There has been a narrative building for years that being a successful entrepreneur is about crushingly hard work. That is true, and it isn’t. I have read many biographies of titans of industry that have built amazing businesses and virtually neglected or lost their families. Sure, they “ruled the world” but at what cost? I have also seen great leaders grow great companies and great families at the same time.
I concede that if you want to build a company that is worth more than $1,000,000,000 you may have to work so crushingly hard that you lose it all. I would also argue it’s not worth it. I believe great leaders can grow great companies, worth millions and still make it to their kid’s ballgame and ballet recital.
Why do I believe this? First, I’ve seen it done. Second, I hope I’m on the path to doing it myself.
Let’s start with the first one. My buddy Jeff is a family man hero. He is home early every day to be with his family. He skips out on late nights and weekend trips with friends to guard family time. He sits on probably five nonprofit boards, one of which he co-founded with me. And, he has grown and sold two companies and is currently leading the fastest growing agency in Atlanta currently.
I’m trying to do the same thing. I end every work day at 5pm to spend time with my family. I don’t do evening events for work, or lots of hanging out with friends. I don’t work weekends either. I’m on several nonprofit boards, host two podcasts and am currently scaling a nonprofit and for-profit company, both of which are growing at 30% to 40% year over year. I will never sacrifice my family for quicker business success, it’s not worth it.