By Kerry Walker, RMR
40-year owner of Porter, Walker & Associates
For the past year or so I had been contemplating how I could structure my life to help me have some kind of future to look forward to. I was 67 years old, and I figured it was about time to have a plan in place with regards to Porter, Walker & Associates, a court reporting business in Miami that my husband and I had owned and run for about 38 years. Would I be an 80-year-old court reporter, dragging my machine down Flagler Street until I keeled over?
I would lie awake at night thinking about meeting payroll, paying the bills, how could I get rid of the debt I had acquired just from trying to keep the business running. The industry had changed so much, and unfortunately, technologically, I had not kept up with it. And my client base had changed. No more big copy jobs, no more travel jobs. Since my clients were mostly Defense, we had to work with the insurance companies, and they felt they could cut your rates, and then, to add insult to injury, pay you in six months, if you were lucky!
Then I would think about Marlen, my loyal friend and office manager for 33 years. She still needed to work, even if I didn’t. I worried for her job security too. It was a dark time for me.
And then, out of the blue, came Christine Phipps on her white horse! She called me inquiring if I would be interested in discussing the sale of my business. I really liked Christine and admired her strength and perseverance. After all, this industry is not for the faint of heart. After doing a little research, I saw that Phipps Reporting was a good, solid company.
So after all the , the deal was done. I am still reporting with Phipps and enjoying it very much. I am very happy with how things worked out. I will admit, for a while it was a little scary. After all, I had been doing the same thing for a long time and now I was journeying into the unknown.
But looking back, it was a very good decision for me. The transition, while not seamless, has been much easier than I thought it would be. And even though I’m still old school, I have discovered change is good!
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