Produces Failure Like Success
Looks at What
Happens When People Cash Out Early At
44, Rogers Kirven was tempted to sell
his businesses, cash out. A buyout offer
was his for the taking. Why not live out
the American dream? Enjoy the financial
rewards. Do something even more exciting
and meaningful with his life.
talked to some buddies who had done it.
What they shared was enough to replace
exhilaration with fear. His friends, far
from being happy with their new wealth
and free time, unleashed a litany of
despair. So Kirven, an entrepreneur who
leads six companies, decided to do more
guys were the exception. Bright and
inquisitive, Kirven has interviewed 26
men to see how people from the top 1
percent of American affluence handled
situations like this. "The first three
guys I talked to were just like me,"
says Kirven. "They loved God, loved
their families. Same age bracket, 42,
43,44. They all had a strategy. They
wanted to spend more time with their
families, and wanted to 'develop their
year all three were divorced. All three
blew at least $1 million on new toys -
bigger boat, bigger car, bigger plane.
Like Mike Tyson said, they all had a
strategy until they got hit. Each of
these guys stepped into a stream, and
they didn't realize the current was so
strong. They got swept away."
you start talking to these guys, they
tell you about the next deal they're
going to do. But the more you talk, the
onion unpeels and you find a soul in
crisis," says Kirven. He painfully
observes that, "Most of these guys
wander (22 of his 26 interviewees
divorced after cashing out).
target lock on a new toy or a 'love
affair,' and they've got a lot of
energy. But then the corresponding
depression after they get it . . .