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A Personal Story – Can You Sell Your Business?

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Sun, Feb 26, 2012

Can you sell your business?

As I write this it’s Saturday afternoon I’m sitting next to my hospital bed having just discovered that the prognosis for my life ahead is possibly acute leukemia.  If that’s true, (I need a bone marrow tesAcute Leukemia resized 600t to determine this at the University of Iowa on Monday) I will probably be out of commission for at least a month and possibly even a year. Disability is what the Dr just told me is the long term prognosis. 

I’m not happy! 

I checked into the hospital on Friday evening.  I had been having difficulty catching my breath and just feeling tired when I went up the steps at my home office.   Last Sunday when I worked out on my stationary bike I didn’t feel as if I had any energy.  I was as much as 50% below my normal workout and just couldn’t keep up.  

I had an appointment with a diabetic dietician on Monday and since my numbers recently had been climbing I expected to hear that perhaps my tiredness was related to my high blood sugars.  She looked at my numbers and what I’d been eating.  She felt the carbohydrate levels I had been eating were low.  I should be eating more carbs despite my diabetes.   I decided to make an appointment with my doctor to show him my eating habits and my blood sugar to get his input.  This occurred on Friday afternoon.  AT 5 PM my doctor called and asked me to get to the hospital as soon as I could.  The blood results indicated I was anemic.  A person my height and weight should have a red blood cell count around 13-14.  Mine was 5.6. 

Friday evening and Saturday morning they pumped 2 pints of blood in me.  By 7:30 I found out I was up to 7.3, still too low and would need 2 more pints.  They still didn’t know what was wrong with me, but at that point I was concerned.  When they took me for an X-ray I teared up waiting for the technician to arrive.  My thoughts ran to my family and the financial burden, anxiety and distress this would cause them if it was what the doctor previously indicated might be the issue: either my bone marrow wasn’t producing enough red blood cells, or something inside me was destroying those I had.

It appears at this writing that the latter is the situation.  By the time you read this on Monday, I will be probably receiving a bone marrow test to determine whether I have cancer. My doctor at St. Luke’s is 80% sure its acute leukemia. 

While the Doctor indicated if it is the kind of acute leukemia he thinks it is there is a 70% chance of recovery.  That might be the good news.  The bad news is whether my business can survive without me?

My question is can yours? 

Are you too tied to one or several key performers?  Do you have the critical systems in your business flow charted and do you have Key Performance Indicators measuring these systems performance?   Make a plan of action to put your business in a position to be able to sell. 

Take the Sellability Quiz now:

Topics: Acute Myeloid Luekemia, leukemia, key performance indicators, Business System, Built to Sell

Challenges of Scaling Up a Business 







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Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

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