I read a lot of business books and biographies. After I get over the buzz of how exciting the business or person is or was, I’m struck by the question: would I really want to be like him or her? Big success in business (or in anything for that matter) comes with a price. The price is often a sacrifice of one’s family and life. The entrepreneur’s spouse and kids have money and things, but they don’t know the entrepreneur.
We used to live in the Oakland Hills, where many of our neighbors were top executives of big Bay Area companies. They traveled the world for their company and made lots of money. But their kids did not know them. Many of the kids had problems rooted in not getting enough time with their parents. They had money alright, but they were messed up and their life trajectory didn’t look promising.
As you start or build your business, think hard about the life you want and how you will define success.