After a total of five company exits, former-CEO Jim Falkanger eases into retirement. See how this serial business builder enjoys his life after the deal.
EleVia and CCG sales
We at Corum Group met Falkanger when he and his partners chose to sell EleVia, which develops financial and operational software for architecture, engineering, and construction firms. After finding a new home for EleVia in 2019, they decided to sell Central Consulting Group (CCG), which extends Deltek application capabilities with customized software solutions.
Jim stuck around to support the buyers through 2022 and switched to assisting part-time at the beginning of 2023. Now that the companies are comfortably integrated, he’s ready to move into the next stage of his life.
Falkanger says, “I enjoy solving problems and dealing with technology, so, you know, helping an organization get to the next level. I don’t know that I will be starting a business from the ground floor again. But I may step in and help another organization get to the next level.”
“But largely, I’ve, you know, started to enjoy retirement.”
Ready for retirement
When talking to Falkanger, it’s clear that “retirement” isn’t synonymous with “slowing down.” If he stops to smell the roses, he’ll likely be wearing hiking boots or breaking his bike trailside.
Falkanger also frequents a golf club in Arizona, where he winters each year. He says, “Working on my golf game the past couple of years, I’m proud to say I am beneath a ten – I’m at a nine handicap.”
Additionally, since selling the two businesses, Falkanger and his wife welcomed two grandchildren into the world. “We’re doing a little bit of traveling into the Chicago area to meet with our son and daughter-in-law and enjoy the two grandkids.”
When he’s not staying active outside or visiting family, Falkanger enjoys keeping apprised of technological advances, “I still have a hobby to stay passionate about technology, and at least stay up to speed with some of that,” says Falkanger.
“Buckle up your seat belt and get ready because we’re moving fast. There’s a lot going on in the technology space, and certainly, AI is one of them.”
Advice to exiting CEOs
With the sale of EleVia and CCG, Falkanger has made a total of five company exits, so he has plenty of experience dealing with the post-sell fugue. He says, “What happens as you’re running businesses, you find so many things in your schedule for the business that you end up putting off a handful of personal items. And so, the last number of months, I’ve been addressing just some items that I had to set to the backburner over the past five, six years.”
Even if you’re staying to support your business after the sale, Falkanger suggests taking time off—something he’d do if given another chance. “I would have built into the schedule maybe four to six weeks, just to decompress,” Falkanger says. “Looking back on it, I think it would have been helpful to hit the pause button.”
And for if you’re looking to retire, Falkanger suggests researching options now. He says, “There’s plenty of experts. There’s Ted Talks. There’s all kinds of information on YouTube.”
But whatever source you find for your retirement advice, if you’ve been avoiding the gym or a doctor’s appointment, make those your first stop.
Falkanger says, “I’d certainly encourage anybody looking at retirement to, you know, visit rebalancing life. Right? So, whether it’s being fit, being in shape, getting your health in order if that wasn’t the case as you were busy selling businesses.”
If you have a hobby that’s been sitting on the shelf for years, Falkanger suggests, “Dust that off and look at that.”
Volunteering could also make your retirement more fulfilling. “There’s certainly all kinds of organizations that can use volunteer assistance, and I think that’s an avenue for CEOS as they step aside [from their businesses] as well.”
And if you don’t want to leave business behind for good, consider joining a company board. Falkanger says, “I do know a few CEOs that have stepped into board positions, so they’re still staying engaged, but at a very high level in a limited amount of time each month. So that certainly is an option too.”
We at Corum Group congratulate Jim Falkanger on his retirement and wish him the best as he enjoys time to spend with his family and on beloved hobbies.
If you’re an exiting CEO looking to retire, we encourage you to consider what hobby you might revive or pursue for the first time. Pursuing new experiences will help you make the most of life after the deal.