Anyone who has survived the early months of a newborn baby at home knows how to push through bone-weary fatigue. You just have to. Same with a business baby. Just as your love and passion for your precious little human baby gives you reserves you never knew you had, so does belief in a business. But even still….even with all the passion in the world…sometimes your body just says “YIKES!” Surely even Jason Varitek has those days.
I’ll never forget my first meeting with a twenty-five-year old company founder who had recently landed a $5M Series A VC financing in record time. Even with his relatively speedy process, he was flattened by all the legal and investor wranglings. I met him just after his financing closed and this guy was a shell of a human being. Smart as a whip, yet he could barely string two words together. (He long since bounced back.)
I just got through two days in a row that felt like that. I’ve taken six trips in four weeks. (Nothing compared to a MLB travel schedule, I know.) All of them packed with critically important events, inhuman logistics, and zero downtime. So for the last 48 hours, I felt like I’d been hit by a Mack Truck. But I still had to handle one enormously important phone call with a “game changing” potential partner, and three similarly important meetings. In the actual moment of an important event, I go into a bizarre auto-pilot. But I know the mental synapses are sometimes only working at half-speed and I’m concerned that I can miss important data and insights with my dulled perceptions. If I could, I’d bring a second person to these meetings to catch the 90MPH curve balls I miss. But I couldn’t, and, back to Jason, I’ve never seen two catchers behind the plate either.
I went to bed at 9:30 last night, got up and took a long walk with the dogs, and today I am back to industrial strength. (It helped that a lot of good stuff happened in the last 48 hours, too.) But in the case of getting some sleep and taking a walk, I knew I HAD to do those things or I’d be on a dangerous downward spiral. But this issue–of sheer physical stamina–is one I think about a lot. I wonder how other people in my shoes–company “builders” trying to catch fastballs left and right–and not take one in the face–think about maintaining their physical stamina. I know what magazine articles say…eat right, get sleep, and regular exercise. But even those things are not always enough. I wonder what Jason does. Any other ideas, or maybe just plain old commiseration out there?