Having Non-Work Related Goals

Today I was planning on writing a post about the startup life and the mentality required to live it, but Adam Gilbert stole my thunder…by using the EXACT same quote I had written on my index card this morning. Adam basically summed up my thoughts in his conclusion:

If I’m going to do something then I might as well be doing something remarkable/great/worth doing/worth talking about. Otherwise, why bother?

So let’s say you’re like Adam and my partners and I, and you have the privilege to be part of a company that embodies your passion.  As much as you love every second of it, and don’t consider it “work”, if that’s literally the only thing you do your life will fall apart – physically, mentally, and socially.  Friends, family, significant others, and other hobbies/passions still need some attention or you’ll go crazy and everyone will resent you.

How on earth can you handle balancing it all??? 

I have a simple rule:  aside from going to the gym (which is ingrained into my schedule regardless), every day, no matter how insanely busy it is, I try to have one non-business related goal. It could be calling a friend, reading a book for an hour, watching a game on TV, having beers with my friends, having dinner with my parents, etc – but no matter how chaotic or crazy the day goes I try as hard as I can to still achieve that goal.  And 99% of the time I do.

I also find that this helps productivity because I don’t really feel like I’m sacrificing.  If I watch a few bball games a week and catch highlights of the rest on ESPN, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on a sport I love.  If I grab beers with my friends two nights each week, I’m not neglecting them or missing out on what’s going on in their lives.

Sure, entrepreneurs will never achieve the same work-life balance as someone who works a 9-5…in large part because we don’t want that balance.  Bottom line:  I tend to like to spend my time doing things I enjoy (crazy me).  When I’m working, I’m loving it.  When I’m spending time doing those other things – even if it’s only an hour or two a day – I’m also loving it.  What more balance can you ask for?

1 comment on Having Non-Work Related Goals

  1. Adam Gilbert says:


    This is a great post and I know one of the reasons why you are doing so well is because you love what you’re doing!

    I also like your daily goal of doing something non-work related. I’m going to try that out.


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