The following e-mail is one of the most heartfelt letters I have ever received.
“I lost my father three years ago. Do you know what he left me? A business and an invaluable reputation… It is a reputation that is worth everything…”
Leaving your business to your next of kin is also a sale: You successfully sold the idea to them to continue managing your business instead of doing something else. Sometimes this is harder to do than selling it to a third party.
If you sell your company to somebody outside of your family, you do not care much whether it survives the next 10 years. But if the person continuing the business is your child or one of your relatives, you feel the responsibility of leaving them something worth having. In which case, achieving a respected reputation would be an important aim.
My correspondent above is enjoying the reputation her father created.
If you want to leave your business to your children, put yourself in their shoes. If the opportunity looks like a good one, well… now you can offer it to your children.
The oldie of the week: Natalie Cole – Miss You Like Crazy (1989)