Turning 45

I’m turning 45 next week and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.  For some reason this seems like a more significant birthday to me than 30 or 40 was.  I know some of my thoughts are a result of a few colleagues dying recently (in their 50’s and 60’s), me completely wearing myself out this fall, and spending about half the year struggling with a back injury, but I think something deeper is going on.

At my core, I’m profoundly happy with my existence on this planet.   I’m married to an amazing person who I’ve been involved with for 20 years. My direct family is healthy and very functional.  I have three superb partners who I get to work with on deeply satisfying activities.  I’ve structured my life so that I get to spend most of my time on really interesting things.  I get to work with fascinating entrepreneurs on long term projects that I care about almost as much as they do.  Finally, I live in what I think is the best town in the world (Boulder) and spend plenty of time in several great cities in the US (New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boston.)

When Amy and I talk about turning 45 the phrase “mid-life” comes up.  Both of us want to live a long time but are realistic that living until 90 based on our family histories is a long shot, the singularity notwithstanding.  So I think we’ve accepted that this is the pivot point where we can start viewing our lives as “at least half way finished.”

Reflecting back on the last 45 years, I’m really pleased with how I’ve lived my life.  If I died tomorrow, I wouldn’t have any regrets.  Of course, I’d be dead, so that’s kind of an odd phrase.  I believe when it’s over, it’s over, but my inner editor refuses to change the sentence.

In some way, that liberates me to think about the next 45 years with a freshness that I wouldn’t otherwise have.  I love my work and my daily life so I don’t feel like I’m in need of any fundamental changes.  But there are plenty of tweaks, especially when I look back at the last year of injury, illness, and fatigue. For example, I got an email from a blog reader a few days ago in response to my Death and Dying post with the following key paragraph:

“So, what do I do differently now that I’m zooming towards 50?  While the work load peak-to-average (crest factor) will always be high in our businesses, I now try for a healthy mix of work, exercise, eating right and relationship building on a 2-7 day window instead of the 30-90 day window.  The “week off the grid” model seemed to work in my 20’s and 30’s, but the swings from low and high (energy, mental acuity, happiness, etc.) would be unsustainable today.”

My engine has always run hot – I work and play hard until I run out of gas, and then I crash for a while.  I’ve solved this for the past decade by taking a quarterly week of the grid to recharge and spend focused time with Amy, but I’m starting to feel like the 90 day tempo isn’t working as it’s too much physically and emotionally.  The idea that I should shift to a weekly or some better defined monthly rhythm is appealing.

There are plenty of other things, both physical and mental, that I’ve struggled to change such as trying to lose 25 pounds for several years, learning a new programming language like Python, trying to stop using the telephone except for family, partners, and CEOs, and trying to back off of being completely scheduled from Monday to Friday.

Fortunately, next week is one of my quarterly weeks off the grid (although I have several things going on that will keep me a little engaged) so I’ll have plenty of time to ponder this.  But, for any of you out there that have read this far and are willing, I’m interested in the suggestions, ideas, and tweaks you might have for me as I turn 45.

  • http://inuvi.com Mark Westling

    Think about this: how old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      My quick response is that my inner 14 year old burns bright, so I
      think I’d be 14. On the other end of the spectrum my hero is Yoda and
      I know I spend plenty of time “being mentally and emotionally wise” in
      my work. He lived to be 900 (although he looked a little tired at the
      end.)

  • http://reecepacheco.com reecepacheco

    Well, before you disappear next week – happy birthday!

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Thanks! I’ve always loved my birthday timing since Thanksgiving seems
      like an extra bonus chill out time.

  • http://foundermatch.net Tracy De Cicco

    Brad – suggestion, that I’m sure you may already be doing – are you working out daily – a little bit of both strength training and cardio? If no, I know for myself, that while I sometimes have to push myself to get to gym (cold days, early, dark nights, etc.) I come back with so much energy and frankly a new perspective on life – things feel and seem attainable and do-able, etc. For me, the strength training is particularly important. A lot of people tell me they don’t have time to workout, but I think people don’t have time not to :)…..

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      I’m a very consistent runner (4-5 days a week) and lousy at everything
      else. I like to swim and don’t know why I don’t do it more. I’ve
      never really liked weights but it’s so easy to go to the gym that is
      two blocks from my office that my only excuse there is apathy. A more
      robust exercise regimen is a great suggestion.

      • http://foundermatch.net Tracy De Cicco

        I can totally appreciate that, Brad. What I did, when I first started with strength training ‘regimen’ years ago, I got myself a trainer – at the time I met trainer at least 3-4 times/week, that way, I had an appointment time and a commitment to fulfill – after all, I lost my $60+/session if I didn’t show up.. I did this for years and now, not only have established the ‘habit’, but no longer need a trainer — it was a wonderful way to get started, good luck, Brad :)……

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Good hypothesis! And thanks for the birthday wish.

  • http://twitter.com/nicholasnapp Nicholas Napp

    Like almost everything, one size doesn’t fit all. I am about 5 years behind you, and like you am abundantly happy with where my personal life it at. Business life isn’t bad, but not as nirvanic (yes, I made that up) as my personal life.

    What I’ve seen is a similar combination of all the things you mention. 33-ish was much worse than 30 — no sympathy and an ever increasing collection of strange hairs etc popping up where they were least wanted. 39 has been moderately perturbing, but I suppose 40 has the merit of being a number that people are sympathetic about…

    I am trying to convince myself that although I am no longer working as many hours as I used to, I am working more effectively. My theory is that I can make more effective decisions faster because of the wealth of data I’ve accumulated.

    I’m not sure this is accurate, but it is what I am currently telling myself. Testing is ongoing.

    Happy Birthday :-)

  • http://foodzie.com Nik Bauman

    I really like that you talk through your balance methodology publicly. You’ve always been a great work-life balance role model in the start-up world. Your example helped me define my work-life balance with my family and Foodzie from the beginning. It’s hard getting into this game to know what’s acceptable and what’s not. Often I looked outside of my own relationships to define “normal” as I was getting into the start-up world. Seeing your introspective needs analysis (and some of my own personal failures) really got me to understand that defining my work-life balance by anything other than myself and my most important relationship was a mistake. Often, there is no normal in this industry :-)

    Happy birthday Brad!

  • http://twitter.com/annejohn Anne Johnson

    Brad,

    Enjoyed meeting you at SVB in Palo Alto. Enjoy reading your perspectives, including this on yourself. To turn the weight and exercise to positive, try http://www.marksdailyapple.com/ . Read it by RSS feed, which hides the overflash. There’s a good deal of reasonable science behind the approach.

    For an alternative, entertaining viewpoint, Charlie Stross is worth a look http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/11/you-say-sin-i-say-disease.html

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Great suggestions – thanks!

  • http://razvan.co Razvan Tirboaca

    Happy Birthday, Brad!

    I’m 25 and when I’m thinking about 45 I’m not imagining someone being old, but wise. And still fresh.

  • http://learntoduck.com/ micah

    Your public introspection is always something that I have admired. I like the thoughts around the application of your time.

    One thing I have thought about is about being more selective the amount of time I give others. For some reason, it doesnt feel right to not answer every request for time, even if I know that the benefit isnt fully mutual or equal.

    I also wonder, perhaps not in your case, is that as we get older, the expectations people have for our ability to be present no longer match our abilities…

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Your last sentence is right on the money, especially for introverts
      like me. It takes an increasing amount of time to be present out in
      the world. I’ve been working on my avatar so I can sent it out there
      for me, but it’s not quite ready.

  • Larry

    Brad…this is over 100 years old…H B’Day Larry & Pat

    By Rudyard Kipling
    If you can keep your head when all about you are losing
    theirs and blaming you;
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but
    make allowance for their doubting too:

    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, or being lied about, and don’t deal in lies, or being hated and don’t give way to hating,
    and yet don’t look too good, or talk too wise;

    If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;

    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and
    treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken twisted by
    knaves to make a trap for fools, or watch the things you gave your
    life to, broken, and stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools;

    If you can make on heap of all your winnings and risk
    it on a turn of pitch-and-toss, and start at your
    beginnings, and never breathe a word about your loss:

    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve
    your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is
    nothing in you except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or
    walk with kings — nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but not too much:

    If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’
    worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.

    And — which is more — you’ll be a man my son!

  • http://informationarbitrage.com/ infoarbitrage

    Brad, as we find ourselves at almost identical points in our lives, your post is both timely and impactful. What makes it particularly so is that you take a truly integrative approach to live, meshing work, personal and individual lives in a complex yet harmonious dance that clearly brings pleasure both to you and those around you. Looking at where you are today – a happy and successful husband, a respected and trusted partner and a professional at the top of his game – you should feel nothing but pride and satisfaction in all you’ve accomplished. You have uniquely been able to achieve all you have while earning the respect of those both close to you and distant from you, a feature of the times (your powerful reach via blogging, tweeting and other forms of social media) and of your character (mentoring via TechStars, Foundry, lecturing at CU, etc.).

    As a member of the Feld ecosystem who has had the pleasure of working with you professionally and hanging with you a bit personally, all I can say is “bravo.” May your next 45 years be as productive, happy and successful as the last.

  • http://MeetInnovators.com Adrian Bye

    a concept i really like is called “mini retirements”. guys will take 3, 6 or even 12 months off at a time.. then come back and get back to work again.. its basically what i’ve done recently.

    it might not be too great for business, but it lets you disconnect and regroup.. then you can move forward with more energy.

    one of the problems with being a VC might be that you need to maintain a presence.. but maybe you can find a way to disappear for a year and then come back, more rejuvenated? realistically what would happen if you disappeared off the grid for a year? can you make that feasible? if not, what about for a quarter?

    the other side of mini-retirements is that you never actually retire. you just keep working as long as you possibly can – and you do this because you love your work, which i think you do.

    i think its a better way to go.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      I’m planning a “three month working sabbatical” in 2011 – where I go
      away but stay online and worth the full time. But – no travel, no
      face to face meetings – just a totally different gear.

      • http://MeetInnovators.com Adrian Bye

        hmm.. sounds like you’re not really doing it then.

        go do something like going to outback china and train and compete in a marathon for 3 months, while studying french literature, with no internet. then come back and see where your head is at.

        • http://www.feld.com bfeld

          My friend Mark Solon (from Highway 12) just did the full version of
          this. I’m going to see him next week so I’ll spend some time talking
          to him about how he did it. I know it was a hugely great life
          experience for him and his family.

  • http://www.connectfu.com/ Jeff Yoak

    Happy (early) Birthday, Brad. My next major milestone is 40, and you echo a lot of the thoughts that I’ve been having as I approach it. You put them incredibly well.

  • http://joshguttman.com josh guttman

    Inspiring post, Brad.

    On the exhaustion piece, the tradition of shabbat comes to mind. A few years ago, I was more “religious” about fully unplugging after work Friday nights and Saturdays, and I always found that the rhythm and regularity of the practice had an uncanny ability to create balance in my life and recharge my batteries, regardless of how crazy things had become the previous week. Carving out that weekly time to invest with those closest to me was a huge bonus. I’ve let the practice slip over the past few years, and am a less balanced person for it. Though your quarterly retreat sounds great too!

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      I’ve never been religious but have often thought of observing shabbat
      as a way to change my pace. Maybe I’ll try a modified, non-religious
      weekend version.

      • http://joshguttman.com josh guttman

        in my experience, it’s all reward. but the weekly rhythm of it requires a religious-like commitment to self to uphold and get the most out of it.

  • http://2-speed.com/ Will

    Happy birthday, Brad. As a person so, so much older than you (well, I’ll certainly hit 90 before you do if, in fact, I ever hit it), I have the solution. Fracture your spine. When I shattered my C7 vertebra when I was 42 I got a whole new perspective on things. For months, I was truly amazed and blown away with the simple joy of feeding myself. Given the alternative, it’s really a very cool experience. It totally changed my life and gave me a new perspective. I find myself more thoughtful about why I do things and whether or not they are actually important to me. It turns out that a huge percentage of things I used to do (and still sneak in now and again) were things I did for the wrong reasons – they didn’t make me happier, didn’t help me provide for my family, didn’t help me get closer to my loved ones and . . . you get the picture. This is why I’ve never started another company. I know how I am and while I would have gotten a lot out of it, what I took from it could never make up for what it would cause me to miss.

    I know you do what you love and do it extraordinarily well. Is the way you do it worth the sacrifices, though? Can you do the thing you love in any other way and still love the thing you do? Is it all worth giving up on the sheer joy of programming in Python?

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Well said my friend. I expect that I will continue to have much to
      learn from you. I think my five month back probably – while not
      nearly as dramatic and dangerous as your C7 vertebra shatter – is
      playing a similar role for me, albeit at 44 instead of 42.

  • DaveJ

    You’ve always prided yourself on your self-discipline and commitment once you set your mind to something. Instead of using it to push yourself as hard as possible, now use it to live on a more sustainable cycle, despite your inclination to “run hot.” In other words, view physical/emotional/mental sustainability as a challenge unto itself.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Brad,

    Have you read anything on Evolutionary Fitness (http://www.scribd.com/doc/39889746/Evolutionary-Fitness) or the book The Primal Blueprint? Both authors were quite concerned about the Marathon and other endurance trainings’ impact on people’s health. I highly recommend you to read both — we definitely want a vibrant and energetic Brad for another 45 years! :-)

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Yes – I’ve heard and read the stuff on the marathon. I’m a skeptic
      about the conclusions – I think some people are much better oriented
      toward running very long distances (I know some marathoners in their
      70’s and 80’s that are in incredible shape.) But – thanks for the
      concern!

  • tkawaja

    Great post Brad. I have always looked at the aging thing from both a physical and mental standpoint. Like you, I believe that physical conditioning is key to many good things – health, happiness and work efficiency. So I am in better shape now than I was 10 years ago (oh, I’m turning 48 next month).

    But the bigger element is mental. I woke up almost 3 years ago on my 45th birthday and realized that in 5 years the AARP would be mailing me a card. Without getting into the political ramifications of membership, that sent a major message to me. A wake up call if you will. I had accomplished many things in my career but I didn’t want to just continue continuing on. As a result, I set out on a plan, an aggressive plan to control my destiny (something you did a while back), set very high goals and work like a dog to achieve them. Today I am well on my way to fulfilling those goals. 50 will be the next signpost on which I will measure progress.

    So I agree on working on achieving balance, focus on prioritization and stay physically and mentally healthy. By the way, did you swim or do yoga today? :)

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Glad to get the reinforcement! And while I didn’t swim or do yoga, I
      did go running.

  • http://www.rosalieinc.com @rosalieinc

    “Reflecting back on the last 45 years, I’m really pleased with how I’ve lived my life. If I died tomorrow, I wouldn’t have any regrets.” That’s an awesome thing to be able to say. Not only are you living a life with no regrets, surrounded by people you enjoy and love but you’re also making a difference in the world.I just have two comments: 1. Make your life as mobile as possible so that you can travel wherever you want to, whenever you want to. At the same time, you don’t have to travel somewhere when a web-conferencing session or a screen-share session will do. 2. Remember that at the end of the day it’s all about the memories.

    Congrats and Happy (early) Birthday! :)

  • http://www.VentureDeal.com Don Jones | VentureDeal

    I recently turned 48 and learned that a tennis coach of mine that I had lost contact with had passed away a while back. When I belatedly learned the news, I wept. He was quite a larger-than-life “character” and I knew him in my formative teenage years, so my memories are quite vivid. For some reason, I always had it in my mind that I would have another conversation with him, or at least be able to say “Goodbye”. But, that was not the case and I regret not having that conversation.

    Who in your life have you not had that conversation?

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Thanks for reminding me of the important question. I feel pretty good
      that I’m regularly touching everyone I want to talk to if I found out
      they suddenly died, but keeping it front of mind is powerful.

  • http://kerrihicks.wordpress.com/ Kerri Hicks

    Here’s a thought — it sounds like you’ve done much to tweak your life to an ideal for you. But using that skill and those resources to do for others is what connects us as a society. Not just donating money or dishing out at a soup kitchen, but giving yourself. Teach — not just a conference presentation, but obligate yourself to students who want to learn. Volunteer. Adopt (yes, a child…or a strip of highway, I guess). Become a Big Brother, and really come through for a young boy. Serve.

    I notice that a lot of the comments here revolve around doing things for yourself — traveling, exercising, etc. And those are fantastic. But the most rewarding, fulfilling parts of my life have been the times that it was not about ME — the times that I have had to do for someone else to the point of discomfort for myself, because I’d made a commitment to do so. Maybe something you and Amy could do together.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Kerri – thanks for the suggestions. I actually spend a lot of time
      teaching (I’ll spend any time at any school when asked) and have been
      deeply involved in a number of non-profits that are having real
      impact, including National Center for Women & Information Technology
      (www.ncwit.org). I view these as important parts of my life that I
      enjoy very much.

      • Kiki Tidwell, Kauffman Fellow

        Would you be interested in speaking to a high school in Hailey, Idaho which is a new school, hoping to have entrepreneurialism as the culture of its school? The Sage School. The skiing is great this year at Sun Valley while you’re there,. To round out your trip, Jima Rice has also been working hard to develop entrepreneurs in the Valley, primarily a tourism economy.

        • http://www.feld.com bfeld

          I don’t have any Idaho trips planned at this point, but I’d be happy
          to try to do something via Skype.

          • Jimasv

            Hi. Jima Rice here. I’ll connect with Sage School and see if we can work something out. However, if you’re going to Boise, you’re only 2.5 hours from us and great swimming!

            If that doesn’t appeal, what works best for you for a Skype event? am., noon, afternoon? weekday? What day might be good – probably after New Year I would think? It would really benefit us in this beautiful isolated valley with lots of entrepreneurs and weealth and few techniques to get the two together.

          • http://www.feld.com bfeld

            Time doesn’t matter much. Definitely after the new year.

  • Anonymous

    Brad: Thought you’d be amused by the ad served into my NNW with this post: http://grab.by/7Cxq. FYI, AARP will be reaching out *very* soon! –Craig (7 years your senior)

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Excellent – only 5 more years.

  • Jen Binder-Le Pape

    Great post Brad. I had a similar period of being very reflective before turing 40 earlier this year and one small tweak I made that I’ve really enjoyed is taking 5 – 10 minutes every day and read a poem. Not one I pick, I’ve alternated among a couple a different feeds. I find it’s a small mental vacation every day that forces me to clear my mind and then concentrate intensely on someone else’s perspective of the world. Some days it’s frankly so-so, other days deeply moving and refreshing. Happy birthday!

  • Gary Rieschel

    Brad – great post and always good to think about these things. Couple quick shots from here in Shanghai, on what passes as a very nice November day!

    a. Definition of a luxurious life – a life where you have to spend virtually no time with people you don’t want to spend time with. Of all the things that bring me some calm in this crazy country, the fact that i can pick and choose who i spend time or engage with is fundamental to my survival. Doesn’t mean there are not those days where I just wish I hadn’t agreed to do something that I have to do, but I also really focus on scheduling a couple events every week with people that I really love being with, arguing with, etc.

    b. You are way ahead of me on the health side. I have NEVER worked with a trainer until this fall, and it is really kicking my ass, but I know if I perservere for 6 months that I will reach a state of fitness I have probably never achieved before. The real killer is the stretching and flexibility training. It is pretty funny (painful) to have your body do things it has never done for 54 years.

    c. Try something every year that is really hard for you, but brings with it some satisfaction outside of yourself. Learning Chinese (poorly!) has been one of those activities for me, and the satisfaction of understanding more and more of what goes on around me is significant. Still too old and too shy to really learn Chinese well, but we all have our limits!!

    Happy Birthday!
    Gary

  • Brian Kellner

    Happy B-day.

    One suggestion – promise yourself one great night of sleep each week.

    One question – if you could create a perfect clone of yourself to take care of one and only one responsibility for you, what would it be?

  • http://www.johnexleyonline.com JohnExley

    1st – HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIGNOR FELD!
    2nd – Have your blog as one of the 10 sites on my Chrome “can’t-live-without” tabs. Have tried not to miss a post since earlier this spring.
    3rd – I’m only 21, but here’s my suggestion. Do you have a young son or daughter, or perhaps a young niece or nephew close by? My dad and my Grams used to take me on ‘special times’ every other weekend or so…breakfast, lunch, or something random. My uncle has also done similar things for me and my siblings. The ‘special time’ is something from my childhood I will seriously treasure forever, and I know my dad and Grams always said it kept them feeling younger and got their mind off of all the pressure of everyday life.

    Good luck and enjoy your week off the grid!

  • http://twitter.com/miLifemap mi Lifemap

    comment deleted by user.

  • http://www.freddestin.com Fred Destin

    hum, a day late in commenting. has this been superseded already by a new thread ? I guess in the span of 45 years this should be fine :-)

    few suggestions, most of which are probably not new:

    – any behavior needs to be looked at through the lens of sustainability
    – i got from sacca’s lowercase capital site and freddie da vc wilson the explicit notion that too many f2f meetings were completely killing me and my productivity (even though i generally derive a lot of energy from meeting people, we know they can fill up 150% of your awake life easily) so I now have 2-3 emails conversations with people before i decide whether we should meet and i am ruthlessly focused on who i meet.
    – I also got a bit tougher with my partners — they love getting my thoughts on stuff and we tend to work as a team but i got way more selective on “don’t ask me to meet someone if it’s to validate a decision not to pursue you have already made”. And I return the compliment.
    – email begets email so i have really moved away from real time to more considered, thoughtful answers and generally writing a lot less. Funny also how time sediments what matters (though clearly you’re on a slippery slope to being lazy here). But generally am pretty convinced real-time is often a bug not a feature.
    – multitasking does not work — your brain cannot handle it
    – you need one hour off the grid a day — your creative brain demands it.
    – there is no such thing as quality time — only time. Learned this from the CEO of peoplesoft and profoundly believe it to be true
    – a week off the grid a quarter should be a minimum requirement for every sane human being. the world can survive without any of us for a week.
    – sleep is a carefully tuned behaviour that we frequent travellers need to protect carefully, which if you like to play hard and work hard can be tough to do. i once got my cycles out of whack and became insomniac until had to call chemistry to the rescue and it was not pretty
    – gyms are boring and soul destroying and running colorado sounds like a lot more fun

  • http://twitter.com/mcavalcanti Miguel Cavalcanti

    Hi Brad,

    Very nice to read it. I’m 32 and after read your post, I’m thinking about what I can do now for the next 13 years to be able to write such a positive post about my 45th birthday.

    You’re a great inspiration for me about work, life and also running :-)

    Happy birthday, carpe diem !

    Miguel, one true fan in Brazil

  • http://sco.tt Scott Yates

    I don’t know if you’ll be offline today, but Happy Birthday today!

    Because you were born in 1965 (I was, too), you are right on the cusp between Baby Boomers and Gen X. I think you are a perfect edge case: you enjoy Classic Rock like a Boomer, but you eschew the vacuous “Let’s save the world!” vanities of typical Boomers. Yet like a true Xer, you actually are going out and making the world a better place through fixing things that are broken (Startup Visa, Software Patents, pay to pitch, etc.) and by building or helping to build great companies.

    So, I don’t have any advice for you, other than maybe to read the excellent “X Saves The World” by my friend Jeff Gordinier. And just embrace the fact that you are a citizen of two demographic nations with full privileges in both.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Brad

    I notice you recently switched to disqus.

    I had to scroll up to the beginning of your post to comment.

    I would have preferred to click on a link at the bottom of the post.

    Sorry if I am missing something, but I know of several blogs (avc) where the link is at the end of the post. btw I became a professional kitesurfing teacher at 44. hth

    Clay

  • Matt Cameron

    Brad, I have a life design motto that might be worth cogitating – ‘No matter what my circumstance, I want to be able to take every opportunity for an enriching experience.’ This has some interesting implications if you think about it – Time constraints, free cash, miscellaneous commitments…. At 37 I am trying to structure things to stay in line with this.

    Having recently freed myself from corporate shackles I also live by, “Only spend time with people that you enjoy being with.” – This is obviously nirvana, but it guides a lot of my decisions in terms of who gets my time :-) All the best for the next 45.

  • Anonymous

    Nice thought.
    From the perspective of a decade or so older what I have to say is this: 50 is worse, and think about the value of daily naps.
    Good luck :)

  • Randy Domolky

    I am turning 45 in the spring. My suggestion is find more ways NOT to have to do what you don’t like to do and to do more of what you do like. Just throw the crap overboard like they did in the Horse Lattitudes – and then throw more crap overboard when you are done with that. Why not? You only go around once – that you will likely be aware of at any one time. -Enjoy!

  • Buzz Bruggeman

    a. Spend 90 days not eating any white stuff. No bread, pasta, deserts, etc. Simplest way I have found to loose weight. Very easy, if it’s white don’t eat it.
    b. Get the bad people out of your life.
    c. Keep paying it forward…

    Delighted you are my friend…Happy Birthday and Holidays..

  • Jerry

    When shedding body fat (it’s important that the goal is body fat and not just “weight”) I never had good results until I started a high intensity weight training program 3 days a week. Each of the workouts is less than 25 minutes long and the training forces me to move the weight very slowly with proper form. The work outs are short because I do less than 6 exercises and it is only one set per exercise. The training emphasizes quality and intensity over quantity. With this program I’ve had much better results than when I was doing the eliptical/cycling 5 days a week. I’ve gone from 200 down to 180 and I’m feeling lean and strong. I learned about this training from the entrepreneur Arthur Jones who invented Nautilus, Hammerstrength and Med-ex machines and who though of super slow training. Google Arthur Jones and read about high intensity training. For a guys with busy schedules (you are damned busy), we don’t have time to spend 4-6 hours a week in the gym. I spend about an hour a week and I’m getting better results then when I did multiple weight sets and cardio. I would work out all the time but not get results because I couldn’t seem to burn off enough compared to what I ate. Now I have more muscle mass and a higher metabolism from lifting and eating 5 small meals a day. I worked out for a time in Ohio at a place called Overload Fitness that guarantees maximum fitness in minimum time. I’m sure they have something like this out west. Good luck with the fat loss my friend and keep innovating.

  • Shelley

    I don’t know you or anything about you, other than that you are a VC and a very successful one at that. I think you should listen to your body, listen to those inner thoughts, think about what you have going for you—a wife and family and close friends and colleagues—and then think how it would be to lose all of that because you pushed yourself so hard that you either developed a heart condition, diabetes, cancer or some other Western disease. On your death bed, is it going to matter that you talked to or didn’t talk to someone who sought your services, or that a deal may or may not have gone through? What matters is the love and the relationships you’ve nurtured; the individuals you’ve helped along the way. You do take all of that love with you when you go. I know, because I’ve been close to death, so close in fact that I remember how completely warm and peaceful it is, and I’ve been given a second chance at life—diagnosed and treated in the nick of time. I do think it’s important to live life to the fullest, to have no regrets, to appreciate each and every waking moment as a gift. I also think it’s OK to slow down, sleep, read, meditate, take leisurely walks to renew my spirit. To take care of myself so that I can take care of my family when I have to. These are the things that matter most.