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How I Manage Over a Dozen Startupsby@arianadeli
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How I Manage Over a Dozen Startups

by Arian AdeliMay 6th, 2024
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The headline might be a slight exaggeration — I'm not Elon Musk. However, I am bootstrapping a venture studio called Evernomic with a focus on the media industry. Our portfolio includes several newsletters, media brands, SaaS projects, service-based startups, high-authority websites, external contracts and more.
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The headline might be a slight exaggeration — I'm not Elon Musk. However, I am bootstrapping a venture studio called Evernomic with a focus on the media industry. Our portfolio includes several newsletters, media brands, SaaS projects, service-based startups, high-authority websites, external contracts, and more.


Evernomic is also quite a unique organization when it comes to our team and how we allocate our time and resources. Our team is now comprised of over 20 people, with the oldest being 26 years old and the average age is just over 21 years old.


Such a young team has its advantages, but it also comes with the drawbacks associated with the stereotypes often held against younger people in business. At the end of the day, we don't have that chronological experience behind us, which also applies to time management.


In addition, one value we all share is despising a future of becoming one-dimensional. We don't just aspire to be successful at business or any other aspect of life. We exercise and take care of our health, we spend much of our time learning new things, we like to socialize and make memories, we pay attention to how we present ourselves, and we pursue hobbies such as writing and public speaking.


Now, this begs the question of how we manage our time so as not to fall behind on our responsibilities.

Maintenance and Expansion Framework

I have developed what I call the Maintenance and Expansion Framework. I divide my workload and things that require headspace into two categories:


  1. Maintenance: ongoing commitments requiring my continued attention on a regular basis that are necessary for me to keep going in the same trajectory. In short, these are things I must do to maintain my current progress.
  2. Expansion: one-time or open-ended tasks that improve the overall condition of my life, whether it's in business, fitness, or happiness.


This may sound controversial to openly admit, but I avoid commitments, otherwise defined as Maintenance Tasks, at all costs. That's the danger zone. It takes away from my ability to expand and take on more things when I'm faced with better opportunities in the future.


I always prefer to leave some free margin to try new things, waste some time, let things go wrong without detrimental consequences, and so on. Therefore, I'm very picky with the things I commit to, and I try to minimize them.


Conversely, I'm unafraid of the Expansion side of things. I can take on several things simultaneously as long as I know it will be over soon. The only decisions that truly concern me are those that lock me into a certain future.


A typical day for me includes my daily routine, immediately tackling my Maintenance Tasks and later tackling three or four Expansion Tasks at a time. This division gives a game-changing order to my life. I know what the bare minimum of what I should be doing is, and it lets me focus on multiple domains within my life and business simultaneously.

Collaborative Portfolio

In addition to how I personally approach time management, our strategy revolves around creating a system that goes "full circle." This means that every project we take on must contribute in one way or another to other projects in our portfolio as well.


I wrote a post some time ago about how, with this approach, we technically have more than 24 hours in a day because every hour we spend on one project also leads to some sort of progress for our other projects.


To give you an example, we are planning on launching an ad network in the following months. What's the biggest challenge with such a business? Finding sufficient creators and advertisers to make the marketplace functional — the chicken and egg problem.


Looking at companies who have been most successful at growing an ad network, such as Alphabet or Meta, they have always had at least one side of the equation satisfied prior. In Meta's case, they already had access to a large audience who were using their free products before they began rolling out advertisements.


Over a year prior to our scheduled launch date, we acquired FindNewsletters.com, an authority newsletter directory. We have yet to make a penny off of this acquisition. However, we now have direct contacts with most newsletter creators, which gives us an extensive creator network to start with. Our job is now much simpler; we only need to find advertisers.


Within Evernomic, we try to build similar systems and frameworks through which we push our projects that give us a streamlined and efficient approach. Moreover, tasks get delegated effectively, which minimizes commitments to low-yield tasks among our more experienced members.


Naturally, focusing on so many things simultaneously has its drawbacks, too. I often fail to match deadlines, I often don't end up acting on plans I've had, and I often don't reach my goals. In fact, at any given moment, I'm probably not doing too well. However, I've learned that time has a magic of its own. Whenever I've looked back at my progress over a few months, I was pleasantly surprised. Now, I trust the process and keep pushing forward regardless.