Wellbeing tips for the home stretch of the accelerator

Now that we’re on the home stretch of the program, it’s more important than ever for our startups to be looking after themselves. This year, we’ve formally introduced founder wellbeing to the 16 week accelerator program to set up our startups with a positive wellbeing practice and awareness so that they can thrive throughout the program and beyond.

Sean Hall, Head of Founder Wellbeing provided us with this update on the startups, their journey and what they can do to stay healthy and energised for the final stretch of the program and beyond.

I’ve seen the following themes popping up in the work I’ve been doing with the startups:

Focus on managing energy, not time

Turn the overwhelming, into the practical and manageable by anchoring the conversation to energy.

It really is three simple steps:

  1. Asking did that thought/experience/task/person energise me or deplete me?
  2. Why? Getting really detailed here on the context that created the energy increase or depletion.
  3. What am I going to do about it? For this, we use our energy diary tool to make decisions.

Everyone’s journey is different

Every conversation with every person has been different. In all conversations, I focus on the founders deeply understanding their strengths and applying them daily. Not only does this energise but it creates the conditions for flow. With some Founders, I’ve been impressed with how they are already thinking beyond themselves to the importance of role modelling wellbeing as a part of their leadership and how to create a culture of wellness (vs a culture of burn out) from the start. With others, it has been about how they tackle the tasks and people that may deplete them.

Plan space to practice wellness, especially for important moments

It’s the old plane safety analogy, put your own mask on first otherwise you’re no use to anyone. What is also important here is to plan for situations which might be depleting. For instance, if you know you have a trigger where you’re uncomfortable with social situations implement a practice prior to prepare yourself. This could be a mindfulness exercise, it could be reframing to focus on the opportunity, or just putting the time in perspective to everything else you’ve got going on. The point here is once you know something, do something different to get a different result.

Start with the basics

Get the phone out of your bedroom to literally improve your sleep overnight.

The most important part of your body is your brain, which is about 80% water, so drink more of it. Til your pee turns a light straw colour.

Our brains function significantly better when we move. Get outside in the fresh air and sun.

You’re not Elon Musk

In most startup forums, you see stories of people working stupid hours and wearing this like a badge of honour. I even saw one comment from a guy complaining his productivity had gone down since having a baby. Obviously father of the year material there – not! And we wonder why, on the inverse side, mental and physical health are such huge issues in the community. I like to say ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ and it’s also wasted energy.

Focus on what is important

  • Being physically well and getting enough sleep
  • Loving what you do and why you do it
  • Having great relationships, starting with the one you have with yourself
  • Creating something that is valuable to others and making others feel valued too

Hear what Brennan Hatton, Founder of Equal Reality has to say about our Remarkable wellbeing program. Thanks for sharing this with us Brennan!

Brennan Hatton, Founder of Equal Reality
Brennan Hatton, Founder of Equal Reality

These tips are not only valuable for our founders and their teams but for all of us!

Hiam Sakakini, Lead Mentor for Xceptional, shares her Remarkable experience

Hiam Sakakini is a corporate veteran having spent 14+ years in Fortune 500 companies, most recently 10 years at Google. She started out there building large sales teams on the business development side and from there moved into the heart of the organisation designing and executing the leadership development strategy for the Asia Pacific region within the People & Culture team. Hiam is the Co-Founder of Think Change Grow and sits on the board of Cerebral Palsy Alliance. This is the third year that Hiam has been a mentor for Remarkable. This year, she is the lead mentor for Xceptional.

Hiam Sakakini, Mentor and Co-Founder of Think Change Grow
Hiam Sakakini, Mentor and Co-Founder of Think Change Grow

What are your core areas of expertise, particularly when it comes to mentoring for Remarkable?

Since leaving Google 2 years ago with a colleague and great friend, Monika Gisler, who is also a Remarkable Mentor we have taken our core areas of expertise like Leadership & Team development, and helped organisations to design their People & Culture strategy in order to attract the best possible talent. We know that people are every organisations biggest asset and that it is people that will create the narrative of your organisation, which in itself attracts more top talent. We specialise in consulting, coaching, facilitation and have a leadership program that is now backed by Deakin University.

What inspired you become a mentor for Remarkable?

Having a daughter who has CP has made me look at the world somewhat differently. My goal is to use my time, expertise and network more wisely to support organisations who will in some way have a positive impact on her life and the lives of those like her.

I also feel that innovation, particularly where technology is concerned has not been applied to its full potential in the disability sector. In a way, this makes the sector incredibly exciting as there are huge leaps that can be made to impact the lives of the 1 in 5 people living with a disability in Australia.

Remarkable is the only Disability focused tech accelerator program in Australia (to my knowledge). This is its unique differentiator. It is backed by The Cerebral Palsy Alliance and has powerful alliances with large corporates and government as well as Impact investors. Startups that are truly strong on their ‘why’, have a good team and a customer centric product or service will thrive in this program. I have been a mentor from their first program and still keep in touch with mentee teams like AbilityMate, Home Care Heroes and others that reach out for support.

what parts of the accelerator program do you enjoy most?

I look forward to forming long lasting relationships with teams that take the time with us as mentors seriously. You know immediately if a team value your time and prepare well for each session. I enjoy working with teams where I can see true fire in the belly!

What are your top tools, blogs, books or podcasts that you recommend?

Podcast – A friend of mine has just launched a podcast called ‘Don’t stop me now!’ featuring some of the world’s most innovative, pioneering and original thinking women. I’m hooked!
Books – Im currently reading When by Dan Pink which turns timing into a science. Everything from finding the most optimum time to start a business to scheduling a medical procedure – there is scientific research behind when these should be done to get optimal outcomes! Quite fascinating.
Blog – Love the MWAH blog (Make Work Absolutely Human), I find myself nodding in violent agreement to their blog posts and articles.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your work life that you would like to pass on to the startups?

During my time at Google I was lucky enough to be in an audience with Ray Kurzweil who talked about how invention was all about timing. Watching trends and aiming your invention at the world of the future not at the world that exists at the time of your launch.


Find out about our other Remarkable mentors.