#LAFI Chapter 5: You Can’t Afford the Luxury of Depression


Tonight’s class was about legal and IP, but what stood out to me most from today’s class was a lesson that only received a quick mention before the session topic began.

A man I can’t give enough credit to as an the amazing organizer of the Los Angeles chapter of the Founder Institute, Ken Rutkowski, called his father today at the beginning of class on speaker phone to share with us two lessons, the second of which was, “a professional is expensive, but an amateur is a fortune.”

The first lesson was, “you can’t afford the luxury of depression.”

Ken follows up by explaining this lesson. When he’s depressed, he sleeps a little more, watches a little more tv, and eats a little more. He then points out, “that’s what I want to do when I’m on a vacation.”

The idea is that we are less productive and efficient when we are depressed. As an entrepreneur, there are plenty of bumps in the road like arguments with investors and web development disasters. And, as an entrepreneur, we don’t have the luxury of taking a vacation every time something bad happens.

If anything, it’s especially important to work harder when things go wrong.

He suggests we find a way to harness that depression to get work done; that’s easier said than done.

I’d suggest an alternative, which is to have a process that pulls you out of depression. Mine is a logical walk through of the five stages of grief combined with some light meditation. It’s not perfect, but it works pretty well.


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