In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about our inner energy and how we manage it. They highlight the importance of food in managing your energy levels and they look at other ways that your mental and physical energy, can be optimised to enable constant high energy throughout your day.

The body, mind, spirit and emotions work together, and when they are all working optimally, you will experience high quality energy. However, if any of these are affected negatively, the whole system can be affected and you may notice your energy levels draining much faster throughout the course of your day. Making the right targeted changes to your lifestyle, can boost your energy over time and give you the ability to access a better quality of life and productivity.

Tune into this week’s episode of The Startup Chat to review which behaviors or habits have the capacity to drain your battery or boost your energy.

Steli and Hiten, share their ideas, for how to review what you are fuelling your body with and

they also share how to recognise the difference, between different kinds of energy.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:39 Benefits of managing your energy.

01:01 Food is a major tool in rapid optimisation of your energy.

02:20 Alcohol can not give you energy.   

02:42 Researching alternatives to boost your energy.

05:01 What is the quality of your energy.

05:50 Who are you surrounding yourself with.

06:56 The top energy drainers to be aware of.

07:29 The quantity of an activity is also important.

08:24 Top tips for improving your energy.

09:56 Questions to ask yourself.

3 Key Points:

  • Food and drink has more to do with our energy levels than we believe.
  • Look at what you are consuming and how that affects your energy and emotions.
  • Look at your activities and make sure that they are really fueling up your batteries.


Steli Efti: Hey everybody. This is Steli Efti.



Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.



Steli Efti: In today’s episode of the Startup Chat, we’ll talk about energy management for founders and startup people. But not energy in terms of, like, the energy that you use for your Tesla, but internal energy, like the energy you feel, the emotions you feel, the energy your body, and your mind, and your soul … Whatever you want to call it. How do you manage your energy? Because we’ve talked about time management before. There’s many things you need to learn how to manage, but there’s almost nothing, I think, that’s more leveraged than figuring out a way to manage your internal energy and being able to live a life where you have really high energy and high-quality energy throughout your day.



Hiten Shah: I’m going to start with one thing, and I’m just going to say, a lot of this has to do with food.



Steli Efti: Ooh.



Hiten Shah: Yeah. I think your mental and physical energy is impacted greatly by food and drink, so coffee … You might think it’s good for you. It probably is bad for you. Food … Are you actually eating the right amount? Are you eating the right types of food for you? Are you eating at the right times? And right just means are you eating too much, too? Are you eating all the right food? I’m not saying there’s a diet I suggest, although I probably could recommend a diet or two, whatever. But what I’m suggesting is do you know the exact food requirements that give you the maximum amount of energy? I would argue that most of the time, people have no idea about how what they intake impacts them based on energy, and founders have a horrible time with that. Yeah. I mean, you can probably get on the Soylent diet and hack the problem like many founders probably want to, but I’m going to throw down and say I think food has more to do … Food and drink has more to do with it than we believe. I’ll say one last thing about it before you probably shut me down, but alcohol is a poison. Just look it up.



Steli Efti: Okay. All right. Well, you feel that … Let’s step back and talk. Alcohol is a poison, but also alcohol … How does it affect your energy? Because I don’t think … I don’t think anybody can disagree with alcohol is not good for you. There’s some people that have learned the whole drinking one glass of wine is really good for you, but I heard conflicting stories on this. Some of the things that are good in that glass of wine, you could get at 10 times the doses if you eat an apple or something like that. So, I’m not sure on any of the science or research on any of this, but-



Hiten Shah: My point is just that alcohol is a poison. It’s a poison. That’s what it is, you know? By definition, it’s something that your body doesn’t need, basically.



Steli Efti: Yeah.



Hiten Shah: Right? That’s what I mean. If you think about other things like that, and you put that perspective on it and just start realizing what you’re consuming, I think you will figure out what gives you energy and what doesn’t. Alcohol does not give anyone energy. I’m not yet even on caffeine and coffee, and that one, which I cannot argue. It gives you energy, yes.



Steli Efti: Yes.



Hiten Shah: Does it give you sustainable energy? Do you get addicted to it? I mean, there’s all kinds of questions, and I don’t want to derail this and talk about food and drink. I just want for everyone listening to think about what they’re consuming and how it impacts their energy and emotion.



Steli Efti: I love that, and I think it’s indisputable. Right? The things that you fuel your body with will impact the type of energy you give your body. Food is energy, right? It’s translated into energy in your body. If you consume things with low nutrients, if you consume a lot of artificial shit, if you consume things, high level of carbs or sugar or even caffeine, the quality of energy you’re getting out of that food will vary widely. I think one thing that’s kind of a fun experiment to suggest here is for people to actually not track what they’re eating, but to track how they’re feeling an hour later after they’ve consumed something. Right? How do you feel an hour after your lunch? How do you feel an hour after your breakfast? How do you feel an hour after your dinner? That’s a really good indicator to me. Not immediately after what I eat I know how I feel, but an hour later, I can kind of sense of what I consumed was good energy and is fueling me with a sustained, high-quality level of energy, or if was just a quick high, and I’m crashing. Or, if it just was too much, and I’m slowing down. All right, so that’s on the food and drink. I think this leads to another thing, which is an interesting question to consider when it comes to energy, which is quality of energy. Right? You said sustained energy when it came to coffee, because you can’t … It’s undisputable you consume coffee, and usually a normal human body will react with feeling a higher sense of energy and alertness. But the question is is that a jittery energy? Is it a sustaining energy, kind of what I would call high-quality energy? Or, is this the kind of energy that you get … Same when you consume a ton of sugar, like you get the sugar high. That’s also energy. It’s just not good-quality energy. It’s too much energy. It’s too overwhelming. It’s too jittery. Doesn’t allow you really to focus, and it comes with a crash attached, which is really, really bad. Food is a big thing, right? Okay. Next thing that’s really big that I’ll throw out there, and this is something the two of us … This is one of the many reasons why we love each other, because we’re so aligned on this … People.



Hiten Shah: Yep.



Steli Efti: People, right? Who are the people in your life that give you energy? Who are the people that cost you energy? If you have to do a lot with people that are draining you of energy, it will impact your day. It will impact your productivity. You can’t have an argument with your significant other, or with some family member, or some friend, or your co-founder, and then afterwards expect to do your best work. Right? Most of the times, these kind of arguments and conflicts and misalignments will drain you of energy. One of the reasons I love to you, Hiton, and why we’ve been doing this for now almost 300 episodes is because when we talk, at the end of us recording the podcast, I feel more energy than at the beginning. Right? It’s one of the-



Hiten Shah: Same, yeah.



Steli Efti: It’s one of the main reasons why, for three years, we’ve been having an ongoing conversation every Friday for one hour is because-



Hiten Shah: That’s right.



Steli Efti: … At the end, we feel better than at the beginning. Right? That makes a huge difference.



Hiten Shah: That’s the key.



Steli Efti: That’s the key. Who gives you energy? Spend more time with the people that give you energy, that supply you energy and passion for life, and cut people out of your life that drain you of energy.



Hiten Shah: I couldn’t agree more. I mean, look. Between food, drink, and people, what more is there?



Steli Efti: Well, I’ll throw out … Well, there’s two more things that I can think of.



Hiten Shah: Bring it.



Steli Efti: One is the type of activity. Like, there’s activities that doesn’t even really include people. There’s certain activities that drain you of energy, and other activities give me energy. Right? Reading a great book … I love it. It gives me energy, gives me inspiration. Filling out my tax returns drains me of energy, right? Doesn’t really make me that excited or make me feel better afterwards. Even quantity of activity, right? If I work out for an hour, I would usually feel great for the rest of the day. I’ve overdone it at times, where I’ve worked out for two, two and a half hours, and then I felt like shit for the rest of the day. Or, television is a great thing. I love some TV shows. I love watching movies. If I watch an hour of television at the end of the day, and I stop right there, I feel pretty good. I feel rested. But if I get into the binge-watching mode, and I go from one episode to watching three hours of television, I’m a zombie. I feel terrible. I’m exhausted. I think quantity of the activity and what kind of activity you’re involved with, that can also … There are activities that will give you energy, and certain activities that will drain you of energy. Also, those activities … Not all of them you can do in endless quantities. You have to be aware of that as well, I would say.



Hiten Shah: Yeah. I mean, it’s just so simple, right, if you start thinking through this, right, and think about what gives you energy and what doesn’t. I’m going to go into the tips and just say that the tip I have, probably stealing yours, Steli, is that start recognizing. I know you said after you eat, an hour. I’m thinking that it’s more … It’s more like right away. What gives you energy? What doesn’t? Right away after it, can you figure it out? After you meet with someone? After you do a certain type of work? After you even text with someone? Just start recognizing it. My number-one tip is just recognize your energy level. Is it higher or lower than when you started an activity, a meeting, even a conversation on text or whatever?



Steli Efti: I love it. All right. My tip has to do with rest. When you rest, ask yourself are you truly resting? I brought up the television example, where people … At the end of the day, they’re exhausted. They just want to be vegetables on the couch and just Netflix their evening away. Just ask yourself, by the end of that television night, when you are ready to stop with that activity and go to bed, ask yourself how do you feel? Do you really feel rested now? Or, do you feel exhausted or tired or brain-frozen? The same thing goes to really anything. Doesn’t matter if you really enjoy eating sugary shit, watching television, playing online games. Any kind of activity you do during your downtime, pay attention. Did that activity during your downtime … Did it really rest you? Did it give you energy so when you go back to work, you feel rested, and you’re enthusiastic to get back to action? Or, do you feel drained and exhausted? Then, ask yourself, maybe you want to … Maybe you want to take a look at your rest activities and make sure that they truly, truly help you fuel up your batteries again.



Hiten Shah: Exactly. It’s that simple. I think most people don’t do this.



Steli Efti: All right. I think that’s it from us for this episode. Make sure to amp up your energy for the next few days. It makes a huge difference in your productivity and the way that you’re able to create value in the world as a founder or the startup member. That’s it for us for this episode. Until next time.



Hiten Shah: Later.