Debunking The Myth of Unicorns and Work\Life Balance
Jana El-Sokkary

There’s a reason why people want to believe in unicorns; it’s partially because they want to believe in the work/life balance and all the other myths. There’s always a scenario of people hitting CrossFit at 6AM then eating oatmeal while sending emails and walking the dog before work then meeting their loved ones after work for dinner and sleeping as early as possible.

This fairytale is every startupper’s walking dream and we have to admit that it’s fascinating.

If only all dreams come true.

What Do You Need to Know?

The Hero/Anti-hero Mindset:

In the beginning of the startup journey, you are expected to abandon everything. You are expected to sleep, eat and breathe at your new office; that your loved ones will wait for you on the other side of the fence with t-shirts that have your name on them. Narrator: not true.

To be a hero, you not only need to stop giving up your life for that cause, but you need to understand that especially heroes need to rest, that you need to dedicate time for your life outside of work, that life is a matter of knowing balance.

The Startup Support System:

Having other founders/sharks around you is priceless; you absorb their experiences like a sponge and they help accelerate your progress and you need people with the contagious passion to fuel and recharge your energy. However, this is also a myth, you need a support system outside of the work life, the startup life, to help you grow as a human being, you need to establish a safe network of people who will endure/tolerate you if all goes south, you need people to get your head out of your startup.

Drop Your Hobby Like a Hot Cake

In order to get ahead, you need to drop all distractions, including hobbies. Of course that’s not a right of passage, in order to maintain and water your startup to flourishing, you don’t need to fall off the face of the earth. Hang to your outlets or any hobbies you have like a newborn child.


You will work like you’re there’s nothing else on Earth; like you’re waiting and waiting and waiting until your startup is a self-sustaining machine then go back to your life where everyone is expecting you with open arms but that doesn’t work. Your startup work will never end, because dreams never end, so you need to know when to stop and nurture your relationships outside of work.

Your startup is your dream, and there’s nothing more gratifying than watching it grow and watching it take it’s first steps; there’s nothing like the feeling of growth. However, keep in mind that work and life balance is a myth, so choose your battles carefully and know when to hit the brakes.