Why the Belief That Founders Must Sacrifice Their Happiness to Succeed Is Just One Big Myth – Inc.

There are few universal truths in startup life. One of the most fundamental is that happier people are more productive. As founders, we think that means our employees. And yet, the deeper truth is that startup happiness starts at the top.

Five startup founders walked into a bar and, like that famous scene in the movie Jaws, our conversation dissolved quickly into us showing off our proverbial scars. A competition broke out for who could tell the most gory tale of woe. We went on trading story after story for hours on end.

As founders, it is easy to brag about our crazy hours and sleepless nights. And yet, these stories serve to support the enduring mythos that startup success is predicated on founder self-sacrifice. The harder we work and more we give up, the more successful our venture will be.

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