A friend of mine was the ultimate rebel entrepreneur. On a shoestring he managed to build a multimillion dollar business in just a short couple of years. The company was poised for great growth but he needed money to grow it even faster. He sold a part of his company to a VC in return for a large investment. Even though he had a smaller shareholding he believed that a VC would shoot him and his remaining shareholding into the stratosphere.
This decision ended up destroying both the company and himself completely as he signed an agreement that took away his freedom. He became the investor’s employee
Six months later, he was finished. He sold his freedom and in the end was left with no control over the company he loved.
He had given up the freedom to make products how he liked, and to choose when, where and how much he worked. Not only did his mistake screw his company over completely, but he sold himself out, lost his passion and everything in return.
Freedom was the reason he started a business in the first place. The ultimate freedom was to make his own decisions over his product.
I’ve seen first hand how so many otherwise brilliant entrepreneurs sell majority shares to VCs, or investors, only to become the employee of their investors. This is not why a person becomes a rebel entrepreneur.
VC’s may be brought in at some point, though the agreement will invariably be negotiated on the rebel entrepreneur’s terms. The distinction here is that while the rebel entrepreneur may sell some of their shares, they will never sell outfor the sake of money.
When freedom is given priority, the money will come later. And, if you are really passionate – a load of money will follow.
And remember – no one can fire you.
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