My Founder Friend I Meet With Every Week As A Thought Partner

Two years ago I started a new habit during the COVID lockdown that I haven’t stopped.

It has made a huge difference in my business and in my life.

The COVID lockdowns are behind us, for now, but this habit keeps going.

It’s this: I have a weekly 90-meeting with an old friend to talk about our respective solopreneur ventures. We hang out a bit too.

It started when we realized we were each going crazy during the lockdowns and needed some sanity and motivation. And human connection.

Some of it was the COVID craziness. Remember those times? I do. It wasn’t much fun.

Most of it was really the lonely game of trying new things to grow our respective businesses as solopreneurs.

We were stuck in our heads. Not sure if we were on the right track. Losing some motivation. Getting confusing results.

So we started meeting every Saturday morning on Zoom for 90 minutes.

  • How’s it going?
  • What did you do in your business this week? How did that work?
  • What’s your plan for next week?
  • Am I crazy for trying this? It’s not taking off yet.
  • What are you seeing out there that is working?
  • What do you think of this idea?
  • Does this result mean what I think it means?

My friend is Chad Hoke.

Chad was my COVID sanity buddy. Now he’s my best business therapist.

Chad and I worked together 20 years ago as busy executives in a fast-growing software business. We were used to big goals and countless meetings.

This isn’t so formal or structured. We start with some chitchat about the news or our health or our families. Or our dogs.

Then whatever we want to talk about that week:

  • Share your to-do list and walk me through it. Or not.
  • What small win felt really big for you?
  • Show me what you’re working on.
  • Tell me about your hardest problem or something you are procrastinating. How did that feel
  • Or just talk about what worked and what didn’t.

We had both had big teams and endless staff meetings for most of our careers. We didn’t need that anymore.

What we needed was a committed regular time to connect with a trusted friend to talk about our business experiments. Out loud.

With someone who knows a lot of things, knows you, and will tell you things that other people won’t.

With someone experienced and wise who is going through similar things–the frustrations, disappointments, confusions, and small victories.

Chad and I meet each week, except when we have other plans. But we don’t have other plans very often. This meeting is our plan.

I have lots of friends I call on to get their thoughts about something I’m working on. I have a big network of savvy experts.

And I still keep up with a group of awesome SaaS founders in Phoenix every month that started as a CEO peer group five years ago.

It’s always great to just open Zoom and see my buddy Chad with his hot coffee and a big smile.

Things are picking up for both of us in our businesses.

And we are staying sane. That’s saying something.

Thanks, Chad. See you Saturday!

Get the weekly Practical Founders email and podcast update.

Share Practical Founders

FREE 60-PAGE EBOOK

Win the Startup Game Without VC Funding

Learn how all 75 founders on the Practical Founders Podcast created an average founder equity value of $50 million.