Over the years, I’ve bought several homes because of their character and potential, rather than because of their immaculate condition. Later, I would decide to sell, usually because I was relocating to another city, state, or country! With the decision to sell, there would be a mad flurry of activity to get the house ready to have the maximum appeal to a potential buyer. I would paint and clear out clutter and junk. Bathrooms and kitchens would be updated and the landscaping would be completed to add to curb appeal. All this was so I could sell for the highest price
By the time I was finished with the sale prep and renovations, I would think “I wish I had done this sooner so I could have enjoyed it like this, in it’s completed state rather than doing the hard work for someone else’s benefit.” Instead, I moved on to the next house, having never really enjoyed the “finished” product for very long.
I’ve seen something similar when companies are preparing for an IPO, a new round of financing, or in the midst of M&A activities. All strategies and expenditures are viewed through the lens of whether those activities will support, detract, or be neutral in achieving the best result, getting the maximum valuation.
What I’ve seen during these times is a “getting the house in order” focus. Things that were tolerated in the past because they were difficult or simply uncomfortable to deal with now take on the characteristics of radioactivity! “Get it fixed” becomes the directive. Excesses are removed. There’s a greater push to improve the bottom line. The focus has shifted.
In every case, when the work has been done, the tough choices have been made, and the sale has been completed, often the resulting thoughts are the same: if we had done this sooner, we may not have pursued this strategy. Other options may have been more appealing.
My suggestion is that, whether or not you are thinking of selling your house, your business, or transitioning any other part of your life, look at the situation as if you were preparing it for maximum appeal. Ask yourself, “What two or three things would I have to do to make it most valuable?” Then, make the decisions and take the actions so you can enjoy it now!