How long will you run your firm? I wrote an article not long ago called How Long Will You Lead Your Firm. In this world of venture capital, startup, even accounting firms are getting into the habit now of speaking in ways of building their companies to sell them, and that’s cache now. It’s kind of becoming popular to ramp up a company extremely fast and then sell it.
Well, this article is kind of debunking this whole thing. You know what? It’s really an article written about my own personal beliefs about why I’m going to lead and run a firm forever. It’s a commitment I made, and you know what? Once that’s commitment’s made to run a firm forever, it’s out of the way. Right? That’s what I’m going to do until I die, and so here we go. Now I can go on the journey of actually building a firm in a healthy, slow, methodical way.
You know, I make some points in there and one of those is, we already admire people who build companies for the long term. Right? People like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett. These guys, they just methodically, sometimes slowly, they were building their companies over and over and over again. When you see them 20 years later, you’re like, “Wow, how’d they do that?” They just made a commitment to it forever. It’s the thing they’re going to do.
I mean, it’s rare, flash in the pan, fast growth and selling are people we don’t know about, because they’re gone. They’re gone from the marketplace and we don’t often know their names. They’re off doing who know, maybe they’re on a beach somewhere, I don’t know. But, it’s not the people we look up to, and a lot of times if you grow your company fast, if you try to scale up your firm fast and then sell it, there’s so many journeys you don’t get to go through. There’s so many caregiving journeys with teams and seeing people change and transform right before your eyes. Well, it’s not before your eyes, right, it takes sometimes two to five years for people to change extremely in front of you.
But, making a commitment to run your firm forever lays aside some things that can hinder you. That is, “What am I going to do?” Well, just run your firm forever. How about say that right now? I’m going to run my firm forever. It’s scary to say, isn’t it? But, you know what? The aftermath of saying it is very healthy. It feels really good, because you got something done and off your chest. That is, you know now what you’re going to do forever and then you commit to the work of growing a company and a firm in a healthy way.
Then you get all kind of benefits. Learning how to be creative, how to roll creativity and innovation into services, how to capture some of those services with a particular value, how to build teams, how to restructure teams, how to build layers to teams, how to lead leaders, how to train leaders, how you become a leader, how you change, how you love people. You know, dealing with your own personal issues, anger or whatever, you learn how to manage these things when you commit to things in a long term way.
Why not just say you’re going to run your firm forever? Do it with me. That’s what I’m going to do. That’s what my partner and I are going to do, we’re going to do this forever. Why don’t you do it with us too, if you’re that kind of person? We’ll all grow together, and you know what? We’ll be 80 and 90 years old, and here we are, running firms and old, lost our teeth, but think of all the things we will have learned and the wisdom we can pass on to a new generation. Pretty cool thought. I hope that helps you know what you’re going to do the rest of your career. Just join me as we build firms forever. We’ll see you, take care.