With a team that almost doubled in size, and our first foray into venture backing, 2022 has been quite the year at Gun.io. In this episode, Teja and Faith talk about the growth of the company, next year’s goals, and how important it is to take a step back and be bored every once in a while.
My Google Fiber has been, I mean, consistently at least once a week, just having an outage, which doesn’t make any sense. Like we live in the United States of America and like, I don’t understand connectivity issues in 2022. It doesn’t make any sense.
No, I hear you. I actually, I have AT&T Fiber after having Comcast for like, basically my whole life and zero problems. It’s been the most reliable internet service provider I’ve ever had. (Faith: Really?) But I feel like Google, like they all use the same pipes, right?
Yeah. So maybe it’s just my house.
You’re in your main house or the addition?
I’m in the main house, but I just went and checked my like Google Fiber thing and it’s red. So we’re currently on my hotspot, which probably is not ideal, but whatever.
Tell me about your weekend. <Laugh>
Tell me about today.
My weekend was probably boring compared to yours. You were traveling. I was just here like folding laundry and cleaning my house. How was your trip?
So I got the all clear for my doctor on, not really the all clear. He was like, don’t do anything stupid <laugh>. And so I had a choice. I was like, man, I could go hiking or I could just like train a lot of jiu jitsu, which I hadn’t really done in like two weeks. And it was, it’s like genuinely hard for me to choose between the two. Cause I really love traveling, but I really love like seeing my friends and like, getting good training in and like cooking a good meal and like sleeping a lot. That’s like, that’s like joy, you know what I mean? (Faith: Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>.) So I was like, I mean it was, I, I did like a Pro/Con list. I spent like Thursday night thinking about this and then I was like, you know what? Like I can always go to Utah. I just really wanna train and it’s like the less bullshit I have to account for. So I just, yeah, I just basically trained. I lifted.
Oh, so you stayed here?
Yeah, I stayed here. I mean, I definitely like worked, like I made sure to do the things that hiking allows me to do, which is basically just like, have a focus outside of work that just helps me, like center myself. So I’m grateful that I got to do that. I think I’ll try to go to Utah next weekend after. We’ll see, that’s my plan. I still have to together, but it’s like, you know, yeah, we’ll see each other tonight if we’re going to the work thing. So.
Yeah, I’ve got everybody’s loaves of bread in front of me, so we’re ready to rock.
Sweet. These events after work, I’m sure you’re the same way since you do cycling. It’s hard. Because then when do you, when do you get in your fitness if after work you like go to a happy hour or go to like a Christmas dinner party? (Faith: Yeah.) How are you managing your calendar?
I mean I’m such an early bird so I try to just like get up and get it done. (Teja: Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>.) today’s like a low impact day for me, so it’s just like a long walk in the morning and some stretching. ‘Cause I taught a class yesterday. I’ll teach a class tomorrow. Tuesdays and Thursdays I do like a 5:00 AM (Teja: Okay.) Strength workout. It’s just like, I’m not, my performance isn’t great in the morning. Like I perform at maybe like 70% of my evening, like athleticism I guess. But I don’t know, there’s something about just like getting it done, you know?
No, I hear you. And I’m definitely more injury prone in the morning and I also get really tired if I like work out too hard. But from a scheduling standpoint, you’re right that sometimes it’s the only like, you know, Rather than be like, ‘I wanna have a perfect workout and the perfect recovery,’ if you just get it in, that’s like sometimes more important.
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. I’ve been so like lax on my workout schedule though for the last few months. Something about the change of seasons and work just gets busy and I don’t know, I just like haven’t been good about it. So I’m gonna be one of those people now who sets like a New Year’s resolution to work out every day. Like I’ve always just done it naturally and now I’m like, man, I have to like set goals for this shit. <Laugh>.
Do you have a rack in your, like a squat rack or like weights and stuff? Or do you have to go to a gym to go?
I have to go a gym.
Like what do you, what’s your home exercise equipment? Do you have like a Pelot–
Like…nothing. If I’m working out at home, I’m going for a run or doing situps and shit. Like I, but once everything, like right now the shed has, it’s my office, but there’s no internet or power back there yet. (Teja: Yeah.) And it’s full of stuff for the addition still. So as soon as that’s cleaned out I’m gonna get a Peloton and just some like hand weights. But my best workouts are like a shed class, which is like a local Nashville circuit training gym. Basically I need someone else to hold me accountable cuz I am so lazy about working out. Which doesn’t make any sense cuz I’m also a fitness instructor, but like I am lazy <laugh>.
Yeah, no, I had this debate, like, so last Saturday I had like a bunch of my homies come over and like, we worked out and then we cooked a bunch of meat and like watched car videos. It was like the perfect Saturday, you know, we like streamed some car review videos on YouTube on my TV at home and ate this meat that we cooked. And I have a rack, so you can squat, bench, deadlift, all this stuff. I think that that’s– of the things that I’ve bought from my house, I would say that’s like the number one best investment that I’ve ever made is like getting a home gym set up. And I hear you about the social dimension, like that pressure is good. And also like, if you work remotely, as we tend to do, that human interaction in a fit in a fitness context, that could be the only other interaction with somebody who’s not your spouse or partner that you may have on the whole day (Faith: mm-hmm. <Affirmative>.) So that like fulfills like some sort of need for connection. So there’s that too. But I have to say from an efficiency standpoint, lifting at home is the best. It’s the, it’s like I’m definitely not as disciplined with my time as I ought to be, but just being able to squeeze in a workout in like 15 to 20 minutes in the morning before the day starts is like, I mean, or at lunch it’s just like–
It’s changed my life.
I know, you know, I can’t wait. (Teja: Yeah.) I mean there’s a lot of things I can’t wait for with this freaking construction, but that is one of the–at the top of the list for sure.
Yeah. Like, okay, so like if you’re, and like I, I bet there’s a lot of people who are like jacked who like listen in like our super into working out. But like, I dunno, if you’re training like Tuesday/Thursday or Monday/Wednesday and you’re doing like five different exercises and like four sets, you can actually segment that volume. So you just lift every day for like 20 to 30 minutes. And I feel like from a training load standpoint, your body can’t really tell the difference. If you have like a really hard workout in a gym, as long as the sets are the same intensity, versus you load it like 20 minutes, 30 minutes every day and you just get that volume, that’s what I’ve been doing. And it’s like awesome. It’s like, saves you so much time. The best part is I don’t have to get ready to go anywhere. (Faith: Uhhuh <affirmative>), I can just like wake up and like you just go down to the garage and like whatever you’re wearing to go to bed and that’s it. You just work out and do your thing. So.
Yeah. I can’t wait. Like the bike will be next to my desk.
So it’ll be the easiest thing to do between meetings. You know when meetings like end at awkward intervals and you’re like, what am I gonna do in 25 minutes?
I can’t even like clear my inbox in 25 minutes. So it’s like I, yeah, I can’t wait. I think it’s gonna be a huge improvement to my life.
Okay. So I was listening to a podcast by this dude Andrew Huberman, and he talked about how like being able to switch focus from like introspection to like an external focus to a strategic focus. Like the, the less friction you can have in like, being able to change these states, like ultimately the more productive and more effective you can be. But he had this cool meditation that he recommended where it’s like you bring your focus on your breath and then to your hands and then to like a point a little bit ahead of you and then farther point and then like yourself in the universe. And you go through that cycle like three or four times and it takes like maybe two minutes, but it allows like, I don’t know about you, but sometimes after a meeting it’s like, it’s hard for me to actually move on to the next thing.
Like after anything I’m still like, yeah, the context switching is, so it’s, it, it’s the most effort I expend all day is just context switching.
It’s been a really helpful exercise for me to like leave a meeting or like leave doing a bunch of tasks and then like quickly get to a space where I can be like, I can take a walk outside and not feel like anxious about, oh shit, is something unsaid? Should I clarify something? Or how did that come across? Or ah fuck, I have these four to-dos from this meeting. I need to just knock them out before I get up. (Faith: Yeah.) That’s really been helpful.
Yeah. I need to get back into meditating. I’ll look it up because I, that was like one habit when I was kind of prepping for this conversation. Like, what happened this year? What did we accomplish, like together and individually. And I was like, man, the one thing that I, I mean I’m sure I dropped a lot this year <laugh>, but the one thing that really I think made a negative impact was I just like dropped my meditation practice. So I think that’s, that needs to be a priority for next year’s goals.
You used to meditate?
Yeah, I meditated like every morning for at least five minutes, sometimes 10. I did it for like two years. (Teja: Damn.) And then, I don’t know, this year just became kind of a show. So…
I hear you on that. Yeah, no, I totally get it. That’s like when you need it the most. It’s like that old fucking saying, it’s like when you’re too busy to work out or to meditate is like when you need to do it the most. Yeah.
So when you wanna do it least (Teja: Yeah.) For sure. Well, let’s get into it. Teja, we got a whole year to talk about.
Let’s do it.
Like everybody else. Our year started January, 2022. I feel like company-wise the most obvious things that have changed are like, we’re a venture-backed company now, which in January was just a like, (Teja: It’s cool.) a possibility for us. And our team. (Teja: Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>) has at least doubled in size this year. I don’t know the exact headcounts–headcount numbers, but it’s (squeak><laugh>. So–is that the rubber duck I gave you from the video shoot? (Teja: Yeah.)–but when you kind of like think about a recap of the year, like what are the biggest changes that stand out to you?
I think organizationally when you’re bootstrapped as a manager, I tend to be, I tended to be way more P&L focused. Like, hey, like is every dollar being really efficiently allocated, maximally efficiently allocated? And like I would spend a lot of time thinking about that and like reviewing things and making sure every investment was like the most optimal investment decision across the business. And I think after maybe the transition to like having, you know, a really good venture partner and having like a really strong balance sheet, I think it’s allowed us just as a company to be way more customer obsessed. (Faith: Hmm.) Right. And so rather than focusing inwardly on like how to like manage to like, you know, a pretty disciplined P&L I mean, obviously we still have to continue to be disciplined about that, but it’s like, it allows us to kind of take some pressure off and focus on okay, like what’s the best solution for our customers?
You know, meaning companies and developers. And not that we weren’t doing that, but like, like everything like that was filtered through the lens of like, okay, is there enough proof? Is this the most optimal decision to make, you know, for our business, right? Even if the customers want it. And I don’t admit that that was the right thinking, probably myopic and maybe more risk averse than it needed to be. But I do think like, you know, you make a commitment to your team, you don’t wanna overextend the company and then have to renege on a commitment to your team or to your existing customers cause you, you know, took too much risk. So. i.e. certain companies in the news. And so yeah, I think that was like the biggest, biggest change from an org and like strategy standpoint. And I mean, it’s cool. Like, makes me wish we had done it sooner. <Laugh> in some ways.
Yeah. Yeah. So I mean, I think, I think the habits that we built being bootstrapped for so long are gonna serve us for a long time because they’re just kind of built into the culture of the company. And I think that’s like overwhelmingly just a culture of ownership. People feel a lot of responsibility for, you know, the company’s success, which I think is a good thing. But when I, when I think about the impact of team growth and changes associated with becoming a venture-backed company, I think of like how cool it is that we’re a company now where teams have their own culture. Like I can talk about the sales team culture and I can talk about the engineering team culture and the marketing team culture, and it all kind of serves the same mission, right? And vision. And we all share cultural values of Gun.io, but like to see teams operate in a way that isn’t just like, oh, Jessi, Jessi does sales and Faith does marketing and Wade does engineering. There’s, you know, actually teams that are doing all these things. And I don’t know, I think for a lot of companies that’s like, yeah, no shit, but <laugh> for us, it feels new and very cool.
Has that been the biggest change that you’ve noticed this year?
Yeah, I mean, I think team-wise, I think for me personally, I’ve come to terms with how much time and effort things take, which sounds kind of silly, but like, you know, up until this time last year, I guess, like we were operating at least from the marketing team, like, okay, we need to do everything that a marketing team could possibly do, and we need to do it really, really well and we need to do it with two people. That’s just always been kind of the pressure <laugh> that I’ve put on myself is to like, do all those things. And when things aren’t working, I’d be like, well, it’s not working because like I need to learn more about it or because, you know, I’m not doing the right thing or putting enough effort into it. And so for me, I think this year has been about understanding like, no, to do things well, like people have teams of like dozens of people working on this one problem that you’re trying to solve. So I think the theme for me this year has been like being a little bit more realistic, cutting myself some slack where it’s necessary and deciding what’s a priority and investing my team’s time and resources into it.
Yeah. What a lesson, what helped you get to that perspective?
I feel like it’s expanding the team a little bit. Like the pressure that it puts on you as a manager when you know your team (Teja: Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>) and, and my team’s small, right? Like I’ve got, there’s three of us full-time and then we’ve got several freelance contract folks. But once you expand beyond two people, people want really clear parameters, right? Of like what they’re responsible for, what success looks like, what their job is. And if you can’t give that to them, then you’re setting them up for failure. So I really think it was expanding the team and being able to see my team as like a mirror of myself. Like, oh, this person is actually saddled with way too much and none of it’s gonna get done well because they’re having to spread their bandwidth across all these things. And then applying that same logic to myself, like, <laugh>, if this is true for your team, Faith, it’s probably true for you too. So you need to slim down the to-do list. You know?
<Laugh>, I forget where I read this, but it, but it was like a, so I’m paraphrasing it, but it’s like the state of your team is like an outward manifestation of your own mental state and like how focused you are about any specific direction, right? Because if you, if you believe that you have directive control to some extent about your team and you feel like it’s not functioning or it’s not communicating or it’s not oriented in the right way, that kinda mirrors what’s happening in your head, right? I mean, I, the causality is probably two ways.
I could totally see that.
I feel like the more convicted I am in a course of direction, I feel like the team, the teams functioned way more effectively together. And when I’m less convicted in the course of decision, like I can see sort of the dysfunction and misalignment, like play on real time, I’m like, Hmm, that’s probably a signal that I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing right now. <Laugh>. So
Yeah, I’m learning a lot about just like how I don’t know how to like operate at max capacity (Teja: Mm-hmm. <Affirmative>) when that doesn’t mean just like doing all the things you could possibly do. You know, like, I guess a better way to phrase that is I’m learning how to be okay with leaving things on the table because there’s other things that are more important. (Teja: Yeah.) Which is just like so antithetical to the way that I have operated previously.
I mean, just as you kind of get more successful and you have more options in how to spend your time, you have to start saying no to like fairly good things.
And so that takes a lot of discipline. It just does. You can’t do it all. You can’t fucking eat at every nice restaurant in town, even if you can go there, you know? So.
We can try though. We can try.
You can try. Yeah.
<Laugh> I feel like an interesting thing for us to probably touch on is we’re a company who helps primarily technology companies hire software developers. (Teja: Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>) and the leading kind of press stories in those spaces this year have been: SOS, economic uncertainty, layoffs, people need jobs, there’s not enough people for the job. There’s just been a lot of like, I think confusion around the market and if we’re in the red or in the green. And so I’m curious like what’s your take on, like, how, how did that affect us this year, if at all?
Technology growth cycles is very much dependent on like interest rates, you know, and like how easy it is to lend money and to invest money and to invest in speculative gambles like early stage companies and even, you know, late stage companies, even public companies. And so I think just, you know, we had a couple years of pretty cheap money and so I think a lot of companies expanded because they went to the capital markets. And I think that was good for companies like us that are basically, you know, making markets for labor. And I think as companies maybe shift strategies and wanna prioritize cash and monitor burn, because rates are going up and it’s harder to get more money to continue against an investment plan than a company may have. I think for us, in some ways it’s like, like we exist because I think we have the most salient and compelling experience for high-end developers and for the companies that wanna hire them.
And so, in so far as we continue to deliver on that valued proposition, I’m like, identify the folks and the technical community that would best benefit from our service and that we can best help, you know, the companies that we can connect them to. Like, we’ll be fine, we’re good, we were good in the previous market and we’ll be good in this market. You know, I think the, the primary consideration for us, the big challenge for us is just going to be finding the right balance between like the discipline that we had in the previous years, and then also being like risk-on enough to experiment and to take gambles and the take bets with how we wanna continue to grow, you know, continue to be customer obsessed. Like I, I think so I think the challenge is actually not macro for us.
I think the challenge is more psycho-emotional and how we actually take risks in the next 24, 36 months as a company and how, you know, how as leaders we can develop our teams, how we can bring on new people, how we can continue to maintain the culture of the company, how we can continue to maintain our competitive edge of being really, you know, high-end developer obsessed, company obsessed. Like making sure that that’s true. Like as the company scales, I think is the, is the most important thing. And I, I’m actually excited in some ways for a little bit of uncertainty and a little bit of challenge in terms of macro because I think like it will, you know, it’ll show like what companies in our space are well built and what aren’t.
A hundred percent. Yeah.
I think we’ve been really good at building a really durable and resilient business because like, okay, there was COVID, right? And then not only COVID, but there was a lot of like interesting economic effects of COVID (Faith: Mm-hmm. <Affirmative>.) And then there was the economic uncertainty around elections, and then there was some degree of economic uncertainty and geopolitical instability around Ukraine, which is still ongoing and Russia. And it’s like all of these different events, they all have some impact on our space, on some, on some impact on our business, on our talent supply, on our customer supply. And so I think if you’re thoughtful about how you construct and go after the opportunity, your shit can withstand these types of risks. If you’re running a marathon and it’s raining? Like good, it’s like the people who have that high mental fortitude will actually do better, even if it’s physically harder for everybody or colder or whatever. Like, it tends to be helpful if your skills are more developed in that domain.
Yeah. I mean–
I don’t think it’s worth worrying about it. You just can’t–don’t buy any dumb shit. <laugh>. That’s it.
<Laugh> Well, too late. I I bought a lot of dumb in the form of a new house being built basically in my backyard, but–
Nah, that’s equity and you probably gotta–
Yeah, I mean, we’ll see how it plays out. I’ll keep you posted on my real estate investments or lack thereof next year. But (Teja: Yeah.)
<Laugh>What I think is interesting to think about is like the way that the, the economy impacts the space that we work inside of, and like the players in that space, specifically hirers and developers, and I mean, this is all obviously like, I’m not looking at our data right now or, you know, numbers of like sign ups and all that. But what I’ve seen, you know, surface level this year is companies who have not engaged with contractors in the past deciding to build with contractors rather than full-time folks because of the economic uncertainty. And on the labor side of the equation, I feel like we’ve had a lot more folks sign up for the platform who aren’t really looking for something full-time, new, right? Like they’re not coming to us unemployed or underemployed. They’re coming to us because they wanna build a pipeline of consulting work, right?
To kind of like put feelers out, basically. Like give themselves a bit of an insurance policy with their jobs. And I think on the, on the hirer side, people are less, we’re just, I mean, I think we’re just entering a new phase of what work looks like, especially with technical work. Like I think hirers don’t have as much expectation that they’re gonna get somebody’s kind of like full-time attention on something. In fact, I think they’re understanding that there’s a lot of value in working with somebody who, you know, is also working on something else in another industry and learning from the work that they’re doing and bringing it back to the table with this, this other freelance client. I’ve, I’ve found that to be interesting this year especially because it’s been something that we’ve, you know, had to think about a lot over the last four years is like, how do we, how do we fit into this space of freelancing and, you know, can we convince hirers that this is like the path? And it’s been cool to see people kind of come over to that side on their own, you know?
Yeah, totally. I mean, and to add to that, you know I think one dynamic that’s taking place is like we’re 30% down in what, like the public markets relative to the start of the year, which makes like basically stock grants 30% more expensive, right? And also, like the cash is way more valuable because companies can’t take on more money cause it, the capital can be cost prohibitive. And so what ends up happening is like comp is going down at like really large companies, right? And like layoffs are happening. So like there’s less opportunities and they’re less lucrative for like really senior folks. And so what was an attractive option is in relative terms, less attractive to a highly skilled talent pool that now is like, hey, maybe I’ll just work 30, 35 hours a week taking on my own clients. Because autonomy in relative terms and independence is actually like, it seems more valuable because the other option is not as lucrative, right?
And so I think like, like that’s probably the direction that I think our labor market will go. And, you know, in talking to companies, in talking to different people that are hiring, I’ve always said times of uncertainty are really good times to pick up people that in great times you probably couldn’t afford (Faith: Mm-hmm. <Affirmative>) because if you can afford it, like then the FAANGs are gonna be just outcompeting you based on comp alone. And like some people like index off of comp, like really highly, you know, like that’s really important to them. And so like, this is, this is a great time I think to buy, “buy” the mindshare time, you know, work product of folks that are really talented who, you know, don’t feel like they wanna, they wanna be at a, at, at a large TechCo right now. And so, you know, insofar as like we’re able to talk to the other portfolio companies of our firm, of the, of our venture partners, like all of them are ramping, you know, growth state, series B, series C companies, like everybody’s ramping because we’ve already raised the capital, now we’re deploying it to grow.
Maybe we’re monitoring burn a little bit more cautiously than we would’ve two years ago, but like, you know, it seems like it’s an opportunity for well-managed early and mid-stage companies to grow and for talent that were at the FAANGs, to go and say, hey look, I wanna be more independent or I wanna join a smaller shop. So I, those are all tailwinds, you know, but I don’t wanna, like, I don’t, nobody knows, you know what I mean? Like (Faith: Mm-hmm. <Affirmative>), we’ll see this is just a guess at this point.
It’s been interesting too to see the kinds of projects that hirers are bringing to us change this year. Like historically we’ve spent a lot of time playing defense and saying like, okay, cool, like sure you got some like friends and family money for this, or you got like an angel round for this, but like, your roadmap does not make any sense <laugh>. And if you build this, no one’s gonna buy it. Like, and it’s been hard for us, I think to, to kind of walk that line of like, well, we don’t wanna tell you how to run your business, but we’ve seen a million of these come through before. And anyway, this year I feel like we’ve seen a much fewer of those come through just because there isn’t as much money circulating in the market. Especially for things that aren’t clearly, you know, going to be profitable quickly. So that’s been cool, you know, maybe fewer people hiring, but the people who are hiring, I think there’s, there’s a lot more discipline that goes into their process, so that’s awesome.
Yeah, well said. I mean, you know, I think as, as us what we want is we want to feel like, hey, if we’re making a match and we’re making a connection as a platform that the hire just doesn’t happen, but it ends up successfully, and like the business context of this specific project matters to the quality of life for the dev. Also, like the better ROI a company can get from a developer’s work, obviously the more comp opportunity and more quality of life opportunity there is, that’s just true, right? Like, so you kinda wanna engineer relationships that are like really solid companies cuz you know that’s gonna be a successful match generally as long as the people execute. (Faith: Yeah.) So fewer but better opportunities, like all the way, I don’t even know if that’s being shown in our data though. Like, I dunno, you know, I think we’re pretty strong in terms of like this quarter in terms of new business actually. If we had to choose between fewer opportunities and better opportunities, obviously we would go in that direction.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Okay, we’ve got like five minutes here and I think it would be cool to get into goals for next year. It can be like, you know, goals for the business, goals for ourselves, it’s people who are part of the business personal goals. Like what are you manifesting ‘23 to look like Teja?
I think my number one goal is to like master my mind and emotional state and, and, and, you know, having mentors and role models, the folks that I see that get the most like joy from life are really able to discipline their mind and their reactions to things, right? And I think it makes you a better decision maker. And I think that better decision making shows up in your personal life with kids, or with your partner, in your fitness life about your dietary choices, in your, you know, in your business life or about with the decisions you can make. So I would say that’s my number one goal. And there are different habits that I’m implementing already to like move in that direction because if you were to ask like, I’m 34, if you were to ask me when I was 24, like, like what’s how do you, how do you get happy? It’s like, ok, you gotta be achievement oriented, you gotta work your ass off, you gotta be focused. But, and I really cared less about like shit internal to me. I just didn’t give a fuck. I’m like, whatever, I’m just gonna work myself hard, and like, I’m gonna achieve a lot. And so I think now I realize how much power you get by controlling your mind and emotional state. So that’s my number one goal. Meditation’s obviously a part of that, but how about you?
Maybe I should change it to also be controlling. Well–
Ah, come on!
I think mine is more specific. No, I think, I think mine’s more specific to like intentionally pausing my brain a little bit. Like the way it’s written on my goal sheet is to be bored once a day. And if you were to ask me right now when the last time was that I was bored, I would say maybe when I was nine years old, like, I’m never bored because there’s always something, if I finish something, I am already thinking about the next thing I have to do. And because that’s the way I think the only downtime my brain gets is if I like pick up my phone or like, let myself be distracted and by like, something that isn’t like rest for my brain, which is actually what it wants in that moment. That’s why it’s like picking up my phone or you know, talking to my dog <laugh>. So yeah, I feel like the best way to describe it is to like be bored once a day. And I think that covers two things, which is like actually resting my brain and also not–I guess like being present, right? Not thinking about the next thing when I’m doing the first thing
Yeah, I think so.
I think you get more attentional focus when you’re able to actually tolerate the troughs of activity. Like, like there was a video I was watching of this now-retired UFC fighter, his name is Khabib Nurmagomedov, and you know, like people who are like into training and martial arts and stuff, like, we’re always trying to like optimize like recovery and like, okay, like I need to eat this or I need to sleep this, blah, blah, blah. And he’s like, listen, like all this massage shit. Like all I worry about is like I sleep after every training, I try to get as much sleep as humanly possible. And I’m like, dude, I’m never in a state where I can just take a nap. I’m like too wired to like take a nap in the middle of day if I have nothing going on. But I think your ability to focus and to push yourself is actually related to how easily you can get out of that state when you have nothing important going on. (Faith: Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>.) So, right. Rather than being like low level of focus for 24 hours, you’re like high levels of focus and then you just fucking chill. You’re bored, you’re laying down, right? You’re just like sleeping and it feels lazy as fuck. It feels difficult for us. (Faith: Yeah.) You know?
I think the best way that I’ve learned to compartmentalize my workday is like bucket one is everything that is urgent and important enough to actually be scheduled into my day. (Teja: <Laugh>. Yeah.) And I do my best to anticipate how long that’ll take me. And I put it on my calendar and it’s like scheduled and I can trust that schedule, which I really allows me to like not be quite as stressed if I have downtime that something’s falling through the cracks because I know it’s not, because I am a crazy person about my to-do list and scheduling those things <laugh>. So like that’s bucket one. And then bucket two is stuff that I just feel a lot of energy around and it’s kind of impossible to predict, but you know, the feeling, sometimes you get kind of like your, your teeth sunk into a problem and you’re like, this is all I wanna do today. Like, screw the other shit, screw my to-do list. Like (Teja: Mm-hmm. <Affirmative>), this is, this is exciting to me and you (Teja: Mm-hmm. <Affirmative>), you get into that state of flow. (Teja: Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>.) So that’s bucket two. And I think the key to me achieving my goal of being bored once a day and letting my mind rest is if there’s nothing scheduled and I don’t currently feel that like flow state energy around something, then I can let go of the stress and anxiety that’s making me feel like I should be working on something.
Yeah. It’s tough. It’s tough, but it’s like the better you can relax, I think the harder you can work, you know, and the more productive you can be when it’s time to work.
Well, I feel like I’m, I’m really confident that if both of us achieve these goals, good things will happen at the company level. So we can, we can keep each other accountable.
Professional performance is always a function of personal habits. Always. That’s like one thing that’s been really clear to me.
Put that in a t-shirt.
<Laugh>. That’s on my fucking wall. <Laugh>
<laugh>. Oh my God. Yeah. Post a note on your computer. All right, well, we’ll manifest this stuff, T. This has been fun. I’m also gonna see you in person in an hour, so we can continue. Thanks for listening to the Frontier podcast, powered by gun.io. We drop two episodes per week. So if you like this episode, be sure to subscribe on your platform of choice and come hang out with us again next week and bring all your internet friends. If you have questions or recommendations, just shoot us a Twitter DM at the Frontier Pod and we’ll see you next week.