I cannot think of a commitment my mother has ever broken. The importance she places on her commitments is one of her best qualities. I am proud that I inherited this quality. However, my goal for 2018 is to actually allow myself to break a few commitments.
This picture was taken at my very favorite birthday party, “Camp Kudner” (Kudner is my maiden name). For my fifth birthday, I asked my mother if we could do a camping theme. She agreed. With her creativity and relentless desire for excellence, two qualities I am also thankful I inherited from my mother, she puffy painted 24 “Camp Kudner” t-shirts for my guests, scoured the neighborhood to borrow a half dozen canoes, and made our backyard into a perfectly whimsical summer camp theme.
Unfortunately, she started feeling very ill the day before the party and was rushed to the hospital. It turned out that she had appendicitis. However, a little appendicitis was not going to deter my mother from delivering on her promise. She was back home two hours after her surgery. Despite fainting while cutting my birthday cake and throwing up a few times, she did not break her promise. It was a fabulous party. Until just recently, I never even knew idea my mother was sick that day. She pushed through like a trooper.
Like my mother, I take my commitments very seriously and can push myself beyond normal physical limits to fulfill them. This has served me well throughout my career and continues to be one of the things I am most proud of. I have completed Half Ironmans and have achieved seemingly impossible things as an entrepreneur. However, because it so important for me to make commitments I feel confident I can keep, I sometimes fail to aim high enough.
Through life experience and the work we do in Conscious Leadership, I now realize that the importance I place on keeping my commitments can actually be a liability. Working with my business partner Sue has been my first step to keeping this in check. Sue and I both have the ability to push ourselves beyond normal physical limits, but Sue is less afraid to shoot for the stars. On more than one occasion, she has actually succeeded in reaching those stars. When she fell short, she at least made it 75% of the way there.
That is the lesson I am going to try to remember in 2018. If I keep shooting for stars, it will be impossible for me to succeed every time. However, I am confident that my passion, grit and perseverance will propel me all of the way there, at least every once in a while. And....if I get 75% of the way there, it is still 75% further than I sit today.
Here is to thinking big in 2018.
Onward and Upward.
In this Fund81 podcast episode, I invited Brad Feld, founding partner of Foundry Group, to share his thoughts on maintaining mental health in the fast-paced venture capital world and supporting portfolio companies, colleagues, friends and family wrestling with mental health issues.
SC Moatti joined the Fund81 podcast to talk about how to discover and vet products in venture capital. We talk about how VCs can spot indications of future product success, creative ways to look under the hood before investing, and the product-related questions most venture capitalists fail to ask.
I’ve seen thousands of startup investor pitches. Since I find myself offering the same feedback over and over, I thought it might be helpful to share my nine most common points of investor pitch feedback.
In this Fund81 podcast episode, we talk about something that has made our team at MergeLane better investors - the Enneagram Personality Typing System. To talk about how the Enneagram can help other VCs, I invited Kaley Klemp to join the podcast.
As a venture capitalist, I am frequently surrounded by exceptionally high-performing and inspiring people. Until recently, I had never stopped to think about the impact of that.
We are big proponents of using the 15 Commitments in the work we do in Conscious Leadership. However, as an Enneagram Type 1 who is most happy at maximum productivity, I’ve always had a hard time buying into Commitment #9, the commitment to play and rest. Until yesterday….
I am extremely disciplined and focused. However, this can also be a detriment. Anything I perceive as a distraction from my to-do list feels stressful, and I have to constantly tell myself that off-the-to-do-list opportunities are often the best opportunities. I was recently reminded of that.
For the final episode of Fund81's first season, I interviewed Jaclyn Freeman Hester from Foundry Group. As someone relatively new to the industry, she has a fresh perspective on what's compelling to institutional investors and an incredible pulse on the landscape for emerging VC managers. Enjoy!
Could I be more effective if I simply surrendered to a schedule that felt natural to me? After some serious self-reflection and experimentation, I can unequivocally say YES.
I’m trying to focus my time on opportunities to operate in my zone of genius and a few select priority areas in line with my passions and in which I feel I can make the most impact, aka my true north. To help all of us stay the course, I thought it might be helpful to share those priorities.