Scene: a business conference, an expert talking about starting a business. The expert gives the good old “passion” pitch, how you have to be ready to sacrifice all for your business: “Either make this business work or die trying.”

A voice from the audience asks, hesitatingly, “Er, are those the only options?”

No. Really, no. It shouldn’t be your business or your life. If you’re serious about your startup, I’d like you to please read my post 10 tips for Saving Your Life From Your Business, on Planning Startups Stories (my main blog).

Here are a couple of my favorites from those 10 tips:

  • Don’t obsess; plan. Don’t wander through the rest of life with business thoughts running through your head like helicopter background noise in your dreams. Take a few deep breaths. To get the business-helicopter-mind out of your head, keep the planning realistic. Planning gets a lot of things out of your head and into the plan. When you wake up at night obsessing, go to your plan. Write it down. Relax, and go back to sleep.
  • Do something you can believe in. It’s not just finding the best business opportunity; it’s finding one you believe in. There’s quality of work as well as quantity, and high quality makes high quantity easier to live with. Make sure that when you take a step back from it, every so often, you can see how what you do made other lives better.

This particular post is special to me. I believe it’s important. Lots of supposed business experts, particularly startup experts, talk about how you have to sacrifice all for your business. I don’t think that’s true.

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Tim BerryTim Berry
Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.