53 minutes | Sep 18th 2019

Time for Business with Stephanie Hurlburt

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We’ve all heard advice to hustle, work harder, and push push push. And...most of us are exhausted as a result. So this week we’re talking to someone making the opposite choice: Stephanie Hurlburt, an entrepreneur who built a successful business, no nights and weekends required.

Stephanie is the cofounder of Binomial, a company that makes image compression software. But she’s not a startup founder working 100 hours a week and trying to scale as fast as possible. Instead, she’s optimized her business for her mental and physical health—while still sharing her knowledge with industry newbies, closing big deals with companies like Google and Netflix, and healing from the trauma of domestic violence.

The purpose of my job is to give me time in my life. And money can help give me time in some ways—for instance, if I amassed enough money to not need to work at all. But money can also not give me time. For instance, entering into a big contract where I was constantly on the clock. So, having that as a very clear priority really helps guide a lot of decisions.
—Stephanie Hurlburt, cofounder, Binomial

We talk about:

  • Why business is always personal—and it’s ok to be yourself. “When I was working in the gaming industry, there was very much a boys club there... It kind of made me realize that I’m never going to get a real seat at that table. And when I’m open about myself, I’m definitely not getting a seat at that table. And maybe that’s okay! Maybe I find tables that actually accept me.”
  • How to reframe networking as human by thinking about it as a natural give and take, not a transaction. “I feel like to a lot of people, they dread it because they see it as very transactional. And I don’t really see it that way.”
  • Why letting an email sit for a day or two is actually an important part of setting boundaries. “The first conversation you have with someone, you’re setting some very key boundaries about what’s okay and what’s not okay, even if you’re not explicit about it.”
  • How mental healthcare can help you break free of burnout cycles. “The number one thing that I wish I did when I was overworked was actually to see a therapist. Because I feel like I have grown so much through therapy and I have learned how to manage my time through therapy. If I had sought a therapist earlier, I could have prevented a lot of pain.”

Plus, what Sara and Katel did on their summer vacation: unplug their laptops, drape themselves in linen, and go cliff diving with tween boys. No, really.

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