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Solitude & Success: A professional take on philosophy


Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2008
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I am looking for a mature, perspective-widening take on the unfortunate/inevitable pairing of solitude with success:

I have a friend of mine who is very successful as an entrepreneur; at the age of 18 he has raised over half a million dollars for a start-up venture, and is now preparing for the launch of his business (with him at the helm as CEO). Prior to this, various endeavours had swelled his bank account (and his ego) sufficiently for him to develop severe tunnel-vision with regards to his sense of "balance".

To be blunt, there is no balance in his life. He rarely sees his friends, is no longer in a relationship, and has given every ounce of himself to his pursuit of success. He spends most weekends and nights following a strict, regimented schedule of reading, working on business plans, and planning out his schedule chock-full of business meetings with established professionals. Although he is currently attending university, he doubts his tenure there will last until graduation, and has yet to really sample university life.

Just as a disclaimer, this individual does not hate people, or the society he lives in. He used to drink heavily, smoke lots of weed, party every day, and always had a girl on his arm. In fact, he was well accustomed to such a life before most of his peers began drinking or partying (legal age in my country is 19). It almost seems as if he has grown up to fast; what he's doing with his life now, his concerns and his perspectives, are all hinting at a maturity well beyond his years.

That being said, I do not think he is happy. He is my close friend, someone I have known for a very long time, but it seems as if he has become a completely different person since he first embarked on his path. I understand people change; they grow up as circumstances and experiences would influence them to, but he has not gone the path that all of his closest friends have. In fact, he is at such a different place in his life right now that many of his friends (myself included) can no longer relate to him. We can talk to him, and he can carry a conversation wonderfully, but we are always left pondering whether or not the sacrifices he made are worth it. Ultimately, that is not for us to decide, but he seems locked in the darkest hour before day. Everyone who knows him is convinced he will be rich and successful in due time, but meanwhile, I wonder if the burden he has placed upon himself is worth it.

As I aspire for riches and bitches myself (I have a fondness for golden retrievers, but I hear they are quite costly), I have considered espousing similar views and values as my friend's. My question is, is solitude really the price of success, or the road paved towards it?



Distinguished Member
Oct 15, 2008
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You use a lot of vague, generalized terms, but do you have to spend a lot of time working to get rich? Of course, yes. But do you have to turn into a weirdo hermit? no. It sounds like your friend here lost sight of the whole reason he was trying to get rich in the first place. It sounds like he has the mindset of a middle aged businessman, who's just working for the sake of work. The vast majority of people it seems replace their goal of happiness with some banal, predictable task they can toil at everyday, like their 'career' or shoveling all their money into savings. Just don't lose sight of the fact that you're seeking wealth to make your life happier, i.e. to travel a lot, get girls, or whatever, and you'll be fine.


Distinguished Member
Sep 16, 2010
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I earned financial success at a young age. I sacrificed lots of things but I had a goal and wanted to reach it sooner rather than later. I later learned that BALANCE is key. A successful businessman knows that being a workaholic means he doesn't have balance. That isn't success. Neither is being someone who multi-tasks everything all the time. That is someone who doesn't have FOCUS.

Your friend may be doing what seems like trading free time and friendships but he's young. Hell, many people if they could would go back and trade in 2 years of 'fun' for 2 years of dedication to work/a business of their own. If you really want to relate and spend more time with him ask him how you can help him. People I got closer to were the people who stuck around while I was staying in for weeks at a time. The people who took it upon themselves to learn about what I was doing.

Solitude isn't always necessary but just as you find it difficult to relate to him he might be thinking the same about you and the rest of the group. Why party now when you can party later?


Distinguished Member
Nov 24, 2007
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in the time it took to write (and read
) this post you prob could have made 500k


Distinguished Member
Mar 19, 2008
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Some people do well in business because they work 24/7 and love it. Some need balance and still do well. Others are just lucky.

What's the question again? There really isn't one simple answer.

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