Running a startup is about as far from a 9-5 job as you can get. There are constant pressures to get things done. Investment meetings, figuring out how to maintain momentum, tweaking one last thing on your latest project, it doesn’t end.
It can seem impossible to get everything done and the pressures of making sure everything continues to run smoothly weigh on your mind almost constantly.
Having a life outside of work is important to keep your sanity and perspective, but it can be a difficult balancing act, especially when you know it’s time to hustle.
Damned if you do…
If you’re like me, you see your primary duty to your family, your employees, and the people closest to you as the ability to make sure finances are running smoothly. When things aren’t going so well, this can conflict directly with your sense of obligation to your family and the time you want to spend there. It is difficult to be stuck in the middle knowing that right now you need to put in everything you’ve got to win, but also wanting to spend that extra 45 minutes tossing your young daughter in the air.
The guilt can be soul crushing.
Some People Make It Worse
Even more unfortunate is the fact is that family, friends, and random people on social media will have an opinion on the way you’re living your life. Most often this comes in the form of people telling you that you need to slow down. Telling you that the time you’re spending now, you can’t get back. Telling you a whole bunch of things you already know. Telling you things you beat yourself up with every day.
Accepting Reality. Accepting yourself
Take a step back from what you’re dealing with right now. Ignore what other people think about how you’re living your life. The important part is listening to the voice inside you that guides your path. If you miss your kids, your husband, or your wife, remember that one of the reasons you decided to go on this journey in the first place is for freedom.
Get out of the office and go see them. 30 minutes isn’t going to doom your company, but it might be all you need to get back on track.
Listen to your exhaustion when you know you need a break. Get out and do what you need to do. Take a lunch outside of the office. Work somewhere fresh and new. Explore the world around you.
You’re probably working late hours some nights. You’re worried that you are losing time with your kids, and that running a business has made it worse. You think your children will grow up seeing you as an absentee parent.
Compare that to working for someone else and having to put in a lot of overtime, or having travel a lot. These are things that people do every day who lead happy lives with children that love them very much. Put your situation into perspective. Stop beating yourself up. As long as you’re really trying, things will turn out just fine.
One of the most eye opening moments for me as an entrepreneur came when I was facilitating a 3 Day Startup at Texas A&M University. After one of the modules was finished I had some time to interact with the students and I started talking a bit about my life. I told them I had a young daughter, and how I often feel a lot of guilt for being so busy.
A bright-eyed young lady responded immediately saying “My father was a busy man too, but he was always there for the things that mattered. He didn’t miss my soccer games, he was there when I needed help, and I love him and appreciate how hard he worked for me”. It took everything I had not to get teary.
Just keep swimming. Keep building your dream. Show your children that hard work and determination pay off. Embrace them when they need you. Hold them tight when you need them.
If you’re stuck with stalled software projects or user experience issues stealing your precious time give us a shout for a free consultation and get some of your time back.