Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Tom Brady is pretty impressive. Winning records aside, his career longevity and commitment to his craft are something to be admired. In September, he added a new title to his name: health and fitness author. His book is called The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Peak Performance.

You might ask, “What does Tom Brady’s fitness routine have to do with my business?”

After digging through his book, it’s clear there are some great lessons we can learn from his regimen and career that are applicable to business owners approaching a business transition.

Here are four we think are important and worth exploring.

1. Develop Good Habits

One reviewer on sums up Brady’s book with the following:

“You’d find a healthy lifestyle that any doctor would endorse: exercise paired with stretching and deep-tissue massage; a healthy diet devoid of refined sugar, alcohol, and caffeine; ample hydration; lots of sleep.”

Who can argue with that? Even though you probably won’t become the next Superbowl MVP, following his example will likely benefit your health.

The same is true for business owners. Developing and maintaining good habits, like using established business practices and sound financial principles, will help to increase the health and quality of your business – making it that much more attractive to potential acquirers or internal successors when the time comes.

If you don’t feel like your business has good habits, start by asking these questions:

  • What kind of shape is your business in?
  • Is it financially healthy and profitable?
  • Are you positioned to grow your profits into the future?
  • Are your books in good order?

If you’re not sure about the answers to any of these questions, it’s time to take stock of your business and put a plan in place to start developing good habits that will result in better results.

2. Have a Good Support Team

Although Brady carries this persona of being a lone superstar, he has had a lot of support during his childhood and nearly two decades in the NFL. He’s had countless coaches, trainers, nutritionists, personal chefs, teammates, and more who have helped get him where he is. In the introduction, Brady writes, “It’s about hard work, dedication, discipline, and the support of my great team. You can’t do it alone… in order to achieve goals, it takes a great support system.” While you’ve likely been the lone driving force behind your business, as you approach your business transition, you shouldn’t go it alone.  

As a transitioning business owner, you want to work with a group of people who can help you assess your personal and financial needs and objectives, as well as those of the business. You’ll want a team of advisors that will work collaboratively and comprehensively to improve your business performance and maximize company value to help you get the best price and ensure a successful transition.

And as with any team, you want someone to coordinate the team to make sure they are working to achieve your goals and objectives: a quarterback.

Your support team and quarterback can also hold you accountable—making sure you’re doing what’s necessary to push your business to the next level.

3. Do What Works for You and Your Business

As we discussed, Brady’s plan isn’t going to miraculously transform the average person into a top-performing professional athlete. In the previously quoted article, the author rightly points out: “Tom Brady’s TB12 Method Works — for Tom Brady,” implying that it won’t necessarily work for others. The important thing is to find the regimen that will work for you.

It’s the same for your business transition. While there’s no one-size-fits-all, there are tried and true methods to help you identify the right path for your unique situation.

You don’t have to start from scratch. You can work within a framework that has worked well for a multitude of other owners. It helps you analyze your current situation, outline your goals, understand what your business is worth, and determine which transition options are the best fit for your needs.

4. Educate Yourself

Brady attributes much of his success to the training, discipline, and mental toughness that he developed as a young athlete and throughout his career. But despite that, before the start of every season, in addition to physical conditioning, he focuses heavily on learning and mental conditioning to help him attain peak performance.

As a successful business owner, as with a professional athlete, it’s likely that you possess certain intuitive capabilities, intelligence, motivation, a strong work ethic – and perhaps a little luck – that have helped to get you where you are today. And you are always willing to learn more.

Take the time to educate yourself about your options well in advance, study the lessons learned by others, and work with your team to develop a business ownership transition plan that’s right for you.

You don’t have to be a fan to appreciate Brady’s advice.

When highly successful people share their methods of training, we should listen. Doesn’t matter if it’s an athlete, movie star or mogul. Even if you’re not a fan of Brady, we can glean some crucial lessons from his book that may help put us and our business in the best possible position to succeed… especially as we prep for a transition.


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