Post-entrepreneurial Stress Dream
Posted by danspira
In my dream last night, I was in a meeting with my former business partner and our lead investor. The lead investor had decided that he and his group wanted to buy back in to our venture, which we had sold off years ago. My partner was very excited to restart our business and he asked me to lead the negotiations with the investor.
The investor took a stick and drew a number into sand on the ground — the sand had concentric circle ripples in it like a Zen garden — and the number he drew was 295. He said “$295 million.” My partner was getting very excited and I was starting to get anxious: What about my new career? What about my Masters degree? How could I take this venture back on? I didn’t really want to go back to doing the dot com thing… but then, $295 million is a whole lot of money…
I asked the investor if the 295 was the pre-money valuation or the post-money valuation and I immediately sensed that the investor was annoyed with my question and analytical tone of voice. Just like they used be in the old days. I wanted to change my question to something better but — and here the dream started to crumble away as I was waking up — I realized that in addition to the expense of re-purchasing the business and its key assets, the $295 million of value would be mostly divided up between the lead investor and my former business partner… the $295 million was not for me, it was for themselves… and I had no interest in being partners with them, especially as a minority shareholder. My anxiety lifted away as I realized how easy it would be to say “no” to them… and how unrealistic this dream was.
I sat up, removed my sweat-soaked t-shirt, lay back down again and relaxed.