Denial is the first and the most dramatic of the Four Horsemen. It ties into a basic human quality of not wanting to deal with the difficult or the scary. And don’t kid yourself; talking about exit and succession is scary.
It’s about the END! We can candy coat it all we want but it is. It’s about not living the life that has defined us for decades. Not having the position that is the foundation of our self-worth. No wonder people want to deny its existence.
And it’s complicated. Business valuation, finding successors, estate planning, personal financial planning, who wants to deal with all these things? Better to just work each day and avoid thinking about them.
And that’s just what so many people do. They just deny everything until just like those owners in the Wall Street Journal article I referred to in September, they find they are totally trapped without any options but working until they drop.
That’s the danger of denying the danger of the Horseman of Denial.