Bigger Than Us
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Bigger Than Us

#182 Dr. Chris Wedding, Founder of Entrepreneurs for Impact — Climate Mastermind

Dr. Chris Wedding is a former environmental private equity investor, 3x entrepreneur, Board member, Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill professor, podcast creator (Climate Torch), newsletter author (ZERO), an occasional monk with 25+ years of meditation practice, and Founder of Entrepreneurs for Impact, which runs Climate Mastermind peer groups for climate change-focused CEOs and cofounders across the US and Canada. He brings $1B+ of investment experience, 50,000 professional students taught, too many mistakes to keep to himself, and an obsession with constant improvement. He’s also a husband, father of three, kayaker, hiker, ax throwing champion, and aspiring polyglot with failing language abilities in Spanish, Japanese, and Creole.

Bigger Than Us #182

This transcript has been lightly edited.

Host Raj Daniels 00:46

Chris, how are you doing today?

Dr. Chris Wedding 01:21

Raj? I’m great, man. As we record this, it is early, mid-December. The holiday recharge recuperation period is around the corner, trying to line up some either projects or books that are you know, personal development oriented, but certainly influence the business stuff I’m up to. Yeah, I’m pretty jazzed.

Host Raj Daniels 01:44

Excellent. I’m glad to hear that. Chris, I’d like to start with axe throwing. What led you to axe throwing?

Dr. Chris Wedding 01:51

Man what a great interview, Raj. What a great place to start to make sure folks don’t don’t turn off. Yeah, axe throwing. So, this is an example of creative bio writing. So yes, in many of my bios, I reference “axe throwing champion.” It is true, there is sometimes an asterisk attached to that statement. The source was a business school competition. So I’m on faculty at Duke University, at the Fuqua School of Business and some other spots there. And as a “get to know you” with with one of the large classes I co-teach on management consulting the energy environment space, we went to this place in downtown Durham, I think it’s called Urban Axes, or something like this. Some of your listeners have been to places like this.

You get in there and there are these chain link fences, delineating different Axe Throwing competitions going on among friends and such. And kind of scary: they serve alcohol. So just let that settle in for a second. The axes for your listeners to picture, they’re half-length, so we’re not chopping big logs with these guys. But anyway, first time throwing axes, Raj. And we had like a March Madness style competition. And I don’t know man, I got the flow, figured the method just repeated. It was a good time.

Host Raj Daniels 03:26

It’s funny you mentioned that. I was at our Greenville office back in August of this year. And one of our co-workers — Jake is his name. He’s an ex-rowing champion, also, and we were wrapping up the day. And he mentioned “Hey, I’m going axe throwing, does anyone want to come?” And I thought to myself, what an opportunity. And so I went axe throwing with him for the first time. You described it perfectly. Chain link fence, a lot of plywood and a lot of alcohol. And I thought, “this is a really interesting combination.” But it was my first experience of axe throwing that night, too. So that’s why I wanted to start there.

Dr. Chris Wedding 03:58

Well, I like it. I will say it was my first experience. And also my last experience that’s maybe partly COVID related. I think it’s also, once you’re at the top, Raj, you just don’t be dethroned.

Host Raj Daniels 04:13

Retire on top, right?

Dr. Chris Wedding 04:14

Totally. Yeah.

Host Raj Daniels 04:15

Well, appreciate you sharing that. Chris, I want to switch gears here and move into Entrepreneurs for Impact. Can you explain what that is? And your role at the organization?

Dr. Chris Wedding 04:25

Yeah, so Entrepreneurs for Impact is probably my main business focus these days, or impact focus. I mean, it started off maybe four years ago. And really, it was just kind of a side thing on the on the side of impact investment banking through another LLC called Ironoak Energy capital. And on the side of teaching quite a bit on the faculty at Duke and some of UNC’s business school. But really, it was executive education for US military leaders or investors and management consultants on generally the the business rationale for clean energy or cleantech green tech innovation, but — that is, Entrepreneurs for Impact transitioned the middle of last year. I’ve been thinking, maybe 18 to 24 months ago, how can I have a bigger impact, be more useful, be more helpful to climate CEOs and co-founders building world-changing companies at scale. Impact investment banking was fine.

But I’m not really a pure salesperson or a transaction-oriented person; more relationships, and, I hope, more to bring to those CEOs and co-founders than just access to capital as such. So I learned about CEO peer groups, from a couple of spots. Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, and crowd had launched this kind of training program around Masterminds, that was part of it. The other part was, I was invited to join the local chapter of Vistage here in Chapel Hill, but really the Raleigh-Durham area.

I’ve got executive entrepreneur friends that have been a part of these groups for years, and they swear by the benefits. And when I went, certainly, I met some good folks and saw some good methods, I could imagine how it could be useful in my path, business path and personal path. But I thought if I was going to commit the time, and investment into a cohort like this over a year plus period, I would want to be surrounded by climate-focused, impact-focused entrepreneurs, really across the country or world, not just in my metro. I’d want a little more diversity, whether that’s age, gender, race, solution set, etc.

I looked around and didn’t, didn’t see an option like that. I mean, clearly, there are plenty of accelerators, thank goodness for those. But what I was imagining was something for more scale-upstage CEOs and co-founders. And all I could see was the unreasonable group, which, they do great stuff. Not entirely focused on on climate, and a pretty small cohort relative to the auto, no need or opportunity out there. So, you know, having started a couple of small things in the past, I said, “let’s just start one.” What entrepreneurs is today is a climate Mastermind peer group platform. So we have two, soon to be three cohorts of 11 or so climate executives across the country and Canada. They are either post-revenue, or I say scale-upstage.

So usually 10 million plus of outside capital raised, often a multiple of that. And at its core, it’s reminding these executives, “Look, you don’t need to have all the answers. By the way, it’s impossible for anyone to have all the answers. You don’t need to be so lonely at the top.” And man, we’ve all stepped in — metaphorically — in one bucket of either work or personal path. Let’s help our peers, soon to be our closest friends, to not make those same mistakes that we’ve made along the way. Let me stop there.

Host Raj Daniels 08:45

So is it a framework slash milestone-driven program?

Dr. Chris Wedding 08:49

You know, it’s interesting, you ask that. When I was creating it, I spoke to other Mastermind founders, catalysts or whatnot. And their advice was don’t create too much, content curriculum, in a sense, homework for these folks. That really, it’s the magic of peer-to-peer sharing. And a lighter touch is actually better, because they’re so busy. So on one hand, Raj, it’s less structured from a curriculum point of view. We have our group monthly group meetings, we have our individual meetings, our peer-to-peer meetings, our annual weekend style retreats or our annual half day workshops. That all said, there are some members who I think would like to have something more structured.

Being a personal development afficionado, whatever the right word is here. I’m all about that. Happy to accommodate, and if they wanted more content, it’s easy enough to pull the lessons learned or insights from the work I’ve done at Duke and UNC into the program. So I think along the lines of the program layout in general, which I describe as modular — kind of “you fit it here, you put it there, I know you’re busy.” I think what we’ll also test out is, “Hey, some of you members may prefer it to be just as it is,” and they tend to want more of it just like that. But some may want to get a little more into a spreadsheet, let’s say, to say, “Look, here were my goals for this quarter. Did I achieve them? Did I not? Why, why not?” We started going through this — I’m just making up a name here — this F7 framework, where I’ve just picked out seven words that all happen to start with F, and it’s kind of a whole person, whole life check-in, just a quick, “Hey, how was your score?” Your life, your work-on, family and fitness and friends and fun, etc. Faith, some other things. So that is an evolution, let’s say, in the last few months to invite members to use that method as part of the the climate Mastermind.

Host Raj Daniels 11:18

So it sounds reminiscent of YPO program. Are you familiar with that?

Dr. Chris Wedding 11:24

Yeah, for sure. I think Vistage and YPO are probably the two, you know, biggest global names. I mean, probably, if I had to guess 50,000 or 60,000, you know, CEO members in these, you know, ten to twelve-member cohorts around the world, all Metro-based. That is a shorthand, Raj, that we could be a version of Vistage or YPO, but only for climate-focused CEOs and co-founders across the country. Yeah, something like that.

Host Raj Daniels 11:53

And you mentioned it’s unstructured, which I appreciate. Is there an accountability piece to it?

Dr. Chris Wedding 12:00

Yeah. So certainly, I can provide that through the one-on-ones I have with the members, by phone, by Slack pings, weekly. The other is for those members that opt in, we have accountability partners. So roughly on a quarterly basis, I will pair up members to do that kind of thing for each other, partly to get to know each other better. But partly to be one extra person who is, in a friendly, supportive way, saying, “Look, did you did you do what you said you wanted to do? If not, let’s figure out how to how to get you there.” And yes, this other portion, I mentioned about going from less structure to offering a little more structure, that will also have a visual, again, like a shared spreadsheet version of, here’s my goal, did I hit it? Did I not? And why? Why or why not?

Host Raj Daniels 12:55

Now, as you and I both know, from experience, these executives in startups are very, very busy individuals. Why do you think they would commit the time to joining Entrepreneurs for Impact group?

Dr. Chris Wedding 13:08

Oh, man, that is such a great question. And such a common conversation that I have. Yep. Probably the number one reason that those who make it through the vetting process would decide not to join right now is bandwidth. And I, again, have that frequent conversation to say, I totally hear you, I promise you every member in the group, 30 plus or minus today, a little more in Q1, every one of them feels the same way. Right, bandwidth constrained, how do I possibly find the time? So I offer up maybe two thoughts. One is that, my guess is that their commitment to investing in themselves and therefore their business’s growth from the top that, you know, maybe it’s one or two percent of their time per month, just kind of on a assumed hourly basis. So that’s kind of a rounding error. I mean, every bit counts, but kind of a rounding error. The other part is, maybe there’s two more parts. One would be, it’s a little bit like going to the doctor for preventative care versus, “Oh, snap, you know, I haven’t gone to the doctor for X number of years. And now some tiny problem is a big problem. Now, what do I do?” Not to be draconian, but there’s something about that analogy, I think, that works. And then maybe the last piece would be that if Mastermind candidates say they’re too busy, it could mean right that that they need it even more. If they’re leading companies that are scale-up, you’re clearly busy, but the head counts, the team size for folks in the cohort unit probably ranges from, I don’t know, 14, 15 to a couple 100. But the median maybe is like 50, right. 30, 40, 50. If you have that kind of team, hopefully, you are getting to a point — you need to get to a point — where you’re creating systems, you’re hiring the right folks to take things off your plate, so that you can have, one or two percent of your time, to rise above the day to day, the grind, and think bigger, or to invest in yourself again, so that you can be a better a better coach to your team, a better leader, etc.

Host Raj Daniels 15:40

Now, you’ve mentioned personal development a couple of times. I’m a big believer in personal development; it’s really helped me in my life. But I’ve noticed that — and so I’ve been advising companies in the Dallas area for about 15 years. And I noticed that there are times when I might help a person or an individual with a company through an issue. If I mentioned the word personal development, they seem to recoil at that.

Dr. Chris Wedding 16:04

Yeah. Yeah.

Host Raj Daniels 16:05

Have you experienced any similar circumstances?

Dr. Chris Wedding 16:07

Well, first, I love that you offer that to other entrepreneurs in your metro, Raj. Based on our prior conversations, I know they must benefit. In part is I look back on on my career, certainly partly academic, but private equity, investment banking, etc. Certainly in the finance roles, here I was, this long hair and environmental science dude who got a PhD in the right in the right area, green real estate at the time, to somehow end up at a private equity firm. But that was — I was pretty unusual. And I think I, maybe hid is too strong of a verb, but certainly didn’t bring my full self to work. And part of that full self is 25 plus years of meditation practice, underscore the word practice, because, you know, just before our call, I was having my morning session, and oh man, plenty of distractions. But again, that’s kind of to be expected.

Anyway, I think what I’ve appreciated in the last few years, especially — and maybe COVID has allowed more of us to, to just, you know, put it all out there — it’s like, “Look, love me or hate me.” From an entrepreneurs point of view, there’s no money in the middle, right. And so the kinds of folks that would be a fit would find value from these kind of Masterminds. They’re the ones who appreciate they got shit to learn, right? Don’t we all? And they’re humble enough to know that, again, they don’t have all the answers, they’re giving enough to notice that they look the need to receive plenty to get their ROI for from being a part of these peer groups, but also need to need to give. But along those threads I just mentioned, it’s that whatever you wanna call it, personal growth or personal development, or quasi maybe even professional development, which feels less touchy-feely, maybe, or mindfulness. I think more more executives appreciate that things can be crazy, right?

And so how do you find that clarity, that eye, the center of the hurricane, that equanimity, if we reach over into a Buddhist train of thought there, so that they are better leaders, they’re better husbands, wives, parents, friends, etc. So I think you’re right, that some folks would would hear personal development, personal growth, meditation, etc. And be like, “Peace, I got spreadsheets and teams and operations to run, dude. I’m out of here.” But increasingly, I think it’s not true. Increasingly folks say, “Oh, there are other, quote unquote, successful entrepreneurs, role models, mentors, or whatever else that did have these deep introspective or spiritual meditation, mindfulness practices.” And guess what? They got shit done and and call it what you will, but it probably worked, it probably helped contribute to their to their success. Again, success and in quotation marks. It does and should mean many things beyond just the financial return for you, for the business.

Host Raj Daniels 19:36

So I was mentoring MBA students at a couple of different universities here, extremely analytical individuals. And one of the ways I would Trojan horse the idea of personal development is I would ask them to pull a 10k, because again, they’re very financially driven. They’d pick their favorite tech companies, Microsoft, Google, etc, etc. And then I would ask them to find the R&D investment that these companies make. And then I would draw the parallel. I said, “Look, these companies make investments in R&D In good times and in bad times because they know that only if they invest in R&D today, will they innovate tomorrow.” And I tell them, personal development, you can label it what you want. Maybe you label it personal R&D, whether it’s seminars, books, you mentioned, meditation, whatever that looks like to the individual, but allocate X amount of your budget 5, 10, 15, 25%, whatever your annual salary might be, and just mark it as R&D instead of personal development, if that makes you feel better.

Dr. Chris Wedding 20:43

That is such a great reframing. You know, as you know, I write this newsletter, which is today it’s called Zero — I may just drop that name and just put it under the Entrepreneurs for Impact brand, and who knows, work in progress. But the point is, it’s mostly a climate finance startups newsletter, but I sprinkle in topics like this. I would love to pick up this thread, obviously, big shout out to you, Raj, to reframe it as a personal R&D. It’s a great way to put it in a business context.

Host Raj Daniels 21:20

I appreciate it. Let’s go back to the cohort for a moment. The CEOs, executives that have been through the past couple of cohorts, what kind of feedback have you received from them? What did they walk away with?

Dr. Chris Wedding 21:31

Well, so the way the cohorts work, kind of like YPO style, they’re ongoing. So our first one started last last November. So, you know, pretty recent, really. I can speak about some of the benefits or some of the reactions. I know, there’s one CEO, who said, “Man, Chris, I don’t know how it’s happened. But so far, we’ve only been on Zoom with these peers for five, six months, but like, I love these folks, man. How can you give us more time, you know, together to riff and such, both on the business and personal front?” So I think that the connection — in a way, like finding a tribe, right?

It’s funny, I often talk to other climate CEOs to ask, saying, “Look, either if you’ve had a positive experience with us so far, or if you’re otherwise committed and can’t join, who else would you recommend?” And I find that sometimes it’s hard for the CEOs to recommend too many other CEOs they know, because they lack structures like this, right, to have a confidential, trusted place to really share deeply. I think other practical examples, you know, we’ve got two or maybe three members in the midst of, you know, nine-figure transactions for their businesses. And so to be able to bring sample term sheets, or sample membership interest purchase agreements, to either the group or to me for feedback has been a practical benefit. It’s the obvious thing about about networks, right? These programs are great ways to expand your business network.

So introductions to other, you know, strategic partners, to other investors, you know, again, warm intros. So you kind of hit the ground running with the assumption that things are more likely than not to lead somewhere versus if it’s cold, the assumption is, they will be less likely to go anywhere. I think there are some personal or health and wellness benefits as well that come out of it. That happens to be a big part of my life, but also for a lot of the members. So comparing notes on which wearable, right, whether it’s the WHOOP band, or the Oura ring, or other devices to track sleep and HRV and heart rate and other things, just comparing ways to maintain optimal energy levels so that they can be the best leaders. Those are a few ways, Raj, that members are finding, a pretty easy ROI in the first few months of the programs.

Host Raj Daniels 24:21

And you mentioned energy and I aligned very closely with that. I tell my kids all the time that life is all about energy management, not time management. I love that. Now, the crux of our conversation is the why behind what you do. You mentioned your prior experience in private equity, green real estate, you’re teaching at Duke. We talked about axe throwing in the beginning. Now you’re focused on this mastermind, this podcast, newsletter, this building of the tribe. What’s your why; what’s driving you?

Dr. Chris Wedding 24:51

Yeah, but what a great question that makes — I’m sure it makes most of your guests just kind of sit back in a chair and reach for a glass or something; it’s too early for that on a on a Thursday. But I’ll tell you, there’s a quote that that has always stuck with me, which is something like, to those to whom much has been given, much is expected in return. You know, that was me. I had a great immediate family, extended family, small town Kentucky. Middle class upbringing, but certainly no worries about about finances. It was safe, you know, great education, you know, 12 years of Catholic schooling, right. Health. Being born in the US, being born in this time, right? Those are all gifts, which I didn’t earn. I think I’ve always felt a big responsibility to give back.

The easy version of that is, well, great. What do we do about donations and such? That’s good. But I’m more thinking about not the stereotypical 10% time kind of concept that I grew up with, but more like, what about the 100% of your time? That’s what’s really so energizing, Raj, for me. When I finish when I finish work and go back for dinner, three kiddos, in their teens, and one of them, thankfully, not quite there yet. You know, we talk about our days. I just want to talk for like hours with them about about my day, right? All of the inspiring climate, CEOs, founders, investors, solutions that I work on and work with all day long. As you and Nexus know, it’s great that the day job is something that pays you, but also allows for you to be working on one of the biggest — or some would say the biggest — challenge that humanity has ever faced. I get out of bed pretty pumped to do what I’m doing.

Host Raj Daniels 27:16

Much alignment there. I walk away from my, quote unquote, daily work, energized every single day. I had a conversation this past week,about weekends. And I said, “Look, I like weekends. I love weekends, I enjoy spending time with the family.” But I really look forward to Monday mornings and getting reengaged, just because like you said, you know, to be in parallel, where you’re helping people and helping the environment. I think that’s few and far between.

Dr. Chris Wedding 27:46

Yeah, I would agree. When Sunday rolls around our three kids normally refer to the Sunday blues: “Oh no, school’s tomorrow.” And part of me is like, “You all are so privileged, that you go to one of these great public school systems, how lucky you are.” They’re growing up, but they don’t fully appreciate that my wife grew up in Cape Verde, this island nation off the coast of Senegal. She had lots of great things about her growing-up, but certainly, an awesome, well-funded public school system was not one of them. In parallel to their reactions to going to learn, oh, what a joy. Unfortunately, I don’t quite get that joy just yet to learn. I’m like, “Man, I can’t wait to wake up and get to change the world.” That sounds a little too cheesy or cliche, but it’s for real.

Host Raj Daniels 28:48

I agree. Now, this cohort you’ve been doing for a year — what some of the surprises or experiences? What have you learned in the past year after engaging with these cohorts?

Dr. Chris Wedding 29:00

That is the wonderful side benefit. While it’s helpful and necessary to be maybe the platform builder or the guide, the sherpa, these programs are not about me. But the neat thing is that I’m handpicking great human beings, the first filter, who are building world changing companies in the climate solutions space.

So, it’s a ton of fun, right? I mean, these these folks are becoming some great friends and I can only imagine, as the months go on, some of my best friends with the kind of depth that we have, both depth on business and depth on personal as well. So I think they challenge me to question kind of how I could have more impact, or how I could have helped them be more impactful, which is a frequent question I asked them all the time. How can this be more impactful, more fun, etc?

I think the other is that it’s pretty common for a peer group like this, but maybe probably many of your listeners, to always be thinking like, “Hey, what’s the next hill I’ve got to climb?” A frequent reminder which I give them, which, by the way, I need to also give myself — it’s like take your own medicine — is “Hey, look, you all just climbed this hill and that hill and that hill.” New customer channel, new series, fill in the blank, a raise, tons of greenhouse gases gas emissions avoided. Take the time to celebrate. Right.

I think everyone agrees, like, “Oh, yeah, that’s a good point, we should take the time to celebrate.” I think partly, the leaders are just so busy, it’s hard, or it’s not, I don’t know if normal is the right word, to create these kind of mini celebrations along the path. That’s a recurring theme for sure. I think I think balance is another one, which is to say, “Should I be striving for daily work life balance? That feels kind of impossible, elusive.”

And I think one, one response is we say, “Well, what if you sought, you know, work life balance on a different timescale?” What if it were weekly or monthly, or quarterly even, to give you more grace, more flexibility to find the balance that you’re after. And I’ll say one more here. The last one I’ll mention is justhow important team and talent is. I know, that’s cliche. But aside from the fact that most members are raising, have recently raised, or will raise more outside capital to grow more quickly, or to buy a smaller companies to grow more quickly. It’s, “Gosh, how do I find and retain the best talent?” So we’ve had search execs come in and talk to us about what they’ve learned growing companies like SpaceX, or Oculus, or others, from a few dozen to hundreds of 1000s. So those are some some, maybe not surprises, but some popular discussion topics, let’s say.

Host Raj Daniels 32:20

Understood. Now, you mentioned building a tribe, let’s fast forward. 2030. What does the tribe of Entrepreneurs for Impact look like for you?

Dr. Chris Wedding 32:30

Huh? What a fun? What a fun question. Well, I’ll tell you some possibilities that I’ve considered. And I think I know where I’m leaning, but we’ll see what happens. Here we are, the climate Mastermind, is working. I mean, as I hear, in the world of creating CEO peer groups to go from zero to thirty in just over 12 months is fast. But that’s largely because the time is now. This is this is the right time to be doing this, and luckily, no others that I can think of are providing the same platform that we are.

And so some have said, “Well, gosh, why don’t you find other chairs or group facilitators that can work along with me, same brand, same program, same structure, etc? And they have their own cohorts underneath them?” We would have more impact, right? Obviously, the revenue would be greater. And so far, my reaction is no, thank you. Let’s do the opposite of whatever, at least Silicon Valley, or many others would say, of just grow, grow, grow. It’s more like the old-fashioned, you know, small is — fill in your adjective beautiful, or something else — where, hey, like, let’s just settle in at 30 or 35 high-performing great human beings building world-changing companies and climate. And let’s just go super deep, right, for years together. I mean, the company’s now maybe the combined market cap is around $5 billion. One question is, well, how would that grow?

The other is, how can their impacts grow? And certainly, they are affecting budgets, infrastructure, etc, that’s a multiple of $5 billion, even today. So that’s one possibility, to grow or to keep it, niche, high-touch, that I’ve kind of wrestled with. The other is that some folks have said, “Well, gosh, you’ve got this private equity and banking background and and now working with with scale-up startups. Well, what about the pre-seed and seed stage startups? What if you raised, you know, 20 or 30 million dollars, had a small fund, and invested in early stage companies, you had a portfolio of dozens, and some will surely turn out very well, to quote, unquote, make the fund. That’s appealing for sure. But if I were to go that route, well, that’s locking into 10 or 12 years of commitment to the investors who would put up the capital. Not to be wary of commitment, but 12 years is a long time. What would I need to drop in order to do just that? So far, that’s probably no.

One more idea, Raj, that I’m noodling with, is creating a somewhat like a climate startup advisor in a box, if you will. Take lessons learn from these climate Mastermind CEOs, take lessons learned from my work as an entrepreneur, as an investor, take content from the teaching I do at Duke say, in my climate tech startups and investors course, and this climate investor database that we keep of 500 plus investors in the space. How could we package that and charge a nominal amount, relatively speaking, and allow us — us as in the entrepreneurial community — to have more shots on goal, o allow more of these ideas to come to life, to scale, to avoid some of the potholes. Anyway, long answer.

Those are three ideas I’m thinking about. And we’ll see, I suppose, Raj, on one hand — I think I put this in my newsletter, earlier this week — was, what are the things that we could do forever? I mean, obviously, not literally forever. But I know so often, we think about whether it’s agile development, like two week sprints, or whether we’re in startup land, and we got to get to this milestone, so just forget about your work life balance, let’s just get there. But what, if we set up personal and business systems or activities that we could do forever? And to some degree, I say, “Well, okay, I think what I’m doing right now, feels great, feels high-impact, plenty of revenue to take care of the family and a few college degrees for the kiddos, and get back or invest some in earlier startups.” So let’s just do that for the future.

Host Raj Daniels 37:14

The infinite game.

Dr. Chris Wedding 37:15

Yeah, something like that. We’ll see. We’ll see.

Host Raj Daniels 37:17

I like that. Now. My last question is usually around advice. But I want to be very specific here with you. You know, you have the Mastermind, you have the podcast, you have the newsletter, you have the family, the extracurricular, can you talk briefly to time management? How are you managing all these different initiatives? And of course, as you mentioned earlier, managing fun family, fitness, etc.

Dr. Chris Wedding 37:39

Hmm. Boy, this is one of my favorite topics, Raj, so we could talk for days when I go into it. I am obsessed, hopefully in a good way, with efficiency and time management. I think your listener’s heard some of these things, right? If it’s on the calendar, you know, pretty sacred. If it’s not, it’s probably not going to get done. I mean, I think being kind of ruthless with time management — I think that’s an adjective here — anyway, that descriptor is appropriate. I don’t work that much. I start work, probably at 8:30, after some morning meditation and reflection, I probably stop at 5:20, very precise, but that’s just in time for heading over to get ready for dinner. And I usually don’t work at night, or on the weekends.

Now, sometimes, you know, got a big push or whatever else. Or if I’m teaching a lot one semester, and I got to keep all the fun things going with the Masterminds or the occasional investment banking deal, maybe. I think apps like Calendly, you know, to auto-schedule meetings has been really helpful. You know, batching has been really helpful. So maybe you can relate, you know, for the first two weeks, in December, for example, I’m going to record 16 podcasts, so that I candrip them out throughout the spring when I’m going to be extra busy. And in general, you know, things are less busy. Right now. You know, it’s batching certain kinds of meetings, and it’s also blocking off, most mornings before 11 o’clock, for no phone calls, no meetings, just deeper work, as they may say, a la Cal Newports book. Super important topic, and lots of threads to pull on.

Host Raj Daniels 39:30

Well, Chris, I sincerely appreciate your time today. I look forward to seeing what you do with entrepreneurs for impact and catching up with you again soon.

Dr. Chris Wedding 39:38

Well, Raj, likewise, and I just want to say to you and to Nexus that the work you’ll have done to create so many great podcasts as you have, really kind of pretty early in this, with such you know, frequency and predictability. . . Anyway, it’s a gift, right? It’s a gift out there to those wanting to get that a sneak preview into how to grow impact companies. So anyway, kudos to you and Nexus. Keep it up, man.

Host Raj Daniels 40:08

Thank you, Chris. I appreciate you.

Thank you for listening. If you like our show, please give us a rating and review on iTunes. And you can show your support by sharing our show with a friend or reach out to us on social media, where you’ll find us under our Nexus PMG handle. If there’s a subject or topic you’d like to hear about, send me an email at BTU@nexuspmg.com, or contact me via our website, nexuspmg.com. And while you’re there, you can sign up for our monthly newsletter where we share what we’re reading and thinking about in the cleantech, green tech sectors. Bigger than us is a Nexus PMG production.

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Bigger Than Us is a publication where sustainability-focused industry leaders and entrepreneurs share their stories.

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