There are many reasons why people set up their own companies and start doing business. Most would like to be their own boss. Others want to make money and more money. There are some who do it for fun, as a hobby... Some even want to build their own empire.
When I set up a company with a partner, i see that as an opportunity to make a little extra. The company did marginaly OK. Not too bad since i was not doing it full time. That was almost four years ago. Two years ago i embarked on another venture. Now, that venture is an investment holding company. We are still strugling whilst ironing out the inevitable problems faced by startups.
Our "investor" told us that we are here to make money. There should not be any emotional values attached to the business or the company. When the time comes, you might have to sell the company. I have to agree with that. If one could make more money out of that, why not?
The same goes for people who list their companies in the stock market. They might loose a portion of their share, but at the end of the day, you will happilly walk to the bank with a big fat wallet.
Then again, there are people who have the idea of build a legacy so that their children could own a piece of it and be part of it. It is a bold idea but you are limiting your children to your stream of business. What if the children want to embark on other career that might not have anything in common with the family business? Who will then take over?
Also family business, especially in asia, have this tendency to end up in family squabbles. After seeing the ugly side of family business, I would have second thoughts on letting my children inherit the business I built. Afterall one would have to work for success not inherit.
In business there are a lot of uncertainties and ironies. You could make tonnes of money building a successful business empire with your name splattered all over it. But the last thing you would want is that entity coming back to haunt you. Scary indeed.