Are You Still as Motivated Now as You Were Then?

I remember with regret seeing the decline and fall of a senior partner from a Silicon Valley firm that I co-invested with often between 1997 and 2004. That firm elected to dissolve itself because the partners concluded that they had reached the end of their run – and they had extraordinary performance over the three decades+ that they were active. This was a rare act of introspection by an extraordinary partnership.

The partner I am remembering, however, left the fold of that firm some ten years prior to its dissolution. He was brilliant, an entrepreneur himself, and a technical genius. He was an early investor in several multi-billion-dollar companies in his career. He could be inspirational to entrepreneurs when he wanted to be, and he was a strategic thinker. He also welcomed diversity of opinion in the boardroom.

But as his success became more legendary, he became distracted by other pursuits, including art, political activism, and a general thirst for enjoying life.There is nothing wrong with any of that, but his shift in priorities diluted his business focus and made him generally less available than everyone needed him to be.

How do I answer this question? I enjoy working with young entrepreneurs more today than I did when I was a young entrepreneur myself. I get tremendous gratification out of empowering the next generation.  Renewal through mentorship keeps me motivated.

I only make commitments that I am prepared to honor. If you can’t do that, you should re-examine what you are doing as well as what keeps you motivated.    

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