A great, loving, healthy and fun filled family life might be a close second, and in all the years I’ve worked as an entrepreneur and advisor to entrepreneurs, I can count on one hand the number of people who have been able to get this second part right along with the first. In most cases, one seems to come at the expense of the other. Lets see why.
Primary, the cause of the rift between happy home life and entrepreneurial spirit is libido. You may have noticed that most entrepreneurs, and leaders (includes most American Presidents) are horny bastards. And that includes women. Success in business, making money and having fun at work makes people horny, builds libido and drives a huge appetite for you know what.
Now, as a partner to an entrepreneur you might be thinking, “well it doesn’t come home here” and too true. That’s mainly because partners of entrepreneurs usually fall into the category of highly paid child minding services, cooks, house cleaners and personal valet. Many entrepreneurs use their domestic relationship as a catch net, a fall back, a back stop to catch them when they’ve burnt their fuel having excitement with business or career. The partner of an entrepreneur is often a person of low self-worth or if they weren’t, they can soon learn how to devalue themselves and become highly paid employees.
In fact, I always coach partners of entrepreneurs and leaders to put in a bill for their services each month. We add the cost of hiring a car service, a chef, a personal valet, and child minding through professional agencies and submit this to the entrepreneur as “a cost” – and truly ask for payment. It’s shocking how many entrepreneurs feel the cost of “domestic support” is far far below the real cost. It’s always better to get this out in the open and have the partnership valued for its real worth.
Now we’ve defined success in two of the five categories of life, lets look at the other five.
Health – that’s obvious – entrepreneurs are the fastest, laziest, most die young group on earth. It’s not the stress they like to blame, it’s just priorities. You can make more money on the phone than in the gym. So, this health area is going to have to be rated as important if not more important than making money… what’s the cost of ignorance?
Social – Greed is a strange animal that, in my experience chokes many entrepreneurs careers. First, building wealth for the family is a nice excuse for having the fun of entrepreneurial spirit, then, after there’s enough in the bank for a few generations to live on, it becomes all about “keeping the partner happy” and that poor soul who got left picking up the undies and transporting the kids to school thinking this would displace their real passion and inspiration for life, starts to demand more and more material evidence of their value. Better car, better hair, better, better better. They even join social groups to contribute to poor starving children to make themselves feel valued. But there is never a satisfaction. This is a good sign that there’s an impending disaster on the horizon. When self-obsession displaces social contribution, trouble looms large.
Mental – Entrepreneurs are classic addicts. They read prolific volumes of information about things they already know about. Biographies of those they admire, attend workshops to reinforce their mastery, even hire mentors to coach them, but most entrepreneurs hate information they don’t agree with. Hence they so often become intellectually constipated. Of course, that is until the personal tsunami comes and reveals that their business acumen died at the end of 1812 a few years after they finished their last executive MBA.
Spiritual – Don’t get me started…. the average spiritual consciousness of the small business entrepreneur is conveniently contained in a red wine soaked table cloth at around 2 am, sitting with friends raving about things few of them know much about, but think they do. Drunken dinner parties and the occasional funeral are the norm for most entrepreneurs at a spiritual level until you hear them say “OH God, Please help me” – Sometimes it’s just wise to get humble to something more than the occasional visit to the Synagogue or Church and generous donation to the publicly listed “who’s who Donation fund”
So, before I answer, what are the seven keys to entrepreneurial success in business, I’d like to suggest that getting our act together as listed above is number one. The other six I’ll share later.
Ancient wisdom made Easy.