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:
- Asking did that thought/experience/task/person energise me or deplete me?
- Why? Getting really detailed here on the context that created the energy increase or depletion.
- 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
These tips are not only valuable for our founders and their teams but for all of us!