A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece here on Portfolio Entrepreneurship, arguing that the chances of having a successful startup were increased if you ran several of them at once. All of the business insights, investor and service networks and learning experiences mutually supported the whole. The overall risk would decrease by virtue of having options if one business failed; rewards would come more quickly if time was compressed.
I’ve thought about that essay a lot since writing it, and think that I’ve both over-applied it in life and underestimated it’s impact.
In short, I was wrong.
Starting a new business is punishingly hard, risky, and time consuming. Starting three is a recipe for 8-day workweeks and sleepless nights.
Living as an expatriate is a 24/7 challenge, learning a new culture, language, and social script. Living in three countries leads is expensive, exhausting, and disorienting.
Rebuilding a relationship is tricky at best; giving support and creating connection requires presence and time. Compressing it into life’s corners is unfair and corrosive.
And all of this is apart from the travel, stress, and isolation required to thread everything together.
I’ve been the poster child for extreme living, building a portfolio where there are always options, never commitment. Where the risks become multiplied rather than diminished, where I’m always adding braces and building firewalls to keep the structure whole.
Its getting to where my hands are shaking too much to pour my coffee.