I get asked a lot what my exit strategy is. Really, I think this is the wrong question. These days success in business is measured by how quickly you can launch and then exit in the shortest of time frames with the most handsome rewards. I roll my eyes at this attitude. I’ve sat in meetings with investors, flattered that they want to potentially pour zillions in to my company only to be dismayed a few seconds later when they talk about how they’ll exit after a few short years later, having made me sleeker, faster, better yadda yadda yadda.
In business you have a few options. You could go bust (let’s hope not), you could get bought out, you could go public or stay private. Not being a businessperson by training I struggle with why anyone would want to build a company only to exit it a few years later. I can’t quite conceive of building a company whereby I exit with a big fat pay cheque and then off I go into the Tuscan hills. All that energy, love and passion – just to hand your baby over to someone else? Really?
I’m not motivated by money, I’m not passionate about money – maybe that’s my problem. What I’m passionate about is interiors. Obviously I’m not working this hard for no financial reward, but money doesn’t get me up in the morning. Interiors get me up in the morning – the colour of a swatch of fabric, or a current favourite material (right now it’s hammered bronze!) makes me dance, skip and shout out loud. Not normal? Don’t care.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m all about creating a company that will last. I’m not in for a quick win. I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever have an exit strategy I’m just saying for me I don’t. I’ve built this business from nothing, I can’t imagine ever giving it up, and the fact that it really is inconceivable that I’d ever quit makes me work that much harder to pull through the bad times and make the good times an even bigger success.
When you’re the boss you get to make the rules (that’s the best part). Too many businesses in my mind are looking for the exit almost before they have even opened the door – well not me!