A friend, partner, and multi-time CTO died last week. It was sad as it was surreal and I’m afraid it hasn’t fully hit me yet.
He was one of the first to encourage my ability to lead entrepreneurs and adventurers, describing it as an innate ability to fraternize with all the different types on a team, but to be the one to declare “Let’s take that hill”. Someone has to do that, before anyone moves. He told me I was one of those people. It stuck.
As much as I can say at this point is that his passing reminded me about a few things to remember as an entrepreneur: and succession plans, de-stress, and balance.
My friend had a tremendous business partner who knew every aspect of the businesses they were involved in. Suddenly, he became the go-to guy to answer questions about what is this, and more importantly, what is this worth? To have anyone who has been abreast of your activities and knows how to clean things up is invaluable.
It is indeed tempting to be always on, but a lot of digital leaders are beginning to extol the virtues of shutting off; Brad Feld and Arianna Huffington among them. It is crucial. Whether running a marathon, scuba diving, teaching the kids to code or just declaring digital sabbath, recharging batteries is a real thing. Make a commitment to do it.
Entrepreneurship is lumpy, both in economics and in emotion. It is extremely tricky to stay calm in the face of possible triumph or disaster, and there are rarely anything in between. So having other sources of succor, be it other incomes other activities is extremely important. One friend once told be that, if you have enough things going on, it is always dawn somewhere, though it may be dark just ahead (reverse).
He was a man’s man. An old school soul competing in new-school tech.
I will miss him. Already do.