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  • Writer's pictureAmi Kassar

AmiSight 8/19: Serial Entrepreneurs vs. Lifestyle Businesses

Have you ever heard the phrase "lifestyle businesses" in venture capital circles? It has a condescending undertone--those are little companies that might not grow 100 x, so they're not interested in them. The entrepreneurs who hang out in these circles are often referred to and revered as "serial entrepreneurs ." Their life mission is to start and sell multiple companies.

I will never forget the first time I heard the phrase "serial entrepreneur ." A woman told me she was a "serial entrepreneur" instead of telling me that she was the CEO of her company. At first, I thought that her company manufactured cereal that you eat for breakfast. But it didn't take me long to realize I was wrong.

If I asked her to define how a "lifestyle entrepreneur" is compared to her, her answer would have been something like, "they build nice little companies ." But unfortunately, when venture capitalists think about "lifestyle businesses," they minimize them.

It's time for different terms. I would argue that there are "flipper entrepreneurs" and "builder entrepreneurs ."And their philosophies are very different.

Flipper entrepreneurs want to build several companies in their career, try to do it quickly, and sell them. They're more passionate about the process than the actual entity they're building. Their goal in life is multiple exits. The game is to get in and out. They never put up their house for their company--they're never that emotionally tied to it.

A builder entrepreneur doesn't think about their business in the short term. It's a long-term venture and a legacy. They're patient and persistent and want to build for the long-term. They're not thinking about the next quarter--or the next round. They're thinking about the long-term. They will do what it takes and build their company long-term. Their business is their baby--and they won't give it up quickly.

I am a proud "builder entrepreneur" !! How about you?

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