Elizabeth Holmes’ handwritten note says a lot about how she believed she had to present herself as a CEO

“I do everything I say—word for word. I am never a minute late. I show no excitement,” wrote Elizabeth Holmes. The line is part of an extensive handwritten note that the former Theranos CEO wrote to herself when she was leading the company. 

Holmes took the stand this week during the criminal fraud trial against her, and testified  in court that that her former boyfriend and business partner Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani emotionally and sexually abused her. Part of the evidence her lawyers submitted, multiple outlets reported, included a note drawn up by Holmes detailing her schedule for the day, which began before sunrise. It appears to have been written on stationery for Raffles, a Singapore-based hotel. 

Balwani’s lawyer Jeffrey Coopersmith denied Holmes’ allegations of abuse, multiple outlets reported. Coopersmith did not return Fortune’s request for comment after Holmes’ testimony.

The schedule begins with a 4:00 a.m. wake up time to “rise & thank God” and ends with her lunch and dinner menus, which included broccoli, quinoa and a green drink. But what may be most notable about the schedule is what’s written below it.


“I am not impulsive.”

“I do not react.”

“I am always proactive.”

“I know the outcome of every encounter.”

“I do not hesitate.”

“I speak rarely. When I do—CRISP and CONCISE. I call bullshit immediately. My hands are always in my pockets or gesturing,” the last few lines of the note read. 

Holmes said they were Balwani’s rules and advice, The Verge reported.

“He told me that I didn’t know what I was doing in business, that my convictions were wrong, that he was astonished by my mediocrity and that if I followed my instincts I was going to fail,” Holmes testified, according to The New York Times.

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