A few weeks ago, 32-year-old entrepreneur Wiley Cerilli sat down with his wife. He told her an email company, Constant Contact, wanted to acquire his two-year-old startup, Single Platform, for $100 million.
The couple came up with a list of things to buy and do if the deal went through:
Get a new washer and dryer
Mount the TV
Buy new socks
“We couldn’t think of anything else we really need,” he said.
Last week, the $100 million acquisition was finalized — $65 million in cash up front with the ability to earn up to $30 million more over the next two years.
As a sole founder who had only raised $4.5 million from outside investors, Cerilli suddenly became a very rich man.
We met up with Cerilli and Single Platform’s executive team on Wednesday night, just after the money hit their bank accounts.
We asked, “How does it feel to be absolutely loaded?”
“It doesn’t seem real,” he replied.
Here’s Cerilli’s story.
“…no one comes up from the basement playing perfectly.” – David Byrne, musician, artist
Mastery is a process, not an event. It’s about day-in and day-out efforts – the practice, the honing of knowledge and skills, the trials, errors, and eventually getting it right.
You have to start – somewhere, somehow – to reach that level of mastery and excellence. Becoming remarkable doesn’t just show up – it evolves as you evolve, as you move forward.
Your challenge, today, is to start, one more time; to continue the evolution, to continue, today and every day, the progressive realization of your dreams.
Love your life, perfect your life.
“People who wait for a magic wand fail to see that they ARE the magic wand.” – Thomas Leonard
Recognize that you are in charge of you – your future, your everything. There is no fairy godmother, no genie in the lamp, no wizard in the land of Oz. It’s up to you, only you, to nurture your dreams, pick your goals, build your plans, and then go after what you want.
When you’re not satisfied with where you are, when you stoke the burning desire to be in a better place, when you’re willing to get uncomfortable, step forward and enlist the resources of the universe – that’s when the real magic happens.
The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
CEO, Apple and Pixar Animation
Truth be told, I never graduated from college…
Today I want to tell you three stories from my life…
I can’t remember who told me this, but I certainly didn’t grow up knowing it, so I must have gotten this advice at Salomon Brothers in the 1970s. The advice was, first, always ask for the order, and second, when the customer says yes, stop talking. I have watched more people make great presentations, whether they’re trying to sell to their family or in business or in government, and never get to the point of what they’re trying to get out of it. And too many times when the customer says yes, the person who got that answer just doesn’t stop talking. Worst advice? The worst advice that people can take is to react before they’ve had a chance to think. I think we all say things and wish we hadn’t said them. Ready, shoot, aim is not the smartest policy.
“If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.”