Discover more from Happy Warrior by Seth Bannon
Paul Graham Thinks You Should Exercise
We all know that exercise is good for one’s brain and body. The benefits are well documented. That didn’t stop me from making a decision many entrepreneurs make – I decided I no longer had time for it after starting Amicus. In the time it would take to head to the gym, I could get through a dozen emails, mockup a new feature, or talk to some customers. So I spent more time working and less time working out.
Soon I was having trouble dealing with the stress of Amicus’ ups and downs. I had trouble sleeping and even started snapping at my teammates. It got bad enough that I turned to mentors for advice on what to do. I was surprised by the feedback I kept hearing: “exercise more”. So I started irregularly hitting the gym. I didn’t make a real lifestyle change, however, until Amicus got accepted into Y Combinator last year.
Our first day of YC, PG stood up in front of the batch and said:
If you’re ever unsure if you should be doing what you’re doing during YC, ask yourself this question: ‘Am I building our product? Am I talking to users? Am I exercising?’. if you’re not doing one of these things, you’re doing the wrong thing.
This drove it home. YC is a 3 month sprint when entrepreneurs are supposed to focus on nothing but their startups, and here was PG saying we should all make time to exercise – that tending to your body is essential to being a successful founder.
Yesterday Foursquare alerted me that I had been to a gym at least once a week for the past year. Not making time for exercise now seems akin to cutting out food because you have no time to eat – “gotta tend to my startup!” If founders hustling through YC can find time to exercise, so can you. Join a gym. Bike to work. Go rock climbing. Make these things perks so your teammates exercise too.
And remember, exercise makes you a better entrepreneur.