The guy seems callous, selfish, as he dismisses his wive, lover, or child, with frustration. “Don’t you get it?” he asks. “Don’t you know I’m trying to build a business here?” And sometimes there’s the variation, “I’m doing this for you.” And of course there are lots of other versions. Do you recognize that scene, in books, movies, and television dramas? Take my startup advice. Don’t let that be you.
My point is this: Building a business can be all encompassing. You can work on it all day, through all your meals, and into the night. It can be a reason to back out of all your relationships, ignore the other people in your life, ignore your own health, and do nothing else. It’s easy to obsess. There is always a latest problem, and always a new worry. You don’t have time to be home for dinner, or see the kids’ ball game, take the weekend off, or get regular exercise. And there’s even the reinforcement of the pervasive myth that obsession, renamed or disguised as passion, is the right way to do it.
Don’t let this happen to you. It’s an easy trap to fall into, and hard to get out of. It becomes habit. You get used to it. The people around you get used to it. Time goes by and you haven’t taken care of your physical, mental, or emotional health, much less what really matters to people around you.
You rationalize that this is just temporary; it’s going to stop when you get to this milestone or that one. Your life is suspended on the phrase “As soon as … ” And your health goes bad and you lose your people. Years go by. You realize, later, that you’ve a let a bad situation exist for too long.
Ironically, obsession doesn’t even produce better business. It can spoil your business as well as your life. Productivity isn’t as simple as quantity of work; quality of work matters. A half hour of exercise generates an hour of productivity. Keeping a balance with the rest of your life is likely to generate better ideas and better decisions.