Great Business Ideas: Work Hard and Play Harder

Great Ideas for your Small Business: Work Hard and Play Harder

The most successful entrepreneurs i know work hard and play even harder. One friend, who built a $60 million company by working seven days a week for nine years, now frequently jets around the world to fabulous places for long weekends to meet her boyfriend. He’s a top executive in the software business who stays only in the best hotels, so she’s happy to meet him any- where from London to Beijing.

She called me the other day, fresh from playing golf in Stratford-on-Avon. “Imagine playing golf in Shakespeare’s backyard!” she enthused.

Another friend in the health care business thinks nothing of flying to France to do some “serious eating and drinking” for a few days. “I’ve worked hard to build up my company for eighteen years, and I deserve to play,” she said, looking sated and blissed-out hours after she landed back in Washington, D.C.

This work hard/play hard strategy fits the entrepreneurial lifestyle perfectly. In the start-up years, as most entrepreneurs know, you rarely get a day or weekend off—and a vacation is totally unthinkable. There are so many personal sacrifices involved in running a small business. So, when things finally do take off, it’s time for you to take off.

Getting away, even for a few days, is incredibly rejuvenating. New sights, a comfortable bed, a zippy convertible, or a sizzling beach to stretch out on can recharge your batteries when they are low.

And remember, it’s only money. Cash in your frequent flyer miles for free tickets. Or buy coach and upgrade to first class. Bring plenty of mad money and stay in a great hotel.

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Check into the spa and get a massage. Soak your troubles away. Think of your playtime as an investment in your mental health. It sure beats going to a psychiatrist.

And if you’re thinking that only the really well-off can afford to play hard, forget it. Anyone can sneak off to the golf course or bowling alley for an afternoon. Or check into a day spa for a few hours of pampering. Rent a Harley-Davidson soft tail and leathers and play bad-boy biker for a day.

So set your guilt aside and get into the habit of rewarding yourself for all you’ve accomplished.