Hank’s Uncertain Future
Hank was the 54 year old owner/operator of a second-generation chemical company which he had worked in for 33 years. Hank had lost passion for the business and was preparing to sell. Hank derailed the process a few times with potential buyers due to some erratic behaviors.
When we met, Hank was preoccupied with a slew of questions about what he was going to do for the rest of his life. He was irate that it wasn’t as easy as simply choosing from a list of retirement options. He asked incessantly about what other retired business owners have done with their lives.
It is not unusual for business owners who have spent their whole lives in the family business to find themselves at a profound loss when they sell. But Hank’s questions revealed a different phenomenon: When Hank stepped into the business at the age of 21, he missed out on a very formative part of his own personal development when young adults begin to discover their unique place in the world from any number of choices and options.
Redefining Hank’s dilemma from this perspective gave him an immediate sense of relief and clarity. We took steps to examine his interests then and now, and channel his energy in a specific direction. We narrowed in on the meaning of his life’s work and explored the various opportunities. Hank reengaged the team and sold his business successfully and without interruption.