America is a Free Country But it’s Not Free

Last night I was in a cab with a Russian cab driver.  After chatting with him for a few minutes, I yawned. He asked if I was tired.  I told him, “Yeah, a bit.  I work too much.”  His response blew my mind.  He  told me from 2002 to 2011 he had worked every single day without a day off.  EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!  

He said, “America is a free country.  But it’s not free.”

In all my life, I’ve never found a good substitution for plain old hard work.  Granted, startups can sometimes feel like a grind when you’re working 12-16 hour days 6 or 7 days a week.  But no matter how hard you work, there will always be people out there working a helluva lot harder than you.  Sometimes a good reality check is just what you need to stay motivated.


2 thoughts on “America is a Free Country But it’s Not Free

  1. zealousbrittany says:

    Ethan – Such a great reminder! I also find with the startup hustle that those hours pay off when someone says something positive about what you’ve created. I keep an email folder for positive emails and when I’m tired, I read through them and usually feel pretty revitalized. But, nothing does beat just good, hard work!

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