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The most satisfying life journey is never about the money.

Allow me to reminisce. This is the final post of this cycle.  Next week we return to the start of the journey, focusing upon the “what and how” to ignite a successful enterprise from start-up to exit. But, for this short moment…

Looking back over an entrepreneur’s journey

As I look back over more than fifty years as an entrepreneur, I can think of the financial focus of my three entrepreneurial businesses as a prime driver in my life during the early stage of each.  And yet, as I recall the greatest thrills, the memorable events, the best of memories, almost none are about the money.

The stories of people rising to the occasion, victories in the form of great sale successes, great continuing relationships, occasional awards from valued industry or academic institutions, being able to give back to those who appreciate the gift of time or money – all seem to rise well above the feeling recalled about the check or wire transfer that represented a completed sale of a company.

The rewards of angel investing

[Email readers, continue here…]  I found one of my joys in angel investing, putting money to work by investing time and money into promising young entrepreneurs much like I once was, coaching them, putting them together with others who have needed skills, helping to build someone else’s dream.  If you are in such a good place in your life, find a local angel investing group by navigating to and clicking on “Find Angels.”  You will find such a group near enough to drive to their periodic meetings.  You’ll quickly be drawn into the governance of the organization and introduced into the process of discovery, coaching, leading deals, herding investors, serving on boards and helping entrepreneurs toward liquidity events.

Non-profit boards and volunteering

I found another joy in community organizations, joining a total of four non-profit boards, learning at first much more than I could teach, but rising over the years to leadership positions with large psychic rewards along each step of the way.

Enough family times?

And then there is family.  Be honest with yourself. Have you ever spent enough time with your family?  Can you ever spend enough?  Isn’t it time to try?

It may take you some time to come to this conclusion. But your most satisfying life journey will never be about the money.

  • Dave,

    Your business generosity and ethics are far beyond anything I have ever experienced and I’m very impressed and appreciative of you and your lessons.

    The idea of being able to take care of those who help you reach a huge goal, or making sure the small guys get to enjoy their investment return the same as the last money in is amazing to hear from someone like you.

    Stanley Marcus, whom I was fortunate enough to be mentored by, taught me that if you always look after the customer first, you will never have to worry about the bottom line. Others have taught me that my biggest job is looking after my investors.

    It has been difficult staying true to my concept and my investors, and today it’s refreshing to find someone who holds so much respect from others in the world of investing to actually acknowledge and support people like me that truly never do it for the money.

    I look forward to being able to share the love like you do.

    Thank you for all you do and are!

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