Conventional wisdom says that entrepreneurs can’t have work-life balance. It’s repeated over and over that entrepreneurship is an “all-in” experience and the partner of the entrepreneur has to accept that he is playing second fiddle to the entrepreneur’s startup.
We completely reject this notion. We reject the idea that the more you work, the better the outcome. We reject that time spent on work matters more than having a fulfilling life. And we reject the notion that an entrepreneur should defer her experience of a full life for “after her business has been successful,” especially since that day may never arrive.
We strongly believe that every entrepreneur, whether 21 and working on your first startup, or 57 and a multi-time successful entrepreneur starting a new company, benefits from having room in her life for relationships. Your startup is a part of your life, not your entire life. Both you and your startup will be more successful if you have a full experience on this planet.
The historical notion of retirement reinforces the idea that you work hard until later in your life, squeezing in everything else, and defer your exploration of all the nonwork things until you retire. This construct completely misses the point that you have no idea when the lights will go out. As a result, deferring the experience of a full life until you are finished with work may result in your never getting to live the life you want. The cliché of a businessperson’s retiring ...