Bleary Eyed Investors

Sleeping in The Lobby Of The Melbourne MuseumImage by fredwilson via Flickr

I'm in a particular stretch of sleep deprivation this week. From Tuesday through the end of today, I will do five board meetings in three cities, do two cross country flights including one redeye. I just finished a 24 hour visit to San Francisco where I did seven meetings including two of the five board meetings. To make matters worse, I had to fly coach on the redeye back to NYC.

I'm not complaining mind you. I am sure entrepreneurs have it much worse than I do.

But in a situation like that, how do I plan to "be present" in the two board meetings today?

Well for one thing, I take board meetings very seriously. They are among my most favorite parts of the job and I get energized just walking into them. I make sure to drink a lot of water and avoid heavy food and caffeine. If I find myself getting tired, I get up and participate in the meeting standing up.

But most of all, I try to be even more engaged in the meeting, ask more questions, think harder about opportunities and challenges facing the company, and attempt to make the meeting more interactive. And that's what my game plan is today.

I've also found that many entrepreneurs come into board meetings sleep deprived. Preparing for a board meeting is time consuming and many entrepreneurs put it off until the last minute and then go into crunch mode to get it done. You know when that happens if you don't get a board deck before the meeting.

I would advise entrepreneurs to avoid that approach if at all possible. Get the board prep done a few days in advance of the meeting, get the deck out to the board, and then get a good night's sleep before the meeting. You might need it if you've got some cranky bleary eyed investors to deal with.

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