Success and Sacrifice: The Rhythm of Entrepreneurship and the Myth of Speedy Success

by Jeremy Tang

“Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody is prepared to die to get there”

This is not a comment about dying but rather the inextricable link between success and sacrifice. I regularly interact with entrepreneurs as an investor, advisor and peer. I often get to hear about the 5% of their life, the 5% that they can’t speak about with anyone else, even their spouse or close business partners. It’s during these discussions that I share how I approach the journey particularly when conversations go into the territory of avoiding challenges or difficult decisions and trying to find excessive shortcuts to speedup “success”.

I’ve found these analogies to be useful to help put these situations into perspective:

Pick your favourite song, now play it two times faster than you normally would. How do you feel about it? Is it more enjoyable because you played it faster? > speed is not always the answer.

Or another example, you’re having a conversation with your best friend, you try to hurry the conversation. Does it make the conversation better? Or how about if your best friend needs help and you ignore it? This behaviour undermines relationships and that’s how I see it when people try to take excessive shortcuts that can kill their relationship with their long term aspirations. There’s a natural rhythm and tempo to everything and trying to avoid sacrifices by speeding things up excessively and/or avoiding difficult decisions can not only damage it but also make it less meaningful. Ironically it ultimately slows progress.

Love to hear your perspectives on this.

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