Work, sleep, family, fitness, or friends: Pick 3

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Randi Zuckerberg calls this the entrepreneur's dilemma. Does it ring true for you?

Endless ink (and pixel space) have been spent discussing the challenges of work-life balance for founders. But entrepreneur and former Facebook Director of Market Development (also Zuckerberg sibling) Randi Zuckerberg managed to convey the challenges and tradeoffs of the entrepreneurial lifestyle in a rather more concise fashion on Twitter a few years back:



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Want to see your kids, keep fit and keep your business going? Forget sleep, according to this formula. And you won't be spending much time with your friends either. As Zuckerberg explains in this short interview, for her, fitness and friends often fall by the wayside, a sad reality but one she's willing to level with the world about.

Some founders agree.

This sounds harsh, but it's true, according to a recent interview with Storenvy founder Jon Crawford on Founder Dating. "Work, sleep, family, fitness, or friends--pick three. It's true. In order to kick ass and do big things, I think you have to be imbalanced. I'm sure there are exceptions, but every person I've seen riding on a rocket ship was imbalanced while that rocket ship was being built. You have to decide if you want it," Crawford declares.

"If you want to spend a lot of time with your friends and see all the Oscar-nominated movies and get good sleep at night and exercise, then it's going to be hard to give a start-up everything it needs. If you care about your startup more than you care about all those things, then go for it. But it comes with sacrifice," he says, leveling with would-be founders. Along similar lines, other entrepreneurs (or more often ex-entrepreneurs) have confessed that the start-up lifestyle and family life can be an impossible balance.

Is this true for you?

Zuckerberg's hard formula has the benefit of concision and clarity, and the endorsement of Crawford and others, but I'm curious, is it true for you? Several high-profile entrepreneurs, such as Basecamp co-founder and CTO David Heinemeier Hansson, have publicly declared that they can get all the work required for their start-up to succeed done in a moderate 40 hours a week, leaving, presumably, enough time for exercise, family, friends, and fitness (or at least more than two of those).

Are these apparently more balanced founders benefiting from special circumstances? Are they painting a slightly rosier than reality picture of their workloads and lifestyle for public consumption? What do you think?

Is Zuckerberg's formula too gloomy or refreshingly honest?

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Work, sleep, family, fitness, or friends: Pick 3

#1: "I still work hard to know my business. I'm continuously looking for ways to improve all my companies, and I'm always selling. Always."

Credit: Getty

#2: "When you've got 10,000 people trying to do the same thing, why would you want to be number 10,001?"

Credit: Getty

#3: "Because if you're prepared and you know what it takes, it's not a risk. You just have to figure out how to get there. There is always a way to get there."

Credit: Getty

#4: "Go out there and get rich. Get so obnoxiously rich that when that tax bill comes, your first thought will be to choke on how big a check you have to write."

Credit: Getty

#5: "​In the past, people used to tell me to shut up a bit. But what I believe is to put out your opinion and let everyone else react. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong."

Credit: Getty

#6: "I've learned that it doesn't matter how many times you failed. You only have to be right once. I tried to sell powdered milk. I was an idiot lots of times, and I learned from them all."

Credit: Getty

#7: "Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you."

Credit: Getty

#8: "Forget about finding your passion. Instead, focus on finding big problems."

Credit: Getty

#9: "It's not about money or connections -- it's the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone when it comes to your business. And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time."

Credit: Getty

#10: "What I've learned is that if you really want to be successful at something, you'll find that you put the time in. You won't just ask somebody if it's a good idea, you'll go figure out if it's a good idea."

Credit: Getty

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