The primary difference between those who accomplish their vision and those who don’t

Over time I’ve concluded that the primary difference between those who accomplish their vision and those who don’t is whether they command their own time.

The problem is that nobody really has control of their own time during the work day — it’s the time for interaction with other people. This is particularly true under startup conditions, where there’s always too much to do, much is unknown (and thus requires discussion), and processes are not optimized and people are not well-trained, so information gets repeated, lost, misunderstood, etc. and needs to be revisited.

Thus, my hypothesis is that those who intend to accomplish their vision must work outside the workday (i.e. Nights & Weekends) in order to increase the proportion of time under their command.

Under conditions where processes are optimized or workloads are lower this may not be true. This is situation where you’re harvesting the rewards of prior effort (either yours or a predecessor’s) which produced a “well-oiled machine” that runs without direct intervention. And under those circumstances, you can use your workday to start building something else.

All that said, as soon as the other thing you’re working on becomes a “real thing”, you’ll find yourself back in the startup mode and you’ll lose your workday to interaction again — with team members, customers, vendors, etc. — which means you’re back to working nights and weekends in order to apply more time under your own command.

In short, to build something / accomplish a vision, there’s no getting around working a lot — i.e. nights and weekends. And it seems to me that young people who grow up putting a lot of time into recreational activities while still dreaming of fame and fortune need to come to grips with the contradiction in habits and expectations. And it seems like parents might better manage their own expectations for their children’s futures by looking at how their kids spend their nights and weekends.

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