Tell me your strategic exit plan (if you even have one), and I’ll tell you your future.
A successful strategic exit plan optimizes:
When done well, you unlock financial freedom and happiness.
To illustrate, imagine three circles, one for each area. Now imagine part of each circle overlaps with the others. You extract your “deep wealth” when all circles overlap.
Most business owners never extract their “deep wealth.” Up to 90% of exits fail. Of “successful” exits, 50% to over 100% of the deal value stays with the buyer. Even with a successful exit, most business owners fail in their post-exit lives.
Who am I, and how do I know?
I started my eLearning company, Embanet, out of school with no money, experience, or team. Failure was my new best friend.
My grit and passion kept me in the game long enough to experience success. With success came a knock at the door from an experienced buyer.
I said “no” to a 7-figure offer and “yes” to mastering the art and science of a liquidity event. I created a system to capture the best deal instead of any deal. Two years later, I said “yes” to a 9-figure deal from a different buyer.
But even with business success, I failed in my post-exit life.
Today I pay it forward through the 90-day Deep Wealth Mastery system. Business owners master the exact strategies I created before and after my exit.
Would you like to go from “here” to “there?”
Please keep reading.
All progress depends on the unreasonable man — George Bernard Shaw
An effective strategic exit plan takes into account two types of growth factors. Some factors can unleash massive growth, and ones that stunt growth.
At the heart of Deep Wealth Mastery is the 9-step roadmap. Each of the 9-steps helps business owners do two things:
Skeletons in the closet, left unchecked, can put you out of business or lose your future deal. The Big Picture helps you identify inflection points. Left unchecked, the inflection point puts you out of business.
When leveraged, inflection points have you go out of business to go into a bigger business. In the process, you create a market disruption that catapults growth and value.
There are different types of business growth. Private equity-backed companies pursue growth at any cost. Growth at any cost is not sustainable. Symptoms include a weak business model and fleeting customers.
The other type of business growth is organic. The cockroach startup mindset has you do whatever it takes to live another day. Through bootstrapping, you leverage resilience over resources.
Your march towards profitability includes a strong business model. At Deep Wealth, we call this the “holy grail” of business models. Your business model embraces growth through three pillars.
First is recurring revenue. Next is long-term contracts, exclusive when possible. And the “holy grail” of revenue sharing.
As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the day through organic growth. Through organic growth, you increase enterprise value.
Beginners are many; finishers are few — Stephen Covey
An effective strategic exit plan helps catapult enterprise value. Three powerful strategies help catapult enterprise value:
It’s no coincidence that each of the Deep Wealth 9 steps has you do two powerful things. First, you find and remove those dangerous skeletons in the closet. After all, what’s the point of an exit if your business is out of business? Preparation helps streamline operations, reduce costs, and create a strong leadership team.
Second, find, enhance, and display your X-Factors and Rembrandts. X-Factors and Rembrandts are areas where your business is world-class and unique. Blue oceans and market disruptions are the result.
Most business owners make the fatal mistake of overlooking powerful narratives. As host of The Deep Wealth Podcast, I interview world-class thought leaders. Investment bankers and business valuators reveal the same thing.
The more compelling your narrative, the higher your enterprise value. A compelling narrative forms 80% of your value. Welcome to the art side of the business.
Enterprise value is not created at the deal table. Instead, enterprise value reflects preparation, narratives, and mindset.
A winning mindset transforms “impossible” into “I’m possible.”
It’s no coincidence that a powerful narrative’s foundation is on X-Factors. You also embed preparation and mindset into your narrative.
You ensure all stakeholders are on the same page through a winning mindset. Your winning mindset also extends to your future buyer. The “us vs. them” mentality becomes “us” and how you’ll solve painful problems.
Success without fulfillment is failure — Jeffrey Feldberg
I have a confession.
My post-exit life did not have me find my happily ever after. And I’m not alone. Most business owners experience massive failure after a successful exit.
In my case, I did not prepare for my post-exit life. As with most business owners, I was the business, and the business was me. Through rituals, I had momentum from my business. My friends included employees and clients.
Some of my biggest failures happened post-exit, even though I had a big business win.
After your exit, your business momentum vanishes. Yes, there comes a time when you’re not in the business. You have a non-compete to ensure you stay out of the business. It’s common for most business owners to have lunch as the highlight of their day post-exit.
All the zeroes in the bank don’t overcome isolation, lack of activity, and the loss of momentum. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Before your exit journey, Deep Wealth Mastery has you prepared for your post-exit life. Through our strategic exit plan, you discover activities outside of the business. These activities have you feeling energized and excited.
Without pressure and with time, you find activities to create fulfillment. While still running your business, you have a “dress rehearsal” for post-exit life. In the process, you remove what doesn’t work. You add more activities that work for you.
Preparation helps you create a new type of momentum outside of your business. You know exactly what to do when your exit arrives without missing a beat.
Avoiding problems you need to face is avoiding the life you need to live — Paulo Coelho
When it comes to your strategic exit plan, you can expect challenges. The irony is the so-called challenges are the same attributes needed for success.
Look to preparation as your ally, friend, and North Star. The challenge with preparation is that it’s important but not urgent. It’s all too easy to have the issues of the day steal your focus and time.
As the saying goes, what gets measured is what gets done. Ensure that you and the team schedule completion dates. Create a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly preparation rhythm.
Treat your time booked off in the schedule as though your company’s existence depends on it. Because it does.
The second challenge you’ll face is your and your team’s mindset. Most people don’t like change as it represents uncertainty. In Deep Wealth Mastery, we do a deep dive into the psychology of change and strategies to leverage.
Change the mindset from an initiative being a “bet the farm decision” to a small “experiment.” As simple as this strategy sounds, it’s effective. People are open to a temporary experiment.
The other major challenge you’ll face with your strategic exit plan is time. Often it takes more time than desired or anticipated. Ensure you and the team allow enough time to create, execute, and refine. Remember, slow and steady wins the day.
Know that your so-called failures of today create the underpinning of success tomorrow.
Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised — Denis Waitley
The ultimate strategic exit plan incorporates and leverages art and science. Let’s look at three pillars to rely on for your strategic exit plan.
First is the foundation itself. Using an analogy, an effective strategic exit plan is like a house whose foundation is on bedrock. The last thing wanted is a foundation on shifting sand.
At Deep Wealth, we look to three areas as the foundation:
Let’s continue with the next three areas with the second pillar, preparation. The next three areas are:
4. Mastering the internal audit.
5. Implementing a winning mindset for all stakeholders.
6. Know how to find and select your advisory team. When the team works, the dream works.
The third and final pillar is where you extract your “deep wealth” through:
7. Knowing what to say, when to say it, and whom to say it to.
8. Always remove skeletons and display X-factors.
9. Executing the launch plans specific to the business you and the team created.
The above strategies and methods are what I created to capture my 9-figure deal. When done well, you create certainty and peace of mind as you unlock financial freedom.
Along the way, you can enjoy a profitable and thriving business “forever.” Or, instead, exit “tomorrow.” The choice is yours, and both are great choices.
A strategic exit plan is not only preparing your business for higher growth and value. You’re also paving the path to both success and fulfillment. Entrepreneurship is not only about money. When done well, you’re growing and improving the world.
Your strategic exit plan blends growth, value, and your post-exit life. At the intersection of these three areas are harmony and your “deep wealth.”
It’s sad but true that most business owners never realize their deep wealth. As shared earlier, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Most business owners stumble and fail in their post-exit lives.
But you don’t have to become a statistic. You now have a path to successful strategic exit planning. Let my personal experience and Deep Wealth Mastery be your shining light.
Take a holistic and intentional approach to boosting growth and value. At the same time, you’re preparing for your post-exit life. Your journey to extract your deep wealth starts with embracing change. Your preparation also prepares you for challenges. Know that the journey is as important as the destination.
The ultimate strategic exit plan is not only about your exit. Instead, you create a legacy that ushers in fulfillment, happiness, and financial freedom.
Strategic exit planning is key whether you’re starting out or a seasoned entrepreneur. Your strategic exit plan unlocks your prosperous and fulfilling future when done well.
As I asked before and will ask now, “Tell me your strategic exit plan (if you even have one), and I’ll tell you your future.
You can do it. I know you can.
Here’s to you and your success!
Do you want to unlock your financial freedom? Learn how to grow your business and, at the same time, prepare for a future liquidity event. Master the same system I created for my 9-figure liquidity event. Visit www.deepwealth.com/success to learn more.