When I started my first business, I saw core business related activities as valuable and all personal time as invaluable. This idea was reinforced by the groupthink in entrepreneurship circles about “grinding it out”, and “work is life”.
But in the medium term, that wrecked my personal relationships and left me feeling alone. So, with NakiNoku, I’ve made a commitment to integrate the business with my life, ensuring that one does not overwhelm the other. Business with purpose will not accomplish its purpose if we fail because we don’t have time for self care.
We should see time with family and friends as valuable investments for our business. Because a mentally strong and resilient founder is more likely to be successful than the founder who crumbles from the pressure because of a lack of a support network.
Its like 3d printing where you have to build up a lattice structure to hold up these large prints. These are not visible in the final piece, but without it, we won’t get the final product. It’s a perfect metaphor for our support networks. They hold us up when we are building, and no one sees them. But without them, we’d never be able to make the final product as good as it could be.
But (I hear you say), we are so busy, we have no time for personal relationships and mental health. However, just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you are efficient. Watch this YC video with Michael and Dalton (my heroes and mentors - although they don’t know it yet:). They talk about being more efficient as founders. Let's make sure that we are working efficiently so that we can set aside the time necessary for your family and other personal relationships. That's important, because without it, we won't last.
Michael & Dalton talk about getting rid of the time-sucks. Some of it may be the reddit or twitter-verse. Some of it may be reducing the time you spend on “self-help” that doesn’t really help all that much. Some of it may be arranging your days to be more productive. It’s going to be very individual as to what works for you.
So - we need to rethink how we are approaching our time management as founders - to be more effective so that we can ensure we are working well and can last the distance. The next time a friend reaches out and you have the urge to say “sorry, I’ve got so much on my plate”, stop, and rearrange your workday so you can say yes. You’ll be happier and more productive the next day :).