Chapter 72. Discover Work–Life Balance

Brad Feld

Discover Work–Life Balance

Brad is a managing director at Foundry Group and one of the co-founders of TechStars.

The challenge of work–life balance is a central theme for many people, especially entrepreneurs. It took me 15 years, a failed first marriage, and my current wife almost calling it quits for me to realize that I had to figure out what work–life balance meant to me. Today, I can comfortably say that I have a major clue and my life is dramatically better for it.

I started my first company when I was 19 and in college at MIT. I was obsessive, worked incredibly hard, and, while I generally had a lot of fun, was almost always maxed out. This manifested itself in many ways, including always being overcommitted, regularly being exhausted, having a failed marriage when I was 24, and physically changing, according to one of my best friends, from "skinny Brad" to FOB ("fat older Brad.")

I was very successful at the work I did during this time. The first company I created, Feld Technologies, was acquired by a public company. I helped start or finance a number of other companies that went on to be acquired or go public. I co-founded a venture capital firm. I was well known and respected within the entrepreneurial community both for what I had accomplished and what I was working on.

However, I had absolutely no balance in my life. I was on the road from Monday to Friday, ...

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