Author Topic: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE  (Read 4114 times)

oneyear

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About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« on: May 10, 2020, 02:06:15 AM »
I've written (not posted) and deleted this topic 4 times over the past 8 months. Each time I've stopped for fear of the "what-if it doesn't happen" coming back to punch me in the face. It did, each time. So in any given deal, the process of selling a business is a stressful rollercoaster. Throw in COVID for good measure and it puts this rollercoaster into hyperdrive. We were due to complete the sale of our business 8 weeks ago. It was so close we were sitting in the lawyers office awaiting the contracts to come in to sign. Then the very same morning lockdown began rolling out. Everything was thrown out the window.

At the very same time of stressing about business and the scores of people we employ, the deal was pulled. I'll not lie, it was the most stressful week or two Ive ever encountered. My daily walk usually concluded with tears of worry. I stopped sleeping well and the panic that many of us felt never left me, day or night.

I am ever the pragmatist and know this time will pass, but not knowing the answers is one thing. Not even knowing the question is something entirely different. Especially when many people and their families are looking to you for answers. If we all came out of this time healthy that was the big win in my opinion.

From a FIRE perspective, I saw a 30% drop in our investments. This drop alone was a life changing sum by anyones standards. But when I readjusted to our budget COVID spend rate it still covered everything and more. Regardless of what-happened financially we'd be ok. Home paid off, a good cash reserve and no need to touch our investments.

I'd completely forgotten about the deal 4 weeks in, this was business preservation mode. By week 6 I like many entrepreneurs started looking for the opportunity this time presents (of which there will be many) and created a whole new service to assist the organisations we work with navigate this time as responsible employers. We are going to be aggressive in our marketing and come out of this time stronger and more efficient. Though not without struggle.

Anyway, fast forward to this week and I got a call from our prospective buyer. "It's time to push forward". I was floored. I'd discounted the fact that we are a big opportunity for their business and all things aside, now is of course the right time to take action. Awaiting contracts in coming days and this really might happen...First time I've allowed myself to think that, as I'm very much of the "A deal isn't complete until the money is in the bank" train of thought.

I obviously can't share this with anyone I know irl. I'm trying not to get excited, but this has been 15 years in the making.


lemanfan

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2020, 02:27:42 AM »
Congratulations on taking the next step!

 I've some sort of similar experiences posted elsewhere in this subforum, and it is truly a mental rollercoster.  Or was for me. 

oneyear

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2020, 02:46:54 AM »
Congratulations on taking the next step!

 I've some sort of similar experiences posted elsewhere in this subforum, and it is truly a mental rollercoster.  Or was for me.

I'll go search :) Yeah you couldn't have too many goes on this rollercoaster tbf. Mentally draining.

Im hoping things move fast this week, but going by the past 8 months, it'll be at a snails pace.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2020, 03:10:11 AM by oneyear »

blue_green_sparks

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2020, 05:58:38 AM »
Can't speak for everyone...I left my career in the rearview mirror over a year ago and had so many concerns. Today I can barely remember what they even were. 90% of my cellphone contacts are just a waste of memory space. Things that were so important have faded away. Life fills a vacuum pretty quickly and I like it.

oneyear

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2020, 06:14:45 AM »
Can't speak for everyone...I left my career in the rearview mirror over a year ago and had so many concerns. Today I can barely remember what they even were. 90% of my cellphone contacts are just a waste of memory space. Things that were so important have faded away. Life fills a vacuum pretty quickly and I like it.
This is what I like to hear. My business and I have been inextricably linked. The only way out of it is to pass the reigns on, otherwise I'll be there forever. Im nervous of what this week might bring but incredibly excited

ol1970

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2020, 09:00:14 AM »
This sounds like me 6 years ago!  This is another example of when “experts” say to never take chips off the table, or not to “keep some powder dry” they need to be immediately dismissed as someone who doesn’t have a clue what they are talking about. (There are a few financial bloggers who preach such stuff)  Good luck in your sale, my favorite saying in business is the “it takes 15 years to make an overnight success”. Regardless you’ll be fine, but being free from the stress will be amazing for you and your family!

Linea_Norway

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2020, 02:28:23 PM »
I hope you succeed with your sale.

We just sold our house in March, a week before the lockdown. It was for sale since November last year, so yes, a sales process can take time and causes uncertainty if your retirement depends on it. Don't close a deal that you are not content about. If you think you can get a higher price/better deal, then comsider that highly. We earned 60.000€ by not accepting a sale for a low price in November.

Fishindude

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2020, 04:04:26 PM »
Sold my business about four years ago.  It was kind of weird for a while not having a job to go into every day, not having the day to day activities and interactions, etc. and I worried about money more than I should have, constantly checking investments, etc.   Now days I just don't give a damn. 

Spoke to one of the current managers the other day and he started sharing all the details that were going on in the business, etc.   Told him that he wouldn't believe how little I give a rip about all of that stuff that occupied my mind 24/7 for 40 years.

Getting out was good, probably should have a couple years sooner.

oneyear

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2020, 01:12:26 PM »
All parties back at the table so to speak. Surreal given all things that are happening .Assuming we'll hear a covid related discount coming up at some point but being honest we would rather wait it out and review in 6 months, as we know our business and are confident in its growth.Can't let it cloud my mind in the short term.

Thanks all for your insights and experience.

Much Fishing to Do

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2020, 01:30:27 PM »
Good Luck!  The last couple years of my business was an exhausting roller coaster and that was without Covid!

lemanfan

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2020, 01:34:10 PM »
Good luck!  And keep your eye on the goal.  :)

oneyear

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2020, 08:59:18 AM »
Cheers all for the messages and notes. Yeah Eyes on the Prize is the order of the day. Keep profitable and focus on the business right now. Thats the only goal

oneyear

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2020, 06:47:11 AM »
We're back in the waiting game where lawyers and accountants do their thing. Absolutely the worst as neither seem to work at pace (both us and purchaser complaining of same).

I let my mind wander the other night and my wife and I tried to spend 15k each as our discretionary spend after sale. We both spent less than 5k on our must have items. was fun game, but we quickly came back to "its not sold yet"

How to sane in midst of pandemic and company sale

Dicey

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2020, 07:08:37 AM »
All parties back at the table so to speak. Surreal given all things that are happening .Assuming we'll hear a covid related discount coming up at some point but being honest we would rather wait it out and review in 6 months, as we know our business and are confident in its growth.Can't let it cloud my mind in the short term.

Thanks all for your insights and experience.
Not if you have come up with something that will help people climb out of this pandemic crater...

oneyear

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2020, 02:37:07 PM »
yes we've products that are now hot topic. But only a percentage of replacement for our main business activities.

oneyear

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2020, 07:56:08 AM »
So the time has finally come. I am 9 days out from selling the business. Absolutely counting the minutes down.

We changed our business and we're leaner at this point of covid but remained profitable. Hence the sale happening now.

Markets going up the past few days feels great obviously but wish I'd got my new investments in first

Wish me luck

v8rx7guy

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2020, 09:20:17 AM »
What kind of a business is this, just out of curiosity?  Hope everything goes smoothly in 9 days!

lemanfan

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2020, 11:03:57 AM »
So glad for you!  Enjoy your FIRE!

oneyear

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2020, 12:47:08 AM »
What kind of a business is this, just out of curiosity?  Hope everything goes smoothly in 9 days!
We're a marketing agency

oneyear

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2020, 12:47:54 AM »
So glad for you!  Enjoy your FIRE!

Thanks so much. Really looking forward to it myself now at this point.
8 days!

oneyear

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2020, 02:06:19 AM »
3 days out and all so far so good. Started to write my letter to employees for those I don't get to speak to initially. Have begun collating materials for the new owners. Sent across my bank details to the lawyers and we do our official signing of documents tomorrow.

Then its a waiting game for the funds to be released. Beyond nervous.

Adventine

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2020, 03:39:38 AM »
Good luck! Hopefully you can put all the stress and worry behind you soon.

Chuck Ditallin

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2020, 07:54:03 AM »
Ooh, I remember the excitement and the complete frustration of not being able to do anything other than wait for the sale to go through and the money to arrive...

That was over 2 years ago now; life's good!

It'll be sorted soon; enjoy and good luck!

oneyear

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2020, 03:08:51 AM »
Ooh, I remember the excitement and the complete frustration of not being able to do anything other than wait for the sale to go through and the money to arrive...

That was over 2 years ago now; life's good!

It'll be sorted soon; enjoy and good luck!

Glad Im bringing back some good memories. Starting to get congratulatory messages from the board members and team on the acquirers side. I can imagine more than a few tears being shed these coming days. I'm already an emotional wreck on the whole. But completely over the moon at the same time.

oneyear

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2020, 12:28:50 AM »
And thats that then. I am no longer the owner of the company I founded in our spare bedroom.

I did it! I won the game. On to the next adventure, but for now I'm going to pause and take it all in.

Adventine

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2020, 12:46:22 AM »
Congratulations!

2sk22

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2020, 03:20:13 AM »
And thats that then. I am no longer the owner of the company I founded in our spare bedroom.

I did it! I won the game. On to the next adventure, but for now I'm going to pause and take it all in.

Heartiest congratulations!

SpreadsheetMan

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2020, 06:41:14 AM »
Well done. Do you get to walk away clean, or do you have an earnout/ similar?

Dicey

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2020, 08:11:54 AM »
Now things will get really interesting...Congratulations!

Chuck Ditallin

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2020, 11:10:26 AM »
Many congratulations!

I too would like to know if that's it or if you have to work in any form for any length of time as a condition of the sale.

iluvzbeach

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2020, 01:00:17 PM »
Congratulations, that’s awesome!

lemanfan

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2020, 03:59:40 AM »
And thats that then. I am no longer the owner of the company I founded in our spare bedroom.

I did it! I won the game. On to the next adventure, but for now I'm going to pause and take it all in.

Congratulations!  :)

2Birds1Stone

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2020, 06:16:00 AM »
Congrats! That's huuuuuge

oneyear

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2020, 08:54:55 AM »
Many congratulations!

I too would like to know if that's it or if you have to work in any form for any length of time as a condition of the sale.

Thank you everyone. Its been a whirlwind few days. Yes there's an earn out. Doesnt have any bearing on me being fire or not, but rather do I have a fairly luxurious retirement or just...you know luxurious. Not too shabby at 38. Everything bar a little bit of frivolous spending is being re-invested.

Told my team just now. Well received and genuinely happy for me. I guess the fact I'm not going anywhere helps somewhat.

Literally today is the same as Friday, just never have to worry about money again.

2sk22

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2020, 09:54:17 AM »
Literally today is the same as Friday, just never have to worry about money again.

I joking call this the law of conservation of worry: "if one worry vanishes, it will be replaced by a different equivalent worry" :-)

oneyear

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2020, 10:22:08 AM »
Haha - given the year we're all having, I'm hoping that replacement takes sometime to come our way

v8rx7guy

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2020, 10:25:42 AM »
And thats that then. I am no longer the owner of the company I founded in our spare bedroom.

I did it! I won the game. On to the next adventure, but for now I'm going to pause and take it all in.

Fantastic news... congrats!  Maybe someday I'll get to celebrate the same :)

Chuck Ditallin

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #37 on: November 30, 2020, 02:54:35 PM »
And thats that then. I am no longer the owner of the company I founded in our spare bedroom.

I did it! I won the game. On to the next adventure, but for now I'm going to pause and take it all in.

That's the most important part!

It's true that all the other worries don't go away, but having the time, energy and cash to deal with them does make them a little easier. I was due to retire, having sold the business, in August 2019, but was chronically ill, so didn't return after February 2019. Since then, there have been a variety of challenges, some expected and some random. We'd not expected a couple of serious illnesses, other family dramas or Covid-19; more likely were the illnesses and deaths of elderly loved ones.

It's actually been a stressful time for us since we quit. Having the time to sleep as much as required, process situations in our own time and, of course, help as much as possible with no restrictions on our time, has made it all a lot easier to cope with.

Tl;dr: even if life gives you lemons, they're easier to deal with when you've won the game.

Here's to your rosy future!

oneyear

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2020, 06:00:16 AM »
I am not gonna lie. I have slept better this week than I have in the past 5 years. My alarm has woken me up as opposed to me waking at 3-4am daily. I think a huge part of this past week is the decompression that the deal has been done. I'm ecstatic!

We've had our own share of "things" happen in the outside world and very rarely do they all come back to a positive outcome. We're incredibly fortunate that concluding this year, the problems don't seem like problems and the health issues of family members are now in the clear.

I am going to enjoy the here and now, work on improving myself (health & fitness), spending more time with the family and generally decompressing from the fact that I have won the game of FI.

Thanks all for your kind words!

iluvzbeach

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Re: About to sell my business - 30 months to FIRE
« Reply #39 on: December 05, 2020, 11:11:27 PM »
What an awesome update, oneyear. It’s so good to hear the decompression is underway. Enjoy!