November 30, 2004
Why Entrepreneurship is Like Windows
My family and I had a great and very relaxing Thanksgiving holiday, and I hope you did as well. I always enjoy the four-day weekend — it’s one of the few times during the year where no one (outside of retail) is working, so I always get to relax and take some mental time away from work.
It’s often said that no matter how many hours a day an entrepreneur is in the office, he or she is always working mentally. It occurred to me this past weekend that being an entrepreneur is a lot like Windows in this way:
Usually, at night, you’re in Screen Saver mode. One little jiggle of the mouse, and you’re right back in the game.
If you’re lucky over a weekend, you’ll get to Log Off or even Standby, so going back to work actually requires a few conscious keystrokes. But the Operating System is still ready and waiting in the background.
A good vacation allows you to Hibernate. The hard drive stops spinning, the fan quiets down, and you can close the screen.
While a great vacation (a 2+ weeker) can allow you to actually Shut Down, that’s rare and difficult. I achieved it in Antarctica a couple of years ago, but only because there was no electricity and no reminders of civilization, let alone email marketing. More often, a full Shut Down happens on an exit.
Usually, it’s not until after the exit that you get to Restart and try it all over again, although you might get lucky and do that midstream with a good management team offsite or working with a great executive coach.
And I won’t even get into the Ctrl-Alt-Del shutdown. That’s not pretty.