Yes, you can lead a normal, happy life and still build a successful company.

“I woke up at 3am today, hit the gym for 4-5 hours and made 10 sales calls before 9am. My phone was at 3% battery which let me write 2 pieces of content before it died, timed perfectly for right when I got into the office.”

I saw this post on LinkedIn recently.

I cropped out the name, but you probably know who it is.

It’s the classic bullshit “founder/growth hacker/speaker/buzzword/buzzword/buzzword” that dominates every Medium, LinkedIn & Quora post you’ve read to make you feel like crap about your productivity.

You know, the “killing it” “hustle” “founder bro” types.

The ones who claim they wake up at 4am every day to take cold showers before running to the gym (while pounding a Soylent) and doubling their deadlift PR.

The ones who apparently squeeze every possible second out of the day “hustling” away.

Have you noticed none of these types of people are ever in good shape, despite all the time they claim to be spending at the gym?

They all seem to claim that by sleeping so little (and working out for 4 hours for some reason — seriously, unless you’re The Rock preparing to play a role of a bigger version of The Rock, you don’t need to exercise for 4 hours), you can take over the world.

Like, I dunno, amassing a fortune of roughly $85 billion, the vast majority of which you donate to alleviating world poverty and curing disease perhaps?

In actuality, Warren Buffet sleeps a neat 8 hours a day, spends his weekend with his wife and family — and I’m fairly confident the man has never taken a cold shower in his life.

The point I’m trying to get across is all of this “founder machismo” is at it’s best an obnoxious lie, and at worse harmful.

The vast majority of talented, productive founders I’ve met building companies way more impactful than these charlatans aren’t making sales calls at 4am from an airport security line.

You know what they’re doing at 4am? Sleeping.

You know what they’re doing at 7am? Waking up slowly, making their families breakfast, catching up on the news and getting ready to head to the office.

I’ll never forget the advice that one of my earlier bosses, the founder of a world renowned SaaS company once gave me:

“I finish work every day at 5pm, and always get a good night’s sleep. What’s the point of building a company if I can’t spend time with my kids? At that point it’s no better than working for someone else — it’s still slavery”

Anyone who peddles this “high productivity” nonsense is trying to get your business by convincing you they’re better than you. They’re trying to make you feel bad about living a normal, happy, enlightened life so you can engage their brand of snake oil

You don’t need to work like a maniac and waste your life away to be successful.

  1. Solve interesting & real problems, and be authentic — the rest takes care of itself.
  2. Automate & outsource. Many of our customers at ContentFly are the smart founders who realize that they probably shouldn’t be writing content at 6 in the morning, so they outsource it to people who can.
  3. Focus on what’s really important. There’s nothing in the world more important than family. You should never compromise on the people you love.

I’m going to bed now.

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