Why I say no thanks to investments and making more money.

3 Feb

Next month, it will have been four years since I helped co-found Examine.com. A pretty simple idea (“Lets look at the actual evidence behind supplements and nutrition), it’s evolved into something a lot bigger – 30,000+ visitors a day, a monthly research digest, and generating over a million dollars a year. Over 1500 professionals rely on that research digest as a big source of nutrition education, and over 30 people contribute to the organization.

A legitimate success story. I was even recognized as a game changer. Who knew nerding out could be cool?

Yet my entire goal for 2014 was to extricate myself from the organization. Re-retire, so to speak. The logic itself was pretty sound: find people who are better than you at things you do, and empower them to do it. Both Kamal, Andre (our lead developer), and Carolyn (our new Director of Ops) have done a great job pushing me to the sideline and rendering me redundant.

So why did I want to get out? And why do I say no thanks to investments and making more money? Because it’s exhausting. Running an organization beyond a few people is a serious responsibility It’s a sobering thought to realize that 20+ people depend on you for their livelyhood … and that’s before you factor in any significant others and kids.

Everyone sees the upsides – more money, more notoriety, access to cool events. But what about the downsides? More pressure. More focus on the bottom line. Legal, HR, etc. Paperwork. Employee turnover. Less one-on-one connections with everyone. Less time for yourself!

I live a simple life. I live downtown in a major city in North America. I have no car, and I have a dog I love taking on walks. My only expensive hobby is traveling, which I already do a fair amount of (8-12 weeks a year).

Maybe it’s my immigrant mindset, but I just want to live a simple life. And running a larg(er) organization is the antithesis of that. And taking investments and targeting to make more money … just seems to feed into a beast I don’t want part of. If I already have the life I want, what benefits do I get from making more money?

So the money, the fame (hah), and everything else – if that’s what you want, cool. Seriously – we all have different motivations and goals. External investments and more money just don’t help me with mine. I think sometimes people forget that old adage of “work to live, not live to work.”

10 Responses to Why I say no thanks to investments and making more money.


Ray Timm

February 3rd, 2015 at 12:44 pm

A good summary of most of my life.


Kulin Rana

February 3rd, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Great thoughts Sol.!!


Roland Fisher

February 3rd, 2015 at 1:07 pm

Sol, this is exactly how I think. I’d rather play with projects than be a CEO of something big.


Rick Allison

February 3rd, 2015 at 1:23 pm

Soul satisfying, Sol..



February 3rd, 2015 at 2:59 pm

i was rich but stressed out and had neck pains and other health problems…

now i am broke and stress free with no health problems…

i like being broke and living the simple relaxed lifestyle much better!!!


Jay Scott

February 3rd, 2015 at 3:10 pm

I agree with this philosophy. I still have a few lingering “pangs” so to speak – I love cars, I like podcasting, but I agree with your thesis. More does not make better. Great blog Sol.




February 3rd, 2015 at 7:36 pm

Great post Sol. All the best with Re-retiring.



February 3rd, 2015 at 9:53 pm

Great mindset to be in. Plus, it can lead to the freedom to start new projects as well!



February 6th, 2015 at 2:34 pm

I think that’s understandable. More money is stressfull.

What are your thoughts on owning Examine vs. selling it to someone who wants to invest his monies in it ?



February 6th, 2015 at 3:52 pm

To be honest, it’s an all or nothing thing. And I really have no desire to sell – right now it has a clear unimpeded focus. We leave a lot of potential $ on the table, but that’s OK.