You've sold your successful startup: What next?

Let's say you've worked hard for years to build a profitable business. You may have even spent significant time away from your family to raise finances and manage operations. As an entrepreneur, you probably realize, too, that once your company reaches a certain level of profitability, selling the business may be the best move for its growth and your future.

Fast-forward to after the sale. You know how much you've accomplished, and you're enjoying your personal wealth. But you can't shake the feeling that you have more to do, more to offer, and that something is missing. In other words, what do you do now that you've achieved your goals in one area of business?

An interesting article in The New York Times focuses on the personal and professional concerns of successful entrepreneurs who have sold their companies but have no intention of stepping away from business just yet.

After selling his Los Angeles-based company for $100 million, one 42-year-old entrepreneur started to realize just how much owning a business had shaped his identity, both professionally and personally. He couldn't simply stop being a business owner, so he explored new ideas for building another company. This time around, he wanted not only to focus his entrepreneurship on building a great business; he also wanted to ensure that his second endeavor impacts the world in a positive way.

His new company, which he and his former partner started, aims to draw potable drinking water from moisture already in the air, and thereby tackle the global water crisis.

This need to establish a positive legacy is common among successful entrepreneurs and business owners who have the creativity, innovation and drive to change the world.

As with starting out for the first time, however, businesspeople embarking on Act Two of their careers should make certain that their company structure and partnerships are legally sound. Properly handling these issues is the key to ensuring the long-term health of a company. Our overview of New Entity Formation and Yearly Governance has more on these important matters.

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