Keeping sane building a startup..

March 20, 2014

8 weeks ago I broke my left fibula in the second half of our last game of the season. I've broke several bones playing soccer before, but this time felt different.

The injury itself wasn't that bad, a clean break and aircast for 6-8 weeks. My season was done, but all I could think about was how this impacted my startup. It was leading into a critical time for my startup. I really needed to hustle, signup my first customers, and begin fundraising.

I've been working on Promo since August of last year. Promo is a mobile application that allows small business owners a quick method to build leads and sell products or services online. And all form a mobile device.

A broken leg and crutches shouldn’t impact your startup that much, right? Wrong. In the first few weeks I had hip problems and quickly discovered mobility was going to be an issue. I tried to work from the office, but didn't work out too well. Nasty swelling, exhaustion, hardcore armpit chafing, and tons of taxi cabs. Immobile.

It's not glamorous, but i've basically spent the last 7.5 weeks working from my bed. It's been super challenging. I miss human interaction, meeting people in person (versus skype), and being outdoors. I made a bunch of mistakes, but I've complied some tips that I wish I could've told myself 8 weeks ago

5 Tips to Stay Sane Building a Startup From Your Bed

1. Support System
Build a mini support team ASAP. Try to cover different areas of support with different people. Unfortunately, my (now x)girlfriend ended up doing a lot of the heavy lifting and taking on a ton of responsibilities. Try to have a support system from friends and family for:

  • Food + general groceries
  • Personal support (daily human interaction + banter)
  • Mental support (startup life / business)

2. Sleep Hard, Hit Snooze Everyday
Count sheep for days. This sounds counter intuitive for a startup, but don’t be afraid to sleep more than usual. Going for an afternoon nap isn’t a big deal. Let your body heal, hit that snooze button a few more times. Ensure you get 8-10 hours of sleep every day.

3. Eat Stupidly Well
Even if you can’t afford it, buy groceries and spoil yourself. Give your body all the nutrients it needs, and fulfill all of your horrible cravings. It can get pretty boring around the house, (if you have mobility) spice things up with different recipes or food experiments. Don’t get fat, buy organic food, take your daily vitamins.

4. Replace Exercise With Other Outlets
Paul Graham preaches you should focus on building product, eating properly, sleeping properly, and getting regular exercise. In my case, I was unable to work out, so I turned to finding new outlets for release. Going for cat naps and eating well was one of those outlets. Try learning something new, or finding a new hobby. I started to write new ideas in my journal and new blog posts. Don’t be afraid to watch that movie or new TV series you’ve always wanted, hello True Detective and House Of Cards!

5. Smile, Make The Best of the Situation. Be Grateful
Give praise and thanks to your support group for their assistance during this challenging time. Don’t be shy to let them know how grateful you are, and how you appreciate their help. Replace in person human interaction with google hangouts and chatting via IM (gtalk, flowdock, slack).

Try to take things day by day. Offer to help friends, your support group, and other founders. Is there anything they need help with?

Hope some of these tips were helpful. Let me know if you have other advice.


What tips do you have?