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Why Entrepreneur Chip Conley is Thankful for Almost Dying | Built to Sell News

We chose Thanksgiving week in the U.S. to release an interview with Chip Conley who is grateful for something unusual.

Chip was on stage in St. Louis speaking about his life as the founder of Joie de Vivre, the world’s second largest boutique hotel chain, when he collapsed. Minutes later, his heart stopped and paramedics had to restart it nine times on the way to the hospital.

The near-death experience caused Chip to reevaluate everything. He realized he was no longer enjoying the hotel business he had started 24 years prior and wanted a new challenge. Chip decided to sell his 3,500-employee business. He got 56% of his consideration in cash upfront and the balance was paid over time.

Finally out of running his business day-to-day, he decided to do some mentoring of young entrepreneurs which led him to Brian Chesky, the co-founder of Airbnb. Chip agreed to mentor Brian and the Airbnb leadership team and ended up making more money on Airbnb stock options than he ever did selling his hotel chain. More than money, mentoring the Airbnb founders led him to realize cashed-out founders like him could still be useful and he decided to launch a school to help people navigate mid-life transitions called, The Modern Elder Academy.

Today he is thankful for his brush with death because it forced him to realize the business he started was no longer making him happy.

If that moment arrives in your life, you may wonder what your purpose would be without your business. Chip encourages people to stop focusing on acquiring a purpose and instead concentrate on being purposeful:

“Purpose is an interesting thing in North America. It’s seen as a possession. It’s like everybody else has a purpose, I don’t have one. It’s like everybody else has a BMW, I don’t have one. It’s seen as the noun, the purpose. And if someone doesn’t feel like they have one and everybody does have one, there’s like a FOMO, fear of missing out. I think the thing to focus on is not the noun of purpose but the verb of purposeful. What makes you feel purposeful?”

Chip says you’ll find what makes you feel purposeful by asking yourself four questions:

  1. What excites you?
  2. What agitates you?
  3. What are you curious about?
  4. What were you intrigued by, but didn’t have time for, as a young person?

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💬 Quote of the Week

“I think the thing to focus on, is not the noun of purpose but the verb of purposeful. What makes you feel purposeful?”


– Chip Conley, founder of Modern Elder Academy and New York Times bestselling author.

🎬 Clip of the Week

In this clip, Chip distinguishes between having a purpose — something most founders struggle with after they sell — and being purposeful. Chip recommends focusing on the latter.


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Mm-hmm, sure. So, what’s the catch? 

We know it may sound too good to be true. But thousands of investors are already smiling all the way to the bank, thanks to the fine-art investing platform Masterworks.  

These results aren’t cherry-picking. This is the whole bushel. Masterworks has built a track record of 16 exits, including net returns of +10.4%, +27.3%, and +35.0%, even while financial markets plummeted.

But art? Really? Okay, skeptics, here are the numbers. Contemporary art prices:

Investing involves risk and past performance is not indicative of future returns. See important Reg A disclosures and aggregate advisory performance

📈 Deals

  • Professional Plumbers Group (PPG), a Texas-based company specializing in plumbing services for new residential constructions in the Dallas area, has been acquired by Sterling Infrastructure, Inc. Sterling, a Delaware corporation listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange, operates in various segments including E-Infrastructure, Transportation, and Building Solutions across the United States. 

    This acquisition, enhancing Sterling’s Building Solutions segment, involved a $50 million cash payment with additional potential earnings based on PPG’s future financial performance. PPG, which generates annual revenues of $50 to $55 million, will now complement Sterling’s existing services in residential construction, particularly in the critical post-foundation phase.

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