Becoming an entrepreneur was never the goal for Hamid Hashemi, founder and CEO of high-end theater chain iPic Entertainment.
The goal "was just survival," he tells Adam Bryant of the New York Times. Hashemi, who was born and raised in Iran, moved to the U.S. in 1978 with $700.
"When you come to this country as a foreigner, you don't have all the safety nets that you have when you grow up here," he says. "If you don't make it, you don't live. It's as simple as that."
Hashemi made it. In 1984, he founded Muvico, a chain of movie theaters based out of Florida. After being pushed out of his own company in 2005, Hashemi launched iPic from scratch. Since, he's opened 15 luxury theaters in nine states.
The 30-year industry leader says "good entrepreneurs are never happy. You're always reaching for the next thing. Every success leads to another one because you're always testing yourself. You're never happy with the status quo."
The greatest entrepreneurs always want to know more, learn more, and do more, he says.
Hashemi's philosophy is similar to that of self-made billionaire Richard Branson, who says he's never felt like he's "made it."
"The way I see it, life is all about striving and growing," Branson writes. "I never want to have made it; I want to continue making it!"