Meet Tod Maffin and Michael DeVenney. Both of them are entrepreneurs. Both of them experienced being overworked. Both of them suffered serious personal consequences as a result. ‘The Dark Side of Entrepreneurship’ sheds light on an important topic: the psychological toll entrepreneurship can have on people.
I have experienced seeing the entrepreneurial buzz on my own social media accounts. Motivational Mondays, quotes of the week, and inspirational videos of Tony Robbins and Richard Branson have covered my feed. And the message of these postings is often quite clear: work until you drop. I remember watching Elon Musk’s video where he discusses the importance of working long hours. I used to watch this to get motivation and would think of myself as lazy for only putting in 50 hours.
This podcast turns the romantic, entrepreneurial story on its head through its cast of characters who deal with alcoholism and depression. Unlike the movies, these hardships cannot be erased by achieving new levels of business success – rather they are symptoms of it. There is a very real trade-off that comes from hustling every hour of the day. Tod Maffin realized this, and decided that even though business is important, achieving a work-life balance is more important. He admits that he may not grow his company as quickly with this approach, but he is a lot happier.
Business-owners like the late Steve Jobs and Elon Musk notoriously worked day and night to build their companies up. Its very clear that this kind of work ethic can lead to great business success, and I wouldn’t be so bold as to say that this lifestyle is wrong. What I would say is that this lifestyle does have some serious and unavoidable consequences that should be considered.
‘The Dark Side of Entrepreneurship’ was an episode of the Risk Takers podcast in association with the Globe and Mail.