Selling the Business and Moving On

21 September 2010

If you haven't read part 1, 2, and part 3 of this series, checkout these links first.

I Sold My Internet Business in July of 2009

Expanding Beyond CDs and DVDs

A South African Con Man Nearly Ruined Me

In 2007 things were going very well for our business. We were generating well over a million dollars in revenue. We were running the business out of a warehouse / office that we owned, and we had some very reliable employees to manage the day to day tasks of the business. Things couldn't have been better.

Up until this point, my wife Priscilla and I had ran the entire show. This sometimes meant working all hours of the night, but we got it done. Now things were much different. The business was running on auto-pilot and we could leave for vacations and the business ran as if we were there. (Pays to have good trustworthy employees!)

In May of 2007, Priscilla found out she was pregnant. She delivered my son Jordan on December 14th of that year. As we were leaving the hospital, I got a call from our office manager letting me know our accounting system had crashed. Here I am with a new born that has just left the hospital and a wife that just delivered him by c-section a few days before. The last thing I wanted to hear about was a problem of this magnitude in the middle of our busiest season.

After discussing the situation, Priscilla and I decided to stop by the office on the way home. We were desperately hoping this would be a quick fix. It wasn't! Two hours later, I took mom and baby home and returned to the office. I spent the next week working with accountants and programmers to get everything back online.

It was like I flipped a breaker that week. I think the pressure from the years of long hours, the anxiousness to see the new baby at home, the stress of having employees that are depending on you for their next paycheck, all the customer demands, and the expectations I had set for myself to keep growing revenues finally caught up to me that week.

I was completely done! I was ready to walk away and forget the entire thing!

I felt extremely guilty. It's incredibly selfish to be blessed enough to start a business that turns out to be very successful and just be willing to walk away from it. But that's just how I felt! I wanted nothing else to do with this business that I had spent the last 8 years tailoring my life around.

This became a topic of discussion in our house and we decided to list the business with a broker and offer it for sale. I was so determined to be done with it, I gave the broker a time limit of 9 months. If he couldn't find a buyer in that time limit, then I was going to liquidate after the next busy season.

A week before my contract with the broker expired, we had a buyer. We closed the deal in July of 2009 and it has been bitter sweet ever since.

If you want all the details of the sale and what I'm up to now, you should read my blog post, "I'm Back From My 6 Month Leave"

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