On Staying Healthy

Last week I shared a few thoughts regarding Jeff Bezos’ 2016 Shareholder Letter and, in particular, how we are trying to emulate a “Day 1” type of business and organizational culture that can execute with high fidelity and continue to grow and scale in the best ways possible.

Although we are serious about building a successful product and business we know that we can’t build one without a sustainable and healthy company culture, and we know that it starts with how we understand and treat ourselves.

Simply put, if we don’t take care of ourselves – our physical, emotional, and psychological health profiles, then things can quickly begin to fall apart.

Thankfully, this isn’t something that I feel I’ll have to worry about too much with our current, founding team. You see, one of the most encouraging things that I’ve witness from my partners, Jeff and Nolan, is how often they take breaks and much-needed vacations.

Sure, we’re a startup and sure, every single moment that we’re not writing code and building product and telling other people about and doing customer research and analytics is time away from the work necessary to keep the project alive.

But, what inexperienced founders don’t realize is that this non-stop pace comes at the much larger cost of mental and physical and emotional health. Namely, the breakdown of these elements and the subsequent short and long-term implosion that inevitably will occur.

Take a break. Get away. Stay healthy. Stay whole.

The long story short is this: There is a direct correlation and intimate relationship between founder’s health and the organization’s health as a whole. If the former slips than the latter does to.

In truth, a day off (or two) here and there and even a larger vacation away from work does little to stall the forward momentum and instead ensures that the most critical assets of the company are in tip-top shape.

I couldn’t be more encouraged that our organizational values are more than just truisms written on a poster but that they are actively lived out through weekly investments via personal time away from work.

Besides, the better we take care of ourselves the better our company becomes and the more attractive our organization is to potential hires, partners, and even customers. It’s a win, from every possible angle.