Why you need to waste time

There's a comic strip that circulates in entrepreneur communities.

It's about a character who starts a new hobby. But before long, his entrepreneurial mind takes over and pushes him to turn the hobby into a side business. Making it, well, not fun anymore.

I can tragically relate to this joke. Most of my interests revolve around business. My mind is always actively seeking ways to connect hobbies to business opportunities.

That's the result of 20+ years of playing the entrepreneurship game!
It sucks, but I love it—most of the time.

Take hockey, for instance. When I relocated to Sweden, I became strongly interested in the sport. I made great friends cheering for our local hockey team and attended most of their home games.

As I was at the arena, I could see how this business could run better. I had ideas to sell more seats and hotdogs or involve the players more to generate extra cash.

I saw the passion of other supporters and built a platform that allowed people to predict game results with their friends. It was like betting without money involved.

I couldn't help myself. I took this hobby and tried to fit the square business peg into its round hole.

It's not always a bad thing. You might find a profitable business idea in an environment you love by keeping an eye on the opportunity radar.

That's the dream! Imagine being paid to work within the context of your passion.

The problem arises when this habit becomes obsessional. Upped to eleven, always looking for business potential becomes a filter to trying new things or exploring hobbies deeper.

For sanity's sake (if nothing else), we must have things we love wasting time on.

Time wasters.

These seemingly useless activities allow us to recover, build new brain connections, or make new friends.

They are super important to be able to go the distance as an entrepreneur. If you plan to make it a life-long career, not just five years but 30, 40, 50, or more (last time I checked, there's no forced retirement for entrepreneurs), you will need a life in addition to business life.