Plain old hard work is a huge component of any successful startup. Sure, great ideas and great people matter as well. But without hard work, and lots of it, success will probably prove elusive. I heard famed management guru Tom Peters speak last week, and he said the same thing: if you want to be successful, get up an hour earlier than the other guy, work an hour loger than the other gal. (He also said "all big companies suck!")
As a believer in hard work, I also know that burnout is a risk that we all face. So to combat the risk, I advocate taking some time off a couple of times each year. Go someplace nice and different if you can afford it, or simply stay home and read a (non-business) book. Just let your brain experience something different. You may think that there is just too much to do, and that you can’t spare the time. WRONG! You will return to work more fired up than you expect, and your increased productivity will more than make up for the time off.
This week, I’m taking my own advice. And I’m grateful to the wonderful folks back at the office for making it possible. Aloha!