#132 – How dedicated should we be? Why Kevin O’Leary and Shark Tank culture is WRONG

Show notes from Episode #132 of the Sweaty Startup Podcast.

What are your goals?

That’s the first question you should ask yourself when considering entrepreneurship, or any career path for that matter. If you’ve started your business but haven’t answered this question yet, it should be your top priority. Next, ask yourself what it will take to achieve those goals, and how much you’ll have to sacrifice for them. If you have to dedicate your entire life to reach your goals, it’s time to reconsider.

Unhealthy dedication

We came across an interview snippet with Kevin O’Leary where he speaks, supposedly honestly, about the personal sacrifices successful people must make. Yes, you probably need to make sacrifices to find the success you want, but the examples he offered were outrageous.

O’Leary rambles on that there are no youth soccer games, no Sunday dinner with the family, and that people in India in China will be working when you aren’t. At the pinnacle of his interview he laughs as he recalls telling a student that his fiancé would be easier to replace than his company, and the crowd laughs along with him.

But why?

What is wealth to you or me? To what extent does it really matter? What’s the significance of being worth a billion dollars, instead of a hundred million or a couple million? Entrepreneurship culture has started to glorify and idolize those that tell stories of unmatched sacrifice to find their success, even if they aren’t fully true, and it’s not a culture that we should be supporting.

Even in Nick’s busiest time building Storage Squad, he was having fun and balancing it. He met his wife, traveled, ran cross country, and maintained relationships with his friends and family. Most people don’t work hard enough to find the success they really want, we get that, but sending a message that success requires giving up time with your family, your friends, or your fiancé is ridiculous.

Enjoy life

Live the life you want, find time to do what you want to do, and enjoy the process. When Rock Thomas came on the podcast he talked about the gardens of life–including health, relationships, spirituality, work, friends, and family. You need to water each garden to have a fulfilling life and find balance, and you can’t ignore those gardens for your business. You need to make time to do this now so you can be thankful for it later. Don’t miss soccer games, family dinner, or the occasional late night out. Work both smart and hard, and have a balance.

We need to stop buying into the hustle, the failure, and the idea that you have to work for 15 years to be happy. Instead of setting a goal for wealth, think about setting a goal to make good money and make it easy.

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About Me

I started the Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because I believe the Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture is ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship. 

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