It’s ok to turn off sometimes
Nine times out of ten, I’m in full agreement with whatever my friend Dan Martell has to say. He know his shit. But I had to call out something in a recent post of his and share my own perspective. In his post Dan lists things founders shouldn’t skimp on, stating, as an example, that founders don’t have time to do laundry:
“As the leader of a company, your time is at a premium. As Jason Cohen says, “your time is worth $1000 an hour, and you should act accordingly”. Your focus should be on activities that propel your business and your brand forward.
For example, should you really be spending two hours every weekend doing laundry when you could pay someone else to take the task off your plate? Understand that paying for what you used to consider an indulgence might now be an essential in your new reality as a founder“.
There’s no question that time is the scarcest resource we have and that founders have huge demands placed on their time. But I actually think it’s dangerous to engineer our lives so that we are always on, always being productive. I see two issues with this mentality:
First, we are all human. You cannot go full throttle 24/7 for very long. Too many times I have seen founders push, push, push telling themselves they will soon exit and won’t need to do this anymore. Unfortunately, most startups don’t succeed and this approach of short term pushing can only lead to short term mediocre exits.
Good things take time. FreshBooks, for example, is over nine years old. And we are just getting started. I’ll bet the company would not be around today if the founders did not take time to recharge. Long term thinking builds big, meaningful companies.
My other issue is also related to the point about us all being human. I think it’s good for us to do menial, low value tasks like laundry. It allows us to unplug and it keeps us grounded. If you think you’re above doing laundry that can cause you to lose perspective.
But if the story of Jody Sherman tells us anything, it should reinforce the importance of taking time off, destressing and recharging. Do laundry. Take naps. Exercise regularly. Go easy on the caffeine. And make sure you have people you can talk to about everything you’re going through as a founder.
And since I’m writing this on a Sunday, I’m going to take my own advice right now…