Book Review: The Lola Papers by Amy Marxkors

lola_papersAmy Marxkors’ “The Lola Papers” is a story of the author transforming into a serious runner. It is a non-fiction book written in a fiction style, spiced with humour. All of this is neatly packaged into a easy to read and entertaining style, with some insights for wannabe runners.

Amy is a writer. She starts running and asks a coach to help her with preparation to her first marathon. The coach agrees and the book follows her way to her first marathon. It tells about the insecurities she has, about the friendships she makes on the way, about ups and downs of running and her training regime.

When I started the book, Continue reading

Mentoring @A Hack

1400171_778462712169750_1371700295_oThe weekend was started with two parties in Tartu: two startups – Fortumo and Fraktal – both celebrated their 6th birthday and threw a party at their respective offices. Since these are only a couple of hundred meters away from each other there was quite a lot of traffic between the offices.

The parties were nice, I met a lot of people that I hadn’t seen for a while and so it happened that I got back home around half past 2 and got to sleep 3 hours before I started going towards Helsinki, to mentor in A Hack. Continue reading

From Oandu to Aegviidu (75 km) by foot

Matti, Oskar, me at the start - Altja Tavern

Matti, Oskar, me at the start – Altja Tavern

Being in a jovial mood, the decision to start the hike from Altja, instead of Oandu came very easily. Three days and 75km, that means 25 km per day, an added 4-5 km wouldn’t hurt, right?! After all, all three of us, me, Matti and Oskar, are rather active guys who work out on regular basis.

Continue reading

Canoeing River Võhandu

It’s 1:30am and I should be sleeping. Well, unfortunately, I’m not. For some strange reason, I had decided that today had to be the first day this year I made two training sessions. The first one was 8am cycling and the other one 8pm running, both an hour long endeavours with easy pace and low heart rate (<140). I believed my overall physical condition be good enough to recover for tomorrow’s canoeing the Võhandu river, but apparently I was wrong. The devil is often in the details and the detail seems to be the fact that this was the first time of cycling for me this year (on 5th of July!) and I did not have time to stretch after either of the today’s session. And now my thighs are hurting and do not let me sleep. Continue reading

A Day

I open my eyes. Sun is already shining outside and the room is bright. I reach for my phone. It is 5:42 am, 29th of May, 2013. I slowly stand up, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth and get back to the room. I make my bed, take my iPad, open the app “Seconds” and activate my “Morning exercises” loop. Four minutes of dynamic stretching, followed by 6 minutes of strength exercises. Room is warm, by the end of the pushups I’ve breaken the sweat.

I put on my running gear and do not bother to check out what the temperature in San Francisco is at the moment. It would not make any difference. I only have the short outfit with me. As I take the elevator down, I turn on Audible (this time Jackie Chan is reading me his autobiography) and as I exit the Rincon Center I push “Play” in Endomondo.

I run along San Francisco Bay, from Embarcadero towards Golden Gate Bridge. Like expected, Continue reading

New life

This Tuesday I sold my remaining 50% stake in Advisio.

I founded the company in 2004 and was the sole owner for two years. Only in 2006 when Advisio (back then Funding OÜ) had already 6 employees did I take a business partner, Ander, on board. Together we grew the company to 20+ full-timers by the time I stepped down as a CEO in 2010. Ander has been running the company since.

It is hard to overestimate the meaning of this sale to me. Advisio has been my only source of income from the very beginning in 2004. Thanks to Advisio the last time I worked for someone else was when I was 23 years old. Advisio has enabled me to keep up the lifestyle I’ve had even as I’ve been active with new challenges in the last couple of years. It has enabled me to start Gamefounders.

But just like in a startup, in a consultancy, the time you can be a passive owner, just collecting your yearly dividends, is rather limited. Now as I’ve sold my shares, that time is over for me. It was a very awkward feeling to sign the contract in the notary, selling  the company I built. Yet I’m extremely happy that Advisio continues to exist and the people continue working and creating value for estonian companies and other organisations.

My new life begins now. Not having significant passive income I could count on, it is even more important for me to “go all in” with the things I’m currently involved in professionally (i.e. Gamefounders). The new life means more focus. It means more depth and less breadth. I make a constant decision to drop some activities I do that do not contribute directly to achieving my goals. This includes writing this blog.

Yes, I quit regular blogging.

And a few other habits/activities as well. I’ll probably return to them once I feel that the time is right. But from now on all you could find from this page is perhaps an occasional story or picture. Should you feel the need to find out more about what I’m doing, ask me to a lunch. I’ll always have time for my friends.