Tuesday, October 8, 2002: Letter from a business broker

This is a page from my book, “How I Sold My Business: A Personal Diary”

I came back to the office late this afternoon, greeted all the employees I rarely see because I'm usually not in the office, settled in to the comfortable old chair behind my desk, and began thumbing through the usual stack of mail sitting on my desk. I'm often out of the office for days or even weeks at a time, and my assistant stacks up the apparent junk mail on my desk, and calls or sends an email if anything looks important.

While thumbing through today's stack, I found an envelope from a local business I've never heard of. Opening the letter, I saw it was from someone who calls himself a “business broker,” and while it felt like a form letter in many ways, it was also slightly personal. The letter said this business broker had someone who might be interested in buying my business.

“Check it out”

A few years ago I would have tossed this letter in the trash without giving it a second thought, but with my feeling of being "stuck" at our current employment level, my feeling that Jack, George, and I aren't on the same page any more, and a little burnout, I put the letter on the side, and then kept looking back at it as I worked through the rest of the mail.

It was now late in the day, and all my co-workers had gone home, except for my wife. When my schedule opened up this afternoon so I could swing by the office, I found out she was going to be working at the office as well, and we made plans for a 6:30 dinner.

I buried the letter in a small stack of mail I was keeping, looked out into the parking lot, saw that all the employees cars were gone, and walked through the office just to make sure nobody else was there. When I found my wife, I showed her the letter, and asked what she thought. Check it out” was pretty much all she said. We try not to talk about work much at home, but she knows I haven't been happy with a lot of things about work lately, and I think she just wants me (us) to be happy.

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