Make Time for Who (and What) Matters
If you’re thinking of starting your own business, or have already started, then your time is probably already severely limited. You’re likely working a day job to support yourself, and also building your dream project alongside it, coupled with trying to balance a social life, maybe even date/nurture an existing relationship, and stay in shape. It is exhausting.
As we get older and busier it becomes more and more apparent that we don’t have time to do it all - nor should we make time. One of the greatest things about this generation is the value we place on this work/life balance. We do not have to tackle everything - just the things and people who matter.
A few past Vaera members and I were discussing at dinner the other night about an imbalance we’ve noticed in our respective fields. Not everyone is willing to help. We are all of the firm belief that a rising tide lifts all ships, and as such are willing to help other people reach success. Meaning if I have access to a particular door, I am delighted to help someone else open it. But there are people out there who still believe that competition is the ‘enemy,’ and will keep their resources close to the vest for fear of being overtaken.
These people do not deserve your very valuable, precious time.
We need to start changing the dialog, which was the point of last week’s blog post. Competition should actually be collaboration, because in sharing ideas and helping each other, the ones who are really driven should all be able to live bountifully at the top. The ones who aren’t cut out for it are going to fall to the wayside regardless, because if you don’t have drive you’re going to burn out. Those who crave success and who believe in their projects should be lifting each other up as we go.
Your time and your resources are invaluable. Spend time helping people, and working on projects, that will in turn benefit you in the long run. Don’t work for free, but weigh the value of everything. Is consulting on someone else’s startup going to somehow benefit you later down the road? If yes, then consider lending a hand. Sharing your network with other people in your field doesn’t cut you out of the web - it opens up their networks to you, as well. (In theory. If you’re sharing with people who do not share back, it’s time to stop sharing with them.)
Of course there should always be a level of altruism. To give always expecting to receive is not a way to build relationships, but do not let yourself or your hard work be taken advantage of. Always remember - you got where you are with the help from others willing to give up some of their precious time. Paying it forward is never the wrong choice. Just make sure you choose wisely.