Several years back, my driving instructor taught me how to survive slipping off the road. The way to get back to the tarmac is to shift focus from the tree the car is running towards, to the road where I want to steer back. Looking ahead at the tree will keep it in the center of my focus and trick my subconscious into believing that I should hit it. Counter-intuitively, the tree can only be avoided by looking away.
Another example is weight loss. It seems impossible to lose weight by thinking about what one must not eat. The subconscious will ignore “must not” and hear only “eat”. It is much better to concentrate on what can be eaten and when, and to accept for the time being the fact that we are overweight. Any weight loss process can only start when we have resigned to our obesity.
The same principle applies to companies, in the sale process. If the seller is focused on avoiding a drop in sales turnover, total income is bound to decline. On the other hand, focusing on growth will likely yield positive results. This is another argument why the seller should fully focus on growth in the year of the sale, rather than on selling the company, which she should leave to his investment banker.