What's next after startup success
Some successful entrepreneurs choose to spend their days assisting and abetting other ventures. It may be that the tireless hours and around-the-clock worries were too stressful and mentoring other start-up business leaders is a great way to stay engaged in a company without doing much of the hands-on work.
For the lucky few who have sold their startup venture and hit the big time, it seems like the ideal situation. After years of tireless work and dedication around the clock, shedding their own blood, sweat, and tears, these professionals are suddenly bereft. There’s no more meetings to lead, no more strategy sessions, or late night coding binges. To an outsider, it sounds idyllic - banking enough money to retire, and having the time and freedom to do anything. But to the successful entrepreneur, eventually, it’s time to consider what to do next. With the experience, skill set, and tireless curiosity that brought the startup to life, it can be tough to figure out how to follow up a successful startup venture.
Some successful entrepreneurs choose to spend their days assisting and abetting other ventures. It may be that the tireless hours and around-the-clock worries were too stressful and mentoring other start-up business leaders is a great way to stay engaged in a company without doing much of the hands-on work. Joining the board of a company or non-profit organisation can achieve the same level of interaction without a full commitment. Even still, dipping a foot into the waters of venture capitalism can serve as both an investment strategy and a way to satisfy the desire to do something after the big sale of your own startup company.
Other startup alumni either immediately dive into another business opportunity or take time working their way back into another venture. Having already developed a business network, understanding how to secure funding, and knowing what steps to take, this is a natural and common path. Not all leaders enjoy the same levels of success with their new companies, though, as it can be difficult to hit upon the next big thing. Find a market that you know or are interested in and get it know it very well. Think of the pain points or areas that scream for simplified solutions and consider ways to turn it into a business.
Not everyone is interested in the working world after “making it” in the startup world. Some choose to pursue the entertaining and enjoyable, living off the proceeds indefinitely. Most famously, Tom Anderson, the co-founder of MySpace, is known to dabble in photography and travel. These hobbies, and some lifestyles, are certainly constrained by time limits for startup founders. Sometimes the passion and fuel necessary to make a first startup venture simply cannot be reproduced.
Although there are many ways to follow up on startup success, there’s no right or wrong answer. You may choose to take some time off and enjoy your personal passions and hobbies, and dive back into the world of entrepreneurship. Or you may derive success by helping others like you to succeed. Taking that curiosity and drive for innovation along for the ride can ensure that no matter what your next move is, you’re guaranteed to feel fulfilled and engaged.