As entrepreneurs, sometimes we need a wakeup call -- a virtual slap in the face that forces us to step back and take a look at the big picture. After all, we are a very focused and driven species -- sometimes too focused, causing us to lose touch with one very simple fact: we lose time every single day.
I’m hoping what I’m about to touch on changes your thought process, because it has helped me tremendously in every aspect of my life -- both personal and professional.
Time doesn’t stop for anyone or anything.
Nobody, regardless of social status and wealth, can press pause on time. It doesn’t matter if you’re the founder of a unicorn startup with a $20 billion dollar valuation or a retail employee making minimum wage. We all have 24-hours each day and the clock ticks non-stop from birth until death.
You will make better-calculated decisions once you realize that time is our most valuable asset. I promise that once this sets in you will be quick to eliminate the BS from your life -- professional and personal -- and make decisions that allow you to take full control over your time. Time is priceless; respect the fact that none of us have the ability to hit the pause button.
Our families should always be priority number one.
Sadly, I didn’t always think like this. I was a very selfish person early in my career, only thinking of myself. I didn’t make it a point to carve out time from my entrepreneurial path to spend time with my family. I took them for granted, visiting during the major holidays, but that was about it. It’s something I regret deeply.
It took the passing of my dad to really kick me in the ass. My dad taught me a lot back in the day, both directly and indirectly. We were inseparable when I was a kid -- my first job was working for him. I would love nothing more than to have one more day with him. Treasure the time you have with your family, because eventually you will not have that luxury.
Focus on making a difference, not just money.
The media loves to focus on the unicorn startups valued at billions of dollars and the entrepreneurs that exit their companies with ridiculous pay days. There are plenty of successful entrepreneurs who are wildly happier in life than the three-comma crew because they thrive on making a difference in the world .
I have news for you: nobody at your funeral is going to talk about how much money you had or what kind of cars you drove. They will talk about who you were as a person, and how you impacted the lives around you. Focus on making a difference, not money. If you take this approach, the money will follow you, creating a double-win.
Don’t be afraid of relationships interfering with entrepreneurial goals.
I was always afraid of relationships. I told myself that they would only get in the way of what I wanted to accomplish. In my mind I was going to be a bachelor forever -- nothing was going to weigh me down -- no dream killer for me.
I was the epitome of a douchebag meme. You know, the ones like, “Chase money, not women” and “You will lose money chasing women, but you will never lose women chasing money.” Thankfully, that way of thinking changed.
Last year I met someone, and immediately I said to myself, "I’m going to marry this girl.” The gut feeling is always right, because this year I bought the rock, popped the question and she said, “Yes!” I even tattooed her initial on my ring finger -- that “all-in” mentality of an entrepreneur exists even in our personal lives -- it’s inescapable.
This experience has had the complete opposite effect on me than what I previously thought before meeting her. My motivation is at an all-time high, and the thought of a two-person team on this crazy ride we call life makes me smile nonstop. I am very thankful.
Take a minute to enjoy this world.
The world we live in is a fast-paced zoo sometimes, so make sure you take some time for yourself. Don’t abandon hobbies and interests because you feel that you need to dedicate 100 percent of your time to your business. That will just lead to burnout and a miserable life.
Set aside a couple days every month to completely unplug from all technology and get out on the golf course, take to the water for some fishing or just get outside and enjoy nature. There is so much to enjoy and experience; make sure you get your fill.
If this just hit home, shoot me a “F-Yeah!” tweet. I’d love to hear from those of you that just felt a little surge of adrenaline shoot through your veins.