What Will Your Epitaph Say?

Years ago I read a post by Steve Blank that stuck with me. Steve is a serial entrepreneur, author, and professor at Stanford, Berkeley, and other schools. He’s a very credible person when it comes to entrepreneurship. Today I thought about the post and read it again. It’s titled Epitaph for an Entrepreneur, and it reflects on his entrepreneurial journey. In it, he shares things he learned about balancing his personal and professional lives.

One thing I took away from it was Steve’s evolution from a philosophy of “live to work” to one of “work to live.” I can relate. When I started CCAW, I went all in. I worked lots of hours and didn’t have much time for anything else. It was success or bust. Work was my life. Well, CCAW was successful and now I’ve entered a new phase. Not quite the same as Steve’s, though. Now, I work to help others be successful. My hope is that they will do the same when they can, creating a flywheel of sorts over time. I also work to enjoy experiences and time with people I care about. Tomorrow isn’t promised, so we have to make the most of today. I guess I work to live now—or at least I’m moving toward it.

Steve’s post is insightful and thought-provoking. It shows how the entrepreneurial journey (and life for that matter) evolves over time.

This life isn’t practice for the next one. Steve decided that he would prefer his epitaph to say, “He was a great father” rather than “He never missed a meeting.” What will your epitaph say?