Selling your company doesn’t make you happy
Like most entreprenuers, I believed I needed to sell a company for a pile of cash in order to be successful. I’m not sure why I felt like this. I believe it was related to reading about acquisitions in the news and blogosphere. You’d see a photo of a smiling entreprenuer and read about the millions he just made from Google buying his company. It felt every company was in a sports league and winning the championship was being acquired.
Ryan Carson is on an absolute roll lately, and I love it. I’ve never met him personally and don’t know the minute details of his story, but it sounds like the guy is in a great place right now and it’s inspiring to read about for me.
After reading this piece I can see why many of the comments jump to the conclusion that Ryan is only as happy as he is because he’s now doing what he does as a result of selling two companies thus far. While there’s a grain of truth to that I think his core message is going missed: the actual sale of those companies (i.e. the money) didn’t make him happy. While it played a part in helping him get to where he is today, the actual sale, the huge pay day wasn’t the end goal for him. The sales just played a part in an ongoing journey.
I tend to side with that, while I don’t have startups I’m some day looking to sell, I do my best to get beyond this Hollywood rendition of our industry that the world has created. Life didn’t stop for the Instagram team when they got acquired, circumstances changed.