Most Important Lifestyle Habits Of Successful Founders - Part II

January 13, 2023

Dalton Caldwell and Michael Seibel discuss the best approaches to developing a healthy lifestyle that ultimately helps you run and grow a successful startup in the Y Combinator Youtube Channel video The Most Important Lifestyle Habits Of Successful Founders. We covered Auditing How You Live, Good and Bad Habits, and Information Diet in Part I Blog Post. Here is the Part II:

Hard Conversations

Preventing failure and managing oneself and others in the business and startup world is crucial for success. One of the critical areas of prevention is learning how to have hard conversations with co-founders and ensuring that everyone is okay afterward. This can be a complicated process, but developing the ability to have these difficult conversations, it can help when dealing with external challenges. One of the biggest challenges regarding co-founder relationships is the difference in personality types and how they deal with frustration. Having empathy for the different styles of coping with frustration can make a big difference in managing conflicts and setbacks. It is important to remember that the root cause of problems between co-founders is often their style of dealing with frustration and not the actual problem. 

Therefore, it is essential to work on the "meta-conversation," which is how to deal with conflict in such a way that people feel good when it's over. This can be achieved by setting realistic expectations, being aware of the potential pitfalls of setting expectations poorly, and developing good communication and problem-solving skills. Additionally, taking opportunities to practice dealing with frustration with co-founders, even if it may seem trivial, can help to be prepared when a real problem comes up. By taking these preventative measures, one can avoid unnecessary stress, disappointment, and even self-made crises, which can be detrimental to the business's success.

Expectation Setting

Expectation setting is a crucial aspect of managing oneself and others in the business and startup world and preventing failure. When expectations are set well and true, it can lead to deep trouble for the individual and those they are working with. Setting unrealistic expectations can cause unnecessary stress, disappointment, and even self-made crises.

To avoid this, it's crucial to study companies' real stories and understand that success can take time and effort. Many companies take years to become successful, and it's essential to have a realistic understanding of the journey. By understanding the average path to success, one can avoid setting unrealistic expectations and inventing unnecessary crises.

Additionally, setting clear and realistic expectations with others is also vital for preventing failure. When working with a team, it's essential to set clear expectations for each team member's responsibilities and the timeline for completing tasks. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that nothing falls through the cracks.

Furthermore, being mindful of the pitfalls of setting expectations poorly is essential. For example, it's not advisable to promise something that is not possible to deliver or to set expectations that are outside the company's resources. This can lead to disappointment and mistrust among employees, partners, and customers.

Fatal Punches

When it comes to failure in business and startup companies, it's common for founders to personalize the failure and see themselves as a failure. However, it's essential to take a step back and examine the facts of the situation. In some cases, the company or business may still have the potential for success, and it is not necessarily "game over." In these cases, it's important not to give up. However, in other cases, it may be time to move on. It's important to be able to distinguish between these two scenarios.

Additionally, it's essential not to fail in a way that hurts others. For example, it's essential to not fail in a way that leads to debt, where one owes a lot of money to others or rips off suppliers. It's also important to be aware of people who prey on struggling startups and offer services or promises that are not genuine.

It's important to remember that success in business or startup ventures doesn't have to come at the cost of sacrificing personal relationships, savings, or other vital aspects of life. It's essential to be mindful of our choices in pursuit of success and not make sacrifices that will have long-term negative impacts on our lives. It's also important to remember that failure is not always a personal failure. Sometimes, it's just the result of circumstance, and it's essential to differentiate between the two.

In conclusion, as Dalton and Michael discussed the importance of preventative measures, or "adulting," in the lives of successful founders, founders often experience setbacks due to poor lifestyle habits, such as lack of sleep, poor diet, and lack of exercise. They recommend an audit of one's lifestyle to identify areas that may negatively impact one's ability to succeed as a founder and make changes to improve overall health and well-being. They also suggest that founders may need to adult harder than their peers to be successful and may need to make sacrifices in other areas of their lives to focus on building a successful company.

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