A few years ago I was on an Ernst & Young “Milestones” panel in Boston speaking to an audience of venture capitalists, investment bankers and entrepreneurs.
One of the VC’s told me one of the most clarifying questions he asks all entrepreneurs for which there is only one correct answer.
He asks them: “Would you rather be king or rich?”
If they answer, “king” he has learned to pass on them.
He went on to explain that being an entrepreneur is part of process of going from: idea –> start up –> early stage company –>stable company where you have maximized its value and then sell it to begin the process with another company. He said that people who would rather be king than rich often become too attached to their company and don’t realize that the company is just a part of a process and that such people will get in the way of what’s necessary for that company because they will have trouble letting go of control.
Does that make sense to any of you?