The Startup Journey or the Startup Exit

One of my favorite questions to ask entrepreneurs is “What’s your exit strategy?” Now, this isn’t because I actually want them to share with me an exit strategy, far from it, rather I want to hear that they don’t have a strategy and are looking to build an enduring business that changes the world. Or, at least solves a problem they really want to solve (candy, vitamin, or pain-killer).

When an entrepreneur says that they want to sell the business in 24 months for at least $6 million, which is exactly what I heard from someone at a networking event tonight, I think to myself that that’s an approach to business I never want to be a part of. Yes, a number of entrepreneurs do operate this way, and some are successful, but it isn’t the norm and isn’t the most fulfilling.

My favorite entrepreneurs are the ones that are focused on the startup journey, and not the startup exit. Self-actualization, from the world of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, is the ideal goal. It takes time and a number of experiences to reach that understanding, and I wouldn’t even characterize myself as being there yet, but from what I’ve read and my limited experience, I believe it to be true. The happiest and most fulfilled entrepreneurs focus on the journey, and not an exit.

What else? What are your thoughts on the startup journey and the startup exit?

One thought on “The Startup Journey or the Startup Exit

  1. That is great thought there , but I think when you say that a entrepreneur is thinking about an exit strategy or already thinking about the valuation of his company , he is getting motivated thinking that , his company holds value and he has created something , that someone will be willing to pay for , I do not see any harm in building up a business and then exiting to start another one , it is the interest in new things that keeps some people making it to exit and entering another business.

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