Wisdom from the Entrepreneurial World

Sohail Virani2023-11-05

Musings From Sahil Bloom & Andrew Wilkinson on how to live a flourishing life.

Good morning folks! November’s here which means the weather in Vancouver is gonna go out for a roller coaster ride. (Seriously it was densely clouded an hour ago and now the sun is out like it’s an endless summer) This is a gentle reminder not to forget your umbrellas. (alongside your sunglasses and a winter jacket.)

Sahil Bloom is an Investor, Entrepreneur and Creator whose holding company SRB Ventures is a $10 million fund that supports amazing start-ups to grow and flourish. He is also hugely popular for his Tweets and has amassed 1 million+ followers on the platform.

Image Source: Profile Magazine

Andrew Wilkinson is the co-founder of Tiny another holding company that serves as the long-term home for many internet businesses to grow and continue to be the best at what they do. In his early years, he bootstrapped his Web design agency Metalab. The same team also went out and designed Slack which has an evaluation of 2.8 billion.

Image source: MOI Global

In today’s mindful musings, I’ll dive into the key takeaways I got from being in the room with these legends and about 600 more creators, entrepreneurs and aspirants.

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Key takeaways from the event

  1. Andrew Wilkinson: Observe and Seize

    Andrew's story from a barista earning minimum wage to founder of multiple companies is truly inspiring. During one of his work shifts at the coffee shop, he noticed a couple of people who'd show up at the same time every day and order espressos in 30-minute increments. Out of curiosity, he asked them what they do for a living. Turns out they were web designers who'd go to small businesses and ask if they needed a website. (This was huge back in 2005) Already equipped with skills in HTML, he tried it out, secured his first contract, and quit his barista job right after.

  2. Sahil Bloom: Redefining what a creator is

    This could mean different things for everyone. We see people in the community talking about staying in their lane or creating a niche and owning it. Sahil doesn't have a niche, and creators don’t necessarily need one. The culmination of life's experiences is unique to each individual. Drawing from them and finding ways to leverage them and make a positive impact is what's more important and anyone can do it.

  3. Sahil Bloom: The quality of our relationships defines the quality of our lives.

    Sahil's emphasis on cultivating positive relationships with your loved ones as being the greatest form of wealth truly hits the spot. There is a whole group of people out there who are rich but lead a miserable life. What use is all of that money if it takes all your time and energy, leaving you deprived of the most valuable moments with your loved ones?

    On a side note, being in a room full of creators, aspiring entrepreneurs and inspiring people all striving to create a positive impact was such a powerful and energetic experience. If you’re someone who owns a business or is currently working towards building one, these events are valuable opportunities for building new connections and meeting other people who are on the same journey as you.

Habit Tracking Stacking

Habit stacking is a concept popularized by James Clear, the author of "Atomic Habits." At its core, it involves attaching a new habit you want to establish to a habit you already have. This simple yet powerful approach leverages your existing routines to create a cascade of positive changes in your life.

The Works

Start by listing the habits you already have in your daily routine. These could be as simple as making your bed, brushing your teeth, or having a morning cup of coffee.

Next, decide on the new habits you want to incorporate. These can be small and achievable changes that contribute to your personal growth. Examples include reading for 10 minutes, doing a quick workout, or practicing gratitude.

Then, Match your new habits with your existing ones based on the logic of when/after. For example, "After I make my morning coffee, I will read the book that I always wanted to read and which has been collecting dust on my bookshelf. I’ll stop reading as soon as I finish my cup or continue if I have the time.”

It's crucial to keep your habit stack simple and specific at least in the beginning stages and avoid overloading your routine with too many changes at once. Focus on one or two habit stacks at a time.

Here’s a personal example.

I have a list of podcast episodes that I always want to listen to but could never really find the time for. I've managed to merge this aspiration with my existing habit of working out, which I aim to do at least four times a week.

Environmental Health

The pursuit of personal wellness focuses on individual habits and practices. These are crucial to improve your health and well-being. But it’s also equally important to consider the environment in which we live and its impact on our well-being.

Here are some ways the environment connects with our personal wellness

Physical Health: A healthy environment promotes physical well-being. Clean air, safe drinking water, and nutritious food are essential for maintaining good health.

Mental Health: Environmental factors can significantly impact mental health. Natural surroundings, green spaces, and access to nature have been linked to reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.

Social Well-being: A clean and safe environment fosters a sense of community and social well-being. It provides spaces for social interaction, physical activity, and cultural engagement.

Easy things we can do to promote a healthier environment:

Sustainable Living: Adopt eco-friendly practices in your daily life, such as reducing energy consumption and minimizing waste.

Advocacy: Join or support organizations that work to protect and improve the environment. Your collective voice can drive positive change.

Mindful Consumption: Being conscious of your choices as a consumer and supporting products and companies that care about environmental responsibility and act on it.

Ivan Zhao - Notion

Image Source: Cayce Clifford for The New York

We’ve covered the monumental impact Notion had made in our lives and that of many others around the world in our previous issues. This time let’s discover the story of the mastermind behind the curtain. Ivan Zhao

Ivan Zhao's story is a fascinating odyssey that encapsulates the essence of innovation and creativity. Ivan majored in Cognitive science with a minor in fine arts from UBC. He constantly credits the pioneers and old researchers in the field of computing as an inspiration for the Notion team.

The inception of Notion was a pivotal moment in Ivan's creative career. It started as a personal project, a simple tool to help him organize his life and thoughts. Notion was born out of his desire to make complex tasks simple and accessible. The platform's user-centric design and multifunctionality soon attracted a global following.

In 2021, Notion was valued at $10 Billion and is estimated to make around 65 million USD in annual revenues.

Ivan's creative journey, coupled with the profound impact of Notion, serves as a testament to the monumental influence one individual can wield in the sphere of productivity and organization.

Good ol’ Bonds

Aside from being a rather less interesting and not to exaggerate, a soul-sucking topic for accounting students, Bonds can be a reliable investment option.

Bonds, often referred to as fixed-income securities, are financial instruments representing a form of debt. When you invest in a bond, you are essentially lending money to an entity, be it a corporation or a government, for a predetermined period. In return, the entity agrees to pay you periodic interest, and upon maturity, return the principal amount.

Why it makes sense:

  1. Bonds offer a steady stream of income through periodic interest payments, making them a suitable choice for investors seeking a stable cash flow.
  2. Bonds are typically considered less risky than stocks, offering a greater degree of capital preservation. They can be a valuable addition to a diversified portfolio, providing stability during market fluctuations.
  3. Government bonds, such as U.S. Treasury bonds, are often considered among the safest investments globally, as they are backed by the government's ability to tax and print currency.
  4. Bonds come in various maturity periods, catering to different investment horizons. You can choose short-term, intermediate, or long-term bonds, depending on your financial goals.

How to invest in bonds?

Brokerage Accounts: Most investors purchase bonds through brokerage accounts. Online platforms such as Questrade make it easy to buy and sell bonds, providing access to a wide range of options.

Financial Advisors: Consulting a financial advisor can help you select the most suitable bonds based on your financial goals and risk tolerance.

Mutual Funds and ETFs: Another approach is to invest in bond mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which offer diversification and professional management.

That’s it for this week’s issue of Vitality Digest. As always please be sure to spread the word with your friends and family. It means a lot to us.


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Stay Vital!

Yours truly,


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