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The Exit Planning Exchange –  XPX Dallas Chapter is a community of trusted advisors that collaborate to help their private company clients build business value, transfer ownership and create a legacy of success in their lives and their communities.

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THE CRITICAL QUESTION FOR BUSINESS OWNERS: DEFINING SUCCESS – WHY ARE YOU ON THIS ROAD? By recent article in Forbes magazine by John Jennings described this as the “money and happiness” paradox. In his article, Jennings discussed an important psychological study from 2003, which determined that although having more money is associated with happiness, seeking more money dampens life satisfaction and impairs happiness: [T]he study found that “the greater your goal for financial success, the lower your satisfaction with family life, regardless of household income.” This paradox teaches that money boosts happiness when it is a result, not when it is a primary goal, or as Ed Diener noted in his book his TED Talk that has more than 55 million views. Sinek’s website describes the book this way: Sinek presents a simple yet powerful idea: the most successful and influential companies and leaders start with the “why” of their business, rather than focusing solely on the “what” and “how.” By starting with purpose and beliefs, companies can create a clear and compelling message that resonates with their customers and employees. This is the first question for the business owner to answer: Why am I doing this? Having a clear purpose means that the owner will not shy away from challenges arising in the business. The owner’s purpose is the lodestar that keeps both the owner and the company on track and able to surmount these challenges. A business owner who knows the why has purpose that drives the business, and fulfilling the owner’s purpose will help define success. What Is the Quality of My Relationships? This question about relationships may be less obvious than deciding on one’s purpose, but it is no less important. We are human beings. We exist in relation to other humans, which is especially true in the business world. People do not succeed or experience success in business in a vacuum. There are two types of relationships for the business owner to consider: those within the company and those that the owner has with family and friends outside the business. Both of these are important and help the business owner to define and experience success. Inside the business, successful business owners stress the importance of building solid, meaningful relationships. Sam Kaufman, an entrepreneur and a member of the Forbesbusiness council, expressed this powerfully in a interview in 2021, he said: “Younger employees consistently rank corporate responsibility at or near the top of their criteria for working at a particular company. This means community actions are key, but not just from a talent perspective.” When asked why companies should compare about community impact, he stated: “It’s the connection between community and long-run company performance. That shows up in everything from what kind of brand do I build over time, to the knock-on effects of that brand, to the way my employees feel about the company, with respect to how I am engaging in community.” — Dave Young, a senior partner with Boston Consulting Group The point is not to suggest that business owners have to become “corporate do-gooders” to find success. But, if owners choose to disregard the impacts their companies are having on the communities in which they do business, they may find success to be an elusive goal. Conclusion Defining success is an individual process for business owners, who will reach different conclusions, but the process is a vital exercise to undertake. Owners who eschew the need to consider their path to success may find themselves lost or overwhelmed on an uncharted road. By undertaking the deliberative process required to define success, business owners will develop a clear sense of purpose, appreciate the important relationships in their lives and fully grasp how their company impacts the community in which it operates.

Jason Moore and Haley Devlin were running Stratasan on EOS and were stuck. They had hit the ceiling and were no longer making progress. In early 2021 they decided to move beyond EOS, and began working with a System & Soul coach to focus more on their people, their culture, and their organizational habits. They created habits that everyone in the organization could align with: evergreen, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual habits. These were the cornerstone of their success and foundational to their successful exit. In fall of 2022, Jason and Haley negotiated a successful 9 figure exit, and they attribute much of that success to the clarity and execution System & Soul brought to their team. If you’re looking to scale and exit, and realize that people are more than 1/6th of your business, check out www.systemandsoul.com Jonathan King 469.514.7564 jonathan@leanleadersinc.com

Small actions yield tremendous results. SUMMi7 is hosting an event next week for Medium-Sized Business Owners on March 30 in Plano, and you’re invited! If you’re not in the Dallas region and would like to attend, please DM us, and we can explore if a virtual experience is right for you. The topic for this workshop is: Creating Operational Scale. Our CEO, 

When your business owner client decides to sell, there’s a unique, uncommon opportunity for you as a wealth manager to provide an incredibly valuable service to your clients while also growing your assets under management. As a wealth manager, you play a critical role in the lives of your clients. It’s not a stretch to say that their future is literally in your hands. They rely on you to ensure their retirement is going to look a particular way. For business owners, exiting their business is almost always a key component of their retirement plan. The sale of a business may be the biggest liquidity event in their lives. As a wealth manager, you have the opportunity to help figure out exactly how to make the most of that money for their retirement — or for any other purposes they may have in mind. There’s a huge opportunity here — Baby Boomers are beginning to retire in droves (and will keep doing so for at least a decade). There are many business owners retiring right now who will need your help. Here’s what you need to know about exit planning and the role you’ll play in it for your business-owner clients. Figuring Out The Number The first thing you’ll be doing for your business owner clients is helping them figure out the number: the amount of money your client needs to get out of the business when they exit. Usually, retirement is the goal, but there are other potential goals. Maybe they want to open another business or start a non-profit. Maybe they want to engage in some philanthropy or set up a trust for their family. Whatever the case, you play a major role here. As exit planners, we need you to help us figure out how much they need and then do a net present value of the amount. We can then subtract other assets that are available for whatever they have in mind and come up with the number. Valuing the Business Once we have the number, then we have to figure out how much the business is actually worth in today’s market. That’s something the exit planners and business valuation experts in your network will help define. When we have a clear idea of how much our mutual client can potentially make from selling their business, we can then compare it with the number. The difference between the number and the current value of the business will tell them what they need to do next. They’ll need your services for this. If there’s a shortfall, you’ll have to talk to them about what to do. Do they want to reduce their standard of living for retirement? Work a little longer? Increase the value of the business and then look at a potential sale in a few more years? Whatever the case, they now have a plan in place — and they’re looking to you to implement key components of that plan. And of course, there are opportunities for you as well. Opportunities for Wealth Managers One of the first things exit planners will do is to have clients complete a financial plan for the business owner and other stakeholders — you’ll be responsible for your clients’ financial plans and potentially those of their key employees. You also have the opportunity to capture more assets under management. And, as the exit planning moves ahead, there are other opportunities: for example, 401(k) or IRAs and other assets can be transitioned to your management. Another thing to consider is that, once you become an advisor to a business owner, you gain potential access to their network. They might refer you to key people in their organization who also need your help — not to mention their family and friends. For years after the exit, you’ll be managing their assets (and likely managing those assets for their family after they pass). All this because you had a seat at the exit planning table and helped your clients through the process. The Advisor’s Edge — The Education You (and Your Clients) Need The Advisor’s Edge is a library of content that you can use to educate potential and existing clients on exit planning — and you can use it to educate yourself as well. Instead of giving every client an individual presentation (which you probably won’t get them to schedule anyway), you can send them content that answers their questions and educates them. Or you can bolster your social media and marketing efforts with short videos that build the case for working with you and trusting your processes and network.  The Advisor’s Edge includes documents and videos that explain just about every aspect of what CEPAs, financial professionals, and business advisors do in a way that’s clear and highly professional. The content is extremely high quality and has been created by top professionals in exit planning and value building. This means your potential clients will see you not just as a resource and someone they can trust, but as someone who is a true expert, who really knows what they’re talking about.


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