Can Doing Non-Startup Stuff Help My Startup?

Sometimes the best way to grow our startups is to spend some time doing stuff that has nothing to do with our startups!

December 2nd, 2019   |    By: Wil Schroter

Sometimes the best way to grow our startups is to spend some time doing stuff that has nothing to do with our startups!

It sounds easy to do and yet so many of us have a huge issue with getting outside our own startup bubble.

But what if we knew that time away was the key to actually making our startup grow faster?

The problem with "startup all the time"

Aside from the obvious challenges around things like burnout, being focused exclusively on our startups prevents us from getting some new perspectives that we would have otherwise missed.

Whether it's that passing thought during meditation, that interesting point another Founder made at dinner, or the inspiration we got when we were sitting on a beach staring at the sun — our time away from our startup is critical to growing our startup.

We can't be at peak performance without a reset

Just like our bodies need a reset after exercise, our creative minds need a reset too.

The issue with trying to reset "at work" by doing the same thing over and over is we're never really giving our minds a chance to absorb what we've learned and reset for new work.

What's the best way to reset?

It doesn't matter what we do, it's whether we do it at all.

Sure, being a "super-mindful meditation Founder" is awesome. But that's just another way of resetting. What matters is that whatever we're doing takes us as far away from our work as possible.

What I do (Wil, Founder of Startups.com) is walk into a woodworking shop I built and get covered in sawdust until I'm more concerned about losing my fingers in a miter saw than whether or not we're hitting our customer acquisition goals for the month.

It's magical.

What if I'm not doing any of this?

Like anything in life, we pay for it whether we see it right away or not.

We're going to pay for it in being less creative, more irritable, and overall less happy. We can't be top performance warriors by myopically running ourselves into the ground.

We've got to reset often in order to grow.

In Case You Missed It

Optimizing for Happiness (podcast). What if our work hours gave us more time with our kids or who we worked with were only the people we enjoyed the most? The key is thinking about our startup differently by using "personal happiness" as a core tenet of how the company works.e

How to be a Happy Entrepreneur. Everything about entrepreneurship works against our basic human desires for comfort, stability and predictability. So, how do we keep ourselves happy and sane while we’re on the path to creating a better life for ourselves, and a better world for others?

Founders, You Can Take a Vacation. Productivity expert Dr. Ken Yeager drops some science and points out exactly how much bullshit is built in to startup Founders’ excuses as to why we’re just way too important to take a vacation.

About the Author

Wil Schroter

Wil Schroter is the Founder + CEO @ Startups.com, a startup platform that includes BizplanClarity, Fundable, Launchrock, and Zirtual.  He started his first company at age 19 which grew to over $700 million in billings within 5 years (despite his involvement).  After that he launched 8 more companies, the last 3 venture backed, to refine his learning of what not to do.  He's a seasoned expert at starting companies and a total amateur at everything else.

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