This question has been running through my mind a lot lately. I am getting ready to turn 41 in a few weeks, so at first glance it seems way too early to think about my exit strategy. In reality, however I don’t think it is.
As much as I love doing surgery and having what I believe is the best job in the world for me, I do know that a day will come when I can no longer deal with the physical and mental strains day in and day out.
So what am I doing to plan my exit strategy? Well number one for me is finding the right person to eventually take over the business. This person needs to be someone who has the same values I do and is committed to surgical excellence and compassionate service. I could find another surgeon without much trouble, but finding the right surgeon is a whole different entity.
I have this person in mind, and we have actually already started talking about the possibility of him coming on board in three years when he finishes his surgical residency. If that all works out, time will tell if I am right in believing he could be the person who can continue to live out the values and purpose that I envisioned when I began Tarheel Veterinary Surgical Specialists™ 10 years ago.
There are many things to consider when beginning your exit strategy-how much money do you need to have saved, what are you going to do once you stop practicing, but to me, most importantly, do you have the right person or people on board so that the values and purpose of your hospital will not fall by the waste side.
Recently, I have unfortunately witnessed a great hospital fall into the wrong hands. All the years and years of hard work put in by the original owner have now gone down the drain. I feel for him, and I bet it pains him every day to see the terrible fate that has occurred to his “baby.”
What about you? Have you started thinking about your successor? Are you working on your exit strategy?