Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes said she had a 3-page guide on how to succeed in business. Advice included: ‘Learn what makes them tick and use that as bait’
On Monday, former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes testified that while she appeared to be an unflappable leader of a major tech company, her ex-boyfriend and COO, Ramesh “Sunny Balwani,” emotionally and sexually abused her.
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.
As part of her defense, Holmes’ legal team submitted several documents, one of which Holmes said was handwritten instructions to her from Balwani on how to live and lead her business, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Coopersmith, did not return Fortune’s request for comment.
“Each morning, I will force myself out of bed & spend 30 minutes (never a minute less) to write about what I want from my day,” the note begins. “I will only spend time (80%+) on things that are most important to cash flow.”
The first page, which is titled “Non-negotiables (people),” lists four bullets on how to manage time and other people. The advice includes never meeting with anyone for more than five minutes and giving crisp, clean goals to subordinates—especially if they don’t like it.
“I will not assume that people will do the ‘right’ or moral thing. They are not motivated by what I am motivated by (don’t feed pasta and pesto to fish),” the note says. “I will learn what makes them tick and use that as bait to motivate them.”
The second page is titled “Pursuit of Success in Business,” reads that there are some people who are naturally successful at business, and others “who don’t have the ‘natural instinct.”
“He was talking about me,” Holmes testified in court, referring to Balwani, The Verge reported.
The second and third pages of the document detail what appear to be two key ingredients for success: discipline and self discovery through writing. The note emphasizes that success inevitably arises from planning ahead and writing down future goals.
“Why were you able to walk on 4000°+C burning coals and not get burned? Because your intention, your plan, was stronger than that of coals,” the note says.
Holmes’ lawyers have argued that alleged abuse from Balwani included controlling her diet and berating her when he felt she lacked confidence or focus.
“I needed to kill the person that I was to become what he called ‘the new Elizabeth,’ to become a successful entrepreneur,” Holmes testified.
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