What I learned co-founding 3 startups in one year

There’s more to life than work, and there’s more to work than becoming successful

David Gaultiere
Apr 25, 2014 · 2 min read

Twelve months ago I graduated from college. Nine days later I started my first full time job. Seven weeks after that I quit my job to be an entrepreneur.

Two days ago I quit being an entrepreneur. Here is how it happened.

Once upon a time I had a dream that I could become a successful entrepreneur. I could make a name for myself, I could be financially successful, I could be my own boss, and most importantly, I could wake up everyday and do something that I loved. Now doesn’t that sound nice?

That’s the dream that thousands (millions?) of would-be entrepreneurs around the world are chasing after everyday. I went for it. I gave it a shot. I even had minor successes. And then I quit.


Through countless hours of lost sleep, many long work-days, and a half-dozen quarter-life crises, I learned that there is more to life than success. Not just in the proverbial sense—“life is about more than money”—but in a real tangible way. A way in which a vain pursuit of success can swipe the very success you are pursuing right out from underneath you and leave you lying on the cold hard ground.

You see, what is life when you don’t get to live it? What is success when it decreases your quality of life? What is meaning when it means neglecting the people you love for the sake of massaging your own ego?

Here are some of the lessons I learned:

People are more important than things.

Time is more important than accomplishment.

Joy is more important than success.

Life is too short to miss.

Don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out alive.

In this new season of life I plan to enjoy my free time focusing on the things that really matter — family, friends, faith, and freedom.

In that vein, I’m going to log off my computer and go visit some friends.

Until next time,

A former entrepreneur

PS — Lest anyone worry that I’ve given up the dream, don’t worry. I may (and probably will) return to entrepreneurship someday, but for now, I’m taking a much-needed break to reprioritize and refocus my life.

PPS — For all you entrepreneurs out there, don’t let me discourage you. Stay at it, pursue your dream, and change the world. Just don’t lose sight of what’s really important or let your dreams for tomorrow ruin your enjoyment of today. And do yourself a favor and only start one company at a time ;)

    Written by

    Technologist, innovator, dreamer & doer // Product Manager @Appfolio // www.davidgaultiere.com

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