Different Ways To “Exit” Your Business

Selling your business isn’t the only successful way of “exiting” your business.

Sophia Sunwoo
3 min readSep 21, 2022

Have you ever daydreamed about what you’d do if someone bought your business tomorrow?​

I’m sure some of us here get googly-eyed for the startup exit with the big payout. Someone buys your “house” (so to speak) and you walk away with a nice check. They take over the home to benefit from the infrastructure you’ve cultivated (and sometimes built).​

Real estate investing is a solid investment instrument for many, but it’s not the only one when it comes to growing your money. The same is true for the business you’re building right now.

Getting your business bought out isn’t the only path if you want to reap wealth from it.​

There are other ways to pave a wealth plan for your business that can support you for the rest of your life if you want to, and sometimes, may even be a better deal than selling your business. Here are a few of those ways — ​

Dripped Wealth

I’ve built up my business for the past 6 years. I’ve worked on it full-time some years, and part-time during others — I’ve designed the business so that I can pursue other professional interests and come back to it whenever it tickles my fancy. Even when this business has not been run at full-capacity, I’ve made more money off of it over the years than I made from selling my first business.​

I can only imagine the possibilities in the next 5 years, 10 years, and beyond. This is what I call a business with wealth dripped slowly over a long period.

All businesses have a version of this if you have the correct marketing pieces in place that can (somewhat) passively garner and convert leads (guidance on that here). You just need to lock down the engine to power it.

Pillar Asset

A business by its lonesome doesn’t have to be the asset for your business. It can be the pillar that draws other opportunities to you when leveraged creatively.

You can probably think of a handful of entrepreneurs who run a business, but also have a published book, go on a speaking circuit, have a podcast, and more.​

This ecosystem wasn’t designed by accident, these entrepreneurs are using their business as an asset that provides authority, trust, and reputation to fuel their other moneymaking pursuits.

One can also use their business as a pillar to get consulting work on the side, sell products as a thought leader, get invited to sit on boards, find their next job… get my drift here?​

Build To Inherit

Some of us are interested in building wealth with our current or future children in mind. If you’re already building your business now anyway, why not set it up to be an asset that your kids can inherit to sell, or to take over the reins for?

Rather than thinking about your business’ 5–10 year plan with you as the only player, can you expand that vision and think about your 20–40 year plan and build a business that your children can inherit?​

These paths are a few of the ways you can build wealth off your business that’s not in that build-and-sell lockstep.

There’s also non-financial wealth you can accrue from your business in the form of skill-building, network building, and so much more.

Think creatively about how your business can be a jumping off point for you and your wealth plan. You don’t need to be some hot VC-funded startup to draw wealth from your business. The possibilities are truly endless if you keep an open mind and execute ruthlessly.​

For more wisdom that turns your startup chase into a victory lap, get my Friday emails, (lovingly called The Crux) in your inbox.

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Sophia Sunwoo

I create moneymaking brands with womxn entrepreneurs who refuse to settle for mediocre. www.ascent-strategy.com