The Hidden Costs of Starting a Company

2013. június 6. 21:41
Adriana Herrera
The New York Times
I’ve learned that working at 110 percent seven days a week isn’t sustainable and can even compromise what I create.

„I’ve lost friends because they thought I was crazy to try to build my own company. It took my father a very long time to understand what I was doing. In fact, it wasn’t until Fashioning Change was featured in the December issue of Entrepreneur that he really expressed acceptance of what I had dedicated my life to do. I’ve been in relationships that ended because I was told I’m »too ambitious« or because the guy would make me feel guilty when I couldn’t drop what I was working on to grab dinner — or make dinner.

I’m a Type A personality. I’m competitive and driven. Because the landscape of »shopping for good« continues to grow with inauthentic voices and so-called greenwashers, I’m driven to work harder. Still, I’ve learned that working at 110 percent seven days a week isn’t sustainable and can even compromise what I create. And I have come into a place where I’m on a personal mission to create a more normal start-up work/life balance. Over the Memorial Day weekend, I spent my first weekend in almost three years with no access to a computer or phone.

And I’ve been chatting with other start-up friends, 99.9 percent of whom are men — I do wish there were more women starting companies. None of the men I spoke with have ever been told that they are »too ambitious« but many expressed overlapping challenges that we all know are common in the start-up world: depression, reckless partying, drug abuse, drug addiction, frustration with family members who don’t accept their work habits, compromised health and failed marriages.

I have one friend whose former wife cheated on him, and he blames himself for working too much and tearing apart his family (they have two kids together). Much of what you see in the media tends to glamorize start-up life (»The Social Network« is a great example). Until recently, the toll taken by the start-up life has gotten little attention.”

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