What would you do differently given your time again: Lessons from Phil Little

Ever wonder what seasoned experts would do differently if they could turn back time?

In 2005, at 48, I found myself at a crossroads. My firm, which I had been running for nearly a decade, was thriving. We were profitable and well-organised, a far cry from where we started. Nevertheless, I just couldn’t see myself doing the same thing for another 10-plus years.  I set myself a goal to be out of the business by age 50 – young enough to embark on a new career.

After consulting a career advisor, I was surprised to learn that their assessments and personality tests suggested a pivot into training (would you believe it!).

Inspired by this, I began the process of selling my stake in the business. By my 50th birthday, I had reduced my ownership to 25%, allowing my younger successor the time she needed to acquire the remaining shares.

 Looking back, I’m very happy with the decision to sell down (and then out) of the business.  I also love being a business coach. The one thing that I learnt out of this period of my life, however, was that I assumed that my only pathway to “changing things up” was to fully exit the business. 

It turns out I could have pursued a range of other options that would have resulted in a greater variety in my working life whilst still retaining a significant interest in a growing, profitable business.

In retrospect, what was missing was a sounding board to help me explore these alternatives.  It would have been great if Slipstream had been around in 2006.


If you are ready to take your business to the next level, book a 15-minute chat or a complimentary 90-minute business review with one of our consultants.


Phil is blessed with the ability to quickly assess a business situation, determine a range of appropriate initiatives and convey profound insights to the practitioners he works with. He has a friendly, engaging style when interacting with his clients, who often remark upon being inspired to take action as a result of their coaching sessions. Such sessions are typically peppered with examples, anecdotes and Phil’s captivating good humour.

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