Working long hours is part of the job description for founders. The to-do list is constantly growing but the end of the runway gets closer every day. Founders often work long hours because they want to—they’re passionate about what they’re doing—and because they must—it’s what’s required to turn their vision into reality. Most founders understand this going in, but they don’t always understand the corollary: when you’re working that hard, you need an outlet.
When I was a founder, I looked forward to exercising. I started because I wanted to stay active, but I got so much more out of it. The workouts gave me a great mental reset and a way to relieve the stress of the day. I never thought about anything related to work, which helped my mindset. I worked out with a close-knit group of people who had no idea what I did for a living. We just saw each other for the people we were. Looking back, exercising with that group of people gave me the outlet I needed to survive the long work hours.
Exercising was my thing, but it won’t work for every founder. If you’re a founder or want to be one, figure out what your outlet will be and make it a priority from day one.