Chapter 7

Being Practical

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

—Walt Disney

Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett, who also chairs the White House Council on Women and Girls, looked out across a sea of freshly graduated Wellesley women and encouraged the graduates to be resilient, but to pace themselves. “For those of you wondering if you can have it all, the answer is yes, but there is a catch,” she said. “The arc of life is long, so don't expect to have it all at the same time.”

There is faith, and there is practicality. There is passion and enthusiasm and there is plain old horse sense. To succeed in business, you need both. You have to be realistic about what you can accomplish and how quickly you can accomplish it. You have to be practical about the people you will need to help you do it. Finally, you have to be sensible about how isolating it can be to build a business, and how to stay connected. We have our heads down, pushing through and taking the hits as we are trying to figure it all out. And sometimes, it can make us feel incredibly alone. Isolation is both a money drain and a real downer. So you have to go out of your way to prevent it from overtaking you. When was the last time you really reached out to someone else in a big way? To a mentor, a colleague, or someone you know who “gets it”?

Your business is your responsibility alone; but you cannot do it alone. I've seen my share ...

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