Focusing on What’s Important in Your Entrepreneurial Journey: Your Family and Friends

family and friends
The greatest asset in entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is all about making things happen. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs are focusing too much on their business and bury themselves in their business while neglecting what’s more important: The people you love.

Entrepreneurs work long hours – often 80 to 100 hours a week – in an effort to create a great business that will give them financial freedom. The keyword here is “WILL.”

The thing is, many bury themselves in their work because of some reasons: “I bury myself to my business because I hate it when people told me I didn’t work hard.” “I work long hours because I don’t like to be around at home doing nothing.” “I work long hours because that what entrepreneurs did, are doing and will do.” “I focus on my business because I’m really clueless what I should do with my time.” Sounds familiar? To me, yes.

That’s how our society works – many people are focusing on the future at the expense of the present. “Let’s forecast.” “Let’s eye on the future.” “Let’s sacrifice today for what lies in the future.” Alas, not many really appreciate “Let’s cherish what we have today,” not even for once. Don’t get me wrong – planning is great and without it your personal and business life will lose focus and direction. But focusing on the future while sacrificing what’s today is simply foolish.

Some entrepreneurs I know are working long hours because they want to build a strong business that allows them to be (hopefully) financially free and retire early (or at least retire rich.) A couple of them made it, and some others are still chasing the carrot. Interestingly, or disturbingly, the most common thing happens to them and their family is: Broken relationship.

Unfortunately, you can’t separate your personal and business life. Theoretically, you can separate them and live in two different worlds. However, both worlds are often colliding, bringing tension and suffering to someone.

When you are in your business premise, you are a business owner. But when you are at home, you are a family member, most likely taking the role of bread-winner. Unfortunately, not many entrepreneurs can separate both worlds well. Most likely, entrepreneurs mix them up, resulting in distraction and dissatisfaction, business-wise and personal-wise. This is commonly found in telecommuters and working at home mom/dad. Really, how many of you can resent from taking your work home with you?

Broken relationship – For married couples, this is not necessarily a divorce; broken relationship comes in the form of conflicts among family members, disrespectful children, separation, etc. For singles, you have all the privilege to utilise your time as you wish for the sake of productivity – but working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week will “kill” you, eventually. I saw some made it but most can’t – depression, being suicidal, and anxiety are becoming common amongst those who can’t.

What a huge price to pay in the so-called pursuit for happiness.

Happiness? What is happiness, anyway? Many would say different things about happiness, but I know one sure fact: You can enjoy happiness today. No, let me rephrase it – you MUST enjoy happiness today. Why? Because, in your pursuit for your personal, financial and professional endeavours, you often forget that what’s important is actually right here, right now, today.

Your family and friends are some of your greatest assets. You can lose a business and build 100s more, but you can’t lose a family member and expect him or her to come back; things don’t work just like that. How about not being able to watch your children grow into adults just because you THINK you have to work long hours to support your family – assuming that money and status are what you only need to be happy in life? Sure, money can buy stuffs, but it can’t buy you the lost years of your life.

In relationship, you reap what you sow; the sowing process could take a lifetime, often without reaping any other thing but happiness. I don’t know how about you, but that would be enough for me.

Ivan Widjaya
Watch your step in your entrepreneurial journey – or you might regret it