Jeff Lerner looks like Bono if Bono were sad and sleepy. And for good reason. In an Instagram post, Jeff said how he was waking up at 2:30 in the morning to start his day. And he still wasn’t getting everything done. Specifically, he’s been trying to knock out a 50-page mini book for the last couple of weeks, but he’s not making much progress. Despite getting up not long after most people go to bed, there’s just not enough time in the day.
Jeff’s mornings are spent planning, reading, hitting the gym, playing piano, and helping to get the kiddos off to school. After that, his days are usually a mix of calls, meetings, video shoots, and podcasting. In the evening, it’s quality time with his wife, Jacqueline, and all their little Lerners. “I love my life but it’s too crowded,” Jeff writes. “I get up earlier and earlier, trying to find 30 minutes to chip away at this book, but it’s like eating a bite of steak a day; and the first few minutes are spent reheating it.”
“Today I blew off the routine and came to the office at 3 a.m.,” he continues. “Still not enough time. Feeling edgy.” Sure, his dreams are coming true, but so what? He’s got no time to enjoy them. Starting to feel like a hypocrite, he adds. Who’s he to tell people how to live their best life? Then again, who’s he not to? Like, isn’t Entre Institute his calling or whatever? And yet, the more the biz grows, the more he feels like he’s drowning in his own success. His to-do list is a mile long, and getting longer by the day.
Even with a competent business partner in Adam Whiting, an executive team, four project managers, nearly 150 remote workers, and an amazing family who supports him, it still ain’t cutting it. And yeah, maybe it’s better than the alternative, than having nothing going for yourself, but damn. “Sometimes I question my choices,” Jeff says. “I have it all. I could’ve retired by now. There’s no one to blame but me. I did this to myself. I got all fired up and decided to make a positive impact.”
“And the worst part?” he adds. “I know I’m beyond blessed. My complaints are laughable, my frustration is indulgent, my life is charmed. What’s worse than negative feelings? Knowing how ridiculous they are. But this has become an obsession for me. A beautiful, maddening obsession. We will fix education; for adults and kids. We will restore and globalize the American dream. We will change the world. We will change your world. You are what keeps me going. You are why I started this.”
“I know it’s right, creating the world’s first unified physical, personal, and professional development platform that helps you design your life instead of just accepting it as it is. I’m proud of what we’re doing. People need this. You’ve probably been let down a lot in your life; I won’t be a link in that chain. Being a positive force in the world is worth struggling for. Let me repeat: I love my life. Most days are yin. But today, so far, is yang. And I think that’s okay. Thanks for listening. Back to work, I guess.”
Luckily for Jeff, the comments were full of support and compassion. “I run a business,” wrote one follower. “I know there will be bad days. I learn from them and become better. I really believe that you have to have a couple of bad days [every now and then] to appreciate the good ones.” To which Jeff replied, “Absolutely! It’s all about balance and perspective.” I appreciate his vulnerability here, but I still find it a little odd that Jeff thinks he’s changing the world by being a guru who uses questionable marketing tactics.