After 9/11, I was determined to sell my tech company. I was burnt out from extensive traveling, constant negotiations with international customers and dealing with cash flow and personnel issues. I also realized I would need millions of dollars to retool and upgrade our product line. At that time, I just didn’t have the drive or heart to continue to invest and fight the battle. Borrowing a bunch of money seemed like a massive risk. And I was unhealthy in so many ways. Ultimately, I realized I was not aligned with my business or it’s industry and I wanted to find a way out of it.
My lawyer and I worked out an exit strategy, thinking my employees, customers and partners would be fine. I was so clever. But the plan and the people I trusted failed to deliver and my exit wasn’t so successful. I learned a valuable and painful lesson about the best way to sell a business—I now know it is all about timing and alignment: