You don't need to create a "unicorn" to be successful

It is easy to get caught up in the “next hot startup” frenzy as you read about the insane growth and valuations of “unicorns” like Uber, Airbnb, and Snapchat. But, not every business can be, or should be, a runaway tech startup.

When you live in a tech-centric area like Silicon Valley you tend to get business myopia. You think that any new business you start must be a tech startup. Even worse, you get sucked into the collective belief that any new startup must be a rocket ship on track for a billion dollar valuation or you are a loser.

But, when you spend time outside of this unicorn bubble, you encounter hundreds of SMBs that are providing incredibly valuable goods and services to happy customers. These businesses are profitable and providing a living for their owners and employees. Here in Silicon Valley, these tend to be derisively referred to as “lifestyle businesses” as if they are somehow an inferior career choice. But, we do ourselves an incredible disfavor with this attitude. The reality is that the majority of new tech startups will fail. While failure isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world, I can’t help but wonder how many of these startups would have succeeded if their focus had been on building a simpler, slower-growth, profitable small business?

The article below is extremely inspiring for those of us that want to create value for others and may not be on track to be the next Snapchat:
“Multiply a small, quaint, and profitable business by ten and you’ve got a diversified, multi-million dollar portfolio.”

Meet The Man Who Runs 10 Businesses While Sailing Around the World from the Observer.