Home > Advice, Personal > Finding the balance of life and work

Finding the balance of life and work

Recently there has been a lot of debate about a blog post Mahalo.com’s CEO, Jason Calacanis, wrote titled, “Can you have a life and work at a startup company.

Jason provided several examples why working in a startup requires more time and commitment than your average job, but really hit a nerve when he talked about letting two smokers go. The jist of it was that they were smoking while everyone else was collaborating. In other words, they weren’t being team players. Several high-profile bloggers jumped on the story, and one even made a mockery of it, but the question at hand shouldn’t be downgraded to witty comments and laundry “how to” lists.

Instead it should be taken to heart, and debated among the group most affected, the twenty something’s trying to break in.

Take myself for instance. I have an amazing opportunity to work for eight months at a magazine I idolize. I took huge risks to get here, and even have resorted to sleeping on the floor due to budget constraints, so when looking at the debate between punching a 9-5 time clock and reality, I can’t help but think it’s more important for me to work my butt off.

Secondly, there are a hundred kids behind me who will work twice as hard as me if given the chance. I know this because I’m one of those kids.

So then how do I find a balance? For starters being broke really helps. Since I can’t afford health insurance, skiing is out. Ice climbing is cool, but an endless expense, and at this point, staying away from eating things out of a box is almost not a reality.

Secondly, I find time to pursue my passions outside my job. Usually this involves waking up around six a.m. and going running, reading a book, cooking breakfast or just watching the sunrise. By the time I punch the clock, I’ve already had a few hours to myself.

Thirdly, I make time to do nothing. Usually this involves beer, a couch and our 15-inch TV. (Ironically it sits about 17 feet away.) Last night it was Dominos and some music.

But most importantly, I’m able to find a balance out of the knowledge that this is what I want to do. I gave up the money, the stability, the promising career and left it all to faith. So you better believe I’m not going to just roll over and let it all go away just because I’m not willing to work harder than the next guy.

(ps: writing this at a great little coffee shop in Boulder, relaxing and listening to three guys, who are stoned out of their minds, play some of the worst music I’ve ever heard.)

(pps: This weekends travels brought me here…)


Categories: Advice, Personal
  1. March 10, 2008 at 7:07 am

    Love what you do…

    “Whatever happens next it’s true
    That life is clay without a mold,
    So do what you will and don’t regret,
    you can always undo what you’ve been told.”

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