A Billion and Counting . . . and Still Leveling Up

This weekend, I chatted with two founders who’ve each built a multibillion-dollar company. Both companies are still growing, and both founders want to take their companies “all the way”: they’re planning on IPOs followed by public trading on the stock market. These founders realized that to achieve that goal, they, and their supporting casts, need to level up. They’re both preparing to become public company CEOs, which means they need to learn new skills and improve existing ones. They’ve started hiring company leaders with public company experience and building relationships with public company CEOs from whom they can learn. If all goes well, they should be ready to take their companies public in the next few years.

By any standard, these founders are successful. They’ve built amazing companies from zero to hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue, creating wealth for themselves, their team members, and their investors. But even with all this success, neither has ever taken their foot off the gas or become complacent. They continue to level up so they can tackle their next challenge head-on.

Most founders—these two included—have no idea what they’re doing when they start out. A key difference between those who achieve greatness and everyone else is the former group’s desire to continuously level up. They’re OK about not knowing some things, but they put in the work to learn and fill those gaps as quickly as possible . . . over and over again.

My chat with these founders was a reminder that greatness arises not from complacency but from continuously leveling up.