Selling Your Business: Is Money Everything?

You’re on the brink of a massive decision—selling your business. But here’s the thing: it’s not all about numbers and negotiations. It’s about your values, your dreams, and the mark you want to leave. Let’s dive into the world of personal currencies—those not-so-tangible treasures beyond money. We’ll chat about recognition, relationships, well-being, purpose, and freedom. With some thought-provoking questions, you’ll uncover insights to steer your decisions with clarity and intention.

The Currency of Money:

Money – it’s like the spark that gets us going in our careers. It’s what lets us chase our dreams and lock down our future plans. But here’s the thing, as we grow wiser, we see money isn’t the whole picture. It’s one piece of a puzzle. While the financial gains from selling a business can provide unprecedented opportunities, there’s a bigger picture. Look at it all – money, recognition, relationships – it’s all part of making an informed decision.

What level of financial stability do I need to achieve to feel confident and secure as I transition from business ownership?

How does my perception of monetary success align with my broader life goals and aspirations beyond the business?

What financial milestones have I set for myself, and how do these goals influence my decision-making process when evaluating deal terms?

What is my biggest fear when it comes to money?

Do you know your Freedom Point?—a point where financial security allows you to pursue your passions without worry.


The Recognition Quotient:

Recognition, whether it’s through awards, promotions, or external praises, holds significant weight on our journey. However, its true value comes to light when integrated into the decision-making process. Selling a business might garner recognition, but assessing how this aligns with our evolving personal currencies—like relationships, purpose, and legacy—ensures that the pursuit of recognition aligns with a broader strategic vision.

What is the potential impact of a sale on my personal sense of achievement and recognition within the business community?

How important is external recognition in my decision to sell my business, and how do I balance this against other factors?

Beyond awards and accolades, what forms of validation and acknowledgment matter most to me, and how can they be preserved or enhanced through the transition?

What impact do I want to be remember by in my industry, community, social circles, etc.?

What is my biggest fear about how this sale will impact my reputation?


The Web of Relationships:

Nurturing relationships is a currency often elevated as we navigate life’s twists and turns. Savoring the bonds with family, friends, and mentors not only enriches our personal lives but can also deeply impact our decision-making. When contemplating the sale of a business, recognizing how this move impacts  our relationships can provide invaluable clarity, tempering the allure of monetary gains.

How have the relationships I’ve built with employees, partners, and stakeholders shaped the identity and culture of my business?

What measures can I take to ensure that the transition respects and maintains the valuable relationships I’ve cultivated over the years?

How do I envision the sale of my business impacting the well-being and livelihood of those connected to it, and how can I mitigate potential disruptions?

In life, it is more fun to travel with passengers than hostages. Who are the most important passengers on your journey?

What is my biggest fear about how this sale will impact my relationships?


Preserving Personal Well-Being

Within the realm of personal currencies, the currency of well-being shines as a cornerstone deserving our attention. This currency encompasses not only the care and nurturing of our physical bodies but also the cultivation of our spiritual essence. Prioritizing well-being means recognizing that tending to both body and spirit is a vital consideration. It involves ensuring that our health, vitality, and energy are preserved and enhanced, while also nurturing our inner peace, mindfulness, and self-awareness.

How have I prioritized my physical and spiritual well-being throughout my entrepreneurial journey, and how can I ensure these aspects continue to flourish after the sale?

What steps can I take to integrate health and wellness practices into my post-business life, and how might these practices influence my overall satisfaction and fulfillment?

How can nurturing my body and spirit contribute to my ability to pursue new interests, relationships, or endeavors beyond business ownership?

What is my biggest fear about how this sale will impact my health and spiritual well-being?


The Tapestry of Purpose:

Discovering our purpose is a transformative journey that guides us towards meaningful contributions. A purpose-driven life informs decisions with a profound sense of direction and fulfillment. Selling a business can be an opportune moment to reassess this purpose, ensuring that the newfound financial freedom resonates with our authentic aspirations.

What are my biggest strengths? How do I use these strengths today when running my business?

With a new owner in place, will I be able to continue to utilize my strengths?

What role has a sense of purpose played in my business endeavors, and how do I envision this evolving as I transition to a new phase?

How does my understanding of purpose influence the criteria I use to evaluate potential buyers and deal terms?

In what ways can I align my purpose-driven values with the goals and direction of the business, ensuring a transition that resonates with my intrinsic motivations?

The Spectrum of Freedom:

Freedom, both in professional choices and personal lifestyle, is a potent currency that shapes our well-being. The decision to sell a business brings forth the potential for newfound liberty yet aligning this with other personal currencies—like purpose and relationships—ensures that freedom becomes a harmonious thread in our life.

How can the terms of a potential deal provide me with the freedom and flexibility I desire to shape my post-business life?

What aspects of personal autonomy and flexibility do I consider non-negotiable when evaluating offers?

How do I anticipate the newfound freedom from business ownership impacting my overall well-being and sense of fulfillment, and how can this influence my negotiation priorities?


As we navigate the intricate landscape of business decisions, particularly the sale of a business, it’s crucial to remember that the allure of money shouldn’t overshadow the profound significance of other personal currencies—recognition, relationships, purpose, and freedom. By embracing a comprehensive understanding of these currencies and weaving them into our choices, we unlock the true potential of our decisions. This empowers us to carve a path that not only enriches our lives and shapes our professional journey but also leaves a lasting legacy.

As we stand at the threshold of these transformative moments, may the interplay of personal currencies guide us toward a future characterized by purpose, fulfillment, and a harmonious balance.

Linda Ruffenach

Founder / Chief Strategic Officer at Execuity. Linda is an experienced entrepreneur, skilled facilitator, and bourbon badass. Her 20+ years of C-level experience enables her to relate to the challenges business owners face every day. As the former CEO of a $100 million international enterprise, she has been through almost every stage a company can experience from fast growth, rapid decline, to complete transformation. In addition to running multiple businesses, Linda is Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Louisville's School of Business, leading and mentoring undergrad and graduate students on their path to business ownership Linda’s superpower is turning strategy into results.