Entrepreneur’s put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into launching their startups. So it’s understandable that they may not want to relinquish control as the company grows.
But the question they should be answering is, “Do I want to be CEO, or do I want to become rich?”
My friend Jeremy Glaser and I discuss this very issue in this candid video. Jeremy is Co-chair of Mintz Levin’s Venture Capital & Emerging Companies Practice.
Take a second to watch the video, then I’ll share my thoughts.
I love the singular diligence question that Jeremy picked up at a conference years ago, “Would the person rather be CEO or be rich?”
I describe how to find the right investors in the SmartMoney Playbook. It’s free, and you can grab it here.
Sure, your answer may be, “both” but the point is to choose what is most important to you. After all, what does it indicate if the founder wants to be CEO more than anything. It suggests that he or she wants to be in control, to be the decision maker. And if that’s the number one goal, they’re not focused on a goal that perhaps should be more important to them, and is definitely more important to investors: getting rich.
The skills and energy required to conceive an idea and launch a small startup are not the same as those to strategize and lead growth of a rapidly-growing midsize company. Therefore, it’s critical that entrepreneurs take a step back and ask themselves:
- What is my skillset?
- What am I really good at?
- Where am I weakest?
- Why am I in this business?
If you want to change the world with your business and drive a lot of value, holding onto the CEO spot for the sake of maintaining control may be at odds with those goals.
Would you be able to give up control of your startup?
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