Success? Now what?

We have all heard the question be asked, “how much is enough”? Well it depends on the person.

Some entrepreneurs can’t help themselves as they continue to grow the next idea and the next business. Others, like writers or musicians, only have one in them. Many realize that all these years they have been working towards building and then bang the company sells and everything changes. They have made more money than they ever thought they would make and are barely 40. So now what?

Lots of questions come up. Will I ever work as hard again? Do I want to work as hard again? What is the next idea? Do I have another one in me? What will I do every day? How should I be spending my time? How do you go from nonstop day to day to a clear calendar?

These used to be conversations people had at 60. That is when they would move into the non-profit world to give back. The times have changed.

Slowing down is never easy for someone who is a doer. It is about changing priorities. The importance of giving yourself time to regroup is huge. Without space you can’t think about what’s next. Spend time in areas of importance like family and friends. Exercise later in the day. Take long walks. Giving yourself time to just have a clear mind.

Having the financial success you worked so hard for is a gift. We will see more of this from the tech world in the years to follow. I would say to any of those who find themselves in this situation…..use that gift wisely.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    I would add to this–attack the impossible with pragmatic optimism that you, only you, can help make happen.Whether this be in combatting climate change, changing laws, redefining environmental philanthropy, go for it.I’m trying…

    1. Gotham Gal

      Hopefully we all are!

  2. JLM

    ,Successful people get paid with three concepts — cash, ego enrichment, self-esteem nourishment. All three can be liberating, toxic, and inspiring.In all success is the notion of testing one’s capabilities.Regardless how you attain success, the desire to test oneself is still there.It is not how fast we can run, but how far.If you stop, you die.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  3. LE

    Lots of questions come up. Will I ever work as hard again? Do I want to work as hard again?I think this entirely depends on why someone went into business in the first place. If it was to solely earn money and it’s not something they are addicted to (or inherently enjoy) then possibly then they will like not having to ‘work’. On the other hand if it’s an ‘enjoyable addiction’ they will not stop and won’t want to stop. Sure they don’t have to work as hard but they will still want to work. Why? Well think about any addiction. Say men who like sports (not me I don’t watch any sports). They are addicted so the enjoyment never ends, right? Or people who gamble independent of needing to win money. If you said ‘you don’t need to watch sports anymore’ or ‘no need to gamble anymore’ they would look at you with bewilderment.Anyone who doesn’t understand this with respect to business is probably not addicted to it in some way. They don’t get reinforced by the process. The process involves ups and downs and it’s not all about the money. I still like getting small checks in the mail. I get a buzz every time I get a check. Has little to do with the amount on the check.In college I interviewed several local successful entrepreneurs. One was a man in his 80’s. He opened a drawer full of offers for his restaurant supply company. He had no interest in selling. He liked having a place to show up every day. Sure he slowed down (and had health issues) but it gave him a purpose.

  4. LE

    You remember Mayberry RFD? There was an episode that I watched as a kid that I’ll never forget. Someone won the lottery and so they were able to ‘fish all the time’. Problem was all of their friends had to work. And it was ‘no fun by themselves’. Back after I sold a small company I was in between basically looking for the next thing that I was going to do. I had money and there wasn’t a particular rush. I didn’t need to work. So I bought a boat. I sat on the boat and guess what? It was not fun. It was only fun juxtaposed against the aggravation of work. It was no fun ‘by myself’ and ‘without having to get away from work’. Everyone else was working at that age. Nobody else could go out. I didn’t fish either. You get tired of it very quickly.That is when they would move into the non-profit world to give back.Is this really about giving back or simply being in an environment that is socially fulfilling and/or getting to meet the type of people that would be doing the same thing? As an entrepreneur I would imagine it would be difficult to have to cooperate with others in that situation when you are typically used to calling the shots. That must be very frustrating. And I would imagine there is (speculation; I have no clue) an entire pecking order of respect that transcends actual knowledge and specific ability. For example if you are on a board, with say, Michael Blumberg my guess is that he carries a great deal of weight and it would be a full time job trying to get something done because of the halo that is around him. (Ditto for any wealthy person on a board or notable person).