Saturday, December 10, 2011


The holidays – and vacation trips after the new year - can be times to slow the pace and do some extra reading.
What to read? Here are some ideas – an eclectic list from which you might find one or two that tickle your fancy:

E-MYTH REVISITED by Michael Gerber
A ‘must read’ for every business owner who wants to rethink their role and streamline their life.
BUILT TO SELL by John Warrilow
A parable about a business owner who restructures his business and sells it. A good guide for you if want to sell your business and move on with your life.

START WITH WHY by Simon Simek
Those who lead us inspire us. They lead by creating connections between our goals and the ‘why’ of those goals.
DRIVE by Daniel Pink
The three keys to motivating people – a very different, eye opening approach.

THE BATTLE by Arthur Brooks
I, a ‘flaming moderate’ who is square in the middle between the left and right, found this short book to be a thoughtful and useful presentation of the conservative point of view. By the President of the American Enterprise Institute.

HIGH HEAT by Tim Wendel
“The secret history of the fast ball and the improbable search for the fastest pitcher of all time.’
(Full disclosure – made with great pride! Tim is our oldest son!)

What have you read that you recommend? Tell us in the comments section.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Pacific Life Insurance, the one with the whales in its TV commercials, asks the question “Are you prepared for your retirement years – twenty five or more of them?”

Of course, being a life insurance company the focus is on ‘Your financial future.”

Twenty five years of ‘retirement’ is a long time! And it’s a likely probability for a lot of baby boomers. And there’s more ahead than just the financial part. There’s your life - life after you, a business owner, sell your business!

Many, business owners have retained their financial and legal consultants to plan their financial future. That’s a good thing. It has been estimated that as much as 70 to 85 per cent of many business owner’s net worth is in her/his business. So it’s smart to have a plan to harvest that investment from the business and move it into a personal portfolio.

We all know of business owners who have no vision for life after retirement. So they just hold on to their business. They have no plans for the next phase of their life so they just keep doing what they know. They can’t move on! Instead of going out on top, they ‘stay when they should go,’ suffocating the business they built, that, in turn, sucks their personal savings back into the business to keep it alive.

It doesn’t have to be that way. In addition to having a financial plan, every business owner needs to plan for their personal future – their next phase – and for the future of the company without them.

The challenge is to think about their company and themselves as separate entities and to develop a transition plan, in advance, for each to go their own way. That’s more than just their financial future!

In future articles we’ll explore the non-financial elements of your future as a business owner contemplating retirement.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Sooner or later every business owner must address the question, “How will I successfully sell my business and move on with my life?”

Many of the owners I have talked to seem to be ‘marching in place’ acknowledging that they need to plan for their future but are in denial about the need to plan ahead. They seem to believe that the process is simple and the time to ‘make it happen’ will be short. Actually, that’s not the case for most of them.

Every Business Owner needs to develop a transition strategy with plenty of time to execute it 'on their time table' to withdraw their equity, assure the continued success of their business and, prepare, personally, for the 'next phase' of their life.

The transition strategy must address three key areas of concern:
They often have addressed the financial aspect but not the other two.

Here are five key questions for the Business Owner to answer that become the building blocks of each Transition Strategy:
   1) How will I harvest my investment?
   2) Who will purchase my business?
             Will I sell to an external buyer?
             Will I sell internally - to my family, partners, key staff?
   3) What is the legacy I want to leave?
   4) What do I want to do in the next phase of my life?
   5) What is my timetable?

Developing and implementing a Transition Strategy can be a long term process that begins with working out the answer to these questions, planning the strategy and identifying the action steps to 'make it all happen.'

All these questions are inter-related. For instance, the owner must decide who the prospective buyers might be. If it will be internal buyers, the seller must determine that the buyers are prepared well in advance. The buyers must have passion, the ability to manage the business and the money to buy the business on the owner’s terms.

Several owners I've worked with expected to sell to their partners or staff only to discover that there wasn't enough time or the potential buyers didn't have the resources.

I have also worked with several owners who think they are ready to sell the business but 'get cold feet' because they aren't prepared, emotionally, to move on with their lives. They haven't chosen a next phase of their lives after they make the transition. Making the decisions feels like a dead end or like falling off a cliff. So they hold on too long and their equity diminishes.

For the transition to be successful, the owner must addresses the five questions and develop a comprehensive Transition Strategy well in advance.

My work focuses on these five questions. I begin working with the business owner, helping her or him explore their aspirations and cataloguing the key issues they need to address to plan their transition, Working with the owner, and sometimes their key professional advisors, I help the owner identify he or/his desired results and develop a transition strategy to achieve those results.

In future articles, I’ll discuss various elements of the planning process.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Seventy five per cent of all business owners regretted selling their business 12 months after the sale! (According to a recent survey by PriceWaterhouseCoopers)

That’s a significant number! Especially for business owners whose life and identity are wrapped up in their business.

The solution is not to hold on to the business. Owners who hold on are in danger of ‘staying when they need to move on,’ dragging the company down.

Staying too long, the business owner ‘loses steam’ and begins to drain the business of its vitality. Instead of being a revenue generator, the business ‘bleeds’ the owner’s investment.

If you are planning an internal sale to your staff, partners etc., staying also limits the opportunity for the next generation to set a new direction - to infuse the company with the creativity and energy it needs to survive and grow.

Seeing diminishing potential for personal opportunity, the best people may leave –  joining your competition.

The solution is for every business owner to envision a ‘Next Phase’ of their life after work and create something to look forward to. This is a very personal challenge – one that takes time and contemplation.

What will I do next?” You decide! The Owners goal is to explore what beyond their business has personal meaning – to discover their deeper ‘Life Purpose’ and choose that ‘next phase’ of life that builds on that life purpose.

Choosing your ‘Next Phase’ is a challenge! To learn how I can help you, visit my web site

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

IDENTIFYING A STROKE - with a new key

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient
medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.

Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately,
the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe
brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple

S *Ask the individual to SMILE.

T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
(i.e. It is sunny out today.)

R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency
number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
New Sign of a Stroke ????????------- Stick out Your Tongue

NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out
his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the
other that is also an indication of a stroke.

Please make a copy for your self - and share this with otners.

Pete Wendel

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Direction - New Name - New Web Site

Over the years I have felt the need to come up with a new name for my company that better expresses the work I do. “The Peter Wendel Group” just doesn't describe my work – it sounds too much like a musical group!

So my company has a new name

Coaching Business Owners at Key Transitions

in their Careers and Lives.

Many business owners, members of the Baby Boomer generation, will be considering transition over the next few years - selling their business and moving into the 'next phase' of their lives - maybe a 'meaningful, productive' retirement, maybe starting a new business or a myriad of other choices.

To make a successful transition every business owner has to address - and successfully resolve - several questions:
• Will I sell my business to my associates (internal) or to an outside owner?
• If an internal sale, are my people prepared? Do they have the skills to run the business and the money to buy it?
• Have I started my transition in time to make it work on my timetable?
• What will I do in the next phase of my life that will give me satisfaction and fulfillment?

My focus is working with business owners - a distinct group with which I have had considerable experience, both as an owner and in my consulting practice over the last 21 years.

I’ve seen too many business owners ‘held on too long’ getting ‘trapped’ in a declining business that bled their life investment. And it was too late to get out ‘on top.’

Success depends upon making decisions early and developing a transition strategy with plenty of time ' to make it happen.' That's where I can help.

Making a successful transition involves three key actions:
    - Choose your personal future

    - Decide your company’s future

    - Make a successful transition

For an in-depth understanding of my new direction I invite you to visit my revised web site at:

If all this piques your interest, I'll welcome a chance to explore how I can help you.