I finished my first Half Ironman when I was 22 years old and it was a huge feat for me. I have zero natural athletic talent, so I had to train twice as hard, be twice as disciplined and stay twice as focused as my training buddies. But crossing the finish line made it all worth it. It was the first time I felt what it was really like to “win” and I realized that I could push myself to the depths of despair and pull myself back out again. It was intoxicating and knowing that I could push myself that hard has played a very positive role in my life as an entrepreneur. But it also has a dark side.
After I finished my first Half Ironman, I was hooked, so I started training for another one. I followed the exact same training regimen, but this time I was working a very stressful and time consuming job. I maintained my training despite the fact that I was getting less sleep and handling more stress, and I finished the race. I learned that I could push my limits even further than I could before and again, it was intoxicating. But then….I got hurt. The doctors told me that I had a hip injury caused by over-use and it was pretty bad. I had to stop running and biking for an entire year. When I came back to do my third and final Half Ironman two years later, I trained about 1/3 less, but I trained smarter and I took a rest when my body needed it. I finished the race almost a half an hour faster than I had before. It was a great lesson that working smarter is better than working harder, and that taking little rests will help you go faster and further. Yet, it was so, so much harder for me to train that way, just like it is so hard for me to take a breather from my work.
I am deeply passionate about the work I am doing. When my work is tied to my deep and personal passion, there is no such thing as work/life balance, and that is a good thing. Unfortunately, no matter how much I love my work, I still have to sleep. I sometimes forget that.
I’ve seen this pattern in other entrepreneurs. We have the ability to push ourselves further than we ever think we can, but that doesn’t mean we always should.
It’s actually far easier for me to push myself than to rest, but resting is often just as important as pushing. When I take breaks and listen to my body, I deliver better results. When I work smarter rather than harder, I deliver better results. I try to remember that.
I can’t say I have the resting thing down to a perfect science, but it’s getting better and I certainly appreciate the occasional reminder. So…to unwilling-to-rest entrepreneurs everywhere, may you find work that never feels like work, but remember to rest this holiday season. To a fulfilling and restful 2015, Happy New Year.
I invited Dick Rothkopf, co-founder of Learning Curve International, the manufacturer of the Thomas the Tank Engine toys, to share his thoughts on how to spot big thinkers and big ideas with the propensity to scale, and how to help entrepreneurs think bigger.
During this epidemic, I've been doing more reading, listening, and introspective thinking. In an effort to remember and share some of what I learned, I'm going to start posting my most interesting weekly thoughts + the best of my listening and reading list + occasional MergeLane portfolio news.
Two people I admire recently shared their silver lining in our global COVID-19 pandemic—an excuse to say no to the constant stream of requests for their time. I’ve made great strides in saying no with candor, but it left me wondering: Can I really stop using excuses for my nos?
Without that physical barrier between work and home, many entrepreneurs (including me) have a hard time shutting off. In this podcast episode, I share what I've learned through my experience working from home for the past 15 years.
I invited Seth Levine to join the show because we’ve had some nice conversations about the challenge we each have in managing our personal bandwidth. Since having these conversations, we’ve both managed to carve out more time through some creative outsourcing and delegating.
Dave Balter, CEO of MergeLane-backed Flipside Crypto, has built three previous startups in the midst of economic downturns. He believes recessions are the greatest time to launch into successful models. In this Fund81 podcast episode, Dave shares his thoughts on why these eras drive opportunity.
I’ve been working from home for the past 15 years. I have learned a lot about maximizing productivity, finding work/life harmony, managing home life, staying fit and maintaining a healthy marriage while working from home. I’ve shared some of these lessons learned in this Fund81 podcast episode.
As part of our survey to determine whether COVID-19 will slow VC investment, we asked venture capitalists to share their advice for entrepreneurs who are currently raising or plan to raise capital in the next six months. Here's advice from 21 of those VCs.
Since we are all wondering how COVID-19 will affect venture capital investment, I surveyed some of my Fund81 VC forum members to take quick pulse on their investment plans. Below is the data from the first 34 respondents.
I have battled anxiety for many years. In that journey, I've learned a lot about how to manage it and support others who battle anxiety as well. I thought it might be helpful to share my thoughts.