I’m very interested in the idea of giving up power to gain financial wealth…and vice versa. If these are the two strongest motivators, proven time and again, then each one of us with entrepreneurial dreams must have one (or both) of these motivators as our top two. One of the things that I tend to think about is this…what is the level of financial wealth that one would need to feel “rich.” Is it one million dollars? How about one hundred million? For me, the amount of money I would ideally like to keep for myself is about $750,000 per year. I can’t imagine what I’d do with more money than that. I could afford the cars I want to collect, a nice house, provide for my family and have money to enjoy life outside of work. So my biggest motivator tends to lean towards the “King” side…I want the power.
I have ideas that I want to see executed. There are people I want to help with extra money from my business that some would not want me spending money on. If I don’t have the majority control over my business, then I can’t make those decisions. On top of that, who wants to build a successful business from scratch, then relinquish all the control to stakeholders? Entrepreneurs who want to gain more financially would want that, and there is nothing wrong with that at all.
I started to think of the concept of Rich or King being similar to Wheel of Fortune. When someone knows the answer, and they want as much money as possible, they will keep spinning until they gain as much as they can and then solve the puzzle. Whereas, one who wants to have all the control will solve the puzzle immediately to prevent others from being able to outperform him/her and go to the final round. There are inherent dangers in both of these strategies as well. If the one who wants all the money spins and lands on bankrupt, the risk caused the “Rich” thinker to lose all their money. On the flip side to that, the “King” thinker may solve the puzzle too quickly, allowing the other contestants to out-score him/her.
When deciding to relinquish or retain control, it must be a decision that you will not regret later. Thinking about who will get what percentage of your company needs to be a strategy that you can use to your advantage. I would rather relinquish control to like-minded stakeholders so that I can guarantee more control over my company than with one who wanted to take a different direction than me. Marcus Lemonis, the CEO of Camping World and investor in the TV show, The Profit, makes investments in small businesses and asks for majority control…every time. He generally makes a good number of changes to their business, but he makes those decisions based on past experiences and successes. The “Kings” of the group tend to dislike the changes he makes and want to do things their way. The “Rich” of the group don’t mind the changes so much because they will become more profitable in the end. You see…sometimes entertainment TV can be a learning tool as well!
But can you be both? If you have the funds to support yourself, then I believe it is possible. Not everyone dreams of being a billion-dollar company and I think it’s the small business owners (that want to stay small) that can achieve this goal. I don’t think it’s impossible, but highly unlikely to be both if you want a billion-dollar company. Those companies need a lot of help to get to that position and that position, I imagine, does not come cheap.