I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a few entrepreneurs lately and something keeps coming up – building a business to sell it. I’ve got nothing against selling a business. I’d love to build something that people want to buy from me for exorbitant amounts of money.
But building a business with the sole purpose of selling it is a great way to ensure that it realistically never happens.
Here’s why: building a business is a long, hard, arduous process that will test your resolve. I was involved in a startup with the goal of selling. I wasn’t in it for passion and it sucked.
So when things got tough (they always get tough), the business fell apart. And it never falls apart pretty – in fact, it’s generally quite ugly.
Small sidebar: the beginning of the end is when one potential investor said, “So basically, what you’re trying to build is a social network for death.” We weren’t, but social networks were still a bit new and a lot of people didn’t get it. What would later become the death knell for our little startup was when friends and family started asking us how “Death.com” was going. There’s a whole different post there on branding for a different day.
The Best Case Scenario?
Let’s say that your business actually succeeds and is doing quite nicely and you want to sell. Remember, you didn’t build a business you were passionate about. So you want to sell. Do you know the statistics of businesses that actually get bought for large payouts? Of course not. Because most businesses don’t. If it succeeds, you’re going to be running a business you’re not passionate about, can’t sell, don’t like, but don’t want to close.
Sound fun? Of course not. Remember that job you hated that paid really well? You know, the one you quit while making a vow to yourself that you would never settle for another job that sucked the life out of you every minute of every day no matter how much you made? Oops. Only this time its much harder to quit.
The Better Path
Want to increase your odds of success? Of course you do.
Then build a business you’re excited about and don’t want to sell. Your life will be much more enjoyable. You’ll still have bad days – lots of them. But you’ll be able to push forward knowing that you’re one of the few people who actually chose to chase your dream rather than settle for someone else’s.
It won’t guarantee wild success. However, neither will building a business to sell. But I can guarantee you’ll have a lot more fun and be more likely to actually see it through to the level of success you want.
Have you ever tried to create a business that you weren’t passionate about? I’d love to hear your “Death.com” experiences below.