The Number One Question for Entrepreneurs

You are given a list of 3 goals to fulfill in your life. Most people want all 3, but can only have 1 or 2.

February 13th, 2007 • Business Lessons •
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As you create your startup, everyone will give you advice (whether you want it or not) on how to handle certain aspects of your small business.

How many employees are too much? Should I outsource? Should I make the company go public?

Those are all valid questions, but as a budding entrepreneur, I want you to ask yourself a personal question. This question will affect how you run your business in the future and set yourself up for your company's goals. This question may even contribute to your company's corporate culture. This question will provide a new outlook on how you look at life and people in general.

Do you want Health, Wealth, or Happiness? Pick Only Two. You cannot and will never have all three. If you do have all three, one, if not two, will eventually give out.

So far in my career, I've seen people who've obtained only two goals and never three. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places, but I have yet to see anyone with all three.

Which one do I pick?

If you pick health and wealth, there can be downsides in reaching your destination of newfound wealth with your healthy outlook, but you may not be happy in the long run.

Someone once said to me that if you have money, you're automatically happy. You can buy the other two.

This is so not true.

Last time I checked, there wasn't a price tag on the cure for cancer.

If you're filthy rich and love what you do (happiness), your health may suffer because of working so hard to get to where you're at. And I can assure you, you may inevitably become unhappy. But hey, you're rich, right? (uh huh).

Real Life People

Still think you can have all three?

Here is one example. One individual I know became "financially comfortable" overnight and was very happy they "hit it big." Unfortunately, they had some health problems. They are currently hospitalized. Score: 2 out of 3.

Another example. A relative of mine has bundles of money. Unfortunately, their health is suffering and they're on a slow decline. And no, I don't think they're happy in their current situation. They have dementia and will never recover from this. Score: 1 out of 3.

Look around. Do you know of anybody who fits this profile? Or are you one? Are you healthy and happy, but don't have enough money? There isn't a secret formula or correct answer to this question, but you need to answer it yourself...and honestly.

As Meatloaf says, "Two out of three ain't bad." Just make sure you are the one picking them instead of fate picking them for you.

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Picture of Jonathan Danylko

Jonathan Danylko is a freelance web architect and avid programmer who has been programming for over 20 years. He has developed various systems in numerous industries including e-commerce, biotechnology, real estate, health, insurance, and utility companies.

When asked what he likes to do in his spare time, he replies, "Programming."

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