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Ed & Succession Planning: More Than Just an Exit Strategy

Businessman sitting in a chair looking down contemplating

As entrepreneurs, we pour our blood, sweat, and tears into building our businesses. The thought of one day leaving can stir up all sorts of fears and doubts. But the reality is that all founders will eventually exit their companies - whether by choice or circumstance. The key is being proactive about how that transition happens.


Ed and his brother have a successful company. Their business needs a major facility investment requiring 10 years’ worth of profits. This is an enormous risk to take on. Ed wants to sell now to an outside buyer, but his brother wants to make the investment to continue for another generation.

Ed and his brother need a voice from the outside that they both trust to help them. They choose a mentor that helps them make invaluable progress.

On the surface, it seems like they only have two options: sell out or go all-in on the expansion. However, their mentor helps them see that there’s a third path that not only preserves their legacy but unlocks more potential exit opportunities - the 7-step Succession Planning for Impact process.


Following these seven steps does more than just prepare Ed and his brother for an eventual exit. It enhances the overall value of their business in the present day. Specifically, building and elevating a strong leadership team creates exciting new possibilities:

  1. It increases the company’s valuation if they sell to an outside buyer, as a proven leadership team is extremely valuable.

  2. It allows them to be selective in choosing a mission-aligned buyer who will continue their positive community impact.

  3. The elevated team itself could potentially become the buyer, keeping the business’s legacy fully intact.

  4. With a self-sufficient team, Ed and his brother could continue as part owners with the team sharing the investment risk.

The 7 steps optimize the business to be a sustainable mission beyond the founders. This buys them time, higher valuations, mission-fit buyers, and the choice to keep their impact going for generations.

While selling or investing are still options, developing the team first, unlocks the full range of legacy-preserving succession opportunities. As Ed and his brother evaluate paths like investors or acquirers, their experienced mentor helps them navigate the complex decisions and partner dynamics.


Their mentor helped them reach the decision to sell to a mission-aligned buyer and “set the table” for interacting with their preferred buyer and crafted a sale for Ed and his brother that was the full market price.

This is the power of succession planning done right - honoring your life’s work while opening doors to an extraordinary second act.

Keep building your legacy!

Harry T. Jones

P.S. We are building a waiting list for our next Succession Planning for Impact mastermind. Interested in having your own mentor and peer advisory group? Email me with “mastermind” in the subject.

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