Should you be obsessed, or work on finding balance?

Written by Charles Ngo
Written by Charles Ngo

Obessession is what lazy people call dedication

You hear conflicting advice as an entrepreneur about how hard you should be working.
On one hand, you have the camp that tells you that you need to find “balance” in your life.

  • Don’t work on the weekends
  • Sleep 8+ hours a day
  • Make sure you spend time with your family

On the other hand, you have people telling you that you need to be obssessed to be successful

  • “Work 10x harder”
  • “I haven’t taken a vacation in 10 years”
  • “How bad do you want it?”

I’ve been on both sides of the equation the past 9 years and can share my perspective on this.

You Have to Be Obsessed (at first)

Starting a business is hard.
There’s no “amateur league” in business. In sports you can start off playing middle school, high school, college, and then professional sports. You’re gaining experience against people in your league.
Business? From day 1 you’re competing against the monsters. There’s no little corner for newbies.
If you’re launching campaigns, then you’re competing for traffic against guys with more experience, money, and firepower than you. Starting a corner grocery store? Wal-mart doesn’t care.
I’ve realized that success in life is all about how you manage your resources: time, energy, attention, and focus.
You don’t have a lot of resources in the beginning.
1. Most beginners don’t have a lot of money
2. Your energy is probably lacking because you’re working 8 hours a day at your real job
3. Once again, your time is limited. 8 hours a day at the job and time spent commuting. If you have kids then cut whatever extra time you have by half.
4. I hope you’re laser focused because that’s all you got.
I think of success like a rocket that’s trying to escape Earth. You’re trying to get to the next level but you have all these forces weighing you down. You gotta keep pushing until you hit the tipping point (escaping the planet’s gravitational pull).
If you’re only giving 10%, how can you compete against someone that’s giving their 100%. Seriously, what’s your edge?
Instagram and Facebook is flooded with people talking about how bad they wanna succeed.
Who’s gonna make it? Here are two easy ways to tell:
1. How are they spending their weekends?
2. Where is their disposable income going?
You know what I was doing on the weekends as a beginner? Reading books. Launching campaigns. Working on my banners. Writing articles for $15 each so I could have money for traffic.
I didn’t care about videos. Partying was a waste of time. All I cared about what becoming a full-time affiliate marketer.
Where was my money going? Campaigns. Traffic. Everything was focused on affiliate marketing
I’ll see guys talk about how “bad” they want to be successful but they’re clubbing on the weekends. They’re leasing cars or renting places they can’t afford.
Do you want to BE an entrepreneur or do you want to PLAY entrepreneur? Give it a few years and you’ll see who actually put in the work.
If you’re starting off then yea you gotta be obsessed.

  • You may have to sacrifice sleep.
  • Your friends will keep asking “where you’ve been?”
  • You won’t be caught up on all your favorite TV shows.

But I think that’s a small sacrifice for success.
Think long term over short term.

Finding Balance Over Time

The “go hard” lifestyle isn’t sustainable over time.
Entrepreneur burnout is real. You’d be surprised at how many millionaires out there are depressed.
I think about some of my friends that are millions but still insisted on working themselves to death.

  • One friend has been overweight for years. He had a heart attack a few years ago and survived. But what would all this have been for if he died
  • Another guy’s #1 motivation was his kids. But ironically he worked so much that he barely spent any time with his kids. He’s divorced now and can barely see them since they live with their mom in a different state.

I used some extreme examples to prove a point, but I never want you to lose sight of your why.
I’m ambitious, yet I know what my limits are. I realized that this is a marathon, not a sprint. I don’t wanna burn myself out.
I run two separate companies, my branding, and I work out 6x a week.
Yet I don’t work past 6pm. I don’t work weekends. I sleep 8 hours a day. I can travel anytime I want and not worry.
My secret sauce? I re-invest my money into buying more of the resources that I mentioned earlier.
Practical examples:

  • I don’t waste any time in traffic. I pay extra so that my gym, office, grocery is all next to me.
  • I don’t cook (unless I want to). All my healthy meals get delivered.
  • I don’t do laundry or clean
  • I have an executive assistant

I use my money to buy back my time and energy. I have “balance” in my life now and don’t have to grind until 2am each morning.
And don’t think just because you have money that balance comes automatically. How are you allocating your cash? Cars and jewelry depreciate.
Building a team isn’t easy, but you’ll be at a severe disadvantage if you’re a lone ranger.
Find out how much an hour of your time is worth. If your time is worth $100 an hour, then anything you can delegate for less than $100 / hr means you’re profiting.

Obsession vs Balance… Are You in it for the Long Run?

“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”

How long did I have a crazy obsessed lifestyle for? 6 months.
How long will it take you? I have no idea, but it’s most likely longer than that.
6 months is fast but I was ready to put in as many years as it’d take. No, I wasn’t “passionate” about affiliate marketing. I kept going because I was “passionate” about obtaining my freedom.
Here’s a reminder of what we covered in this.
1. Be obsessed at first so you can hit success
2. Re-invest your money into buying back your resources
3. Seek balance so you can be happier and not burn out
Next time someone calls you obsessed, just say thanks. You’re doing it right.
Featured Image by Styf

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                The posts published by Charles are prepared and analyzed, including the author’s own experience…

The posts published by Charles are prepared and analyzed, including the author’s own experience…

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