The Episode in 60 seconds
Life before and after the exit, according to Simon Scheurer.
Balancing family and business
- If you happen to already have a family when you start your own venture, you’ll face trade offs between your family and your work life. Don’t try to sugarcoat this. Be honest with yourself and your loved ones about the choices you make in this trade off.
- Having a partner by your side who is willing to “watch your back” while you are focusing on your venture is invaluable. Consider making an explicit contract / commitment about what you each expect from each other.
- Find a model that works for everyone (e.g. your partner stays at home full time with the kids but always gets Sundays off for Golf) and define a time period for which you’ll stick with this model before you reevaluate. This helps to reduce stress from constant negotiations and uncertainty.
Earn out periods
- When your company gets bought, it’s customary to agree on a so-called “earnout period”. This means that crucial members of your (management) team commit to continue working at the new mother company for X amount of time in order to receive additional compensation.
- Earnout compensations are usually tied to a performance metric (such as earnings or gross sales) but sometimes just depend on the founders staying with the mother company for the agreed period of time.
- Typical earnout periods last between 2-4 years.
Life after the exit
- Some founders describe feelings of “post exit depressions”, a feeling of emptiness and sadness. This is probably a result of unrealistic expectations about how great the exit will feel coupled with a sense of loss and / or burnout. Whatever it may be, talk to others about the way you are experiencing the situation and don’t hesitate to get help.
- Make a plan for how you are going to make your money work for you. Getting professional help with investing is usually advisable. Rely on your network for recommendations about investment professionals.
Memorable Quotes by Simon Scheurer
“I’m just not a corporate guy. I like new things and I don’t like being told what to do.”
“Wealth for me is just an instrument that allows me to be independent and happy.”
If you would like to listen to more conversations on exits, check out our conversations with Marc P. Bernegger and Ariel Lüdi.