For the baby boomer business owner, the decision to sell their business due to age causes anguish comparable to being told that they have a terminal disease. The following are three psychological roadblocks why owners don’t sell their business.
1. Loss of control and status. After years of “ruling” the business as the “boss”, it’s difficult to let go of the feeling of being important.The loss of owning and running a business can frightfully strip away an entrepreneur’s sense of status and purpose.
2. Recognition of their own mortality. Leaving the business without having an exciting new focus can be very unsettling. Selling a business due to age forces owners to morbidly face up to their mortality, while keeping the business helps toward still feeling immortal. Having a developed game plan for an enriched life beyond the business can replace baby boomer morbidity about mortality with renewed excitement about life.
3. Elimination of their sense of invincibility. Succeeding as a business owner can create a confident feeling of infallibility. Facing a loss of control and and sensing mortality can subdue one’s attitude of being unstoppable, unbeatable. Accordingly, it feels more comfortable to hold on to the business and thereby retain the elements which foster invincibility.
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