General George S. Patton once said:
“Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood.”
Now — I am surely not suggesting anyone should engage in an actual battle (far from it — as a pacifist I believe warfare is pretty much the worst men can do). For me the quote points to a different direction:
Startups are a constant battle. The entrepreneur who fundamentally understands this and deeply engages, is the one who unleashes the power of the battle and allows it to bring out the best in herself and those she works with.
Finding the balance between the seriousness of the battle and the lightness of enjoying the ride is what will make you the best version of yourself, an irresistible leader and ultimately successful.
Let your startup bring out the best in you and remove all that is base.