What Will You Do With Your Extra Day This Year? Take A Leap!

Welcome back to The Sunstone Way.

I’m excited. Today, Feb. 29, is a day that happens only once every four years. We get an extra day!

Yes, I am aware that Leap Year is a human invention designed to keep our calendar generally on track. And I am aware that it isn’t really an extra day in our lives – it’s just an extra day on the calendar once every four years.

But it’s the thought that counts, right?

Value Of Time

Time, no matter how we measure it, is the most precious commodity we have as human beings. Once a moment has passed, there’s no getting it back, despite H.G. Wells and his “The Time Machine.”

This isn’t the place to have the philosophical, religious arguments about whether we only live one life, or whether we have a predetermined amount of time before we die, etc. I want to talk about time as most of us experience it.

The cliches are many. Make every moment count. Better late than never. In the nick of time. Time is money. Time flies when you’re having fun.

Think about how often time appears in song: Jim Croce saved “Time in a Bottle,” Cyndi Lauper had her first hit with “Time After Time,” and Eric Clapton chronicled his greatest hits in not one, but two albums titled “Timepieces.” Each had their own take, but they all emphasized the importance of time.

I’ll go a step further. Time, and how you use it, is life.

Where Does Time Go?

“The past is history, the future is a mystery and the present is a gift – that’s why we call it a present.” That quote is attributed to everyone from Eleanore Roosevelt to Winnie the Pooh. I suspect that its meaning is different for different people as well.

It’s certainly an admonition to pay attention and be in the present. I’m a firm believer in making the most of every second (and I have never been known for being “on time” for anything).  Sometimes that means multi-tasking – reading email on the Peloton, listening to CEO books while commuting to Airport Towers.  Sometimes it means giving every bit of concentration to the task at hand.

I don’t believe, though, that it is trying to say we should ignore the past or the future. How else do we know how to best use our time if we don’t pay attention to what has happened in the past? How can we use the present to reach our goals without considering what we want the future to include?

A Division Of Time

Our founder, John Shen, had quite a bit to say about time in his book “Crossing the Swamp.” Careful use of time is key to a parallel entrepreneur, who divides his time amongst multiple companies.

Timing – the right action at the right time – is as important, maybe more important, as working hard. John Shen’s success can be traced to knowing when to act, when to wait, and when to do nothing.  Trust me, waiting is not my favorite.

But I think the most impactful discussion of time in “Crossing The Swamp” comes in Chapter 8, which is titled Balance. I particularly like his first principle of balance – “By neglecting your life, you will have no life that makes work worthwhile.” Pair it with Principle 9 – “Give back to society” – and you have a pretty good definition of using time well.

Believe me, John Shen works very hard and, when necessary, can work long hours. But he is clear on what he is working for, and how to make that work worthwhile.

Making It Count

Leap Year Day is a special opportunity to really get one extra day every four years.  How great is that!   Our mission is to enrich lives and enrich communities. We do that, at least in part, by giving some of our time to our founders, funders and friends to help them dream big and reach their goals in life.  And I’ll let you in on a little secret – we make time to have some fun while we do it.  What will you do with your extra day this year?

Because that’s The Sunstone Way.

And as always, be a Sunstone!

John Keisler

CEO & Managing Partner

Sunstone Management, Inc.

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More About Sunstone Management
Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital sponsor firm headquartered in Southern California that invests in diverse early-stage technology entrepreneurs who seek to build great companies. We believe in the aspirational power of the American economy to attract and inspire investors and entrepreneurs from throughout the world. We deliver new and exciting opportunities for economic growth through the creation of innovative public-private partnerships, and our unique experience across government, education, and private sectors. Identified by Financial Times as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row. In the second quarter of 2023, PitchBook ranked Sunstone the seventh most active early-stage venture capital firm in the country, and 18th overall.

© Sunstone Management Inc., 2024

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