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Founders’ Friday: Work and Life, Emphasis on Life

So I had been working since last night on a long, complicated post about Kickstarter, crowdfunding, the JOBS Act (PDF Link), and raising capital — but forget it. It’s a gorgeous Friday afternoon after a really long, hard week and it’s a good time to enjoy the late afternoon rays of sunshine with my dog on my lap and reflect on the idea of work/life balance for startups.

There’s an implicit understanding, at least in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco startup culture, that when you’re starting your own business you are supposed to work until your hands fall off. You’re supposed to grind away at your business constantly. And if you don’t, you’ll never be successful! You’re too lazy! You don’t want it enough! You’ll be beaten out by other competitors!

This is nonsense. This is a byproduct of the demographic skewing of SV/SF startups (males in their 20’s who love hacking and who have no family obligations) and also of the pressures that VCs put on startups — after all, from a VC point of view, it’s in their best interest to get you to work as hard as you can for *them*. There is nothing inherently in startups that requires one to put in 14-hour days, plus weekends. I’m not suggesting that one doesn’t work hard becuase of course every startup founder does, incredibly hard, and harder than she’s ever worked in her life. But this is your chance to shape things the way you want them to be. To take control. To set a new work culture for yourself. And we are all more creative, and happier, and *better* as people, if we take the time to sit in the sunshine with a loving animal on our laps, sipping a delicious beverage and just appreciating what there is.

Happy weekend, everyone!

 

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