3 Lessons from Taking a Break and Getting Away, Best Time to Exercise, and More


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Today at a Glance

take a break and get away, founder retreat, taking a break and getting away, founder wellness experience

A sunny hello from Hoi An, Vietnam. We’ve been here for almost two weeks now and what can I say — we LOVE it.

The landscape — stunning. The people — like family. The food — healthy (mostly) delicious. Everything is fresh produce from the fields and farms close by, which reminds me a lot of Sicily.

To be honest, we struggled a bit the first week to get back into our routine and stay productive. Also, we struggle to balance work, private life, and plunging head-on into what this area has to offer.

We realize that the Fit Founder Lifestyle we talked about last week becomes more and more important as we age, it’s the cornerstone of our success.

And there’s more we realized this week…

On Monday, we started working in an incredible co-working place (The Hub Hoi An) overlooking the rice fields. Here are many incredible founders, entrepreneurs, and business owners. The best environment to pick brains and get feedback on products and services we develop.

We’ve been sharing with a few people about our Founder Wellness Experience in Sicily and ALL confirmed one eternal truth:

For long-term success, you need to take a break and get away now and then.

And if you can do it with a diverse group of entrepreneurs it provides invaluable new perspectives and accelerates innovation.

You develop that internal culture of curiosity and continuous learning, which drives personal and business growth and benefits your team (if you have one).

Here are the 3 learnings from 3 founders that stood out:

3 Lessons from Founders Who Take a Break and Get Away

1) Work-Life Balance is Overrated — Work-Life Rhythm Underrated

Sanne, who runs a digital marketing agency, said, it’s more a matter of creating the right rhythm for yourself. Weeks and months of intensive work and then a week or two of decompression to reset the nervous system, clear the mind, and upgrade personally.

Let’s face it. There’s no such thing as work-life balance. Even less if you work on high-impact meaningful projects. This is your life. In some way it fuels you.

Yet we only have so much energy we can draw from a higher cause or purpose. We need to make sure to rest, recharge, and rejuvenate to keep our 100% capacity.

2) Retreat into Healthy Lifestyle Habits to return stronger

Ben, a founder in the cryptocurrency field, told us, he loved learning various stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, or breathwork. It equipped him with valuable tools so that in high-pressure situations in his professional life he knows exactly what to do and how to cope with it.

When you work from dawn till dusk there’s not much time to prioritize yourself.

You care for your customers, clients, high-stake projects, and the team (if you have one), but you forget the most important one in the equation — yourself.

To provide, we’re required to be the full cup. You can’t pour from an empty one.

Taking a break and getting away to an active wellness experience refills the cup with various physical activities and healthy mouthwatering nutritious food.

3) Arrive in the Moment and Approach Success Holistically

Samuel, a finance SAAS entrepreneur who manages his team and company remotely, mentioned that he loved most the moments when he unplugged completely — physically and mentally from his business.

“With the right instructions and a decent interim manager, they get along independently for a week or two. And I get a bit of peace of mind.”

During such “retreats,” you learn to focus on the present moment rather than being consumed by future worries or past regrets. You gain mental clarity like never before.

Another thing: Life is not only work. It also needs to be play.

Financial success and freedom are enticing but mental, emotional, and physical well-being are even more important. Things you can’t buy with money — you need to earn them.

Here you have them, the 3 lessons we learned on taking a break and getting away from other entrepreneurs.

And if you are a founder like Sam, an entrepreneur like Ben, or a business owner like Sanne, and as the thought leader of your business, you regularly put your needs aside, probably it’s time to take a break and get away.

We have the exact right thing for you: The Founder Wellness Experience in Sicily, Italy.

9 worry-less days for you to unplug, recharge, and reconnect with yourself and others. What do you say? Doesn’t this sound awesome?

ONE Deep Dive on Exercise for You This Week:

Active and passive hangs. Bar hangs improve your grip strength but they do much more than that.

They improve your posture and shoulder health. At the same time, they help decompress your spine, which can allow for a healthier lower back.

This exercise is especially important for people who sit for long periods at a desk (and that’s 100% of people we know)

Keys to doing this exercise:

  • If you’re a beginner use a support at the bottom (like a step) to keep one foot on at all times. That way you can regulate the weight you have to hold.
  • Hold onto the bar and brace your core to prevent any swinging.
  • Hold on for as long as you can. 30 seconds is a great target for the beginning. Every second counts, remember that.
  • Do passive and active ones. Passive means elevated shoulder blades, and active means actively depressed shoulders.
  • Track your progress to see how much it improves over time.

You can do this exercise every day in the morning, afternoon, or night. Beginner trainees aim for 1 set for 30 seconds, intermediates aim for 1 set at 1 minute, and advanced aim for 1 set for 2 minutes.

If you want to see how it works, check out Markus’ post on LinkedIn.

Your Questions, Answered:

Does the perfect exercise time exist? And if so, when is it during the day?

We’ve experimented a lot with this during the past years. We tried early morning, before lunch, mid-afternoon, and late afternoon.

Simon Hill explores the question a bit deeper in this blog post.

He found from several studies that pro athletes’ (and others’) peak athletic performance happens around 4-5 pm in the afternoon. This is linked to our circadian rhythm, which makes totally sense to me.

We experienced the same. But working out too late (2-3 hours before bed) can disrupt your sleep because adrenaline and endorphins are still elevated after hours and don’t let you fall asleep peacefully.

For us, early mornings work best — that way we also ensure to eat the “healthy” frog first thing in the morning. Experiment with yourself and find out what works best for you.

Quote for Good Ideas:

"The reason people get good ideas in the shower is because it's the only time during the day when most people are away from screens long enough to think clearly. The lesson is not to take more showers, but rather to make more time to think."

As founders, entrepreneurs, and business owners creativity is existential. We need to give our brains time and space to air out. To self-reflect. And introspect. We need to take breaks and get away from everyday life, work, and the daily grind.

Remember, work to live, not live to work. Even if this feels impossible for high-achievers like us.

That’s it for today.

Hope you enjoyed it (and learned something new). Until next week.

What’s going on in our world

As usual, when we arrive in a new place, one of the first things we do is to look for a workout playground.

The nearest outdoor workout area is a five-minute bike ride away. Although it may not be visually appealing (no scenic sea backdrop this time 😄), it is adequately equipped to meet all our needs.

As mentioned above, this week, we began working from a co-working space.

Our current “office” is located on a countryside street, overlooking the intense green rice fields. It’s as if it’s painted in a fantasy movie.

Describing it with words is challenging, so we’ll share a picture instead.

As always, stay fit, stay active, and enjoy your life.

Ketty & Markus

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