This should be so horribly obvious:
Your business exists to make your life better. Not vice-versa. Don’t live to make your business better.
Obvious? Sure. But people forget.
Do you use what you “have to do” for your business as the constant recurring excuse for missing things that matter to people you love – soccer games, recitals, appointments, and so on? I’m sure you’ve heard the oft-repeated saying about people on their death beds not wishing they’d spent more time in the office.
I think the “have to do” factor for entrepreneurs, startups, and small business owners is essentially infinite. If you are one of us, then you can – if you want – always find a “good” business reason to not do anything but the business for the rest of your life, non stop, without anything else.
So you have to draw lines and set priorities. As I was building my business my wife insisted I be home for family dinner every night I wasn’t traveling. I objected at times, but looking back, with the kids all grown up. I’m so glad. And she set vacations and paid deposits months in advance, so we had them. I’m glad for that too.
You know this. But so did I, and I would have really screwed this up without reminders. So this is your reminder. Life is more important than business.
(Originally published in Planning Startups Stories)