Kelly and Heather Schols with Steve Olsen

Mentor Your Successor to Cultivate a Winning Mindset for Growth and Succession

As a business owner, there comes a time when thoughts turn to life after business…in other words, retirement. I don’t necessarily mean retire from working. I mean, deciding on what you want to do next. Pursuing other goals and dreams…and having the time, money and freedom to do it. In many cases, a successful business transition starts years or even, as in my case, decades before the deal is done. It starts with a mindset. And that mindset starts with an intention fueled by a vision.

The mindset strategy I share helps clients find a way to capitalize on their business investment and realize that benefit LONG after they’ve stopped working at their business.

The mindset strategy invites a business owner to step into the business of mentorship, to find and groom a successor to help run and maybe even BUY their company when the time comes.

A key first step in finding your mentor is to follow your instinct and take a chance.

Sometimes we can feel something is right even though it might not appear to be so on the outside. That was the case with me. When my mentor, Steve Olsen met me, my life was a mess. But he saw something in me that no one else could.

When I met Steve, he was a partner in a plumbing business in Mount Vernon, Washington. I was just out of high school and, understandably, had other priorities. Then, as if to test his faith, I promptly caused an accident the first time out with Big Ernie (the company’s super-sized work truck). From that point on I knew I had to prove myself. And I eventually did.


After selling out and starting his own company I moved away. But over the course of three years, Steve never gave up on his vision for me. He continued to ask me to come back to work for him, until I said, “Yes,” in 1990. Steve took me under his wing and taught me everything he knew about the business, about money, and people. He successfully transferred his vision for me into a vision I claimed for myself.

Successfully mentoring your successor depends on Mindset Transference.

Mindset Transference is when the vision of ‘me’ becomes a vision of ‘we.’ That’s when the magic happens. When your successor not only sees your vision but adopts it as theirs. That’s where true empowerment thrives. It’s fuel for success.

For many business owners, finding the ‘one’ is the tough part. “Where do I find this person?” is a question I’m often asked. Sometimes it takes creativity and faith. But if you have the right mindset, the right person will come along. You need to be ready when it does.

Final thought:

A lot of people spend a lifetime building a business and never have an exit strategy or succession plan. Don’t let all the years of blood, sweat, and tears go to waste. If you need help finding or mentoring your successor, please reach out. I’m a phone call away from helping you take the first step toward your next life adventure.