I could go on and on and on about this topic. I have always thought about my investments and time/effort as a company founder as wealth-building endeavors. I am an entrepreneur, I have always been less focused on my P&L than I have on my Balance Sheet, and have coached many to consider their business as a wealth building asset, not a monthly paycheck.
Today ConnectWise announced they have been acquired by Thoma Bravo, a huge VC firm. I met Arnie Bellini when he had, if my recollection is accurate, about 38 employees. I became a partner, dove headfirst into the platform and the community, and over the past 13 years or so have felt like part of the ConnectWise family to a large degree. Full disclosure, I sit on their Advisor Council and also travel and speak at their events. They are now roughly 1050 staff (wow).
I have had the enormous good fortune to get to know many of the colleagues at ConnectWise quite well. I have dozens of acquaintances there, and many I would call close friends. I have had interesting conversations over the years with some about how they felt they were vested in their future with the business. There have been varying attitudes, but many have put quite a bit of value into their employee stock option plan. When it was clear that Arnie was considering going public, then did not, there was some discord with many of the colleagues, but most stayed the course.
How is that relevant to building wealth? The outcome for Arnie today is representative of my core thinking on wealth building. He bootstrapped a company to ridiculously impressive levels and exited. His equity was his core asset. That mirrors my core thinking. What shouldn't get lost in this outcome is what happened to the people who have worked for ConnectWise, stayed the course, and had a wealth-building event today. $270,000,000 went to them. Over 70 new millionaires. Many, many others with a significant boost to their net worth.
This served as a reminder to me that wealth building doesn't mean you must be a founder of a business with significant equity to build wealth. There are other ways to get there, and Arnie created wealth today well beyond himself. This was an impressive outcome for so many people.
Again, congrats! I can't wait for some of the exciting conversations about to happen!