This is a question I ask them, point blank on a weekly basis. In my role as an Industry Analyst, I meet with startup entrepreneurs who pitch me on their business so I can understand how they fit into our research publications.
Usually, they present a slide on the leadership team’s background to demonstrate experience and capability. More often than not, the CEO and founding team are serial entrepreneurs, they’ve done it over and over and over again.
First, I congratulate them on their success, then I often ask them, point blank “So why are you still working?”. Cheeky? It’s a valid, question, as I’m trying to understand motivation and commitment towards the vision in which they’re trying to convince me of.
Reason 1: They love to build
You may think it’s because they’ve over spent on a luxury lifestyle and must sustain it, however over and over, they tell me “I love to build things”, or “I want to make a difference”. They enjoy the hunt, thrill, the exhilaration of building something from scratch, growing the value, and then distributing value for those involved. It’s the thrill of the game, the opportunity to build a legacy.
Reason 2: They can’t sit still
More often than not, I see first time entrepreneurs who had an exit “take some time off”, which is a code word for enjoying a few months on the beach. I find that most of them can’t take more than a few quarters or years off, as they get the buildings itch again. Often, a VC taps them on the shoulder and asks them to get back in the game. Or, they simple worry they’re getting stale and wonder if they can do it again, beyond a one hit wonder.
Reason 3: Money isn’t as important
The other unsurprising thing is that those that are wealthy, are focused on higher order things in their live. Money is low on Maslow’s pyramid, I find a few entrepreneurs are now focused on using their power and money to help those around them, or to help them selves in their quest for self-actualization.
So there you have it, there’s a number of reasons why rich people keep working, they include: 1) They love to build 2) They can’t sit still. 3) There are more important things beyond money.
If you liked this post, read about my observation about young and old, rich and modest:
Image credits: Project Life Mastery