Does the "entrepreneur's dilemma" as described by Randi Zuckerberg ring true for people in the business world? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
Randi Zuckerberg's entrepreneur dilemma rings true for most people. She stated that entrepreneurs must choose between work, sleep, family, fitness, or friends. Her contentment is that you can only have three of the five options if your goal is to build a great company. For most people in the business world, this is true.
Gary Vaynerchuk represents this model to it's fullest expression. He forgoes sleep, micromanages family and friend time, and emphasizes the importance of his daily work grind. Working hours on end at high intensity, Gary embodies the Randi's entrepreneur dilemma. He would likely echo Randi's message and would add that he can achieve more in 24 hours than most people accomplish in a week. Waking up at 5am to hit the gym after getting four hours of sleep and then scheduling back-to-back meetings well into midnight of the next day is his specialty. On the surface, Randi's entrepreneur dilemma appears true.
This model is correct for individuals whose dream is materialistic success. If you sacrifice relationships and your own health in order to sustain a high intensity grind, you will be successful. You'll create the company you so desire if you put in the time, consistency, and attention to detail. You think that you need to exclude friendships, decrease time spent with family, and also lose a little sleep if financial gain is your primary goal. This equation, however, only shows half the truth.
There's no substitute for balance. For every up, there is a down. At one point or another, individuals who write off friends and family members in order to emphasize work will suffer. Their relationships will deteriorate and their isolation will cause them pain and create discomfort for others. If you choose to decrease sleep for the sake of productivity, this too will have an impact. Your stress levels will increase, your energy will decrease, and one day you'll wake up with your body dragging you down. So what's wrong with this model?
Four ways the entrepreneur dilemma falls short:
1. Mental and spiritual health. There's more to life than your body, relationships, and career. Part of spirituality is feeling connected to something larger than yourself. Experiencing a sense of awe and appreciation contributes to mental health and emotional wellbeing. Mental health is also missing from the list. When you don't prioritize your emotional wellbeing, it leaks out and creates tension in other aspects of your life. This model ignores the importance of the mind-body connection, which is of fundamental importance in achieving success.
2. Time management. For an aspiring entrepreneur, time management is everything. If you increase your efficiency, then you have more time to work towards your goals. The reason Gary V came to mind regarding this answer is because his day is managed down to the seconds. He not only holds three minute meetings; he also schedules time to spend with his family most mornings. While work may be the dominant aspect of his life, friends and family are still present more than Randi's model leads one to believe, all due to excellent time management.
3. Recovery time. Staying in a state of unbalance is unhealthy. You can become sleep deprived or maintain distance in your interpersonal relationships, but eventually the impact is felt. When you hit your low point, and you will, you'll see the importance of finding ways to add the other components back into your life. Even if you're focus is building a great business, you need to schedule recovery time before your body and relationships force you to take days off.
4. Personal growth. Personal growth is not limited to financial or career success. There's much more to life than building and running a great company. You will need to make sacrifices to achieve your goals, but you need reminders of life's other joys throughout the journey. Personal growth and development is valuable, especially for entrepreneurs. If you've gone through the work to build a successful business, you should invest in yourself by focusing on personal development too.
Individuals who adhere to this model aren't achieving their full potential.They may be incredibly successful in one aspect of their lives, but they're choosing to fail in others. This is an outdated mindset that was developed prior to the understanding that the mind, body, and spirit are connected. When you're physically unhealthy, it impacts your career. When you're mentally exhausted, it decreases your productivity. When you're void of spiritual depth and connectedness, no matter what you achieve in capitalistic endeavors, you'll never feel satisfied. All three components must be aligned in order to achieve your potential.
After Gary Vaynerchuk committed to exercising each day and paying attention to his diet, he found that he had better energy levels and health. This is one example of how adding in other components leads to better overall wellbeing. As you become more balanced, you're better able to achieve your goals. When your whole body-mind-spirit complex work towards the same goal, you'll achieve your business goals and feel more content on a daily basis.
The real entrepreneur dilemma is that of finding balance. It's finding time to devote to your career, relationships, and your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. The truth is, if you want sustainable success that transcends material objects and superficial admiration, you need to harmonize your mind, body, and spirit. When aligned, these three components lead to achieving your full potential.
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