Matthew Bellows: Advice For Early Stage Founders

“Getting better at business and growing as a person are very dovetailed together. They’ve been very mutually beneficial.” Entrepreneur Matthew Bellows’ career is proof that professional and personal success work in tandem. Recognizing time as a person’s most precious commodity, he was drawn to entrepreneurship as a means of gaining asymmetric returns on that time. He was moved to co-found Bodeswell, a company which invented self-service financial planning software, after sorting through his late father’s estate and becoming frustrated with the state of the financial planning space. Matthew joins The Conscious Entrepreneur podcast to discuss what he’s learned throughout his evolution from founder and CEO of WGR Media, to CEO and later Executive Chairman at Yesware, and now a General Partner at Grit Capital. 

He’ll explain what it was like to cede his CEO position at Yesware, and what it taught him about the true mission of business. He’ll share what it was like to have American Express acquire Bodeswell, and the best way other entrepreneurs can prepare their companies for a similar acquisition. Learn what the biggest mistakes and assumptions are that most entrepreneurs make and what they can be doing differently. 

Throughout his career, Matthew has maintained a seated meditation practice. Now a meditation teacher, he reveals on today’s episode how this practice has profoundly impacted both his professional and personal life. 


  • “I needed to find some activity, professional activity, that would have potential for asymmetric returns on my time. In other words, just working for what amounts to an hourly wage, even if it’s a very good hourly wage, it has linear returns on your time, and your time is the only thing you’ve actually got in your life. So, what would be the things that I could do that would potentially break that linear curve into an exponential curve.” (4:31 | Matthew Bellows)
  • “Sitting meditation for me provided a foundation to weather the storms that came. The storms absolutely came; there was no dodging the difficulties of going through that kind of process. But at least I felt like, for the most part, I had a ground and when I lost my ground, when I lost my foundation, I had a place to come back to.” (14:07 | Matthew Bellows) 
  • “It was very difficult to let go and to turn over the reins, in a sense. But at the end of the day, you’re not building a company for yourself. This is not a personal aggrandizement project, this is not something that is for any one person or any one investor. You’re building a company to serve customers and in order to serve customers your company needs to keep growing.” (22:26 | Matthew Bellows)
  • “The combination of getting better at business and growing as a person, I think, are very dovetailed together. They’ve been very mutually beneficial.” (35:36 | Matthew Bellows) 
  • “You need to be prepared—mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and financially— to wander in the desert for a year or two years, just trying to figure out, ‘Is this even a thing?’ So many people think, ‘I’m going to go and it’s going to just click,’ or they think, ‘Oh my God, I need to raise outside capital, and then I can figure out if this is a thing.” Neither of those two paths are optimal.” (37:59 | Matthew Bellows)


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