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Sunday, June 11th, 2023
What I learned this week | Creating vs. reacting
I haven’t written much over the past few weeks. Lucky for me, a friend has. Andrew Hutton published "Huddle and The Fractional Team Revolution—a deep dive into what we’ve created at Huddle: the article plus some learnings about creating vs. reacting below.
🔖 My feed this week
Huddle and The Fractional Team Revolution (full article here.)
During the pandemic in 2020, Andrew and I were more than kicking around ideas for companies. We had MVPs and early users for two similar ideas: his, an educational program for early-stage founders to get the resources they needed to get started from “Day One,” and mine, a network where any founder could connect and “Huddle” with HQ talent fast.
We were close to combining the two companies but ultimately decided they should be separate—Day One and Huddle were born around the same time.
Thanks, Andrew Hutton, for sharing my story with my cofounder Stephanie Golik and our journey at Huddle. Read Andrew’s first startup deep dive as part of his Future Founders series here. Grateful to have excellent partners like Day One from, quite literally, day one of our startup journey.
🎼 What I learned this week
Creating vs. reacting.
You might have heard it called expansion vs. contraction, love vs. fear, or abundance vs. scarcity. It all comes down to the same idea; we have a choice at every instance of life—create or react.
Our nervous system knows the difference. Everything feels tense, frantic, and even painful when reacting/contracting. Creating and expanding, on the other hand, has a light, free, energizing quality.
Two weeks ago, I kept a journal of everything I did for one week. Don’t freak out; it wasn’t that hard. I just wrote down what I did on one side of a sheet of paper, and on the other, I wrote whether the activity felt energy-producing (i.e., creative) or energy-draining. The results surprised me.
Of all the draining tasks on my list, there were only three key buckets: (1) unplanned meetings, like an impromptu brainstorm, (2) answering messages and emails when I had planned to do something else, and (3) meetings that started late or went over. Every energy-sucking task was due to one thing: unintentional time—reacting to whatever was thrown my way instead of planning my day and using my time productively
I think it’s true that “discipline is freedom.” We can’t create what we want in life when we’re spending time not creating it.
🧰 Try this on
Write down everything you do for one week. On the left side, list the task—preferably while doing it. On the right, write whether the activity felt generative or draining. You might find just a few common themes.
Here’s the kicker: draining tasks aren’t wrong—they show us where to be creative. Can you delegate the task? Reinvent it? Is the job no longer serving you? Is your time spent getting you to where you want to go?