Eric Profile picture
12 Jan, 11 tweets, 3 min read
I've been thinking a lot about compound interest. It's not just about money. It's about everything, including physical/mental health, manifest in the small/big decisions we make every day.

The biggest compounding factor of my life is who I surround myself with. Thread:
1/ There was a time many years ago where I was stuck in a job that I hated. Nothing about it was specifically bad, but I just felt like it was suffocating my creativity. Each day I walked into the office, my heart rate jumped a bit and cortisol flushed a bit through my body.
2/ I was able to get out of that position, but in hindsight I wonder what would have happened if I had stayed in that role I hated for many more years. What happens when you have slightly more stress hormone each day than is normal, over the course of decades? You die faster.
3/ The thing is, is that slightly-elevated stress doesn't even feel that bad. It's the Sunday scaries, or the sigh you take before walking into a conference room full of people you don't like. Nothing abnormal. But it's kind of like a frog being boiled slowly, unknowingly...
4/ In the last year I started going to therapy and I have been able to process my experiences more. I'm learning about dialectic, where your body/gut give you queues about interactions you have with people.
5/ I have discovered there are people who the moment I think/interact with them immediately tighten my gut and elevate my heart rate. And there are others that seem to calm me down, make me feel at peace. Identifying this feeling as part of my dialectic has been huge!
6/ Dialectic should serve as an important component in guiding who you should surround yourself with. Discard those who drip more cortisol (stress hormone) into your body, and spend more time with those who drip more oxytocin (happy hormone).
7/ Last week, like many of you, I was feeling really depressed. I'm dealing with a family issue right now, and the US turmoil just brought me down. But, I also had my all-hands meeting last week--what were the feelings I felt in my gut when I saw my team?

Joy. Peace. Love.
8/ I'm so lucky because my team @HustleFundVC provides me a non-stop oxytocin (or whatever happy hormone) drip. The work is stressful of course, but just being around this crew makes me happier. I think that will compound over the next decades. And make me healthier too!
9/ Which leads me to my meandering point--listen to your own dialectic when picking your co-founder and team as well. It's not enough for there to be professional fit--you have to see these people every day, and joy should be the ideal threshhold.
10/ I see so many founders picking co-founders with their head. Logic is not enough. You are signing up for a 7-10 year journey with your co-founder. Make sure you're compounding joy vs. slowly killing yourself with slow-drip stress.

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More from @ericbahn

5 Oct 20
1/ There are few people that have had as big a personal impact on me in 2020 than @lolitataub. She is one of the smartest and most empathic people I've met as an adult.

I think that every founder should engage with her, @srcasm, and their new @thecommunityvc.
2/ This year, Lolita, @HungVPham, and I started collaborating on a TBA project, where we had our first opportunity of working together.

Frankly, things started out a bit rough, but held a social contract to be super honest with each other.
3/ At one point @lolitataub actually called me one morning and gave me hard feedback on implicit bias she detected in my communication style. Oh boy that was painful! I actually cried. But damn was that good medicine in helping me to grow into a better person.
Read 7 tweets
11 Aug 20
One thing that I learned to do early in my career as a CEO was to set a 'social contract' with anyone new whom I'd work closely with. I found this to be a useful way to set rules/expectations on how to work together.

I wanted to share what I tell founders in our social contract:
1/ The first thing I commit to is blunt honesty--but always assuming that the direct feedback is coming from a good place in our hearts. I don't like being surprised or surprising anyone else, so committing to hard/fast honesty is a solid means of getting to transparency.
2/ Next, I assume that whenever I speak to founders, things are going badly. Why? Because every company I ever ran felt like a shit show: I am an imposter; not good enough; building a house of cards.

This is what winning looks like. And, I am here to help you problem solve.
Read 5 tweets
17 Jul 19
1/ I see a lot of advice for founders on how to behave toward VCs, but let’s talk about how VCs should behave toward founders. Call it ‘VC Etiquette 101’.

The following advice is drawn from real founders I know who reported this bad VC behavior to me recently:
2/ VCs should respond to e-mail.

Even if it is to apologies that they will be slow to respond, just confirm receipt with the sender. Try to respond within 48 hours with a real response.
3/ When rejecting a founder, NEVER ghost the founder. If all you have time for is a one-sentence reason, providing that is better than nothing.

Remember: Your reputation as a VC is built from how you say ‘no’, not how you say ‘yes’.
Read 10 tweets
25 Oct 18
1/ I want to start an honest conversation about kids: They are terrible for your career. They strain your marriage. They make you way poorer.

But they are also the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Here’s what my experience has been like with two young ones.
2/ Before kids, I was all about my startup life. I built an awesome edtech company with my wife, and we sacrificed many years (filled with joy and pain) to get our nut. We traveled a lot. We ate out. We hung out with friends every weekend.

Then we decided to have kids...
3/ When our first kid arrived, we attempted to be very active parents--that didn’t work out so well. It turns out that being a stay-at-home mom or dad is way harder than we could bear, psychologically and physically.
Read 11 tweets
11 Oct 18
1/ There is so much idol worship in Silicon Valley re: successful founders and investors. But there is a common denominator for success which is rarely addressed: Privilege

I want to confess my own journey of success, as it relates to Privilege.
2/ My Korean parents were poor when they arrived to the US, seeking opportunities for their future kids. Upon immigrating, my father Germanized the spelling of our last name (B-A-H-N), with the rational that a white-sounding last name would open up opportunities. I think it has.
3/ By the time I was born, my parents were doing very well. I never suffered their trauma of poverty. I lived in a big house and went to the best public schools. As a kid, I never felt like I was missing any resources.
Read 11 tweets

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