Get a Life

If you’re an entrepreneur, here’s one piece of good solid advice from another entrepreneur: get a life! Really though, seriously, for realz – get a life. You are not the most important person to walk the earth. You are not a big deal. You are not the next ______. You are not defined by your title, your network, the value of your founders equity, the extent of your LinkedIn network, your facebook friends, your twitter followers, your contacts in the VC community, the fact that you know Arrington or Scoble – who gives a shit about any of that! Ya know who cares? You. And that’s it. None of it matters, man! Get a life!

What defines you is the life you lead outside of work, amongst your family, and your friends (true friends, I mean). Entrepreneurship does not define who you are. It does not define you as a member of society, as a member of your community, your family, your friends. When you die, no one will say “wow, she was a great entrepreneur.” Your gravestone will not say “fantastic entrepreneur.” If it does, that’s just sad and pathetic.

I am an entrepreneur, but first I am Ben. I’ve always tried to maintain that perspective, and I’m fortunate to have friends and family who help keep me grounded, who slap me upside the head when I need a slap. And that happens here and there, for sure. But I’m usually the first person to slap me upside the head – I usually know when I need a reality check, I’ve learned.

So who are you? No really, who are you? What defines you as a person?

During these incredibly challenging economic times, what matters is not how many hours you’re putting in at the office – it’s how smart you are at working. Sure, it’s important that we all work hard – yes, we must work harder and smarter. And just because you work a lot doesn’t mean you’re working hard! There’s a very big difference. But now, more than ever, it’s also important that we practice some balance, some harmony – start with your family, your friends, some hobbies, do some of the things we enjoy outside of work. Put even more emphasis on balance.

What are those things? Spending more time with your family? How about going to see live music? Maybe its reading, painting, writing? Or is it skiing, bicycling, hiking, basketball? As long as it’s healthy – do it, and do more of it. And start right now.