Venture capitalist Chris Sacca doesn’t believe in attending countless meetings that just waste time and don’t accomplish anything. To avoid them, he’s gone to rather extreme lengths.
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I realised I was just playing defence all the time. I was taking these coffee meetings, listening to these poor pitches. I’d get home and realise I hadn’t really accomplished anything. I was just reacting to everything– Chris Sacca, Silicon Valley VC.
Chris Sacca is a big deal in Silicon Valley. He was an early Google employee, he’s invested in companies like Uber, Twitter and Instagram, and he recently created his own VC firm called Lowercase Capital.
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So it goes without saying that a lot of people want a piece of Chris Sacca. A few years ago, it got so bad that he felt as if he wasn’t really getting anything done. He was just wasting his time in pointless meetings.
To snap out of this pattern, Sacca did something extreme: He moved away from San Francisco and Silicon Valley and set up shop in Truckee, a smallish town of around 20 000 people that’s in Nevada County – a few hours from Silicon Valley.
“I literally took myself out of the game,” says Sacca. “I moved to Truckee and put together a list of people that I would like to meet, so I just started inviting them up to Truckee. I also made a list of the companies I wanted to get better and started inviting them to visit me.
“I also had a perfect excuse for not taking random meetings any longer – I was three hours away. I could pick and choose the interactions that I thought were most valuable to me.”
Of course, not many people can do what Sacca did – pick up and move away from an economic hub, but his decision still offers a lesson to other entrepreneurs: Don’t let others dictate how you spend your time. Be active instead of reactive.
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As a founder, there will always be a thousand things (and people) demanding your attention. If you don’t draw a line in the sand and treat your time as a valuable resource, you will always be operating from the back foot.
Be ruthless when it comes to your calendar. Don’t accept any meeting requests that you know won’t result in any actionable steps, and won’t truly require your direct input.