When Your Startup Goes From Doing What You Love to Doing What It Takes

How much is your equity worth?

Everybody has a number. Everybody has a pain threshold. I’m not here to judge either of those, but you’d be crazy not to figure out how much of a payday you’re walking away from.

  1. Not everyone get rich when the startup exits. You might be looking at that $50,000 figure and be thinking it should be more like $500,000 or $5 million. The truth is, outside of the founding team and the earliest employees, most of the startup employees are holding a small percentage of a small percentage of equity in the company.

What kind of commitment did you make?

Call me old-fashioned, but I’m loyal af. That’s cost me in the past, but the spoils of being disloyal were never enough for me to want to take the hit to my reputation.

Have you ever done this before?

I would recommend that everyone who wants to be an entrepreneur plays each of these roles at least once:

  • Run a startup that doesn’t go anywhere for six months or longer.
  • Be a part of a better-than-average exit, either an acquisition or an IPO.

What’s going to happen after the sale?

Almost everything about startup is temporary, both the good times and the bad times.

  1. This cycle will happen again, in almost any position Liz walks into from here forward, whether it’s another startup looking to exit or a public company looking to make their next quarter.
  2. There will be a brand new challenge at the other end of the acquisition, with a new role at a new company. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s definitely going to be a new thing.

What’s your endgame?

If you’re in the game for the love of the game, don’t waste your time worrying about money. If you’re looking for experience, the career kind or the life kind, don’t let yourself stagnate.

I’m a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. Sold ExitEvent. Building TeachingStartup.com & GetSpiffy. Former Automated Insights. More info at joeprocopio.com

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