A startup will always be hard. Very hard. Sometimes the sole focus. If you don’t have the stomach for it, nothing wrong with it. Just know that you will not have as much time / room as you want for :
3. Anything at all actually, except your startup
This will be the way for the first 5 – 7 years.
Anybody who tells you that you can have it all- both the amazing family and the amazing fast growing ever expanding company , is bull-shitting. You can’t. You have to choose. If its going to be me who will hand the red pill to you, then so be it. But don’t believe anybody who tells you anything else.
Building a billion dollar company in 7- 10 years is not only cool (sic, Sean parker) . Its very very hard. Its damn near inhuman and uncompromising that you will work on all days and at least 10 hrs a day.
Building a billion dollar enterprise over a 30 year time span is entirely different in that you can afford to spend 5- 7 hour work days over 6 day work weeks. But only if the industry dynamics don’t change ever so often , like mining or shipping or steel or Agriculture ( although that’s changing now ) , retail (?) (oops)
So the matrix is that intelligent work is taken for granted in building companies but lets look at Hard / Leisure work vs High growth/Slow growth industries – in order to build an enterprise value of $1B
Hard work / High growth Industry – 7 to 10 years
Leisure / High growth industry – dead
Hard work / Slow growth industry – 30 years
Leisure work / Slow growth industry – Lifestyle Business
Obviously, the safe bet is to be in a slow growth industry where the dynamics don’t change as fast. This is why old money is hard to lose. Take David Rockefeller. That old bastard is the fourth generation and still has assets worth $2.8 B.
Whereas tech billionaires are like fruit-flies. One is born everyday and one dies everyday. Tech billionaires have the fast life, its like running hurdle jumping on a treadmill at 20 mph.
Its certainly dangerous but thats also where all the fun is.
At the grid. At the edge, where changing something means tilting the balance of an industry’s economy or changing the face of how people communicate or determining how an entire country will consume energy in the future.
I wouldn’t trade that for any fortune.