How to avoid getting attached to your business is one of the most difficult challenges that you will need to handle over the course of building and scaling a company as an entrepreneur.
If cofounder and VC relationships are like marriages, then a startup business can definitely be like your baby. Once you’ve birthed and incubated, kept safe for years, nurtured, sacrificed for, and loved. Though getting too attached to your business can make things very difficult later on. So how to avoid getting attached to your business?
Why You Have To Prepare To Let Go
1) Odds are it’s Going to Happen
Eventually, most startup owners have to let go of their businesses. It’s just a fact of startup life. You must prepare for this.
The majority of the founders of billion-dollar companies that I’ve interviewed on the DealMakers Podcast didn’t appear to start out with any intention of selling their ventures. Or doing anything different.
Most found a problem they really wanted to solve and went for it. As they evolved exiting just became the thing to do. So, even if you have no intention of ever doing something else, avoiding getting attached is the wise thing to do.
2) You May Have No Choice
Aside from the obvious cases of personal or financial difficulty that may force you to sell out, your next moves may force you to. If you raise any outside money or go public, you can easily be pushed out, or be pushed to sell out. Whether by vote, contractual agreement or legal obligation to your shareholders, you just may have no real choice.
3) It Will Make You More Objective
When thinking about how to avoid getting attached to your business, avoiding being too emotionally attached can help you make better and more objective decisions as a leader. Decisions which will be to the best benefit of the company, all shareholders, staff, and the public.
4) It’s Better for Everyone
Sometimes selling really is better for everyone. Not just you, but your team and your customers and the world, as well as your investors. You want what’s best for them.
5) You Get an Offer You Can’t Refuse
If your business is good enough, and the market is good, then you could attract an offer you just can’t say no to. It may not be the first offer. Though at some point it can be smart to take the money and say goodbye. Especially if the business has changed and your venture has peaked.
6) You Can Fulfil Your Potential Doing Something Else
As you grow as a leader and entrepreneur you may find you can fulfill your full potential doing something even greater. Or you may just fall in love and be filled with passion for something new. Being ready to say goodbye will help you make the most of these opportunities and your life.
So, how to avoid getting attached to your business?
Know & Remember Your Why
Knowing your why and keeping it fresh in your mind daily can help. Whether your initial goal was to solve a problem for others or just make money, you can do that and then exit the business. Once you’ve achieved that, you can move on.
Plan Your Exit Before You Get In
There’s no guarantee your exact plan will play out the way you thought at the beginning. Yet, when going into any investment it is just intelligent to know your way out. Starting your own business is a big investment, even if you aren’t putting in a lot of your own capital.
Hire Key Executives Early
Instead of being married to the company and a CEO role, hire other executives early. Bring in a CFO, COO, and CEO. Then focus on the parts you love most.
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