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Transitions in Business

February 22, 2018

Inspiration, advice and wisdom for women entrepreneurs and small business owners

According to the dictionary, transition means “to undergo a change of status or condition, or cause somebody or something to undergo a change.” We experience transitions in all aspects of our lives and the lives of those we love. There is no shortage of transitions in business as well, but we can’t foresee them when we fill out our “doing business as” or incorporation forms at city hall the first day. We are just plain exuberant about starting the journey.

This morning before starting work, I listened to the hundredth person ask Lindsey Vonn if yesterday was her last race. Her honest answer was, “I just don’t know yet.” Commentators want to know the answer but Vonn doesn’t know the answer. She will transition to a non-competitor one day but can’t say when. It makes sense she might not know until the moment happens.

Over the last week my 7 siblings and I had to deal with a transitioning question for our stepmother/mother who is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease, wondering if she was transitioning to a life beyond earth. Only through a strong faith and family unity did we come to an agreement to give her a little more time to be with us. Focusing on her needs was something that ultimately helped make the decision.

As I sat quietly at times in Albany Medical the last four days, I contemplated transitions in business too and how I made changes throughout my 23 year entrepreneurial career. I adjusted hours when my sons were young and needed me home part time. I ramped up my duties when they were off to college. I added services when customers asked and deleted services when they weren’t needed any longer. I don’t think women entrepreneurs talk enough about transitional periods over a long business career.

Business planning is required for financial support and growth but maybe we need to consider business planning for the inevitable transitions that occur along a successful career. It shouldn’t be taboo or pessimistic to plan for personal life changes that will naturally affect our business choices too. It is simply a smart decision to make.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is meant for you to remember the transitions you have made in your business career, analyze where you are now personally and professionally and plan for future transitions you see coming. If you need help, career counselors or business planning experts can assist in the discussion.

Like Lindsey Vonn you might not know the answer to the question, “What will you do next?” but maybe today is the day to ask how you feel about any transitions on the horizon you want to create or can’t control.

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