Dave Balter on Entrepreneurship and Divorce

Serial entrepreneur Dave Balter has written a very open and honest essay about his divorce in Inc. magazine. It is extremely blunt and thought-provoking and well worth the time to read.

Dave frames the article on marriage and being an entrepreneur through the interesting lens of addiction:

If you’re in a leadership role or live the lifestyle of a startup CEO, are you wedded to your career—or to your spouse? Is your real marriage at risk?

Let’s face it. A focused entrepreneur is something like a drug addict: obsessive, aggressive, and focused intently on “scoring.” For those with the startup “bug,” everything–from hatching the company to building the team to creating the first product–is intoxicating, all-consuming and fulfilling in a way that is difficult to describe. Thinking of anything else feels impossible. Wrong, even. The high of actually seeing your idea spring to life can be compared to only one other all-consuming experience: true love.

I suspect that those words may resonate with you. They do to me. You see, I love my job, and I love the highs and lows that come from being a VC and a founder of a new firm.

But, it is tough to balance everything and the stress is high. For me, it even led to shingles last January, and the most searing multi-day pain I’ve ever felt, and about which my doctor said was the worst case she has ever seen.

I didn’t realize that I was that stressed until my body said that I had to re-balance my life. I already worked out at the gym every day, watched what I ate, and had a set of awesome friends and family. But, those weren’t enough.

The good news is that just being mindful of stress is a huge step. I now try to pray more. I meditate on compassion, both for myself and others. I have an exec. coach. And, at home, I’m much more honest with my wife about what I need. All that has really helped.

Thank you, Dave, for being so transparent. Peace and happiness to you….

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