When I went to an event this week the speaker said something that really irked me. He was talking about “Great Entrepreneurs” v.s. “Mediocre Entrepreneurs.” He said that lifestyle businesses were run by the “mediocre entrepreneurs”. One of my girl friends, who I respect more than just about any other person for her business acumen, has a “lifestyle” business according to this speaker. She makes and keeps so much money, can always travel with her family to great places. She’s there to pick her kids up and take them to school. She is growing her business too! She is an amazing human being, intelligent business woman, loving mother, and a great entrepreneur.
I just can’t believe that some people still think that being great means that you are the first one in and the last to leave. That may mean that you are a great executive, but it does not mean that you are a great entrepreneur. By definition an entrepreneur “someone who organizes a business venture and assumes the risk for it”. Just because you choose to spend time with your family does not mean that you are not a great risk taker, it just means that you have set up our business to work without you there all of the time. The risk that you choose to take is in trusting others to do their work.
Coming to the realization that you want to have a life outside of your business does not mean that you are not the one with all of the risk. If you are all business all the time then maybe you do have a higher personal risk tolerance including the risk that you will lose your family and health on your way to “greatness”. So while this speaker did speak to health and family, he also slammed “lifestyle” businesses. I’m here to advocate for being great by living a great life enabled by whatever size business you decide to grow, $1M or $1B.
It takes a remarkable entrepreneur to set up a business that can run well and set their ego aside to put quality of life first. It doesn’t mean that a $1B company can’t have a great entrepreneur at it’s heart, but it’s highly unlikely that she’s still running it.