Success is Pointless Without Someone to Share it With

A cautionary tale on love and work.

Steve Glaveski

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From a young age, our concept of success is molded by our parents, teachers, and peers.

We equate it with the number of zeros in our bank accounts, the zip codes we live in and the make of car (or cars) in our driveway. These things are easily measured, making great but flawed proxies for success.

We often find a correlation between these proxies and obesity, drug addiction, divorce, and nervous breakdowns.

History is littered with professionally successful people whose personal lives were in disarray.

Is that what success looks like?

Is that what we want?

Of course not.

Losing My Best Friend

For a long time, I kneeled at the altar of hustle.

And as a result, I undervalued a close personal relationship.

In my late 30s, it resulted in the breakdown of a five-year-long romantic relationship — the loss of a best friend, albeit an underappreciated one.

It was in the aftermath of this loss, sitting in my living room, surrounded by the silence, painful reminders, and the void left behind — the kitchen no longer hummed with the sound of our cooking experiments, that I came to an all too late epiphany.

Success is pointless unless you have people to share it with.

Whatever I had achieved as an entrepreneur, author or investor felt meaningless.

When you have nobody to share your day with, nobody to share your exciting news with, nobody to spend your extra money on or go to that holiday spot with, it all just feels a little…empty.

The motivation you once had to do the work suffers, because you finally realize that no amount of external success will fill the void.

Behind Every Great Man…

A stable and fulfilling romantic relationship can be fundamental to doing great work and playing the long game.

It is a green light of sorts, to channel Matthew McConaughey, and clears the path for you to focus on getting…

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Steve Glaveski

CEO of Collective Campus. HBR writer. Author of Time Rich, and Employee to Entrepreneur. Host of Future Squared podcast. Occasional surfer.