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Joan M. Ridley
Pres., CFP™, CEPA, CBI

2911 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 300
Dallas, Texas 75219

E-MAIL:  info@businesswealthsolutions.net
PHONE: 214.692.9192
FAX: 214.523.9001

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Are You Too Long in the Forest


Joan M. Ridley, CEPA, CBI, CFP™

Perspective is essential for any leader. Without it you wander aimlessly and are likely to lose your way. Many business owners find themselves in this situation where they can’t see the forest for the trees. You can’t lead effectively if you can’t see. If you are so focused on the day-to-day operations and are constantly putting out fires, then you have reached the point where your fingerprints are on every aspect of the business. This is not a good situation if you are hoping to transfer ownership of your business someday. It is especially troubling if your equity is earmarked to fund your retirement.

Why is this? Anyone or any entity who would buy your business is buying your business, not you. Bank financing generally requires that you cannot remain as an employee, independent consultant, nor in any capacity. A private equity group, would want you to remain, but as someone who runs the company rather than someone who works in the company.

12 Signs that you might be focused on the trees and not the forest

  1. You can’t imagine having no contact with your office for three or four weeks
  2. You frequently correct the work of your employees
  3. Delegating and letting people do their job is not a daily practice
  4. Your employee turn-over rate is higher than the rest of your industry
  5. Your key people, including family members, lack job satisfaction
  6. Your organizational chart is flat
  7. Poorly thought out business decisions are all too common
  8. Thinking about your business keeps you awake at night
  9. Leisure time is a scary thought
  10. You don’t have hobbies or non-business interests
  11. Even if you are out socially, you can’t think about, or talk about, anything but your business
  12. Your thoughts are scattered and you are nervous and ill at ease

The Solution

The solution is for you to move into the executive suite where you supervise your key people. Let them supervise their direct reports. This will allow you to step back and look at the big picture. A broader perspective will allow you to get your arms around where you want to lead your company. It is empowering, and will put you in the driver’s seat. Now you will be able to make wise decisions about how to grow and maximize the value of your company. There are a few things you could do to step into a leadership position. They are not necessarily exclusive.

5 Steps to Take Control

  1. Improve your hiring practices
  2. Set up systems and document them, including a management reporting system
  3. Retain a business consultant to: evaluate your business; create an action plan; and keep you accountable
  4. Reduce unnecessary expenses and redeploy resources to create a business that has real value
  5. Hire a business coach who can help you address your approach to business


Joan M. Ridley is President of Business Wealth Solutions, a business consultancy that helps business owners create and implement their own life management plan. She is a Certified Business Intermediary, Certified Business Exit Planner, and a Certified Financial Planner™. In 2013 she received the first Excellence in Exit Planning Award conferred by the Exit Planning Institute for her pioneering contribution to this new discipline. She is the Founder of the North Texas Chapter of The Exit Planning Institute. Please visit us at www.bwsllc.net and call us at 214-692-9192.

Copyright 2014 Joan M. Ridley

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