I often work from 8 AM to 1 or 2 AM, but think nothing of it. Why? Because my entrepreneurship is an extremely powerful and addictive drug - with all of the associated euphoria and danger you'd come to expect with any addictive agent.
After working for many years at Capital One, one of America's great companies, why am I so taken by entrepreneurship?
Because the things that drove me away from Corporate Life are almost non-existent here, and the things that were once tremendously exciting about corporate life abound at my new office.
Let me give you an example or two about the things that drove me away:
- I don't spend half of my day combing through a never-ending onslaught of email, voicemail, and IM's. My email is actually manageable, and when it comes, it typically is revenue related - thus, I want to read it
- I don't spend 50% of my time putting together presentations. We work hard on presentations here, but when we do, they are are focused on two things - winning new business, and implementable strategy for our clients. In both cases, it's important, and the work we create is actually used
- We focus on the important things. Our staff is small, and we're a little ecosystem. We're self-sustaining...we plant seeds through business development, cultivate crops through careful attention and technique, and harvest our product for sale in order to pay the mortgage and take care of our employees. If we focus on the wrong things, we don't eat.
Now the things that excite me (like the old days of a corporation in hyper-growth):
- I work with the smartest people in the world - I've hand-selected a staff and board full of world-class minds and we actually get the opportunity to dialogue with each other instead of running from meeting to meeting...quite refreshing
- Flexibility in my work day - I never was a 9 to 5'er kind of guy. I'd rather work some, go to the gym, play some basketball, then work some more...grab dinner, work a little more, and go home and watch Letterman. That's my definition of work life balance - my work integrates keenly into my lifestyle.
- ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT - this is the big one. Everyone in our agency knows we have the opportunity to change the way advertising and marketing is done, and we've got the brains and skill to do it. We're smart, talented, and a little cocky, but we're all up for the challenge and locked in on the vision of doing things in communication that have not been done before.
Yep it's a drug alright...but as the song goes - "if loving it is wrong, I don't want to be right"