First, I don’t think you’re messing your team over or violating the principles of EntreLeadership by simply selling your business. The fact that you’re concerned about these issues tells me that you’re a quality person and a servant leader. Just remember, as long as you’re there—whether as an owner or just a leader—you have an obligation to look out for your team and do good things for them.
The big thing that scares me in this scenario is the next two years may be the most miserable of your life in the workplace. It’s tough seeing someone else come in and take over what you’ve built up over the years. You’ve poured your time and blood, your sweat and tears into this organization. It’s yours! You might even want to shorten the time you remain there a bit, if you’re certain this is the path you want to take.
But to tell you the truth, I’m not sure you really want to sell this business. There’s nothing wrong with turning down an offer, no matter how generous it may seem. Considering how much you seem to care about the business and the people, I’m just not convinced you’re ready to walk away. Now, if there’s something else you’ve got a burning desire to do, then I’d say go for it. I understand that kind of thing completely. But it’s a blast to have a job you love and looking forward to going to every day.
I’d take some more time to think about it, if I were you. There may be a big pile of cash waiting for you if you sell, but I can tell you’re concerned about your team and the amount of time you’ll be spending as an employee at the company you created and grew into a success. Use your heart and your head on this one, Paul. But if you decide to sell, I’d work things to where I had to spend as little time there as possible once the new owners take over.
* Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.