Endless ink (and pixel space) has been spent discussing the challenges of work-life balance for founders. But entrepreneur and former Facebook director of market development (and Mark Zuckerberg sibling) Randi Zuckerberg managed to convey the challenges and tradeoffs of the entrepreneurial lifestyle in a rather more concise fashion on Twitter a few years back:
The entrepreneur’s dilemma: Maintaining friendships. Building a great company. Spending time w/family. Staying fit. Getting sleep. Pick 3.
Want to see your kids, keep fit, and keep your business going? Forget sleep, according to this formula. And you won’t be s
pending much time with your friends, either. As Zuckerberg explains in this short interview, for her, fitness and friends often fall by the wayside, a sad reality but one she’s willing to level with the world about.
Some founders agree.
This sounds harsh, but it’s true, according to a recent interview with Storenvy founder Jon Crawford on Founder Dating. “Work, sleep, family, fitness, or friends–pick three. It’s true. In order to kick ass and do big things, I think you have to be imbalanced. I’m sure there are exceptions, but every person I’ve seen riding on a rocket ship was imbalanced while that rocket ship was being built. You have to decide if you want it,” Crawford declares.
“If you want to spend a lot of time with your friends and see all the Oscar-nominated movies and get good sleep at night and exercise, then it’s going to be hard to give a start-up everything it needs. If you care about your startup more than you care about all those things, then go for it. But it comes with sacrifice,” he says, leveling with would-be founders. Along similar lines, other entrepreneurs (or more often ex-entrepreneurs) have confessed that the start-up lifestyle and family life can be an impossible balance.