Episode 3: Sami Inkinen - How a Time-Starved CEO Creates Sustainable High Performance
In this eye-opening episode, Matt goes one-on-one with one of his athletes, Sami Inkinen.
Growing up on a farm in Finland, Sami was always intrigued by health, wellness, and athletic performance. He did ride his bike or cross-country ski to-and-from school most days, after all!
He moved to the United States in 2003 to attend Stanford Business School, and it's there where he met his friend and business partner, Pete Flint, and, together, they founded Trulia, eventually turning it public. Today, he is the CEO and Founder of Virta Health, a company on a mission to reverse Type 2 Diabetes in 100 million people by 2025.
It was a revelation about his own health that was the catalyst for this new mission. You see, even though Sami was and still is a top performer both in sport and life, he made the mistake that so many of us make: burning the candle at both ends. “In 2008,” he says, “I had a view that the more hours you train, the faster you become and the more hours you work, the more effective you are.” That way of life led to frequent bouts of flu and fever. Even worse, he recalls, he was forgetting common words and names. He didn’t realize at the time, but he was also on his way to becoming pre-diabetic.
This way of life is a slippery slope for a high-performing athlete and CEO, which is why Purple Patch Fitness and the Matt Dixon “Pillars of Performance” were such a good fit for Inkinen. He put these philosophies into practice during his triathlon training and the results have been astonishing. Here are just a few of Sami’s achievements:
Age group world champion at the IRONMAN 70.3. distance
Two sub-9 hour races at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona
Personal Best of 8:24 IRONMAN finish time
Surely an athlete with these results must train upwards of 20-25 hours per week! Not in this case. Sami did this all on a recipe of 10-12 hours per week.
How is this possible? Well, discipline and trust are two ingredients in this equation. Matt and Sami dive deep into training philosophies and they discuss what’s important to success and life, work, and sport including:
Challenges while juggling work, life, and training
The value of having a coach
The key elements of setting up successful training on limited hours
Tips for managing life and schedules each week
Mistakes of aspirational and ambitious athletes
Importance of adopting a “growth” mindset instead of “results” mindset
His favorite free recovery tool
Rapid fire questions on success
Most recently, Sami and his wife chartered off on a record-breaking 45-day row from San Francisco to Hawaii that they chronicled together at FatChanceRow.org.
Ultimately, the goal of Sam’s success is one that we should all share: Creating Sustainable High Performance in all aspects of life.
We hope you enjoy this high performance episode.