One of the things I loved my job at Kiva was the dynamic range of different components of the business I had the ability to work on and influence. I felt that I was constantly jumping around to different strategic meetings and decisions around the business – it was dynamic. I knew that a main principle of being an entrepreneur was the “do everything” reality. I was convinced that Kiva was priming me for that kind of environment.
In certain ways that is true – lean startup and MVP (minimum viable product) is the foundation. Constantly jumping around to different needs – an endless series of checklists that grows faster and bigger as things get going. I love the dynamism in the day to day – if I’m not engaged and challenged that fire will die out.
But in one major way it’s totally different -- my routine. At Kiva, I would walk into work with a full inbox and meetings scheduled throughout the day. Every day, I would spend the first hour of my day answering emails – and meetings and emails were 80% of my work day -- every day -- for years. Meetings, emails, more emails, more meetings – constantly tending to stakeholders both internal and external. To a large extent, my productivity, output, and performance lied in my ability to manage all the meetings and emails – that was my job.
Old habits die hard.
A glimpse into the first five minutes of my day….
I hear the alarm at 7 am ; roll over in bed ; unlock the phone ; check email….and….nothing. Empty inbox. Every day. No meetings. No emails. No one counting on me. No stakeholders to tend to. No one waiting on my response. Nothing that I need to do. No one holding me accountable.
To get out of the office, to be outside, to escape the computer screen and the constant stream of emails was a primary driver of this jump. It’s what I wanted and it’s what I’m getting – but that doesn’t mean its easy! This shift in routine has been the single hardest adjustment over the past couple months. If I’m not engaged and challenged that fire will die out – this is true. I’m being engaged and challenged in very new and unexpected ways which is exactly where I want to be.