Startup Your Life: Hustle and Hack Your Way to Happiness

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As an entrepreneur, Anna Akbari learned that one of the best things about startups is their ability to “pivot” quickly—basically a euphemism for failing and starting over. And she quickly found that personal success is no different. Creating meaningful fulfillment is not just about setting goals; it requires hustle, heart, and some clever hacks. Happiness demands rigor and daily maintenance—far beyond a few positive affirmations. Like any Silicon Valley startup, the business of life is not as glamorous as its Instagram account would make it seem.

So what do you do when planning is not an option? When control is out of your reach? You isolate the small stuff, experiment constantly, and see what sticks. The road may be bumpy, but the ride is infinitely more enjoyable.

Living a startup life is about maximizing flexibility and measuring ongoing results, not avoiding failure or reaching one particular end goal. It’s about embracing defeat, analyzing it, and failing up. After all, it’s often the stumbles that pave the way for real happiness.

“Anna Akbari’s thoughtful and accessible take on how to create personal fulfillment and what it means to be a leader—both professionally and personally—can help to set you on the right path.”— Cassandra Kelly , Chair of Pottinger

“Budding entrepreneurs should benefit greatly from Akbari’s sound advice.”— Publishers Weekly

“You can be the startup CEO of your own life, and Anna Akbari teaches you how in this indispensable guide. Her personal tales and time-tested advice inspire and motivate—it’s the extra push you need for living your best life.”— Alexa von Tobel , founder and CEO of LearnVest and New York Times bestselling author of Financially Fearless

“Anna Akbari gets right down to business to help you hack your life using the same strategies I used to create products as a CTO in Silicon Valley. It’s the opposite of personal development platitudes, and it works because you can measure it. These are real tools you can use to biohack your performance.”— Dave Asprey , New York Times bestselling author of The Bulletproof Diet

“As a client of Anna’s, I am ecstatic that her brilliant strategies for happiness are written down for all to share and, most of all, for me to reference and carry with me everywhere! Anna has created a fascinating guide, applying the paradigm-shifting, tried-and-true organizing principles of Silicon Valley startups to personal well-being. I can say with total sincerity that her insights will guide you
through the ebb and flow of life’s failures and successes, time and time again.”— Bryce Dallas Howard , actress

“If you’re looking for a reset—professional or personal—Anna Akbari is the guru for you. Embracing the revise-as-you-go ethos of the tech world, she’ll help you find the right fit, even if it means a misfire or two first. Even better, you’ll enjoy the ride.”— Amanda Steinberg , founder of DailyWorth