“The Rent is Due Every Day”

Productivity & Workflow

One of my favorite quotes is: 

Success is never owned, it is only rented. And the rent is due every day.

— Rory Vaden

Entrepreneurs tend to live in this strange place between two words: Achievement and leisure.

Most of the entrepreneurs I know got into business for one — or both — of those reasons. I know I did. 

I love business. I love working long days and hours. I also love to relax and do absolutely nothing (though sometimes that is actually harder for me, to be honest). 

Oliver Burkeman writes about this in his book 4,000 weeks. He ponders the irony that the businessman’s badge of honor used to be how much time he had off. Today, we tend to wear busyness as a badge instead. 

What about Vaden’s quote, then? Is he right or wrong? 

I still think he’s right. Truly passive income is a myth. Business is nothing more than a value exchange. Transfer must take place. Something must happen. 

What can flex, however, is who’s doing the work, when it is getting done, etc. In my business, the lights are on 24/7. But, we’re a service business. How is that possible? 

This answer is geography. Half of my team lives in the Philippines. They work when I sleep. We’re always on, but I’m not. 

Just today, I relayed to a client that I do not plan to be working 60 hour work weeks for the rest of my life. And, thank God, I don’t do that much even today. 

To wrap up, when you’re an entrepreneur, you need to have the “rent is due every day” mindset. However, you must also have the “I own the business, I don’t necessarily run the business” mindset as well. 

A healthy grasp on that tension is a recipe for success in business and in life. 

Jun 15, 2022

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