I read this post from a venture capitalist and found it to be true as an entrepreneur today at the age of 36, owning 1 of the 13 largest independent Public Relations firms in the US, and pondering what’s next:
I don’t think there’s ever a time an entrepreneur isn’t scared. I know that I am with 24,000 square feet in a prime NYC Class A building, a small office in LA, and a lot of employee salaries for which I am responsible. In the last 6 months, there have been more acquisitions of PR agencies than there were since I first founded the agency in 2003, and it has made me wonder: “Was I right to turn down the countless acquisition offers I’ve received since Day 1?” I think about this over the last 30 days as two of my professional mentors have had major financial shifts: one bought a huge company to further grow his already successful business, and another bought back his company from the publicly traded company he had sold to some years ago.
After reading the VC’s post, I realized its main points rang true for me and my business: “We have become a real business” and “as an entrepreneur… we have gone from hopes and dreams to the real thing. There is nothing as satisfying in entrepreneur land than having a profitable growing sustainable business that doesn’t need another dime of anyone else’s capital and feeling financially secure.
” Not having to use anyone else’s money is the ideal route to take when starting any business, whether it be a pr agency or a building company. Although, most people are unable to do this because they aren’t economically stable enough to launch a business themselves. This is why companies such as SummitFR exist, so they can offer these people loans to help them take their businesses to the next level.
We are profitable, successful and as we start our 9th full year in business, I realize that we simply need to get better and learn from mistakes, as we have. With a great team around me, I feel poised that my company will have huge success in 2011. We already have improved our invoice template excel amongst other things. Really, it’s confidence and maturity that we haven’t had before and reading the article made me realize it.
Fred Wilson, a VC and principal of Union Square Ventures whose blog post I referenced above, says, “I enjoy watching an entrepreneur and a team spend a decade or more building a real business that creates sustainable value for everyone. And that process is never pretty from start to finish. Don’t worry about that. Embrace it. It is just another challenge to be met. You can cross the chasm from hopes and dreams to the real thing if you have the tenacity, the team, the plan, and the right capital partners. And when you do, it is the greatest feeling.”
I agree with everything he said – and it’s really something which has defined our history. In many ways, we will be going full circle this month – and I will be doing the same, both personally and professionally for reasons that I won’t name. We are now in the big leagues and I feel confident saying big things abound at every level.