Why Cling to Your First Business?

10 Famous Entrepreneurs with a Surprising Past

by John Warrillow

Most of the famous entrepreneurs we idolize had a modest success (or failure) before they started the businesses that made them famous. So why are so many of us clinging to our first business like it is our life’s work?

 

If we can agree that starting a business is a creative process, why do so many of us stop after just one creation?

 

Can you imagine any other artist working on a single canvas for a lifetime? Would a cabinetmaker spend his entire life fussing over just one credenza? What if the Beatles had stopped writing songs after “She Loves You”? What if Robert De Niro had stopped acting after The Godfather?

 

Nowhere does it say that your first business has to be your only business. Sometimes, you need to start your first to get the hang of entrepreneurship. Then, move on with the lessons–and maybe a little capital–and start a second business.

 

That’s exactly what these household names did:

  • Elon Musk, best known as the founder of “Tesla”, started with Zip2, which offered internet-based city guides.
  • Richard Branson, best known as the founder of “Virgin”, started with “Student Magazine”.
  • Sam Walton, best known as the founder of “Walmart”, started as a “Butler Brothers” store franchisee.
  • Reid Hoffman, best known as the founder of “LinkedIn”, started with the dating website “SocialNet.com”.
  • Ted Turner, best known as the founder of “CNN”, started with “Turner Outdoor Advertising”.
  • David Geffen, best known as the co-founder of “DreamWorks SKG”, started with “Asylum Records”.
  • Jack Taylor, best known as the founder of “Enterprise Rent-a-Car”, started with a delivery service company.
  • Howard Schultz, best known as the founder of “Starbucks”, started with the independent coffee shop, “Il Giornale”.
  • Travis Kalanick, best known as the founder of “Uber”, started with the multimedia search engine “Scour”; and
  • Sheldon Adelson, best known as the founder of “Las Vegas Sands”, started with the tradeshow business “Comdex”.

According to our research over at the Sellability Score, 76 percent of business owners say they want to exit their business in the next decade, but only a tiny fraction of them — we estimate fewer than 10 percent — actually will.

 

It seems many us say we want to sell, but very few pull the trigger.  To read the rest of the article, click: Why Cling to Your First Business?

 

The Summit Acquisitions Group — Business Brokers and M&A Advisors — specializes in the sale, appraisal, and financing of privately owned companies ranging in valuation from $750,000 to $25,000,000. Contact their offices in Atlanta, GA or Charlotte, NC for a free consultation.