“Whenever it is possible, a boy should choose some occupation which he should do even if he did not need the money.”
William Lyon Phelps, American Author
Growing up, I dreamed that one day I could say, “I don’t have to work.” My parents were both government employees of modest means and thus the goal of retiring as a relatively young person was a fantasy to nearly everyone I knew growing up – everyone but me. My father passed away when I was in my mid-30’s before he had a chance to enjoy the fruits of his lifelong labor. My father’s premature death further solidified my desire to retire early.
After an exhausting and exhilarating 13-years as a senior startup executive, I looked back on my career with satisfaction, having helped several companies create significant wealth, including:
Computer Motion: IPO and later sold to Intuitive Surgical $148 million
Expertcity: creator of GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting, sold to Citrix for $236 million
CallWave: IPO, initial market cap ~$200 million
At the age of 43, I decided that I would retire. I was convinced at the time that I would never work again. At the outset of my retirement, I shared this thought with a CEO whom I respected and without hesitation replied, “You will be back in the game once you take a breather. I guarantee it.” Boy, was he ever right…