Why Most Entrepreneurs Are Slowly Killing Themselves: Phil Drolet at TEDxMileHigh (Transcript)

Phil Drolet

Phil Drolet – TRANSCRIPT

Wow, it’s truly an honor to be here with all of you. Today I want to share with you why I believe that most entrepreneurs are slowly killing themselves.

If you’re an entrepreneur, my intention is to help you achieve greater results in your business by consistently performing at a higher level, by being a lot less stressed out, and by having more fun on your entrepreneurial journey. If you’re not an entrepreneur, but you consider yourself to be a hard worker in your job, I still think a lot of these principles will apply to you. Entrepreneurs are a fascinating breed of people. They’re some of the most passionate and driven people in the world. Oftentimes, they’re also some of the most obsessive and out of balance individuals you’ll ever meet.

This combination can lead to world changing innovation and incredible beauty. Unfortunately, it can also lead to a lot of suffering and self destruction. Here’s where this gets interesting. This personality issue that most entrepreneurs have to deal with is strongly compounded by a very dangerous social issue. In North America today, the social narrative entrepreneurship tells us that, to be successful, we have to be willing to sacrifice our health, our relationships and even our emotional well-being.

Simply put, we got to pay the price if we want to be successful. When we look at some of the most successful and most influential role models of entrepreneurship today, it’s pretty interesting what we see. Let’s look at Elon Musk, for example. Elon Musk is the poster boy for world changing entrepreneurship. Over the last year, he’s co-founded some of the most extraordinary companies like PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla.

He’s done so by proudly working a 100 hours per week. In a recent interview, when asked what advice he would give to aspiring entrepreneurs, Elon said, “Just work like hell. You just gotta put in 80 to 100 hours per week, week after week.” Now, to put this in perspective, to work 80 a week, you have to work from 8am till 9pm nonstop for six days a week. If you’re really courageous and you want to work 100 hours a week, you’re looking at six days a week doing 8am to 12.30am. That’s past midnight. That certainly doesn’t leave a lot of time for things like sleep and exercise and spending time with loved ones, which ironically enough are all activities that have been shown scientifically to increase our happiness and our work performance. Working this much can lead to a whole slew of problems.

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In the case of Elon, there’s a darker side to the story that not a lot of people know about. He’s only 42, and he’s already divorced twice. He admits that he spends very little time with his five children. When he’s with them, he’s often responding to e-mail. Now, I’m not here to judge Elon’s lifestyle or decisions. But I do believe that before we start to glorify or emulate someone, we should look at the whole picture.

Not just our highlight real. I know this from experience: The extreme pursuit of my entrepreneurial dreams almost destroyed me – twice. Over the last twelve months, I figured out a way to have greater results in my business, not by pushing harder and working more, but by actually working less, by having more fun and enjoying my life a lot more. I realized that the dichotomy between achieving my greatest dreams and enjoying my life in this moment, was actually a false one. For people like me and many other entrepreneurs who have an overachieving personality, taking more time to relax and appreciating life more can be the biggest catalyst to bigger results.

For some of you, this might sound crazy and too good to be true. So let me tell you how I came to this realization. Three years ago, I launched my first business. My intention was to help people build better habits, improve their mindset and do more extraordinary things with their life. At first I was super enthusiastic.

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