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Vacation or to not vacation: a founder’s answer

2 min

As a startup founder and someone who’s built a baby company from scratch, you would obviously be tempted to always work and always take care of the company.

As a startup founder and someone who’s built a baby company from scratch, you would obviously be tempted to always work and always take care of the company. After all, founding a startup is often times like having a baby. There’s needs to be met and you’re the main person to provide to those needs. However, should this stop you from going on vacation? Well, I think it shouldn’t.

Very much like how in around 2016-2017 Sweden made headline news about their 6 hour work week or how in 2018 Perpetual Guardian implemented a 4 day work week, but you get paid for 5! More and more companies are exploring ways to achieve more, in lesser time, but introducing a balance that wasn’t there previously! What these pioneer companies are trying to do is basically achieve the same amount of output in a 30 hour work week v a 40 hour work week or 4 day work week v a 5 day work week.

Okay, why did I bring all these up? It’s because it ties into what I believe to be a very important component to life, work-life balance. Like the yin and yang of the world, work-life balance is key to keeping your sanity and being sane enough to push boundaries with your startups. If you’re a workaholic but open-minded, continue reading. Otherwise, you’ll probably close the tab right now about now, and that’s okay.

I used to not know what work-life balance was. Honestly, growing up in an aviation/cargo family mean that I would be around a father who constantly work and never really stopped working. The result of that? Putting priority and importance to work and committing to the work I engage myself with.

However, with how the world is developing and changing, especially with startup culture, I feel it is more important than ever to make sure work-life balance to be implemented. Fatigue and burnouts are more common than not and to be honest, since starting my startup journey in August of 2018, I have experienced at least 2 burnouts. In the 15 months of my journey, I burnt out towards the 9-15 months period and that can be very dangerous for a founder.

Burn outs causes you to be unmotivated and not work as hard and for an entrepreneur, that is lethal.

Now this is not to say that my burn outs was major burn outs. The 2 I’ve experienced was circumstantial and only got me to spring back up and work harder when I rebounded back from it. What I learnt from it is very valuable and probably the main motivation of this piece.

Burn outs are not bad, but they can be if you let it. The thing is, the burn outs I’ve experienced resulted in a break and coming back more determined and with so much more drive than before. However, reaching the near breaking point is not fun and can put off a lot of people from not finishing what they started.

Research shows that having a balance is good (workaholics aside), people do enjoy the break and for the majority of the population, not taking a break can cause a multitude of problems.

So have work-life balance, stay away from the logistics team and I’d love to hear what you guys have to say about this topic!


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