Exit strategy for dummies

“I’m in it to mostly have fun. If I wanted to do unpleasant work, I’d have my own start-up.”

Ronnie Apteker
3 min readDec 17, 2020

Yes, you would be a dummy if you left something you loved. If you love it, why exit. Do you love your husband/wife? Assuming yes, then why leave. Do you love eating a gourmet pizza? If yes, then why change. I am not saying you must eat pizza all the time, but you understand what I mean. Why stop doing anything that you love. If you love going for walks, do you plan to stop? Why exit something or someone that you care about? I don’t really get it. But perhaps I am just a dummy.

To be driven by a sense of purpose, a calling, can be beautiful and liberating, and at the same time, painful and exhausting. Passionate people do sound inspired, and then you get obsessed people, which is a whole other level of intensity. Whatever the magic is that your soul has to explore, how does one exit something that they feel so strongly about? Or was it only about money. I find that very hard to believe. Or perhaps it becomes about money. And maybe the number is also what confuses people. Imagine you help build a company, and you love it, with all its challenges and sleepless nights, and then someone offers you a billion dollars for your share. For sure, this can confuse even the smartest people.

Starts-ups are hard. I know. Stress, lack of sleep, cash flow, finding talent, retaining talent, landing customers, keeping customers, competition … it never ends. And if you keep at it, and work hard, and have some luck, then perhaps the venture will develop into a rock solid company. So let’s say you manage to become a self-sustaining company and that business is good. You grow and grow and grow. Perhaps you also expand into new areas and build new products and services. Yeah, you are living the dream. You are in control of your own destiny, and if what you offer the world is good, useful, of high quality, and is well priced, etc., then for sure, you are making a difference. Then what? You love it, right. You have purpose. Yeah. And for sure, you are getting paid each month, probably making a good living. So, if you are doing all this and you love what you do, and you do what you love, why would you want to exit? Do you want to then try another start-up, with that pain all over again. Seriously, is there a simple answer?

I like Woody Allen films. Not all of them, but most of them. I loved some of his older work, like Take The Money And Run. The name of this movie says it all. Sounds like an exit. I think I need to watch this film again. I sure could use a laugh. This has been a helluva soul searching year.

Finding something you love to do is not as easy as it sounds, especially something that perhaps could pay your bills. So, if you are fortunate to discover a purpose that is financially sustaining, then why would you ever want to change that. I understand, someone comes along and offers you a lot of money for your share so you cash out. But you were making a good living, and the company was growing, and you believed in the mission, so why then give it all up?

If you don’t need the money, and you love what you do, why exit? I know, it is conundrum, and it stumps many folk. Myself included.