Manage the Tension

I wrote a post for my startup’s blog and I wanted to share it here as well:

The thing is that this is much easier said than actually done!

You see, it’s also really difficult to manage this prioritization when you simultaneously know that if you don’t have a working product that generates a positive revenue stream then you won’t have a business to operate and you won’t be able to compensate your amazing staff.

So you effectively have to balance what you know to be true for both people and the products:

I don’t think these things necessarily cancel each other out or that they are mutually exclusive – they must co-exist and we must live in the middle of that tension, learn to manage it well, and harness it for the good of the team and the project.

As an old Pastor of mine used to say:

This is a tension to be managed, not a problem to be solved.

Andy Stanley

It’s one of my favorite quotes and thought exercises of all time… because it’s entirely true.

So much of our lives is one of managing the tension between seemingly incompatible things! I also like this mental model and expression infinitely more than any ideas of finding a “balance,” especially when it comes to ideas around “work-life balance.”

In fact, I don’t believe there is such a thing as work-life balance – it creates an impossible equation to work with and is definitely what I consider “bad” advice (or you may be a genius… who knows…?).

I believe in a much more “integrated” life:

And I like the analogy of a “rubber band ball” instead of a “seesaw” when it comes to these things:

It is what it is.

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