What are your hobbies outside of business hours?
A few popular answers to this question:
- Watching TV series all day long
- Traveling around the country (and abroad)
- Binge-eating all sorts of delicious food
Now imagine you were getting paid for that. Full-time. No regular job, that’s what you have to do for a living.
- You get to watch the latest series most of the time. You run a funded movie production company or a popular YouTube network earning advertising revenue.
- You run a (whatever) type of company that’s wildly popular so you are a keynote speaker at 40 different countries every year, with a couple days chilling in-between.
- You are a food critic or a reputable winery owner who gets complimentary food at tons of partner restaurants, top-notch food.
It doesn’t quite work like this for the most part. Most definitely not during the first 4–5 years.
Investing 2x or even longer for a while in a profitable venture that you enjoy will scale quickly. You can easily offload most of your responsibilities in various ways, such as hiring a general manager or another CEO, onboarding other top-level C-suite folks, and generally, keep the boat running while showing up on TV and radio shows.
Or you can sell your company for $50M, invest some of that, and live comfortably in the interim.
This makes a total sense if you’re in charge of operations, own a business you enjoy, want to see it grow, provide employment opportunities to hundreds or thousands of employees, assist your peers or family financially, get to start a couple side gigs (like opening a bar or a restaurant) that you enjoy every now and then.
Alternatively, you can work a tedious, boring job with micromanagers breathing down your neck for the next 40 years.
You get yelled at work or fired every now and then. Eating at top restaurants isn’t an option more than once a week. Your travel only includes going to the shopping mall for junk food and clothing. You fall asleep in front of the TV every evening after a hell of a day at work.
There are thousands of reasons why people start their own firms and want to scale. Emotional, financial, popularity, philanthropy, being able to invest in other activities they want to run, getting access to resources they otherwise wouldn’t have.
Not everyone is suited to (or should) be a CEO of a large corporation. Most can’t make it work. Many don’t enjoy the stress and responsibilities.
But does it make sense for the rest? Of course, it does.