Brett Wilder CFP® Entrepreneur and Author
In my book, The Quiet Millionaire, I describe the four transitional stages of business ownership, which I term as the Wunder, Blunder, Thunder, Plunder stages. My experiences transitioning through all four stages as an entrepreneur provided me both rewarding highs and humbling lows.
When I left my ego puffing, cushy career in big name banking to create my own business in 1989, I found the transition from dream to reality to be a humbling experience. CLICK HERE to read about the story of my early years leading up to the founding my business.
I naively trusted “Build it and they will come.”, just as Kevin Costner believed when he built his cornfield baseball field in the movie “Field of Dreams”.
Wrong! For the first three years, not near enough people came, and I began to Wunder if I did the right thing, and whether I would financially survive.
Although I had a vision, a business plan, and a valuable service to offer, I painfully learned first hand that if potential clients aren’t aware of your field of dreams, there is no game to be played.
My focus for those first few years was to create the service value I envisioned for clients, and then spend the rest of the time getting clients and trying to make enough money to pay the bills.
One of the biggest challenges to creating your own business is the worry of paying for all the expenses that just keep on coming. Bills quickly became greater than I expected, and at the same time it took longer for people to become clients than I planned.
What kept me pushing on was my burning desire and passion for fulfilling my dream. With focused tenacity I worked unceasingly eighteen-hour days, day-after-day, taking no time off. My net worth dwindled to negative, and I frequently had to borrow on credit cards to pay staff.
However, by staying steadfast I was finally able to do what eight out of ten new businesses aren’t able to do in the early years – SURVIVE – and to eventually attract enough fans to build a winning team and organization.
Having experienced and transitioned through all four stages, I learned that starting and surviving in business, while it can be very difficult, is not as challenging as transitioning away from a business for maximum value during the Plunder stage.
The Plunder stage is when the majority of family business owners are most vulnerable, and unknowingly require the most amount of independent outside guidance. This is why I dedicate blogs to advising business owners during the Plunder stage.
Please CLICK HERE to contact me directly for answers to questions you might have about your specify situation or to set up a confidential, no obligation telephone assessment of your particular business transition status.