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Aug 8, 201912:16 PMExit Stage Right

with Martha Sullivan

Blue screen of death in your life? Ways to not be dead in the water

(page 2 of 2)

4. Map out what an ideal schedule might look like in your new world.

How much structure do you want? Is structure and a routine crucial as you transition from a daily work routine? Do you thrive when you have little structure and go with the flow? Perhaps it’s a blend.

Knowing which type of environment you do best in, consider the activities you want carve in as structured commitments versus flexible, do-it-when-I-feel-like-it activities. For example, in an ideal world, are you going to commit to going to the gym four times a week, volunteering somewhere twice a month, or getting together with a certain group of people on a regular basis, such as a book or service club?

Write it down. Make a list. Pencil out a mock schedule.

5. Research what getting involved in these activities entails.

What do you know about them? Are you involved now or is it merely a glint in the eye? What research do you need to do to get comfortable with creating a plan?

For example, if you have an interest in supporting palliative care, what information do you feel you want or need to know? What are the options in your area for learning more and/or being involved? What sort of help are they looking for? What’s the commitment in time and duration? Is it ad hoc volunteering or are you committing to once a week for some time period?

Research who you know that is involved with it now. Could he or she introduce you to others in the organization and help you get involved? If you don’t know anyone, how might you introduce yourself?

Get out there and talk to people — test pilot an event, have coffee and explore, gather your intel.

6. Draft your plan and ideas in more specific detail, then share it.

With the research in hand, print a blank monthly calendar off the internet and pencil out what three months might look like.

Examine it against the vision and goals from step two. Are you aligned? (It’s fine if you’re not.) That tells you something. It’s possible that your efforts in steps three through five helped you uncover other things that bring meaning to you and you should update your vision and goals. It’s also possible that you’re in need of more research and sampling to craft your planned activities. It’s OK to experiment. Fine tune it.

Share your draft plan with the important people in your life. They care and are going to be impacted by your plans. Communicate.

Consider what you can share and do together versus solo. If you’re not together, are you leaving them “stranded” figuratively or literally? Is this OK? For example, maybe you love bicycling in big-time rides. You and your spouse share a car but not this love of biking. When you go off to do a ride for a couple of days, is she/he left behind, alone for a week with no wheels?

Communicate, adjust, and support one another.

7. Act now.

Get out of your current routine — explore, learn, test drive, engage. Build your glide path now so when the time comes for a clean break, you’ve already developed a new social circle and can slip into new routines comfortably. Think of it as a way of “backing up the computer” that’s your life.

Otherwise, when you reboot it, you may be sitting there with a dead computer and an evil cousin with no idea what to do next. Believe me, that sucks.

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About This Blog

Spending half her career as an advisor to privately-held and family businesses and the other half in CFO/COO roles, Martha Sullivan is a partner and the succession planning practice leader in the business transition strategies group at Honkamp, Krueger & Co., P.C. She and her team have extensive experience assisting business owners achieve their personal, business, and transition goals. “Don’t think of the 'exit' from your business like it’s a four-letter word. Make it your next adventure!”



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