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This Just Sucks, But …

I’m tired of getting emails telling me these are unprecedented times. I know that already! I’m looking for that email telling me when this will be over and what life will look like on the other side.” Bobby (not his real name) was calling to tell me he had to postpone selling his business. He was so frustrated and disappointed. I felt sorry for him.

Frustration is the lifeblood of this pandemic. I have clients juggling running a business while educating their children at home. I have clients whose monthly revenue has gone from millions to hundreds. I have clients furloughing people who have worked for them for over twenty years.

Frustration is everywhere. It breeds fear, and anger is often not far behind. I am not going to moralize and tell you to control your emotions. Bobby pretty much summed it up when he said, “This just sucks.”

But every now and then I see an entrepreneur doing something in response to this economic disruption that just blows me away. I think seeds are being planted that will bring an unexpected harvest in the future. The entrepreneurial spirit never ceases to amaze me.

While it’s OK to be frustrated and even slip into moments of fear and anger, use your God-given survival instinct to morph your business model in ways that will get you through this crisis. You might also be laying the foundation for great new ideas on the other side.

JIM CUMBEE is President of Tennessee Valley Group, Inc. a retainer-based business brokerage and transition mediation firm in Franklin, TN. Cumbee is an attorney and has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Jim is the author of Home Run, A Pro’s Guide to Selling a Business. .  He has a wide range of corporate and entrepreneurial experiences that make him one of the most sought-after business transition advisors in the state of Tennessee. The principles above are true, but the story, names and fact patterns are changed to preserve the parties’ identities.

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Tennessee Valley Group

Jim Cumbee established Tennessee Valley Group to help business owners fulfill their dreams for life after business ownership. It’s a mission that his 30+ year career history had prepared him well for—in addition to being an attorney, transition mediator and business broker, Jim has been a buyer, seller, and entrepreneur. His broad range of experience gives him unique insight into how business buyers and sellers can achieve their goals.

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