There is an art to successfully running a privately-held business which includes a balance of hard work, knowledge, common sense, experience and occasionally some luck. On the topic of knowledge and experience, it is true that everything that we learn about running a business was taught to us by someone else. At some point in time either you learned something about your business from someone else or from an experience that had taught you a lesson. So, given the truth of this statement and the importance of taking care of your most valuable asset (i.e. your privately-held business) it is also true that there is a lot that you don’t know today about a successful transition. This statement is particularly true if you’ve never experienced a business sale or transition in the past. This newsletter is written to assist you with gaining a more clear understanding of how we learn as individuals and how this can, and likely will, impact your future plans to transition your company.
The Learning Process of Human Beings
Human beings learn things in a variety of ways – through the transfer of knowledge as well as through specific experiences. Every experience and / or interaction that a person has develops an association with that event. For example, if you learn something in a book, you may recognize that concept in the real world and associate with it. Also, if you have an experience, such as falling down and getting injured, you’ll have an association with the pain that occurred the last time that you had such an experience. Running a business, therefore, is a series of learnings and experiences and, depending upon the skill and disposition of each business owner to apply those lessons, the business grows, stagnates or dies. In fact, it has been estimated that successful business owners can make 10s of thousands of mistakes before achieving success.