1. Are you eating?
These are simple questions. But they get at the heart of the basic needs of a human. Food, drink, shelter, sleep, and oxygen. To be fair, the likely answer to these questions will be yes, but they get at the underlying grinding nature the challenge in starting or running a company.
The early days of starting Cremalab were in my early 20’s. I was married and we had just had our first child. My wife was early in her nursing career and I was now a freelance designer. Looking back. I think my hourly rate was something close to $20/hour, and I had not sold out of some previous company with a wad of cash. Needless to say, the luxurious life of entrepreneurship was not raking it in. But I was grinding. Working long hours to get more clients, doing more design, managing more projects and only sometimes remembering to eat. Thankfully I had a spouse that helped provide for us as we were getting started. We didn’t splurge on food, but we also didn’t starve. But food costs money and takes time to eat.
Are you eating? The question actually unpacks two questions.
Are you stopping long enough to feed your body? Or are you moving so fast, so hard, so tirelessly that you’ve forgotten to refuel. Our office manager at Crema still often asks me if I ate lunch. I get in the zone and just forget to eat.
Are you making enough money to actually eat? Likely if you’re not, you’re borrowing or using a credit card, but the question drives at the same root. Have you found a business model that creates value, revenue or potential opportunity for investment in a way that you have some money in your bank account to buy a sandwich?