One of the biggest movements in business today is providing employees with benefits that recognize the importance of their personal lives, like extended parental-leave policies.
But, if you’re a serious entrepreneur, says “Shark Tank” investor and Herjavec Group founder Robert Herjavec, you need to set all that aside.
“People often ask me, ‘Is there a balance in life when you start a business?'” Herjavec said in the latest episode of “Beyond the Tank.”
“And I say, ‘If you’re expecting balance, don’t start a business,'” he added.
In that “Beyond the Tank” segment, Herjavec discussed one of his Season 1 investments, grilling-accessory brand Grill Charms. Its founder, Leslie Haywood, was making hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual revenue, but was spending less and less time with her two young daughters.
After seven years of dedication to her business, she decided in 2013, when her kids were 8 and 10, to enter an exclusive licensing deal with Fox Run Brands. This was essentially a passing of the baton, and Haywood now gets quarterly royalty checks.
Herjavec said that he respects and admires her for her decision, because she recognized the sacrifices a founder needs to make to scale a company and, rather than diminish her effort, decided it wasn’t right for her at that point in her life.
In a Business Insider interview with Herjavec last year, we discussed how all entrepreneurs who want to have a thriving business need to commit to it full time, and he clarified that the sacrifices this entailed should not be made at the expense of loved ones, but rather with their consent and understanding.
“Don’t quit your job if it’s going to hurt your family,” he said, “but at the same time, a business is a living, breathing thing. If you don’t quit your job, it’s never going to grow. But only you can make that decision.”
It’s related to a point Herjavec made in the latest episode of “Shark Tank” Season 7, as well. Herjavec was impressed by Shaan Patel, founder of SAT tutoring company 2400 Expert, and admired his work ethic, high intelligence, and ability to drive impressive sales.
Patel would later make a deal with Mark Cuban, but Herjavec was worried that Patel had too much on his plate. Patel was not only running a company, but also pursuing an M.D. at Yale and an MBA at Stanford.
“My challenge with it is, you’re kind of playing at it,” Herjavec told him. “You want to be a doctor and you want to be an entrepreneur.” Herjavec also noted that Patel was too quick to entertain a spur-of-the-moment licensing deal.
“Business isn’t that,” Herjavec continued. “You can’t play at business. Because you’re going to come across a guy who doesn’t want to be a doctor, and he is going to kick your behind. I can’t invest in a part-time entrepreneur.”