retirement and business exit strategy.
The second part of the formula is your “bucket list.” A few years ago a TAB Member announced in his board meeting that he wanted to get a tattoo. He had just seen the movie “The Bucket List” about two men, both with an incurable illness, who meet in the hospital and decide to embark on a journey together to complete all of the things they want to do before they “kick the bucket.”
At the top of Allen’s bucket list was to take his family for an extended sabbatical in Tanzania, a country he had fallen in love with while traveling there.
Have you put together a bucket list? What is at the top? When would you need to start checking things off the list in order to get everything done?
Increased Company Value
How do having a personal vision and bucket list increase your company value? Because they help free you from your business’ day-to-day operations. After all, the more you work in your business, the less it is worth when it’s time to sell.
Imagine showing a prospective buyer around your business. You explain that this person is in charge of sales and production, this one in charge of HR and accounting, etc. When asked what you do, you explain that you have developed processes and procedures that allow the company to run as you want it without your direct involvement, enabling you to take lots of time off.
If you are working 6-7 days a week you do not have a business — you have a job. To a prospective buyer, what would be worth more?
“I really did have a belief as the business owner that I was supposed to know everything and be great at everything,” Allen said. “What I’ve learned is that one of my best skills is cultivating great staff.”
Because of the staff he’d cultivated, Allen was able to build a business that could run without him at the helm. That allowed him to realize his personal vision — and his bucket list goal — of taking a seven-month sabbatical with his family to Tanzania.
Five years previously, his company may have come to a grinding halt. But because Allen had built his business around his personal vision and bucket list, it did the exact opposite: While away, his company posted the largest profit month in its history, while clients raved about the improved customer service.
To increase the value of your company, take the time to work on your personal vision and your bucket list. Share it with someone to hold you accountable, then get working on checking items off!
Looking for more ways to increase the value of your business? Check out our weekly sales training meetings!