Dec. 18 2019
For most of us, being 23 and broke is just life. For Kim Perell, it was an opportunity to invest in herself. After being laid off from her dream job at a big startup, Kim was tired of placing her fate in the hands of others. She decided to start her own company instead, and do it from her kitchen table. With a little determination, and a five figure loan from her grandmother, Kim turned her idea into a multi-million dollar marketing agency. After selling that business, Kim became an angel investor in more than 70 start-ups, including many with female founders. She is now an author, entrepreneur, tech CEO, and mother to four kids. We’re exhausted just describing her job, so we figured Kim had some advice on longevity and focus we desperately wanted. So we asked her to share some practical tips for success.
Please list some good lifestyle habits you’ve added to your daily routine:
1. Prioritize. I schedule time with my family the same way I schedule an important business meeting. You can’t do it all, so focus on what you can do and let the other stuff go — you can only do the best you can.
2. I love helping people and supporting entrepreneurs and individuals, so I usually do coffee and lunch with someone new at least once per week… People tend to assume executives are too busy or won’t respond [to a meeting request], but in my experience, it’s actually the opposite. CEOs want to share their experiences and lessons learned.
3. I don’t compare myself to others. As a twin myself, and the mother of two sets of twins, comparison can come early on, and my mom really instilled in me to focus on being the best I can be, and not focus on others. “Comparison is the thief of joy” by Theodore Roosevelt was one of her favorite quotes.
How do you keep yourself balanced or take care of yourself throughout the day?
There are only 24 hours in a day, and you need to decide who and what is going to take up those hours, and what is the most important thing to accomplish during them. I reserve days off for my family. I’ll get up early or work late so I can be fully present when I’m home with my kids and husband. Maintaining a million friendships, a family, and a business is impossible. Decide which aspects of your life are priorities, and scale back on the rest. As much as possible, I hand off tasks that drain my energy, and am sure to leave time for essentials like sleep. It’s work-life integration, not work-life separation.
How many hours of sleep do you get a night? Is there anything you’d improve about your sleep schedule?
It depends where I am in the world, but I try to get 7-8 hours. I try to fall asleep by 10pm and wake around 6 am, but there are times I will take very late or early calls, since we have global offices.
What’s your favorite healthy food?
My diet mostly consists of chicken and veggies, turkey burgers, or salads. I also carry protein bars with me, which are great when I’m in a pinch, on a plane, or on-the-go. But I do have a weakness for candy and you can generally find a few M&Ms in my purse.