I’m Out of Here!
I own a small business (three employees) that is profitable, but I am bored with it. I need the income, but my heart isn’t in it. Besides gritting my teeth and sticking with it, are there other creative options? Option 1: Do any of the three employees have both the talent and interest in managing for a percentage of profit? This would allow you to be an absentee owner. Ask. Option 2: Do you have an adult child, niece/nephew or grandchild who would like the opportunity to learn and ultimately manage the business for a percentage of profit? This again would allow you to be an absentee owner. Option 3: Could you sell the business to the three employees using a three or five year payout? If so, purchase life insurance on each employee to guarantee payout in the event of a death. Also, require each employee to own a proportionate amount of life insurance on each other so as not to burden the remaining partners upon one of their deaths. Option 4: Is there a local competitor that might be willing to buy you out? You would need to substantiate profits and provide a customer profile that could enhance the competitors business if he/she owned your operation. Option 5: Perhaps making some changes to your product line or service would re-ignite your interest in the business. When a business operates by simply “maintaining”, this is a red flag indicating a slippage in future profits. Change is necessary – even small ones – in order to keep the customers interests. Boredom is usually internal (self-absorption – a habit developed when building a business) than external. Are you involved with the community, extended family or a cause (like hunger, poverty, cancer) that touches you in a way that moves you toward involvement? The business may not be the issue at all. If it is, perhaps one of the five options above will help you in the decision process. If not, perhaps the nineteenth century journalist, critic and activist Margaret Fuller can give you a different perspective on what you are labeling as boredom. “Drudgery is as necessary to call out the treasures of the mind as harrowing and planting those of the earth.”