Why do people with millions in the bank keep building? Why don’t they just take the money they have and sail off into the sunset? What is it that compels them to keep empire building?
We asked these mega successful entrepreneurs and Advisors in The Oracles, who could all retire today if they wanted to, why they keep going. Here’s what they said.
1. Business is the ultimate sport
Business is the ultimate sport, and I’m the ultimate competitor. I get to build companies, have a social impact by helping our stakeholders, and help others compete in industries that can be disrupted. Next up is healthcare. —Mark Cuban, billionaire, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and Shark on “Shark Tank”; follow Mark on Twitter
2. I get to constantly reinvent myself
I sold The Corcoran Group to spend time with my young son but quickly realized the stay-at-home life wasn’t for me. It took me four years to understand that my business wasn’t the golden goose — it was just a golden egg, and I was the goose who could lay another.
So I set out to reinvent myself in stages and have no plans to retire. I swear I’ll die in my “Shark Tank” seat! —Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group, podcast host of “Business Unusual,” and Shark on “Shark Tank”
3. I’m motivated by helping others.
Anyone willing to learn and work hard can live comfortably. The “how” of success is straightforward, but it’s the “why” that counts most. Mine is positively impacting 1 billion people by giving them the tools to be successful. That’s what motivates me to jump out of bed and work seven days a week.
If money is your motivation, you’ll either give up when faced with the pain required to build something great or you’ll quit at the first sign of success. No amount of money can buy sustained fulfillment — unless you use it to help others. Find a way to combine what you love with what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. That’s the path to fulfillment. —Mike Peters, entrepreneur, philanthropist, XPRIZE Foundation board member, and founder of the Yomali group of companies, which has generated more than $1 billion in sales online; connect with Mike on LinkedIn
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4. I enjoy the thrill of empire building.
We help entrepreneurs and growing companies succeed and it’s hard to imagine walking away from the thrill of seeing our work directly impact people’s businesses. Even after 16 years, I stay extremely close to each new client, paying meticulous attention to why they came to us and how we ensure they have the best accounting possible to help drive their business forward.
In a way, we get to enjoy building not just our empire but theirs too. —Dennis Najjar, co-founder of AccountingDepartment.com, a virtual accounting service for small businesses; connect with Dennis on LinkedIn
5. Retiring is against my nature.
Wealth and success come from reaching a certain level of performance or expertise. To gain that, you have to be a specific type of person with passion and drive. Successful people never stop because they have goals and the ambition to achieve them. Wealth and success are just side effects.
Even if the goal is wealth, they inherently look for the next challenge once they reach it. That’s why we don’t stop. It’s against our nature and doesn’t make us happy. There’s always something more to do, learn, or achieve. —David Hoffmann, co-founder and CEO of GlobalTQM, a division of the international trade company Global Regency; connect with David on LinkedIn
6. The challenge inspires me.
True entrepreneurs don’t see business as work; it’s akin to breathing. For me, it’s about gamification. You’re in an ever-changing environment where your skills are taken to the next level, and there is always a new challenge. Fierce determination and willingness to ride out the storms drive me to stay in the game.
Besides, success isn’t about reaching the mountaintop. It’s a stepping stone to the next mountain and a way to explore what else life can offer. —Gail Corder Fischer, co-founder and executive vice chairman of Fischer & Company, a leading global corporate real estate firm that provides consulting, brokerage, and technology solutions
7. I’m passionate about people.
I’m addicted to seeing people’s lives transform. I live for the moments when someone goes from darkness to light and from doubt to belief. Retiring would be selfish; I want to give back to humanity what was given to me.
Every time someone becomes a citizen of Believe Nation, our empire of world changers grows. I’m compelled to continue until Believe Nation touches billions of lives by giving them new ways of thinking. —David Imonitie, investor, entrepreneur, and founder of Believe Nation, a private free community and achievement platform to help inspire other entrepreneurs to reach their goals; connect with David on Facebook and Instagram
8. I’m addicted to the chase
A few years ago, I watched Matthew McConaughey’s Oscars speech about chasing his hero: himself 10 years in the future. He’s never satisfied; always chasing that guy. That’s why I build every day. What drives me most is my dream, whatever that is at the time. I will pursue it until I reach it. Along the way, extraordinary things happen, and it doesn’t feel like work.
When you find your vision and chase it at full speed, your empire will grow, and the money will come on its own. —James Sixsmith, founder and CEO of Trade Context, co-founder of SpeedUpTrader, and former professional hockey player who helps athletes transition out of sports into the financial markets; connect with James on Instagram and LinkedIn
9. I’m creating a legacy.
I need to make progress to be happy, so standing still will never be an option for me. My motivation is to majorly impact millions of lives and create something that lasts. I’m driven by morals and values, not money, which leads to different decisions and results.
Once you’ve reached a certain point financially, your income is only feedback on your performance. So challenge yourself over and over. —Markus Hetzenegger, founder and CEO of NYBA Media GmbH, a fast-growing digital marketing agency in Germany that generates nine-digit revenues for their customers; connect with Markus on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook
10. I love the game.
I love business, growth, and creating too much to retire, no matter how big our company gets. Continuously improving and contributing in more meaningful ways is what drives me. It’s a journey of constant growth and a game that never ends.
We keep score by the money we make because it measures our impact, but money isn’t the motivation. Why do the world’s top athletes keep going when they’ve made more money than they can spend? They all say the same thing: for the love of the game. —Yuri Elkaim, founder and CEO of Healthpreneur, former professional athlete, and New York Times bestselling author; connect with Yuri on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube