Where My Loyalties Lie

By: bootstraparticle
“Someone once said that at some point everything must degenerate to work. Entrepreneurs know this better than anyone because if there is one thing entrepreneurs do, it is work."

In The Guru Guide to Entrepreneurship Joseph and Jimmie Boyett give 5 requirements to becoming a successful entrepreneur. “Requirement # 4: Sacrifice Your Personal Life." Degenerate is an interesting, awful word to choose when describing the progression of your life. How discouraging.

I know that rigorous, time consuming work is absolutely necessary to achieve goals, especially as an entrepreneur! Oftentimes, all you have is yourself and your idea. If something is going to happen, you have to make it happen. This requires the sacrifice of pastimes, vacations, and time with the people you love. Entrepreneurship is not a 9-5 job.

However, I do not believe that I have to sacrifice everything to achieve success. Specifically, I’m talking about my family and my religion. These are two aspects of life that oftentimes do not fit into the workday. And I am not willing to sacrifice them.

Here’s the thing, I don’t think the Boyetts are either. As I flipped through their book again, I found a dedication to their grandson, “the newest branch on our family tree." I have a feeling that family is a priority to them. I would even venture to guess that they spent a lot of time juggling work and family making sure the appropriate amount of attention is given to both. So what’s all this talk about sacrificing everything? I’m sure there’s a level of moderation there, but their book offers no guidance as to how to figure it out.

In the introduction of Bootstrap Business, Rich Christiansen describes his battle with these same feelings.

“Through the years I have consumed book after book focused on the topic of Entrepreneurship. Many of these works were well-written, satiated my appetite to some degree, and amplified the girth of my knowledge. Yet, as a general rule, most were bulging with theory or focused on high-end businesses with startup budgets over $1MM. Often they sited examples of how Warren Buffet did it, or how Sam Walton built Wal-Mart. Although interesting, for the most part I found them academic, non-practical, and often times discouraging. They portrayed how super-human individuals sacrificed families, personal relationships, and interests in achieving great fame and wealth.

I’ve never had an interest in achieving fame. My approach to building businesses is to do it on a shoestring budget. The wealth part interests me to some degree, but not at the expense of the true riches of life. Over the years I have learned how to navigate the demands of family, trust relationships, personal interests, and religion, and still succeed in business endeavors."

I’m looking forward to reading more of what Bootstrap Business has to say about this precarious balancing act.
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