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What’s The Magic Number?

“What’s your Magic Number?”

As part of our approach to strategic planning, I offer the above phrase as the key motivator for many of our clients.  Though money should never be the primary reason anyone does anything, undeniably, it serves as a yardstick for progress, achievement and movement.  In many cases, our clients will say “I want to do this for X more years and pocket $Y when I leave.” We support our clients in their desires to achieve their dreams and thrive.

As part of the strategic planning process, we ask them point blank about their magic number, but we ​also ask them about potential ancillary goals:

  1. Are there family members in the business?  Do you seek to leave them the business or enable them to take control?

  2. Do you wish to create some type of employee stock ownership plan (ESOP)?

  3. Would you like to stay involved in the business after you sell?  If so, what do you see yourself doing?

  4. Do you have a second career in mind? How should you prepare for that part of your life?

Many times, this is the first time that anyone has sat down and explicitly asked our clients these questions. This conversation starts the process of devising very explicit plans for how (and by when!) their dream can be achieved.

Perhaps they won’t ever need to construct a Scrooge McDuck-style money room, but that magic number—or other big dream—can deliver as satisfying a sense as if they had.


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