Startup Therapy Podcast

Episode #91

Ryan Rutan: Welcome back to another episode of the startup Therapy podcast, this is Ryan Rutan joined by Wil Schroder, my good friend and the startups dot com Ceo and founder, Well, there's this narrative out there that, you know, we have to build these big things and that's how we get rich as founders, right? We build these bigger and bigger and bigger things and eventually we we sell it and then we, we'll get rich at the end of that and you know, we talked to founders at all stages and we we pick up on this, this frustration for the ones that, you know, aren't there maybe you don't even have a plan to get there. How how often is this coming up in your conversations with founders?

Wil Schroter: It comes up all the time. Yeah, there's this guy, I don't know when this mythology got written, but it's sure got written, that says in order to be a quote successful startup founder, we've got to go big and we've got to sell, we've gotta have an exit and that's how you become a successful founder, you know, obviously from a monetary standpoint and I've never been able to quite figure out where the hell that came from or at least why that's so pervasive when the reality of how most founders make money is so opposite that path. Yeah, I mean,

Ryan Rutan: it's such a small number of outcomes that that ever ever achieve that level. And yet there are plenty of founders out there making gobs of money. Um, we just don't see it in the same way because it's not as obvious as like, you know, the guy with the, uh, you said that the guy standing there with a giant powerball check right? Like, okay, pretty obvious what happened to that guy.

Wil Schroter: Yeah. Like it's become so obvious that this person one, right? You know, you, you see them everywhere in the media and they sold the company for a billion dollars or they want I. P. O. And there's so much pageantry around that outcome that we start to get kind of tricked into thinking, Well, I guess that's the only way if I don't do that, then I'm sort of screwed right? Which is bizarre to me because what that means is the only way to to kind of get the success you're looking for etcetera is to pin all of your hopes on this wildly narrow sliver of opportunity and execute better than everybody and etcetera. And by the way, if you do hats off right? I mean that's that's still a wonderful thing to do. I'm not knocking it. I'm just saying, boy, if what you're talking about is achieving a level of financial success right in getting the things in life that you probably want and deserve, you know, by way of earning it, there are a lot of ways to get there in an exit is actually not only the least likely, but the most likely that's going to turn into the opposite of what you're trying to do, which is Abject failure right, right? And so what I've done over the years when I talked to founders that are kind of getting into this, especially young founders, I think this is particularly poignant for them. I look at them and I say, look, there's 100 different ways to become successful in what you're about to do, having an exit just happens to be one of them, but it may not necessarily be the most likely. It may not be the most compatible with actually how you want to live along the way. And again, if somebody pushes a big briefcase of money your way, don't push it back, take it all for that. But let's not pretend like that outcome is the only thing that's going to end up working for us and I think we should unpack that today, we should talk about, you know, how what all these other outcomes look like, How much more viable are they? How do our personal wants and needs factor into all of this? Because usually that's completely uncovered. And at which point if we've covered some of these bigger things in life, do we not even really need a lot of cash anymore? You know, I think we should dig in there.

Ryan Rutan: I think we should and there's something that you that you brought up that is is always part of the narrative when I'm talking to founders about this and that's that sometimes these things become mutually exclusive, right? Where if if I start to make decisions, I start to aim at that exit. All of my decision making gets pointed towards growth gets pointed towards scaling, gets pointed towards some sort of big liquid event at the end. I'm actually cutting off a lot of the other avenues completely that would allow me to become rich, develop profitable cash flow, all these other things that lead to founders being rich that don't involve the exit, right? So I think it's really important to understand that because I think sometimes there's this thought that like, well I can aim for that, right? And it's just the phrase that I use all the time, right, aim for the moon, clear the fence doesn't necessarily apply here. If you start making decisions to aim for growth instead of profitability for example, or to aim for growth instead of sustainability, then all of a sudden you maybe eliminating some of these other routes that could have really, really great outcomes for you. That just simply are an exit. And I think that's a really, really important facet of what we need to talk about today.

Wil Schroter: Yeah, I think what people are missing when they think about this whole startup thing is time, you know, a lot of your problems, so to speak, right, problem problems in air quotes that need to be solved with regard to cash can actually just be solved by a factor of time and let me explain for many businesses and business owners that have been around for a minute. It's not that their business is made so much money at once. It's just that they kept making money every year and that had this stacking effect. When you think about it, A lot of people would say, Okay, a $3 million $250,000 in profit isn't that big of a business. And and and maybe you could make an argument that in that snapshot in that moment in time $250,000 isn't a lot of profit. But if you keep making that $250,000 or more likely it's not just, you know, a fixed number that just lasts forever, right

Ryan Rutan: happened to land at 2 50 we never went anywhere else.

Wil Schroter: Yeah. Yeah. And and look and ideally that number grows but even at 2 50 to 50 goes to 3 50 to 500 it gets up to 7 50 et cetera. Not only do those numbers start to really stack over time, they also come in contrast to what happens is early in life you have all of these expenses and it seems like boy in order to buy a house and a car and pay for education and all these things that I've got to have this massive sum of money. And the truth is you kind of don't because while those things have a fairly high high price tag, probably relative to where we're at in life right now, there is a point at which we get past them. And I think, you know, as we get into this, we should start to, to dig into that. But the point of the stacking effect, as far as, you know how that money stacks up is that we don't have to have that big of a business if that business generates a fair amount of cash every damn year.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, there's some point, there's like, there's kind of two curves moving in opposite directions that you get your cash stack and you've got your expenses coming down year over year, theoretically at least like you can always go waste money, you can always find ways to spend it. Um but like you're saying, some of these like the big ticket items start to peel off or start to become, you know, less impactful or a smaller amount of your total income. And there's some point at which that that kind of crosses over it. Those two lines meet. It made me, it made me think of that, I'll probably butcher the quote, but it's something like wealth is wasted on the elderly and use is wasted on the young when you have the most needs for it, you have the least of it. And at that point where you do now start to generate more cash, you actually have a lot less need for it than you think you might, right, unless you're in the yacht buying market.

Wil Schroter: There's always a place you can take that cash, there's always somebody willing to take it from you. That's what we built las Vegas for. But I think over time, Let's put it this way, if I was 22 years old or really any point in my career, but I'm just gonna start at 22 And I would say I want to build a startup, the first thing I would say is I want to build a startup that generates 250 k per year of income And I wanna be able to grow it from there. But that's my goal and I don't care if it becomes a $500,000 startup or a million, whatever it becomes, that's my goal because I'm not thinking in terms of the $250,000, I'm thinking about it as an annuity, an asset that continues to pay those bills for the next 40 to 50 years and maybe longer. And I think about it in terms of once I've gotten over some of those hurdles now, having this annuity that continues to pay off is a huge deal and I'm going to, I'm going to contrast that to the venture raising path, which has plenty of its own pros and we'll talk about it in different podcasts, But one of the cons is that it often has me not taking that money home for a really long period of time. You know 5-7 years wouldn't be unusual to get paid very little while kind of doing it in service of the business.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah this is one of those paths that I was talking about earlier where like when you choose that route, it now eliminates other choices. And there's really no backtracking against that. You can't go back to the V. C. And be like, you know what I've decided to to not scale, we're just gonna you know, I'm just gonna kind of lifestyle businesses thing. I'd really like to put you know $200,000 in my pocket and $0 in your pocket for the next 5 to 7 years, which is what they're telling you right, they will not accept the the answer in the universe, right? They will not accept you telling them that that's what you wanna do.

Wil Schroter: You know? Early in my career, you know, I think we talked about in another podcast, I had an opportunity to kind of just pay off the big ticket items right, yep. And I remember I bought a house, I bought a couple of cars, I bought um furniture which you know people don't think about, but it does add up until

Ryan Rutan: you go to buy it.

Wil Schroter: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I paid off my education what little of it there was and what was interesting about that was like the next day I woke up And I had nothing to to buy now, I came up with some stuff because you know, I was 22 and I had a life ahead of me, but but here's my point, it was the first time I saw why the rich get richer, because they've already paid their stuff off

Ryan Rutan: a lot faster.

Wil Schroter: Well, so this, this really interesting thing happens and it sounds so obvious now, but I put a little bit of money in the bank, in the market and that money through off a little bit of cash and it started paying whatever bills that I had and I started thinking, well boy, what if I were to if I make more money again, actually if I make the same amount of money, but I don't have to pay bills with it and I just put it in the market, the longevity in the time element of even making a reasonable amount of cash will make you rich, that's, it's as simple as that

Ryan Rutan: compound interest

Wil Schroter: Yeah, yeah, and the whole point is, I think as we discussed on the top of the episode, we're so freaking overwhelmed with this idea that I have to have a big exit, I have to get the big check when the way to achieve most of our goals is actually pretty damn straightforward, right? It's also the reason that I've been watching this Ryan, I'm 46 years old as we record this and a lot of my friends now, we're in kind of like the prime of their careers right there in consulting careers, wealth management or you know, whatever, whatever careers they chose their W two and here's what I've watched, some of them have, have gotten fairly wealthy, right? You know, they started early, they rose up, you know, they just kept getting those checks and, and some of them have gotten really, really wealthy because while the rest of us who were starting and stopping, starting and stopping there are always getting paid now, they don't exactly love their jobs. The way a lot of us do, you know, there's, there's, there's pros and cons there, but there is something incredibly powerful about always getting paid. I'm contrasting that to the never getting paid version of running a startup, right? Even optimizing for a little bit of profit and you know, be able to add a little and take a little home has a dramatic effect that you really just need time to realize.

Ryan Rutan: Okay, so let's, let's talk about how this all plays out like, you know, financially, you know, we talked about, there are some, there's some kind of like front loaded cost to life, right? There are some big things that you need about, you talked about buying the house, the car, paying off your education. Yes, let's put those into finite terms, let's let's talk about these, the big ticket items and what they actually cost because you and I both know that, you know, we hear, you know, founders talk about this all the time And not taking potshots at the young founders, but they'll come in with these numbers are like, well, you know, if I just had, you know, if I could just, you know, get just all I need is 10 million and then I'm good for life. All I need is 50 million and I'm good for life. Like the reality is you'd be good with probably far less. But but there there there's these numbers that get kind of floated around that to me are well larger than than people's actual needs.

Wil Schroter: Yeah. And even their wants. You know, so it's, you know, I want to circle around that. So if you were to say to most founders, How much money do you need? And again, just like you said, Ryan will come up with a round number five million. 10 million, 100 million whatever the number is. And then you follow up with what specifically are you going to use that money for? Right? They always say the same thing. I'm going to buy a house, nice car. I wanna do some angel investing and you know, I want to have fun you money so that I don't never have to work again. Okay, okay. And now, how much is that exactly down to the penny? How much is that? and you get this blank stare 10 and

Ryan Rutan: 10 million and one billion

Wil Schroter: dollars and kind of cynically here's how I would respond to that. Are you telling me that you're gonna bet your entire life and everything that you're doing on a number that you haven't spent 10 minutes thinking through, how idiotic is that?

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, I know it does. It sounds it sounds really stupid, right?

Wil Schroter: But I only know it sounds stupid because I did it right? Yeah. At this moment early in in the the first startup that I did where we had a large consulting company that was going to buy us for cash. And I remember thinking, okay, uh you know, here's what I'll net out of that and how will I spend it? You know, I basically just rent a spreadsheet and I said, okay, how exactly am I going to spend it? And here's where that spread. She got really telling and this is why it's always changed my life after that. I put house, I put a couple of cars. I put a boat even though I didn't actually want a boat. I just assumed that's that's what you're supposed to. I remember I remember

Ryan Rutan: you having one.

Wil Schroter: Oh yeah, I had a boat, not a yacht. Right? Yeah.

Ryan Rutan: Did it Did it ever, I mean I don't remember getting wet very often was the thing I like to your point of like you bought one because you were supposed to because you had enough money to buy one, But you didn't actually want 1?

Wil Schroter: Yeah, it's 100% true and I still don't but but sticking with that theme. So I write all these things down and I made a couple of junior mistakes. The first thing I did is I have to buy everything in cash. Like that doesn't make any sense. Like the worst use of cash ever. You think buying a house in cash makes any sense. You need a lesson in economics and investing, but but I made that mistake and here's the truth when you get beyond a house, there really aren't that many super ultra expensive things to buy again. The world is filled with places to take your money. I'm not saying that, I'm saying things where you're like, man, if I don't have this, you know, I'm screwed. I totally missed the boat and I would say this if things go just wildly well and you have a massive outcome and you're just sitting on a scrooge Mcduck amount of cash go by Bugatti. Sure fine. But but I don't think it's worth taking a ridiculous amount of risk when we could potentially find some paths that actually do pay off if that's not actually what you plan on buying anyway.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, that's the thing like why why are you designing your business around these things that you haven't fully considered the cost of and be don't even really know if you want and now you're going to start making decisions that again can eliminate other pathways to victory that don't involve that exit simply because you've built up this list of things that you think you want. Well the other junior mistake was did you include a line item for Tito's because of spreadsheet?

Wil Schroter: Oh no, I should have because that's actually where my money went was delicious. Gimlets. What I realized when I, when I ran through that exercise and what I implore other founders to do the same is to come up with what that number is. Here's why that number, when I talked to lots of founders etcetera is rarely more than a couple million dollars and that's the core of everything we're talking about right now when you're talking about getting rich, getting all those things that you want and you're thinking about, oh my God, it must take all this money and it just doesn't relative to what you're thinking. It makes you go, whoa, wait a minute, wait a minute. Like I could get there 100 different ways, right? If your number is low enough, you can get a job and accomplish it. I'm not saying you should, but I'm saying you could, what, what that spreadsheet will rarely, ever say Is Ryan, unless you have $150 million, you're screwed. I either have

Ryan Rutan: to beat Ellen or I won't get any of the things I want in life, right? It's just it's just not how it works. Um, and just to hammer on this 11 more time because I think this is important. The, and we talked about this in another podcast, right, aim for the likelihood of the outcome, not the size and that, that's a lot of what we're actually talking about here, which is to say that like going for the exit, You are aiming at something that is far far less likely to happen than building a business that throws off 250 and 350 and then five and then 700 and then $1 million dollars in cash a year. Right? The there's an exponential curve of likelihood of failure there,

Wil Schroter: correct? I think folks think it's linear, it's not at all right, if I just shoot for the stars and I come up shy, I'll, you know, I'll still have X amount of money, that's not my decision right

Ryan Rutan: now, it's not.

Wil Schroter: And so I think what's interesting about this, and again, having talked to a gazillion founder, actually, recently, this was a week ago, I was in a founder group. Each of the founders in the group had had an eight figure exit, so, you know, a fair amount of cash and they were all on their second or third startup after that. So this is in the, in the past. And I asked them, I said right now, when you look at your day to day what costs you a lot of money, right? You know, where do you spend a lot of money and nobody could come up with something even remotely expensive. Right? And they all lived in major cities. So this wasn't, you know, it wasn't like, hey, I live in the middle of nowhere, in the places that are, that are historically expensive. And I said, okay, where did the most amount of your money go? And no surprise it went to housing, right. One guy bought a really expensive golf membership, you know, in a few things and I said, okay, if you were to go nuts with your money right now and you can, because you have it, where would you put it? No answers. Six different people, no answers. Right? And they've had like a decade to think about it because these guys have made money for a while. Yeah, yeah, that's my point. And so what I'm trying to say is, I think people's idea of what being rich is or having money is, is so incredibly broken that it, it causes them to make these really silly estimates. I mean, you know, they're just their estimates of what they need are so broken and, and I want to decouple another place where people take this because I think it's, if folks aren't convinced by now, they're probably thinking, well you're overlooking a big thing, which is the funk you money, right? I need to have enough cash in the bank that I never have to worry about money again. And you Ryan, you and I have dedicated some episodes to just this.

Ryan Rutan: In fact 250 was the number that we came up with with is that's that point that it's a very meaningful exit. Even $250,000,

Wil Schroter: correct? There are Kind of two levels to this one is enough cash in the bank that I still need to earn money, but if something goes wrong, I have enough cash to probably fix it. There aren't that many problems that exceed. Call it $250,000 for the cash. Uh, so that's one level, obviously easier to get to the second one is what everybody optimizes for, which I think is where this thing starts to break, which is how much money I needed the bank earning say five or 10% in order to live this incredible lifestyle and only live off the interest, right? Or have enough so that you know, in in my, my final years I can live off the principal, what have you And here's the thing, they often make that, that that claim when they're in their twenties or thirties, when basically they have their entire life to work and earn money. It feels like, look if you have like if that outcome presents itself awesome, take it right. We're not saying the outcome is bad, We're not saying it's not a cool outcome. We're saying that it's probably not going to happen. So let's not put all our chips only on that outcome because our fear Ryan is that the founder puts all their chips on this kind of undefined, poorly defined outcome and then makes a whole bunch of decisions in this decision tree that only mapped to that outcome and they wind up with nothing. That's what I'm trying to really

Ryan Rutan: hurts and that's that's exactly it. Right? So we we keep we keep circling back around to this. But like taking on venture will do this to you because it starts to change your decision making. But even if you just mentally you're in this position where you've decided that you need this particular outcome, this level of income, this type of money, your private jet, whatever it is, your decisions will be colored by those expectations and they will dictate outcomes. And unfortunately statistics tell us they will dictate bad outcomes, right? For the vast majority of people who go that path

Wil Schroter: correct. And here's the thing, if you could focus on a business that generates, you know the 250 K. The 500 K. The million dollars a year. Number one, you probably will never have to do anything else. And I think people, nobody tells you this right, number two it doesn't mean you stop growing if you want to keep growing it and then sell it for you know a billion dollars later. Yeah do that to this isn't an either or proposition. You know, typically I think the way this has been kind of mis categorized is you either raise a bunch of money and you have a big exit or you get shipped off into this land of the lifestyle businesses where you wallow in your own insignificance, right? It's kind of like, yeah, the world doesn't actually work like that at all. I

Ryan Rutan: think this is you know, this is where you know, ego comes into play. Um I think this is where the ship narrative, that is, that is the startup media narrative right now comes into play. There's so many things that that are setting the wrong expectations for people, just absolutely bad expectations for a what it takes to be rich um what it means to you individually when you get there, how you actually get there. It's such a skewed perspective and I'm really glad we're talking about this today because I feel like this is one of those things where I had this conversation all the time where I was talking to somebody a couple of years ago and this one always comes back to me, but he was like I've started running this business and you know, it's only making 120,000 a year and I can't seem to grow any further and I said what were you doing before this? And he was like I was, I was a paramedic and I was like what were you making as a paramedic? He was like about 42, uh, a year. And I said, so you three extra income and you don't have to work overnight and you don't have to deal with like traumatic scenes and like, and you don't consider this some kind of a win. And he's like, well, but like, it's supposed to get bigger, right? Supposed to keep getting like, and I was like, well, what else has changed? And he was like, well, you know, we bought our house, you know, we were living in an apartment with our three kids in an apartment. I literally can't imagine three kids in an apartment and now they own a house, they bought a vacation property that they're now generating rental income from, like, so like you're you are succeeding right? And you're growing, you are growing right, You're generating more money, your equity in that home, you're doing all these other things. He's like, yeah, I guess I just, I just really hadn't thought about it that way, and pretty much nobody thinks about it that way. And it blows my mind.

Wil Schroter: You know, when I talked to founders about, when did you start to feel rich? You know, those that are successful in their own right? Incidentally, very often, it's, it's never when they say when they've exited right now, some have never, you know, haven't exited. So that's obviously the conversation, but even those that have like the folks that I was talking to in a founder group in the past week. And so I asked them and I really wanted to unpack this because it became a really fascinating discussion and I said at which point did you guys feel like, you know, you were wealthy in simply put, they collectively said it's when our earnings outstripped our needs.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, which it's about the easiest thing to achieve ever, right? But

Wil Schroter: they didn't plan it this way. So I just wanna, I just wanna explain kind of what actually happened because they all came to the same conclusion, but not in the way people think and like people like, oh well they all exited, so when they got that massive check, you know, their earnings obviously outstripped their needs. So they were good. Here's the thing, it happened before all the exits, right? And and and here's, here's exactly what the triggers were, I think we landed on roughly call it three factors that that made them all feel like, okay, you know, now in my head in life, the first was once they were able to buy a house usually, but like kind of cover off on some of the big ticket items, there was this really interesting thing where when we don't have that stuff, we're so preoccupied with getting it right all of our time, but once we do have it like the headspace is gone, there's just there's nothing to think about anymore, right? And so all of a sudden they woke up one day in their new house and they looked around like we'll ship uh now what now? Now here's where it started to compound. So the the second factor was they started to have like I was telling you when I, when I was younger, this extra cash come in and they were like, huh, for my entire life, all of my cash has been spoken for, it went to rent, went to elicit, went to whatever. This is weird, this is cash that isn't spoken for and it didn't even need to be a lot. And so they just put it in an account and it started to earn money and they're like, wait, wait a minute, every time I make more, I'll actually start making more, which is the polar opposite of what was happening a moment ago before you bought that house because every time you made a dollar just got socked away in hopes for buying that house. And so all of a sudden the money started to grow, which increased their base income, but there needs started to come down exponentially

Ryan Rutan: to the point where those curves cross and all of a sudden magic happens.

Wil Schroter: Exactly. It's why older people tend to be rich because they paid everything off and now they're now they're all, you know, uh investable cash. It turns out dinners are less

Ryan Rutan: expensive at four o'clock to,

Wil Schroter: I'm sure I'm about to find that out soon. But but the last thing and again this is this sounds so obvious when I say it but it'd be surprising at how often doesn't come up and start up chatter is along the way the business itself continues to grow. So if I've got my 250 K. Net income business that turns into a 500 K. Business that turns to a 7 50 K and let's say it just stops right or it grows by 10%. You know, some not crazy number but it's it continues to stack. It kind of doesn't matter anymore because you don't need that cash for anything because you spent it on the stuff you already needed. And secondarily all that money is going into a compounding account anyway. So you've got the business growing and adding more cash, you've got your accounts, you know your your trade accounts or your investment accounts growing and you've got this entire life where ships paid for right? And it wasn't until they saw all three of those things happen that it clicked like okay that was was was how I get you know rich without having to sell, ironically they also went on to sell. But at that moment came long before

Ryan Rutan: isn't it funny how how often that that turns out to be the case that when you build a business that routinely makes good net income and continues to grow even modestly that your chances of selling the thing go up and

Wil Schroter: up and up. Yeah. Also there's another really powerful effect brian that a lot of founders don't consider is not having to sell right whereby you can sell and and by all means, again, this isn't an anti cell discussion. This is more of a but what if I don't have to write and some people actually enjoy running their business, We enjoy the hell out of running our business. Yes,

Ryan Rutan: that's the thing, right? We've talked about this, we there's an entire episode on this you can check out which is, you know what, what actually happens when we saw what's the cost of selling our company and there's a whole lot to impact and that's why we did an entire episode on it. But yeah, it's it's a really valid point. Like if you don't need to, if the business is enough of an A. T. M. That you're never withdrawing more cash from it then when you actually need to do all the things that you want selling, it may not be the right answer, right? That comes down to personal circumstance and desire and lots of things. But I mean, I always remember like back in school, people telling me like, uh, you know, gosh, you know, I just want to want to get out of school, I want to crush it. You know, I want to, I want to be retired by the time I'm 40 and I'm thinking and what like die by 45? Like what do you, what do you why? Why? Like what are you gonna do with yourself? But not, not that you know, I don't enjoy having free time, but you know that was one of the places where I started to feel rich was when I had a little bit more free time and I didn't need to be spending every waking hour thinking worrying, focused on money growth, accumulating the assets that we needed as a family and and could start to just take some little luxuries in life. And it turns out those little luxuries were the things that made me the happiest and continue to do so. So again, like I think a big part of this is a big part is being honest with yourself about what you actually want and need, you know, you covered that really well earlier. But just to say it again. Like if you go through that spreadsheet exercise, private jet probably doesn't need to be on there, right? It's not gonna change your life as much as having a little extra time or being able to spend however you want now. Okay, private jet will gain you back a little extra time. But I'd argue for the $120 million it cost to buy it and the, you know, millions of dollars, your cost operated probably easier ways to get that time

Wil Schroter: back. Well there's another side of it though at which point? Ryan the businesses covering our costs, creating wealth etcetera. We have a massive amount of optionality at that point. I don't think anybody is worried about what to do when they get to that point. I think folks are so hung up on how do I create something that generates some exponential exit when in reality they just don't have to, they can create something that creates just a good, solid consistent return and it gets them to the same place.

Ryan Rutan: The exponential, it is still there. It just comes in a different way right? Like it truly grows exponentially alright as opposed to growing linearly. And then there's an exponential leap up to that point of exit right? Where then like all of a sudden it just, it all happens. I remember being in university and professor getting up on on stage was a large, large auditorium and super popular marketing professor back in the day. He got up on stage and and said, I'm gonna, I'm gonna show you all how to get rich today. And then the next thing that came up on the screen was a photo of a ford Taurus station wagon and and his whole thing was this is my car, right? You know, and and he was, he was a very well paid tenured professor at that point. He would also, you know made money from a lot of other things that your point like he got to that point where he could start to put his money to work for him, fairly well known investor. But he said that was the, the, the original key was his ford Taurus that he kept for 22 years Because he paid it off in three, he no longer had a car payment for the next like 18 years, right? And so you know, that was his first shot at being able to exponentially stack cash, he said, because I just then put whatever little into maintenance and the rest went, went into an investment account and continued to earn interest and grow year after year after year. And he showed us the math on it. It was pretty funny but it did, it ended up, you know, compounding fairly reasonably, but over that period of time it compounded like a million and a half dollars because he chose to keep driving this ford Taurus station wagon.

Wil Schroter: I just feel like that narrative has gotten lost somewhere right, you know, particularly among founders and it concerns me because what we're talking about within the realm of startups and risk and outcomes are, there are very achievable repeatable paths, nothing's guaranteed. But, but certainly achievable paths that many founders can get to to accomplish all the things that they want to accomplish without having to put themselves over a barrel of risk that they'll never get back from. And I think at its core, that's what we're trying to get folks.

Ryan Rutan: That's a wrap for this episode of the startup therapy podcast. This is Ryan Rutan on behalf of my partner Wil Schroder and all the startups dot com family thanking you for joining us and we hope you'll continue to join us. Be sure to subscribe rate and comment on itunes or wherever you love to listen to startup therapy. You can find all of our episodes at startups dot com slash podcast. If you're looking for more amazing resources to launch or grow your startup, be sure to head to startups dot com and check out startups unlimited. It's everything we have to offer from our online university to our amazing community of experts and founders and even all the tools we've built like biz plan, fungible and launch rock. It's everything A founder needs visit startups dot com slash begin that startups dot com slash B E G I N. You'll thank me later.

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