The Hardest Lesson I’ve Learned: Pick Your Battles

There is a lesson all entrepreneurs have to learn and that’s how to pick your battles. This is one thing that I took a lot of time in learning. When I was just starting out in college I took on all challenges that came my way. I just didn’t know how to say no because I wanted to fix everything.

But as I grew and had successes and failures along the way, I’ve learned to pick my battles. What’s surprising to me is that I’ve advised other entrepreneurs to pick their battles but I never drank the same kool aid until recently. It’s not that I’ve lost the energy to do it, it’s more maturity. A few years ago a close friend of mine told me that he saw how I spent a lot of time helping others deal with their challenges. He said that I should know how to spend my energy and focus, since it is mine. He also saw how those people didn’t necessarily value me helping them.

That’s a microcosm of how I choose to spend my energy and time. On the venture side of things I like to be involved in many things, that makes me happy. But too much expansion into stuff that I don’t deeply care about frustrated me when it didn’t work. This is when it became obvious to me that I had to start drinking the kool aid I was giving others: pick my battles.

And the battle for me is that I love challenges and want to take them head on. The bigger the better. I still do. I have a deep urge to make everything around me better. But I’ve learned that some battles are not worth fighting

Why? Because some battles are not yours to fight.

For me, I’ve had to tell myself “this battle if not for you to fight” so I can get myself focused. You have to. Because we all have limited time and energy, and you just can’t be everywhere all the time.

The battles that are worth fighting for you and for me are different, which is why we have to pick them. Fight the ones that are important to you, that you care deeply about.