In early March 2020, when most of us were overusing Netflix and hoarding toilet paper, Dia Nour was engrossed in the challenge of indoor cycling among his fellow CEOs. Amid the first wave of nationwide lockdowns, Noor traveled more than 1,000 miles in one week, eventually winning the competition.
This level of intensity has always defined Nour’s life, something he refers to as an “integrated personality”. Nour describes this temperament in honest terms as his greatest asset and his greatest weakness. “There was a period in my life when I tried moderation, but honestly, it wasn’t sustainable for me,” he says. “So instead I learned to balance my extreme tendencies in a different way: by grouping them.”
Nour was born in Egypt and moved to Switzerland nine months later. He lived there until he was 12 years old, learning French as a second language. From a young age, he began running long distances with his father, who played in the French national basketball team. In elementary school he was a self-proclaimed endurance athlete.
His family then moved to the United States and placed him in a Jesuit school for boys without an ESL program, so he had to learn English on his own. Nour didn’t bike much until he was 30, but he quickly fell in love with the sport, especially long rides, and sometimes all-day pedaling. On these tours, he would put his phone on silent and view his time in the saddle as a form of meditation, without letting others disturb him.
Three years later, in late 2014, he founded Nour wind racing, with a group of enthusiastic engineers and sportsmen. As the largest investor and CEO, the startup has become his priority, and somewhat ironically, he’s starting to ride much less. “I got really out of my fitness, focused on the company and our growth,” says Noor.
Tip 1: Create a daily routine
Ventum, like most of the bicycle industry, is flourish. produces Way And the gravel bikes In addition to the original triathlon bikes, however, Noor is still in the business. “My days are busy and vary a lot,” he says. “It’s just the nature of being a CEO at this point in the business. So, I’ve learned that it’s important to maintain some sense of normalcy and stability amid the chaos.”
Nour makes time for basic exercises and short runs every day, using fitness as a constant component of his life. “I try to exercise in the morning before I go to the office, because I know that even with good intentions, it won’t happen. I can bring my bike and my kit, but inevitably I’ll be distracted by projects and calls.” Noor uses daily exercise and lots of coffee as a routine.
Like many startup founders, Noor gets up early, getting out of bed before 6 a.m. “I usually jump out of bed without warning, hear loud music, and hit the gym,” Nour says. “I collect everything I do, from work to exercise to time with my family. I often work late at night and when I take time off to see friends I am fully present. Clear boundaries are key to grouping.”
Tip 2: Confuse rather than balance
Nour says the idea of balancing work, fitness, and personal life is a fallacy. “Thinking of it this way is like playing a continuous game of Whack-a-mole. You can probably get two out of three right, but you can never get them all at the same time,” says Noor, who encourages others to put them together.
“At 40, I still have a lot to learn, but at least I have a system to juggle all my priorities. Ten years ago, I didn’t have a grouping system.” Nour does not complete his important tasks in hours and minutes. “I don’t want it to be managed by meetings and calendars. I think life is more fluid than that,” says Noor, who calls himself a distance athlete turned distance operator. He says that playing the long game is about putting together your priorities in weeks and days, not minutes or hours.
Tip 3: Be present instead of prioritizing
Nour has a unique perspective on priorities too, believing that people should spend more time being there, rather than fiddling with the to-do list. “I start my week by thinking about my priorities and breaking them down into days. It’s important to have one focus for a day and not always keep your mind moving. Last week, for example, I’ve been focusing on seeing my relatives in Minneapolis. This week is about a big investor presentation, So obviously my time is spent differently.”
Noor says that the hardest thing to overcome when thinking and cluttering is fear. You can’t be afraid to miss an opportunity or be afraid to tell someone no. To stop the continuous duty cycle, Noor will disconnect completely. “Switching is the hardest part, but you just have to do it. Remind yourself that personal or family fitness is just as important as your hard work, but it is. It takes personal responsibility and self-esteem by drawing those boundaries,” says Noor.
Tip 4: Keep fit
Nour had a lot of coaches in his life, especially when he had a big athletic goal or just prioritized fitness for an extended period of time. “It’s important, because it forces you to be held accountable.” But he understands that having a coach or coach is not always a reality.
Despite admitting that his happiest moments are when he’s physically fit, Nour says staying at his peak fitness isn’t possible with a company he runs and a relationship to prioritize. “It’s a demon that I have to fight all the time. I often work with a mental health coach and highly recommend one to others. My head can spin when I’m not fit, and that’s not always something I can solve on my own,” says Noor.
He thinks the key is to let go of the hustle culture and realize that hustle is not related to value creation. “You should always start with a strategy, a plan, and implement it. Hustle just means keep doing what you’re already doing. It means turning off your mind and working long hours without seeing the bigger picture,” says Noor. “The important thing is to be present, which I learned to do by grouping.”
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