7 Rules For Going Solo is a quickie article from the founder of Clif Bar on the benefits of entirely owning your own company (as opposed to partnerships, venture capital or IPO), but the part I'd like to hear more about is this:
"Nearly five years ago, I came within hours of selling Clif Bar Inc., the energy and nutrition foods company I had co-founded, for $120 million. Instead, I chose to buy out a 50 percent partner and go it alone."So he left $60 million sitting on the table (I'm assuming half of the sale proceeds) and decided to go into huge debt to take full control of the company instead? Dude must really love his job. I did some googling and found this more detailed account of his decision:
He told his parents, his friends, his wife. They all supported him. They all knew he wasn't being honest with himself. As he waited to sign the contract that would make him rich, Erickson started to shake. He couldn't breathe. He took a walk around the block and began to weep.
"I felt in my gut, 'I'm not done,' " he writes in his book, and then, "I don't have to do this." He felt free "instantly." Back at the office, he told his partner, "Send them home. I can't sell the company."
It was a bet-the-company move. He needed $80 million to buy out his partner and service the debt. Clif Bar had to grow fast to handle it. He took back the CEO reins from his partner and ran Clif Bar for four years.