Sean Kim is one of the most inspiring young entrepreneurs I know. He’s constantly challenging himself personally and professionally while growing a business and sharing his journey with the world.
I connected with Sean and asked him to share some of his most powerful habits and routines.
Sean Kim is the founder and CEO of Rype, the world’s leading membership for personalized language lessons. Sean is also a columnist on Inc. Magazine, contributor to Fast Company, Huffington Post, Observer and the host of The Sean Kim Show where he brings on New York Times Bestselling Authors and Pulitzer Prize Winners.
What Are the Most Influential Habits in Your Life?
The two most impactful habits for me is making time for daily movement. I usually would do intense workouts Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and do hot yoga for flexibility and relaxation on Tuesday and Thursday. If I’m ever stressed, low on energy, or unmotivated, this is the ultimate cure for me.
How Do You Set Goals and Manage Time?
I’m pretty simple in that I use Google Calendar for my daily schedules. It allows me to allocate what’s the most important priority for the day, how long I need to dedicate, and even enables me to schedule break or exercise times. For longer-term planning, I have my 12-month goals (nothing beyond that) and reverse-engineer a 90-day sprint that allows me to target those goals.
Sometimes, I would do a deeper analysis and perform an 80/20 on the goals I wrote down for my 90-day sprint, and prioritize which are the most important.
How Are You Modeling Your Life?
For big, life-changing decisions that are personal, I use role models to help improve decision making. For every day or short-term decision making, I use mental models such as applying the 80/20 rule for my career, finances, happiness, etc.
Can You Describe Your Work Process and Thinking Behind It?
Honestly, it’s as simple as: figuring out what I’m best at given current resources (or what I have to do), and delegating everything else. I’m fortunate to be working with a great team at Rype, but for solopreneurs out there, having a VA can cure that.
What Do You Eat for Breakfast?
I often skip breakfast and just drink a green smoothie with butter coffee which sustains me until 11 am or 12 pm. When I do eat breakfast, I go for high fat and high protein combinations, such as egg whites, bacon, and avocado. Most of this reasoning is to follow the keto diet, which I’ve found to be optimal for my mental energy.
How Do You Train Your Body and Mind?
For my body: I do an alternating mixture of heavyweights (low reps + high weight), then hot yoga on alternate days.
For my mind: I try to meditate in the mornings as much as possible, and read around one book a week. It’s when I have my best ideas.
How Do You Meet and Connect with People?
I rarely go to conferences.
Fortunately, I have a podcast/platform where I can reach out to people that interest me and invite them to have a conversation. Sometimes this extends beyond the conversation, and I can build genuine relationships with these interesting people.
Besides that, I’m pretty simple in that I spend most of my time with people from my company, my family, and friends.
What Are Your Sleeping Rituals?
I used to be a heavy night owl, especially when I lived in Argentina and Spain. But nowadays being back in North America, I usually go to bed at around 12 am and wake up at 7 am. I found myself to be more productive this way.
What Are Your Investing Habits?
I’m always investing in myself first, whether that’s purchasing more books, reaching out to interesting people, and gathering as much information as I can.
Financially, I follow the barbell strategy popularized by Nicholas Nassim Taleb, where I go super high risk, high reward, and low risk on the other end.
What Books, People, Experiences Shaped Your Thinking?
Poor Charlie’s Almanack by Charlie Munger (Human Psychology): Charlie is Warren Buffett’s right-hand man, and he shares the 25 cognitive biases that humans have. It’s incredibly powerful because if you can familiarize yourself with these common flaws of human psychology, you’ll be far better off than most people on the planet.
The Black Swan by Nicholas Nassim Taleb (Investing/Risk Allocation): This book shares a unique approach to risk allocation and ultimately smarter decision making that allows you to reap higher rewards with very little risk. It has fundamentally shifted the way I allocate risk and investments.
On the Shortness of Life by Seneca (Life Philosophy): Profound (and short) book that simplifies how you should live your life, and offers new insights every time you re-read it. Highly recommended for those who want an introduction to Stoic philosophy.
The ONE Thing by Gary Keller (Productivity/Better Decisions): Gary, who runs the world’s #1 real estate company, built his empire around this concept of focusing on the ONE thing. Ask yourself: “What’s the ONE thing that I can do, so that if completed, everything else becomes easier if not unnecessary?”
Screw It, Let’s Do It by Richard Branson (Entrepreneurship/Business): This is a personal one for me as Richard’s story helped me think bigger when I didn’t know thinking bigger was possible. I think this is his best autobiography, and it teaches any entrepreneur that you don’t have to follow the traditional rules of life and business to achieve massive success. You can build an adventurous life and impact millions of people along the way.
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