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Two boxers boxing in the ring.
You won't succeed without a corner man!

I learned the value of having a strong corner man from my own mentor, Richard Ray, who sadly passed away recently. Over the three years Dick walked with me, he became not just a trusted advisor but a true father figure. At some expense, I traveled to attend his funeral. I was struck by how many others had done the same - a testament to the profound impact he had on so many lives.

As a former boxer at Dartmouth himself, my mentor often used the analogy of being a “corner man” to describe his role as a guide and supporter. “Harry, just let me be your cornerman,” he would say with a smile. He understood that, just like a boxer in the ring, we all face challenges and decisions that can be difficult to navigate alone. We need someone in our corner who can provide honest feedback, hold us accountable, and offer an outside perspective.

In the world of boxing, a fighter’s success is not just about their individual strength and skill. It’s also about the support and guidance they receive from their corner man. The corner man is the boxer’s coach, strategist, and biggest advocate, providing crucial advice and motivation between rounds.

As a business owner navigating the complex world of succession planning, you need a similar kind of support in your corner.

Succession planning is the process of preparing for the eventual transition of leadership and ownership of your business. It’s about ensuring that your company will make a profit, bless its community, and advance its purpose even after you’ve stepped away from the helm.

Just like a boxer facing a formidable opponent, succession planning can be a daunting and emotionally challenging undertaking. That’s where a trusted advisor, or “corner man,” can make all the difference.

In the context of succession planning, a corner man can take many forms - an attorney, CPA, business coach, or other trusted professional. Whatever their title, their role is to provide the strategic, technical, and emotional support you need to develop and execute a robust succession plan with the help of someone who has walked where you want to go.

Some key ways a succession planning corner man can support you include:

1. Providing objective advice and identifying blind spots in your plan

2. Holding you accountable for making progress on your succession goals

3. Offering expertise in areas like legal, financial, and organizational planning

4. Facilitating difficult conversations and managing emotional dynamics

5. Serving as a sounding board and source of motivation during challenging times

Just like Rocky Balboa relied on his corner man Mickey Goldmill, having a trusted advisor in your corner can be the key to achieving your succession planning goals. It’s about more than just technical expertise - it’s about having someone who believes in you, challenges you to be your best, and is deeply invested in your success.

As a business owner, you’ve poured your heart and soul into building your company. You owe it to yourself, your family, and your employees to ensure that your legacy endures long after you’ve stepped away. By enlisting the help of a skilled and dedicated succession planning corner man, you give yourself the best chance of making that vision a reality.

In the end, succession planning is not just a technical process - it’s a deeply personal journey. Having someone in your corner who understands that, and who is committed to supporting you every step of the way, can make all the difference.

Just as my mentor’s legacy lives on through those he guided and inspired, your corner man can help you create a lasting legacy of your own - one that will continue to make a positive impact long into the future.

Your corner man!

Harry T. Jones

P.S. Mastermind group #1 is sold out and starts this month. We are building a waiting list for the next Cultivating Impact succession planning mastermind. We meet virtually as a group monthly and you have access to me privately. If you are interested in having myself and eight others in your corner as you navigate leaving a legacy, reply to this email and let me know.

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