Work-life Balance, Benefits & Challenges of Being a Founder

Pierce Larick is the Founder and CEO of New Revolution Media, a visual content creation agency based in San Francisco, California. With over seven years of Founder experience behind him, Pierce shares the unforeseen benefits of being a Founder, as well as the hard truths about the challenges he faced and his ongoing journey to achieving a better work-life balance.

It is widely known that the main benefits of being a business owner revolve around control, taking charge, and flexibility. For Pierce, there’s an overarching theme in these: permission.

“You don’t have to ask anyone’s permission. You want to travel somewhere? Do it. You don’t need approval. What really frustrated me with being an employee is that if you were sick, you had to tell someone and ask their permission to rest. In one of my first roles, we had to ask permission to go to the bathroom, and they would time us. 

“When it comes to business ownership you no longer ask permission. For me, that outweighs the sacrifices that I’ve had to make in pay, the sacrifices that I had to make with work-life balance. No longer asking permission is the biggest win when it comes to running your own business.”

We are all driven by something when we start our own business. And whatever the specifics are, it is usually this mental image of our “perfect life”. A vision that would bring us happiness, safety, and peace. When Pierce was in college, his drive was the idea of financial freedom. Another big reward he got from his Foundership journey.

“My perfect life then was not having to worry about whether I had enough money to do things. If I wanted to go out to dinner, I wouldn’t have to check my bank account. It was that small of a win.

“I just wanted to be able to do. Now, I’m in a place where I have incredible things that I would have never even dreamt of. But I don’t need the mansion, I don’t need the Hummer, I don’t need these big loud things.”

When asked how things have changed for him over the years, Pierce says all he desires now is more of a work-life balance. Being true to himself, he doesn’t shy from being brutally honest about his experience of working overtime.

“At the beginning, as a Founder, work-life balance doesn’t exist. Now that I’m more established within the business, my perfect life is being in a place where the company is autonomous enough so I could still be part of the process, but it’s not all weighing on my shoulders. In other words, it’s me reintroducing that work-life balance. I want to be on vacation without being connected to my cell phone trying to close deals. I see this in the next two years. I see myself in a place where I leave my phone in the room when I go to the beach.” 

Inevitably, there are difficult times for companies, especially in recent years with global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of living. Pierce shares that statistics helped him through the difficult times, grounded him, and showed him that despite everything, it was worth it, and he was doing something right.

“20% of new businesses fail within the first two years of being open, 45% fail within the first five years, and 65% fail within the first 10 years. We are open and still kicking in a world working against us. The business has been hard at certain points. It’s been incredible at certain points too. But the fact that we are still moving forward and we’re still running viable businesses shows we’re doing something right.

“In those low times, many Founders begin to self-sabotage. You just rip yourself to shreds. But that statistic has made me feel better. I should be closed down, the majority of us small businesses close within the first ten years. The fact that we still have our doors open and we’re still running profitable, viable businesses is a testament to what we’re doing.”

Even with all the difficulties and personal sacrifices he has made along the way, Pierce says he doesn’t regret being a Founder and would never do it differently.

“There’s no question in my mind if I would do this again. If I were ever to sell New Rev, I would start another company. I can’t picture myself working to help build someone else’s dream.”

An advice Pierce gives is to record wins. Seeing how we developed and what we achieved can help us overcome difficulties and shift our focus from the negative and difficult bits to what’s worth it.

“It’s so important for so many reasons, it’s important to just take a breather in the moment and realize what you’ve accomplished, it’s important to look back at the bigger picture. I celebrate what has been created and what I’ve helped support. I breathe that in and appreciate it.”

No matter how hard things get, it’s important to appreciate that you are the Founder, you are the one with the vision. You are the only one that can see ahead into the future. You have made your dreams come true. So take a moment and look at your achievements, the hurdles you’ve overcome during your journey, and appreciate yourself. Appreciate your strength, your creativity, and your courage. And keep following that dream.
To learn more about the ins and outs of Founders’ lives or to connect with a community of like-minded individuals, join Follow the Founder. You can also find us on Instagram @followthefounder.

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