Mergelane Blog

Broadening the On-ramp for Women-run Companies

Why I Am Going to Break More Commitments in 2018

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.

Camp Kudner

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.

Related Posts

Will COVID-19 Slow VC Investment? Our Initial Survey Results

Since we are all wondering how COVID-19 will affect venture capital investment, I surveyed some of my Fund81 VC forum members to take quick pulse on their investment plans. Below is the data from the first 34 respondents.

Read more ➞

Managing Anxiety | Lessons from an Anxious Entrepreneur

I have battled anxiety for many years. In that journey, I've learned a lot about how to manage it and support others who battle anxiety as well. I thought it might be helpful to share my thoughts.

Read more ➞

Choosing a Venture Capital Fund Administrator

We’re considering a few different fund administration solutions. I have a lot of questions that other fund managers may have as well. I invited Tiffany Cholez from CFO Fund Services to answer some of these questions live.

Read more ➞

Fund81 in 2020 and Lessons from a Bout of Holiday Depression

In this latest Fund81 podcast episode, I share my 2020 plans for the Fund81 forum and podcast, and a few reflections from my short bout of holiday depression.

Read more ➞

The Complete Guide to Composing Startup Investor Updates

I’ve now read over a thousand startup investor updates. The most effective updates — the ones that immediately grab my attention and heighten my interest — have similar characteristics. My advice is below, along with a comprehensive template for startup investor updates.

Read more ➞

Episode #20: Venture Capital Lessons from 2000 and 2008: Preparing for a Downturn

At MergeLane, we’ve been thinking about how changing market conditions may affect our fund in the future. I know many of our listeners are asking themselves that question as well. Our guest, Liza Benson, thrived as a VC through both the dot-com crash in 2000 and the 2008 financial crisis.

Read more ➞

Episode #19: The LP Perspective and the #OpenLP Reboot with Beezer Clarkson

Beezer Clarkson invests in early-stage venture funds at Sapphire Partners (the division within Sapphire Ventures that invests in venture funds). In this episode, Beezer shares her perspective on venture capital trends, VC firm differentiation, and nonobvious mistakes for VC fund managers to avoid. 

Read more ➞

If Your VC Fund Makes You a Pirate, Should You Abandon Ship?

As an entrepreneur and startup investor, I have had many moments of feeling like I am pushing water uphill with a rake. Sometimes, I have kept pushing and have succeeded out of sheer grit. Sometimes, it was time to admit defeat. Two years ago, I had one of those moments. 

Read more ➞

Episode #18: Assessing Hustle with the Hustle Fund

Elizabeth Yin, co-founder and general partner at the Hustle Fund, shared her thoughts on how to assess a startup’s ability to “hustle”. Her thoughts are applicable to venture capitalists, startups and anyone who wants to work with hustlers. 

Read more ➞

“Sorry for the Delay”? I Don’t Accept Your Apology

Nearly every email I receive starts with “Sorry for the delay.” Our always-on culture has set an unwritten expectation that an email should be responded to within 24 hours. To prevent the perpetuation of this cultural expectation, I would like to make my thoughts clear.

Read more ➞