What’s “enough”?

Striking the balance between work and play
to fund a happy, secure future

Whatever position you’re in, I bet we’ve got something in common.

We both want a happy, secure future. Am I right?

The future’s a huge driver that keeps us committed to running our businesses, and something we spend our careers working towards.

We don’t want to retire too early – because what would we do if the money ran out?

Nor do we want to do it too late and waste time working when we could have been other, better things.

And – dare I say it – how would you feel if you got to the end of your life and realised you were about to die with “too much” money? Money that could have been enjoyed while we lived, and which will probably be swiped from our loved ones thanks to those pesky taxes.

There’s a balance to be struck, but how on earth do you strike it? What is enough?

I’ve been reading a fascinating book by Paul Armson on this very subject. Aptly, it’s simple called “Enough? How much money do you need for the rest of your life” and it’s changed my way of thinking massively.

Why knowing how much you need matters

Numbers can be enlightening.

Knowing how much money you actually need to ensure you and your family have a happy, secure future can give you such a sense of freedom.

  • That knowledge tells you how you can live your life smarter; how much to earn by when, and when to stop
  • It reveals how soon you could get out and reminds you that you need to mould your business so it can work without you in it every day
  • It allows you to enjoy life more after you’ve retired, with peace of mind that the money’s not going to run out while you still need it
  • It gives you more control

And the funny thing is, the amount you need is probably much less than you think.

Knowing how much is enough for the future will change the way you think about your business now

In Armson’s book, he takes you through how you can work out your “Number” – the exact amount that’s going to allow you to stop working and live the exact life you want for the rest of your days.

I’m not going to tell you what that formula is because, like I just said, Armson’s already written the book (which you can grab here).

Let’s just say it involves a spreadsheet, a bucket and a few hours of your time.

But what I will say is that knowing how much you need for your future will make a huge difference to the way you think about your business now – whatever position you’re in.

For the overworked, overstressed business owners, it means you can start to focus on how to stop getting worn out by the daily demands of a business that can’t function without you…

For those who’ve already achieved a degree of financial freedom, it probably means you can take a step back and start funding that life you’ve always wanted now…

But how do you do it? You can sell up or you can grow through acquisition, buying a similar business to yours – one that’s already profiting and functioning well thanks to a decent tier of middle management.

Both options can give you that secure, happy future, with financial security and the freedom to do what you want, when you want. 

“But what if I don’t get enough from the deal?”

One of the most daunting things stopping business owners from selling up or buying is money, pure and simple.

Most business owners already have a rough notion of how much they’d want for their business. But it’s not really based on anything other than Richard-Branson-esque ideas that are neither achievable nor necessary to create that future.

Vendors are often scared of leaving money on the table and missing out on what’s rightfully theirs.

But frequently, they don’t really need the money they’d leave on the table.

There seems to be a common feeling that you have to hold out for the highest price when it comes to selling a business.

But… What if you didn’t?

What if you already knew your “Number” and it allowed you to accept a lower offer instead, or take a hit on tax?

If you can still achieve your goals and lead the life you’ve always wanted, then does it really matter?

I personally think that after a year like this, there’s much more room for sellers to focus on the things that’ll simply make them happiest – which don’t necessarily require enormous sums to do.

Why not give Armson’s book a read, find out what your “Number” is, and see if it’s already time to start thinking about change?

If you want to find out more about achieving your “Number” by selling your business or expanding it through acquisition (without investing any of your own capital), give my team a call on 0161 410 0648.