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How do you rationalize being a startup founder?

Had an interesting discussion the other day with a couple of other startup founders. We realized we have a thing in common that we have never talked to others about; how we all have our personal rationalizations for living the messed up lives that we live as startup founders.

Messed up how, you may ask? Well. Extreme stress under very long periods without pause – definitely shortening your life expectancy. Severe personal economic risk, that would totally destroy your personal finances for a long long time if things would go wrong. Having to say no every time some friend wants to hang out, until the point (which comes pretty quickly) where you no longer have friends outside startup life. Having to have these really tough meetings, like firing someone you like as a person but wasn't right for the job, someone you know will have a hard time finding a new job. Loosing sleep for many nights in a row – actually finding yourself planning whether you should sleep 5 or 7 hours, depending on how sharp your brain needs to be for the tasks the next day.

My personal rationalization for putting up with everything above is that startup life is a journey, an adventure that few people get to experience. You get to see so many things, learn so many aspects of how society works – things that most people will remain unaware about for their whole life. You get to meet and know so many interesting people – like people you read about in entrepreneurship books that once inspired you to get started.

Life as a startup founder really sucks a lot of the time, especially in the beginning. But my personal rationalizations of why I do this always get me through the hard times.

What are your rationalizations for living the life you live?

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