I caught up with a good friend yesterday. He’s an entrepreneur who has attained what I consider to be an elite level of success. He said something that stuck with me. Business conquests are great, but they haven’t brought him joy. Celebrating life’s moments and sharing experiences with people who matter most are what truly makes him happy.
Entrepreneurs have a vision that they’re trying to make a reality. Often, they think about little else—and sometimes that’s not a good thing. For example, one of my closest friends once invited me to join him and another college friend on a trip to South Africa. It was an opportunity to see a special part of the world with people I’m close to. But I was so focused on making CCAW a success that I thought I couldn’t afford to take the time off. To this day I regret that decision.
I agree with what my friend said. For all the success I had with CCAW, it’s the moments with friends and family that I cherish most. If you know what brings you joy, don’t routinely sacrifice it to your work. Faced with a decision like mine, make it carefully. The opportunity to go to South Africa with friends—or whatever version of such an opportunity turns up in your life—may never come again. Even ordinary chances to enjoy a meal, a concert—whatever floats your boat—with your family or friends are gold. Yes, if you’re an entrepreneur, you must work super hard. But don’t sacrifice your relationships. Make time for what matters most.