In the early days of Purlem I made a very conscience decision to not accept investors. My reasoning was that with investors comes a high level stress and unnecessary risk.
Here are some of the negative things about being CEO of a startup from Paul’s perspective:
- Very tough to sleep most nights
- Weekends don’t mean anything to you anymore.
- There is constant pressure from investors
- It’s impossible to “unplug”
- You feel guilty when you spend time on anything else
- It’s difficult to talk to friends outside of the startup world
- You have the responsibility for other’s (employee’s) lives
As the “CEO” of Purlem, I can relate with Paul to a certain extent. It is impossible to “unplug” and it can be difficult to relate with friends and family outside fo the startup world. But that is about all I can relate with. I sleep great, have long weekends whenever I choose, and the only pressure I have is what I place on myself.
I understand that not all startups can go the bootstrapped (unfunded) route. There are certain business models that require a large amount of up-front capital. I get it. But for the large majority of Internet startups, the barrier to entry is extremely low. Funding is not required to get started. It can take a lot of time and determination, but it is possible to successfully bootstrap a startup without funding.
By not taking on investors, Purlem has given me a lifestyle business. It’s a business that I absolutely love, and allows me to do what I want, when I want. To me, all the “excitement” of running an funded startup would not be worth the stress that comes along with it.