[Stoic Capital #21] On productivity, time and wealth

I work to be free from my calendar and my inbox. The ultimate productivity hack is never to have a set schedule or meetings.

Pmarca’s guide to personal productivity is a magnum opus on this matter. Read it. Then, reread It after a few days.

It’s inspiring to see how Warren Buffet does it. He doesn’t have a schedule and rarely has meetings. He reads a lot.

Over time, I’ve gotten much better at saying no to most meetings, while having dedicated blocks of time for internal work that must be done.

If you don’t guard your time, people will steal it from you, requesting “calls” or “catch-ups” for their benefit. To succeed, you must learn how to transform meetings into emails, emails into text messages and, ultimately reach out to fewer people.

I try to plan as much as I can and have noticed if I add too much structure to my schedule I lose opportunities for flow.

More than the desire to be rich I have the desire to be free.

To be completely free, you need a minimum amount of capital in your bank account.

As success comes in your life, it is easy to be trapped by your circumstances and become slaved into a reality that you must go to another happy hour, event, take one more meeting. After all, you’ll never know, maybe that 7th meeting leads you to a significant investment or a new high-quality LP.

The past two weeks have been brutal in terms of work volume. All of us have been working over 14 hour days and, instead of going to another event or meetup, it might be better to hit the gym, 10 minutes of sauna and get a deep tissue massage. That said, nothing is better to lie your head in the pillow knowing that you did your best and that when it hurt, you pushed even further.

You must guard your time as the most critical aspect of your life.

If you want real wealth and freedom, you can get it, especially if you live in the US.

There are several trapped/poor millionaires, while there are several free “poor” people.

Epicurus was on point over this. Seneca, on Letters from a Stoic, alludes to that:

"Contented poverty is an honorable estate." Indeed, if it be contented, it is not poverty at all. It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor. What does it matter how much a man has laid up in his safe, or in his warehouse, how large are his flocks and how fat his dividends, if he covets his neighbour's property, and reckons, not his past gains, but his hopes of gains to come? Do you ask what is the proper limit to wealth? It is, first, to have what is necessary, and, second, to have what is enough.” — (Letter 2) On discursiveness in reading, Seneca

Status is idiotic. Like @naval said in this now iconic tweetstorm, seek wealth, not status. Be a part of assets that earn money when you sleep.

I want to wake up at any hour of the day, anywhere on earth, doing what I love — running a firm and investing in founders.

In life, I want access to any experience, regardless of terms and conditions. That is true social status. No-ownership, but full access is vital.

The more I mature as a VC and man the more I realize that this is the best path forward.