The Emotional Side of Selling a Business: Coping with the Loss and Moving On

The Emotional Side of Selling a Business: Coping with the Loss and Moving On

When you build a business, it becomes a part of your identity. Each decision you make and each hurdle you overcome is a part of your journey.

So, when the day comes to sell it, it can feel like you're letting go of a part of yourself. Whether you're selling due to retirement, financial reasons, or just because it's time for a change, handling the emotional side of selling a business can be challenging. 

How can you make the process easier on yourself? In this blog post, we'll discuss six tips to cope with your business's loss and move forward positively.

Acknowledge the Loss

Understandably, many business owners feel a sense of loss when it's time to sell. It's not just a transaction; it's almost like a death in the family. Acknowledging the loss and recognizing why it's hard to let go of your business is the first step in moving forward. Take some time to reflect on why this business meant so much to you. Was it the long hours you invested? The relationships you built? The good you did for your community? By truly understanding why you're struggling to let go, you can start to come up with ways to cope with that loss.

Allow Yourself to Grieve

It's important to let yourself feel the emotions that this change brings. Grief is a natural human emotion and a necessary part of accepting change. Allow yourself to acknowledge these feelings, process them, and give yourself the time and space you need to adjust. Take a break from work, spend a day doing something you love, or confide in a friend or family member. It's okay to feel sad or angry–working through these emotions constructively is the key.

Celebrate Your Successes

While you may feel a sense of loss, it's also important to reflect on your accomplishments. Take time to celebrate your successes, milestones, and accomplishments. Think about the challenges you faced and overcame and your business's impact on others. Keeping a record of these successes, whether it's through journals or a shadow box, can help you remember the good times and give you something to look back on fondly.

Reflect on the Positives

What did the business bring into your life that you'll miss most? Perhaps it was the fulfillment of running a successful business, the friendships you made, or the stability it provided for your family. Reflecting on the positives can help you remember why you started the business in the first place and the good it brought into your life. While you may be letting go of the business, those positive aspects will always be a part of you.

Prepare for a New Chapter

There is a quote that says, "Change is inevitable, but growth is optional." When you sell your business, it's an opportunity for you to grow and embrace change. Take some time to reflect on what you've learned from running the business. What skills have you developed that you can leverage for future projects? Where do you want to go next? Use this transition to jump into a new chapter in your life.

Create a Support Network

It's essential to have a support network as you move forward. Lean on trusted friends and family members who can offer encouragement and words of wisdom. Surround yourself with positive energy and let them be there for you as you navigate this emotional process. You don't have to do it alone – having a network for support can give you the strength and motivation you need to move forward.

Plan for ‘What’s Next’

You made it! But you may be wondering, “What’s next?”  

Luckily, all of your hard work has paid off, and now you can take some much-deserved time to spend with family. Imagine all the memories you can create with your grandkids! In addition to family time, consider volunteering at local charities such as food shelters or your local church. 

This is a great way to give back to your community and make a difference in the lives of others. Plus, think of all the new people you'll meet and the experiences you'll have. 

And don't forget about helping young entrepreneurs! You have so much to offer with your years of experience and knowledge. Also, be sure to reflect on how many jobs were created over the years and think about how you can continue to impact your community positively. The future is bright and full of possibilities. It's time to embark on your next adventure, one step at a time.


Selling your business can be an emotional roller coaster, but it's vital to acknowledge your feelings and work through them. By understanding why it's hard to let go of your business, allowing yourself to grieve, celebrating your successes, reflecting on the positives, preparing for a new chapter, and creating a support network, you can move forward positively. Remember that selling your business is not a failure – it's a chance for you to grow and embrace change. And who knows? Perhaps it's the beginning of a new and exciting adventure.

If you’re ready to begin selling your business, schedule an appointment with one of our expert brokers!