Nicholas Horbaczewski’s path to create the Drone Racing League included two Harvard degrees, a stint writing a travel guide to Australia and two years as an executive at Tough Mudder.
But a Tough Mudder’s advisory board member, Strauss Zelnick, taught Horbaczewski to see life and work as one holistic project.
The two began working out together. The “workout sessions devolved into coaching sessions,” Horbaczewski recalls. “He takes a very structured approach to how to distill down what matters to you and what’s important to you, and how to pursue those things.”
Ultimately, Horbaczewski realized that in order to pursue his passion—creating lasting institutions and businesses—he needed to leave Tough Mudder.
Horbaczewski launched Drone Racing League in March 2015. Since then, he’s developed partnerships with ESPN, Amazon and more. DRL’s second season is airing through the end of July.
He maintains regular contact with Zelnick, as a member of a workout-mentoring group Zelnick put together called The Program.
“[Zelnick] has a great ability to view a person as a complete person as opposed to just a career or an individual project,” Horbaczewski says. “He really helps you create a single list of goals for all parts of your life, and helps you think of the fact that nothing comes without tradeoffs.”
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