A few years back, my ambition was the only part of my life that I cared about. I was neglecting my health, relationships, and my happiness — all in the name of "more".
I got a rude awakening when my beard turned white and fell out in patches. I was LITERALLY killing myself with the way I was working.
At that point, I took a self-destructive stance: I'd focus on my health and happiness more than work, even if it meant I wasn't making as much progress at work.
The irony was that I had been overworking before, so my productivity and success IMPROVED when I scaled back and approached work with more balance.
I'm currently living in Thailand with my girlfriend, working roughly 30 hours each week and earning twice as much as I did before. I'm also making more progress on my hobby projects than I did when I was only focused on work. I've also lost 40 lbs and generally just enjoy being alive. And my beard grew back.
I've worked with some of my clients to bring in more balance, and they've seen similar improvements across the board. I'd be happy to discuss philosophy and strategy behind all of this with you if you'd like.
Just remember: we work to create the opportunity to live life on our terms. If work is preventing us from living the life we want, we've lost sight of the purpose of working.
"It is not the critic who counts..." is a great speech by Teddy Roosevelt. http://jmpurl.info/BK
Balance is overrated. Often people that haven't "arrived" want to pitch the concept of balance. Make something happen and then make adjustments.
I have been wiped out financially on more than a few occasions. So what? It is the journey that is the reward. You don't want your place to "be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” IMNSHO
The thrill of the chase inside your startup cannot be compared to a mere job. I would never consider going back in time and changing my course. Get smarter with each iteration. Reach out to that "smartest person in the room" and ask for insight.
If I can help encourage you further, schedule a time and let's talk.
The negative truth is when I started, I often worked till 4 am, missing the chance to snug and share a bed with my husband… I missed meals together, evenings of quiet conversation, and sometimes even my son’s cross-country meet.
What would I do differently?
1- I’d take inventory of the ACTIONS I want to change… not inventory of WHY I want change. I already know why; I know I love my husband and children, that’s a given.
The real question is why do I believe acting against my own priorities is the only choice? Do I unconsciously believe happiness is not possible for me… or worse yet, do I believe I don’t deserve it?
2- Then I would examine what I want instead. What actions would I rather be taking? What results would I prefer?
3- Why can’t I have this new, improved version of my life? What beliefs about business, about life, about myself are blocking my happiness?
This is a starting point. A place where self-examination can bring the change needed, so you can finally have it all, and live a life you love.
Want help exploring all this? Call me for a FREE 30-minute chat.
Working for six years on my own startup, and collectively many more in other startups, while never having the personal financial outcome I wanted makes me feel left behind by people who worked jobs, saved money and invested. I am not sure how I would do it differently but I won't be starting another company where I have to put everything on the line again.
One of the side effects that I most regret is that you're so busy and probably broke when you're doing a startup that you can't really go out with your friends anymore. They don't see you at the office and think to invite you out. If they do remember, you probably can't go. The number and quality of friendships you have at the start of a startup and at the end can be quite different. If I had known that I would have made more of an effort to nurture those relationships, even if it's difficult to do. If anything, I'd probably just trade in some hours I'm working for time with friends and I'd almost bet it wouldn't negatively impact my outcome. We entrepreneurs almost always work too much.
Save money. Spend time with friends. Your two big, unexpected startup tips.