Entrepreneurs Who Cash Out Look for Meaningful Second Acts 9/24/2014 12:00:00 AM by Darren Dahl
In 2009, Jonathan Carson and his business partner, Eric Kurtzman, sold their company, KCC, for more than $100 million. They both signed three-year contracts to continue managing the business, a web platform based in Los Angeles that was meant to make the process of restructuring through Chapter 11 bankruptcy more efficient.
But after his contract expired in 2012, Mr. Carson found it difficult to continue an entrepreneurial approach within the confines of a large public company, and he decided to move on. What happened next surprised him: He began to realize how much of his identity was wrapped up in being a business owner.
While he used to be away for weeks at a time for work, he was now at home more, which required adjustments on the part of his wife and three children. “I realized that when you sell your company you go through an identity shift both professionally and personally,” Mr. Carson, 42, said. “It wasn’t a bad thing or a good thing. But it was an adjustment.”
The transition had him asking himself questions he had never considered: If he was no longer a business owner, what was he? And what was he going to do with his time? Mr. Carson’s questions are increasingly common among successful entrepreneurs who, after selling a business, decide they are too young to retire.