Why business founders get hungry for seconds

Once you have experienced success, you won’t be as hungry ever again. Right? Wrong.

One widely accepted theory is that once the fire of youthful creativity goes out, company founders are happy to rest on their laurels. I couldn’t disagree more.

Image by Claire Jones

There is nothing quite like starting your first company – until you start your second. Almost all entrepreneurs go through this process, as nearly every entrepreneur fails somewhere along the line. I have failed so many times that I couldn’t list them all. But it is because of those failures that I have enjoyed success.

This is not an uncommon journey for entrepreneurs, and one of the main reasons why, upon finally finding success, entrepreneurs are eager to repeat it. When selling their business, they may want to enjoy a well-deserved rest, but will soon get the urge to get back into business.

Image from Virgin Racing

In his excellent Animal Spirits column, Luke Johnson highlighted figures that indicate entrepreneurs on their second time around are far more likely to succeed. He cited research from Coutts that revealed 54% of owner-managers set up a second venture after selling their first. Just 27% retire from business completely.

What’s more, those who have gained experience are more likely to attract even greater opportunities in the future. “Those who hunger for repeat wins are sought-after by financial backers - they know that seasoned management are more likely to succeed than novices,” said Luke.

Image by Owen Billcliffe

There is a lot to be said for the exuberance of youth, and it is something I regularly champion. But there is no need for more experienced entrepreneurs to lose the energy and excitement of their early days. They just need to find another good idea, and surround themselves with great people to bring it to life. What are you waiting for?


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