Don’t journal. Don’t do ice baths. Don’t work out. Don’t make a plan.
Roll out of bed and start grinding.
It’s funny how the tide of tactics rolls in and out in the entrepreneurial landscape. There was the Tim Ferriss era of engineering the perfect morning, and now the Alex Hormozi social media onslaught of putting every single excuse aside that keeps you from doing the work and then executing that work at least six days a week for fifteen hours a day.
So what’s the answer?
It’s probably something in-between, and it’s as personal as the reason why you’ve decided to do this thing in the first place.
I wish I had it all figured out, but alas, I’m still learning every day. But after many years of ups and downs, I can share how I think about this:
- Energy is everything. If I can’t get myself to take action, whelp, there’s nothing else to discuss here.
- The body and the mind are intrinsically linked, and it’s much more straightforward for me to change what I’m doing with my body than it is with my mind, and my mind will most likely follow. Motion creates emotion.
- If I get sick, I won’t have energy. If I get really sick — like disease sick — I’m just f*&ked, and again, this topic won’t matter so much.
There are no makeup classes for years of neglecting health, and startup life will likely only increase the wear and tear of everyday living. Moving every day as a baseline is a non-negotiable. Really getting after it would be the next level. That kind of effort doesn’t just build literal muscle — it can also build the muscle of grit and resilience that is inevitably required in a startup.
Is it easy to start crossing the line into optimization-procrastination-masturbation? Totally. I love me some Huberman Labs and feel like a god after exploding out of my cold plunge (after 20 minutes of sauna, 20 minutes of journaling, my hour of V02 max intervals, and next week’s manifestation bootcamp where I’ll make a paper mache vision board sculpture).
So, how do I strike the balance? Here’s the principle that works for me:
For me, work is like air and will expand to fill the container that is provided for it. If I don’t place another container in that tank we’re calling a “day” to hold the time to take care of my body, work will eat it up. So, for me, that happens upon awakening for about an hour a day.
I then give myself a budget for all the other stuff like cold plunges and paper mache. But the baseline workouts are the same time, every day.
Here’s one thing Alex Hormozi is unequivocally correct about. If you’re not a serial entrepreneur running through a formula of proven success (and often even if you are), it’s going to require patience and longevity. It’s a long game. And the longer the game, the more things can go wrong because the problems of the future are impossible to predict. So why not carve out some of that time to stack the odds in your favor?
Because at the end of year two of my startup, I want to be the Macaulay with fire in his belly, taking out burglars like a Navy SEAL sniper. Not the Macaulay holding a can of Red Bull fifteen years later, weighing about as much as he did when he was ten.
PS: Ol Keven McCallister looks much better these days and has produced some pretty amazing tweets.