Entrepreneurs Never Know When to Say “ENOUGH!”

Looking back over the last twenty years that I have been in business sales I have learned that there are many different types of business owners. I have “sorted” the types of owners into a “spectrum” of personality types.


At one end of the spectrum are the “Conservative” types. These people like to really be sure about the business details. They want to know every detail, and don’t feel comfortable unless they are on top of everything. They like financials, statistics and accounts. They will take a long time to make a decision. These guys love to plan everything – and hate feeling disorganised. So planning ahead makes them feel good – that everything is under control. At the other end of the spectrum are the “Entrepreneurs”. These people are far more likely to make a decision on “gut instinct”. They will make quick decisions. Usually these types love negotiating the price, and ‘doing deals’. Planning ahead often seems like a waste of time for entrepreneurs as they are too busy running their businesses and making money.

Which personality type are you? No one personality type is more successful than another, all have their virtues…. but I have noticed over these twenty years that most entrepreneurs never know when to say “enough!” – and often fail to recognise that they should plan to get out of their businesses. How often have you seen a successful business grow, and grow, and expand….. until, it all falls apart. This is a common scenario for entrepreneurial business owners. Real entrepreneurs (those business owners at the far end of the spectrum) push everything to the limits, wanting to find the limit of their business. And it has usually worked for them.

These people love the challenge, they like to “back themselves” and take risks that others wouldn’t take. We recently saw a successful business owner offered a huge price for his business, and he considered selling – before deciding to retain the business, and keep pushing on…. and…… ultimately crashing, and loosing the lot. He was happy. Because he had found the ‘limit’, and he is now going to go out and start all over again. The song “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers has some great advice for business owners.  The lyrics say; “Know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run…..” Business owners really do need to know when to “walk away”, and that the best way to walk away – is to plan for it. A planned business exit is ALWAYS going to give better results than an unplanned one. The old saying is true; “Failing to plan, is planning to fail”. If you’re an entrepreneur, take time, and force yourself to create a plan to sell – or leave your business on your terms. Know when to say “ENOUGH!”.

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