My mother is dying. I’m in an airport lounge typing a blog between flights as I head to her death-bed. A couple of days ago she said to me, “I don’t know why I bother.” She was referring to how tired she was of being alive, yet incapacitated. And I guess she’s now decided not to bother any more.
My mother had a lot of fun in her life, although it was a hard life in many ways. She told me a couple of years ago that she had no regrets. She knew she could have lived a lot longer if she’d taken better care of herself. Instead, she’d worked hard and partied hard, and her body was worn out, but it had all been worth it.
Entrepreneurship is a bit like that for me. It’s a hard life with many ups and downs. The good times can be one big party… the excitement of closing deals or selling the company, the thrill of working with a team of enthusiastic, energetic people, the buzz when you see a company you’ve built succeeding in the market. The hard times can be a grind… months spent pitching to investors, working on big sales and partnerships which never seem to close, dealing with non-performing team members, and doing long-hours on no salary. .
Like my mother, I sometimes wonder why I bother; but only when the grind is particularly hard. I bother because I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. Like her, I have no regrets about the way I’m living my life. Building high-growth companies is an exciting and rewarding thing to do. Perhaps I won’t keep doing it until I drive myself to an early grave. I’m already slowing the pace a little, passing some of the grind on to others. But I think I’ll be ‘bothering’ for a long time to come