I have never envied anyone more than this guy I met one evening in 2008, near New York City.
He was the brother-in-law of a friend, who introduced us. This guy was the textbook definition of brilliance: Undergrad from Wharton, business analyst at McKinsey, followed by an MBA from Harvard.
After that, he started a venture but had given up the day-to-day responsibilities to an MBA classmate he hired as the CEO.
So I asked him, ‘Since you are not running the business actively, how do you spend your time?’
He said, “I spend 4 hrs every week on review calls with the company. Outside of that, I just ideate.”
So here was a guy working 4 hrs a week, who owned a business with enough revenue to have a Harvard MBA as the CEO. And here I was, working brutally stressful, long hours without sleep.
I have never felt more envious, before or since.
Yet, today, as an entrepreneur, I have the freedom I once envied others for. I work a lot more than 4 hrs a week, but it is my choice. I have no stress of cash burn.
But do I feel blessed? Nope. I take it all for granted.
That is the funny thing – we obsess about things we don’t have, but take for granted what we do.
What we forget is that someone out there would feel blessed to have the life we take for granted.