Cold, hard facts and reams of numbers may rule the business world, but there's no question that the human element plays a significant roll, too.
And one of those extreme emotions is one of the seven deadly sins -- envy. Envy has been around for a long time. Its first recorded appearance may well have been what prompted Cain to kill Abel.
But I'm here to tell you the grass isn't always greener, as I've learned from fisthand experience.
When I founded my business more than a decade ago, I decided to take a slow but steady approach to growth. I was in no hurry to be running a behemoth and figured organic growth would be fine. I also has a friendly investor/mentor, which proved to be a big help.
I was able to avoid multiple rounds of funding in exchange for the hope that I could develop a long-term, stable business and still maintain control.
A decade later, I've done that.
Sometimes I see friends who have taken more agressive paths that appear (outwardly) to have made them wildly successful. And I admit I am jealous.
As any magician will tell you, things aren't always what they seem.
I sat down recently with a fellow entrepreneur who started about the same time as I did. His business seemed to be doing well -- better than mine.
Yet he's had to endure several rounds of equity and finds himself a slave to many masters. He told me he's going crazy trying to keep everyone happy and get their approval for significant decisions. That's proven to be a near-impossible task.
So, while his bank account may be more impressive than mine, I've got something more valuable than any luxury -- peace of mind.
I'm happy with my business. I'm taking it in the direction I want it to go. I'm not beholden to anyone except my trusted hand-picked staff, whose goals mirror mine. And I sleep just fine at night.
Don't look back
The point of all of this is to trust your self. Choose your path and be comfortable with it.
There's no one set way to run a business, so you have to take your strengths and weaknesses into consideration as you develop your plan.
Hopefully, you'll do better than most other entrepreneurs, but that doesn't matter in the long run. You can only control what's in front of you -- and that includes your happiness.
If someone does better than you, so be it. Sure, you should strive to be the best at what you do, and use a successful competitor as motivation -- but there's also a point where good enough is good enough.
Enjoying a reasonable work-life balance should always be a priority. If you can't enjoy the fruits of your labor, what's the point of killing (and doubting) yourself?