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We went for happy hour with friends recently (he gets this weekly memo) and because of his great management team he was wondering if he’s really adding value. 

I told him, don’t be worried about adding value (day-to-day) because what you’ve done is create value. The less important to the business an owner is the better. Plus, at the size of his firm, any likely buyer (private equity, etc.) will want a solid team and will discount the price if the owner is hard to replace.

I also shared what a client had told me about how great he feels because he’s empowering his people and helping them grow. It’s the reason why Seattle companies like Starbucks and Dick’s Drive-In pay for employees’ tuition and companies like Dick’s Costco promote from within for all their store managers.

When you build a team, the train keeps on rolling when one person leaves. You’ve increased expertise and given people a better future, whether in your firm or somewhere else. It’s tough. Often ego gets in the way, and we feel we must do a lot of things ourselves. It should be the opposite.

“I believe the second half of one’s life is meant to be better than the first half. The first half is finding out how you do it. And the second half is enjoying it.” Frances Lear

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