Last year, I was working on a business that I was convinced could be bought by a huge media conglomerate. In fact, before I had a business model, funding, prototype or even a single customer, I was ready to sell the business! Needless to say, the business didn’t work out. My passion was focused on the wrong place. And I’m not the only one. Many entrepreneurs I speak to are looking for an exit strategy much earlier than even their entrance strategy.
I read an article by Mark Cuban many months later and the second line struck me:
1. Don’t start a company unless it’s an obsession and something you love.
2. If you have an exit strategy, it’s not an obsession.
Who is Mark Cuban? If you haven’t seen him on Shark Tank, or aren’t a fan of the Dallas Mavericks, just know he’s a billionaire who built his way up. And, yes, in retrospect, that business I was working on was not an obsession – making it an #entrepreneurfail.
From my experience, here is a checklist of red flags to warn you that you may be too interested in an exit strategy too soon:
1. You are more interested in selling the business than in creating what your business needs to sell.
2. You haven’t talked to a single customer, but are sure that future owners of the business will.
3. You are browsing potential investors of the company, before creating a proof-of-concept yourself.
4. You don’t want to learn too much industry knowledge since it won’t be needed after you sell the company.
Do you agree with Mark Cuban’s quote about the exit strategy? Let me know in the comments below.
Read more about this topic and check out our comic on this post by 20-year old serial entrepreneur Jeet Banerjee.
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