I don't mean for this post to be a self-toting, I'm-so-awesome, indulgent piece (well maybe just a little) but I just wanted to bring to the table some unexpected view points that I had on what can make an entrepreneur successful - (and as made obvious by the title they are) Girlfriends and Sports.
There are a couple common perceptions that may lead someone to believe that having a relationship (girlfriend/boyfriend/partner/whatever) might be of detriment:
1) They will tie you down to a place or lifestyle
2) They will distract you
Now let me do my best to rebuttal:
1) They will only tie you down if they are crazy or don't really care about you. For those fortunate to have a real relationship of worth (I fortunately do), the girlfriend/bf/partner/whatever will never be a dream killer. They should and will understand your situation, and you will not be tied down. Again this is under the assumption your relationship is a truly functional relationship.
2) I have found that my relationship has been the opposite of distracting for me. While I see other guys spending nights and weekends chasing after tail, I can happily spend my time working on a project or catching up on homework. I actually have more time since I have a girlfriend and it makes me more efficient.
Overall, the point is if the relationship is holding you back, it probably isn't a worthwhile one to keep, so lose the clinger dude. If your relationship is being detrimental your girlfriend is either unreasonable or too needy anyways... I have found that my girlfriend has been ever-supportive and a big reason to my productivity advantage over my peers. I can stay focused for a long time because I have less distractions with my girlfriend.
Though I can't really think of any people that would say sports would generally be a bad thing for entrepreneurs I would say it is an unusual characteristic to see in the nerdy hacky enginerd entrepreneur you would characterize as super successful. You know, the poindexter know-it-all that ends up being everyone's boss. I've found that sports actually help tremendously in shaping a successful entrepreneur because of the following:
1) Healthy is good. Along with the extensive research that I am too lazy to cite on this subject, sports keep you healthy and active which keep you happy and more energetic. Metabolism is boosted, which results in being more energetic and less lethargic. Also it is just an all-around stress reducer. I go to pole vault practice tired and pissed off at life and leave happy and thinking about how to vault higher... Also I'm sure every hard worker could lose a few, so yeah healthy is good. But most importantly I would say sports are good in shaping an entrepreneur because it develops
2) Good work ethic. Along with just making someone more competitive and thus work harder in high-pressure situations, sports have really made my work ethic what it is today. I believe well understood 'good' characteristics of being an entrepreneur include persistence, determination, and unwillingness to die, and sports help shape those in a person. I was fortunate to have had a hard-ass coach since 3rd grade playing football. He wouldn't let up on us even if we were barely making it through the last sprint. All the conditioning I've done - and similarly as all athletes do - has really taught me how to just stick it through. No holds barred, just give it my all. I've learned that when it hurts and you want to stop, sometimes you just have to suck it up, regain your strength, and keep going even harder. I will almost completely credit the development of the aforementioned entrepreneurial characteristics to my life in sports. I've learned to push through the pain and never give up.
And that's that I guess. The two unusual ingredients I think can really help form a successful entrepreneur. Now I have had no real success yet so I can't speak towards the accuracy of this all. But if I do end up tasting sweet success, I will point back to this and hope someone, somewhere would have learned something.