Staying fresh has always been about three related things: staying mentally fresh for work; staying healthy; and making sure I have enough time for myself that's not about work. All of this plays into what Stephen Covey calls “Sharpening the Saw,” in his books The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 8th Habit—both worth reading.
I was reminded recently of one of my favorite entrepreneur sayings: What drives me nuts isn't the inevitable presence of highs and lows of running a new company; it's when they happen at the same time.
It's one thing to get used to the roller coaster ride of running a startup. That's part of the fun and the challenge of it all. There are great moments when everything's working beautifully. Your strategy is proving to be spot-on. Your team is executing brilliantly. Your biggest client renews and gives you a testimonial. Then there are the dark moments of despair. You're running out of cash. The new product release is behind schedule. A competitor steals a top client. No one lives for the lows but you at least grow to anticipate them and realize that “this, too, shall pass.”
The thing I can never get used to is when those highs and lows occur simultaneously. It just seems unfair. Let me enjoy the good news—whatever it is—for at least a day or two before clocking me with something terrible! But perhaps that's just another, even more poignant part of the humbling process that comes with running ...