The choice of business or family
Bill started his technical services business when his children where 3, 1, and -1. His wife fully supported his desire to strike out on his own. So, for the next twenty years he immersed himself in developing his service offerings, cultivating new customers, enhancing the skills of his employees, taking on institutional investors, and so on. The business had become the central element of his life. His standing within the local and professional community was based on his company’s reputation and his role within the company. Because his firm did business around the world, Bill would leave the house either Sunday night or Monday morning and usually returned either Thursday or Friday night. For all practical purposes, his wife had become a single mother. As a result, his relationship with his family had gradually become distant, strained/weakened, and almost businesslike.
Somewhere during the twentieth year, Bill’s wife began to let him know, in various ways only a loving wife can, that she had had enough of this absentee marriage and family life. It became clear to Bill that it was either his business or his family. He chose his family and, through our process, began a business succession process that focused on the preparedness of his family, his personal finances, the business, and himself. Today, the business is owned by his management team (together with its institutional investors) and is operating well. Bill and his wife now have a strong and close marriage. Bill finally got to enjoy watching his middle and youngest children play high school and college sports and he was able to take the time to deeply participate and truly relish the wedding of his oldest. Bill enjoys his life after business succession and is professionally active through consulting and volunteer work. The experience taught Bill the importance of coming to grips with one’s purpose for being here on earth and getting on with it.