beachnight (1)We have all asked ourselves, “What should I do now?” We think that we are prepared for the unforeseen—or even planned—circumstances in life. You get married and figure out how to be a spouse; you buy a house and figure out how to be a homeowner; or, you have a child and figure out how to be a parent. But what if you become an owner of a business? You may have had a plan, or you may have fallen into it. Either way, I know how you feel. A long time ago, I asked myself, “What should I do now?”

In the late 80’s, I can remember tooling around the New York metropolitan area in a Pontiac Bonneville, listening to an AM radio. My job back then was selling toilet paper for Georgia Pacific (GP), and I was doing very well; however, after a performance review, I realized that there was a hard ceiling limiting my potential in the company. During a Thanksgiving break, I had a conversation with my father about Atlantic Search Group (ASG), an information technology (IT) staffing company that he co-owned with a partner. We agreed that there was greater upside for me working on a 50% commission for ASG, so I took a desk and got to work.

Sadly, my father died of lung cancer shortly after I began working for ASG. After getting through the emotional difficulty of the ordeal, I was left thinking about my future again. I made the decision to borrow money and buy out the other stakeholders of my father’s portion of the business for $13,000. So I was a young co-CEO of a company, and lacked a definitive blueprint about what to do next.

Obviously, I wish I had known then all of the vital things that I know now about how to operate an effective business. But the good news is that I was able to absorb information, make firm decisions, enjoy successes, and rebound from challenges over the years. I am now in a position to assist others as they start out, maintain, or exit their own companies.

At Sumus, we can help you sift through advice and provide accurate navigation as you move along your own career path. Many of you had a plan, and it either has turned out the way you had intended—or it has not. But so many others probably have taken on ownership or leadership roles quite by accident, and you are left wondering what direction to go.

The key is to combine your instincts (because you ended up in charge for a reason) with a calm voice from the outside. We listen to your challenges, evaluate your current state, use both experience and hard data, and then design a plan for you to enjoy success. So if you ask yourself, “What should I do now?” understand that you are not alone, and that we at Sumus are eager to provide assistance and guidance.

Jim Baker

Jim Baker

Sumus was founded by Jim Baker, an entrepreneur with 27 years’ experience bootstrapping and growing his business organically and through acquisition, to share his experience by providing advisory services around Board representation, Organization and Branding Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Value enhancement and Exit strategy.

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