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Caution: Your Cognitive Bias is Showing…

 

When you are ready to sell your business, a common psychological disorder that will interfere with you selling the business yourself is your cognitive bias.  A cognitive bias refers to the systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment.

Your cognitive bias is totally understandable.

You desire to maximize the return on your entrepreneurial efforts.  This may interfere with setting a realistic price by yourself.

But you also know too much.  You know how far you’ve come from where you started.  You know the problems you encountered and the solutions you’ve found. You know who to call for this problem and who to depend on if this goes wrong or that breaks down. That knowledge may be things included in the sale—or they may be things the new owner will have to discover for him or herself.

Knowing too much also affects the way you process information. Your mind may take shortcuts to get to answers. And your memory might distort the information you process.  For example, several similar experiences may blend together to become something totally different than any of the experiences were.

The length of time you’ve spent developing and shaping this business has affected your motivation.  All of those past experiences—both good and bad; conquering achievements or dismal failures—have colored your perceptions and interpretations with emotion.

Six decades of research on human judgment and decision-making have shown that cognitive biases have practical implications on areas such as entrepreneurship, finance, and management.

Human thinking is riddled with irrational cognitive biases, but those biases also provide great adaptive tools that help us utilize the rules of logic and probability.

Logic will probably tell you that using a broker might help guarantee a smooth process and an easy sale.

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