Forget This Work-Life Balance Blah, Blah, Blah
We have become all too familiar with the catchphrase “work-life balance." We have read tons of books and blogs written by uber-successful people talking about how we should balance our personal and work lives. Mind you, these people already won big. It's easy to tell a rock climber to relax from the top of the mountain, but what about those of us who are breaking our backs climbing it? What about those who are on the front lines trying to break through to glory? What about the hustlers and shakers that are fighting day in and day out to succeed? What about US?
Well, here is what I learned about “work-life balance blah, blah, blah”:
1. Passion: Passion is the answer to it all. If you are not passionate about what you are building, then do not build it. Become a turtle farmer in Costa Rica. You NEED passion for getting you through those long nights and those ups and downs that can drive you insane.
2. Reality: The reality is that if you are building your business, you are spending 99 percent of your time working on it or thinking about it. The reality is that your business has become your life. Screw this balance crap; you need to be obsessed. I remember reading one of Dale Carnegie's books on successful people. Something that stuck with me all these years is one of the commonalities these moguls shared: obsession. You think Cornelius Vanderbilt gave a crap about work-life balance? Don’t be ridiculous.
3. Scale: If you want to build something big you have to learn how to scale properly. 10 hands are better than 2 and so on. When I was building AlleyNYC I was doing it pretty much on my own. I was running around meeting people, shaking hands, kissing babies, etc. Then Nsi Obotetukudo came into my life. Thank the Entrepreneurial Gods! Nsi has a mechanical engineering degree and knows how to build things to scale. Good systems and great applications will help you move forward and allow for you to work on the high level items that need attention for you to grow.
4. Technology: Apps are awesome! Use technology to help you run your business. Whatever your business is, I promise you, there's an app to help you with it. If not, come talk to me and let's build it.
PRO TIP: At AlleyNYC, we use an application called Asana for project management. It's the BOMB!
5. Smart People: Surround yourself with smart people. Look, this is a simple and logical statement. If you are around dumbasses, they are going to distract you and make you feel crazy for working so hard. Screw that. You are trying to take over the world.
6. Support: Now that we pretty much tore up the whole “work-life balance blah blah blah” thing, we know how hard and massive the task is. We need great people around us to get us through these tough times. This is when your true loved ones will shine through. If you are getting bitched at from every angle about why you are coming home late and working too hard, you need to drop that person like a bad habit. Obviously this is very subjective.
7. Think BIG. This is the beginning. The work of most startups is front-loaded. Once you scale your business and win, things will cool down. You will become one of those uber-successful people who talk about “work life balance blah, blah, blah.”
On that note, friends, I will leave you with this: Screw balance. You are a hustler. Go for the gold and never give up. If you want to balance something, then balance your checkbook. (There is an app for that too). Until next time, hustle ON.
Jason Saltzman is a seasoned entrepreneur with a background in sales and marketing. Through his role as CEO of Alley and as a TechStars mentor, he advises hundreds of startups, offering real-life practical application and creative marketing advice.