Bill Gates Doesn’t Believe In Vacations and Weekends … Kind Of
I was scrolling through Facebook when the headline from MarketWatch.com piqued my interest. It said "Bill Gates doesn’t believe that everyone should take vacations and weekends off." I bit into the click bait and read the article. Surprisingly, I agree with the Microsoft founder.
The MarketWatch.com article quoted Bill Gates talking about how when he started Microsoft he didn't take vacations and didn't enjoy weekends. When asked if his opinion on work life balance had changed he said no. Although, read a little further, and you'll find out that Gates did start to enjoy weekends and vacations when he got into his 30s.
Gates talked about his views at an event hosted by venture firm Village Global, and was quoted by MarketWatch.com as saying:
I have a fairly hard-core view that there should be a very large sacrifice made during those early years.
I agree. When you're just starting out in business, or in a craft, or any kind of career you want to become very good at, you need to put in the work and sacrifice to develop your skills, knowledge and talent.
I worked many seven day weeks during my first five years in radio. I learned a lot, I got good at my craft, developed a good reputation and grew significantly as a radio professional. Whether you're starting your own business, or just want to climb in your field, it takes work. Lots of work.
What Gates doesn't touch on, or what wasn't asked of him is, was it fun? I bet he'd say it was. Not every experience necessarly, or every struggle, but something positive and enjoyable that kept him challenged and motivated. I think that's the key. I'm a believer if you pick a career or a job that you enjoy, it's all the easier to get up and go to work. And it's easy to devote the time and effort necessary as a young adult to get very good at what you do.
I do think as you progress in your life and career, work / life balance becomes more important. Theese days I'd rather spend my weekends with my wife than working. I need the time off I get to recharge my batteries and not think about work. Sometimes it's nice to have a focus on something other than work. Then again, get me around a bunch of other radio folks and I can't think of a better way to spend the evening than talking shop.