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Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Forty-Two

Today marks the end of my one-hundred-forty-second week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week one hundred forty-two:

  • Recession – Discussions with a few friends and more headlines revolved around recession and the tough road ahead in 2023. I assumed that recession was a given for most, but it feels like the reality of it is hitting more and more people the closer we get to 2023.
  • Fewer meetings – I was intentional about keeping my calendar clear, so I was more productive and focused. A few unexpected things happened, but they didn’t derail me. I plan to repeat this next week.
  • Christmas – One more week until Christmas. This is the final push for the year.  

Week one hundred forty-two was a productive week. Looking forward to next week!

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Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Forty-One

Today marks the end of my one-hundred-forty-first week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week one hundred forty-one:

  • Duh – Sometimes what you’re looking for is already right in front of you. This week was a reminder of that.
  • YouTube – If you want to learn from someone who’s somewhat prominent and not in your network, look them up on YouTube. They may share what you want to know in a video. Or better yet, they might drop their email in one of the videos. You can email them and refer to having watched their talk, which is somewhat flattering and better than a cold email.
  • Home stretch – Two weeks until Christmas. I’m being more intentional about my calendar for the next two weeks. I want to stay focused on getting some important things completed.

Week one hundred forty-one was a focused week. Looking forward to next week!

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Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Forty

Today marks the end of my one-hundred-fortieth week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week one hundred forty:

  • Investor perspective – Investors view the world and founders through different lenses. I participated in an event where a group of investors provided feedback on a few founders. It was interesting to see how each investor’s perspective informed their analysis of each founder and their market. Sometimes substance was overshadowed by other things; conversely, sometimes lack of substance was overshadowed. External validation also swayed some investors’ analysis of a founder, although I believe that wasn’t intentional.
  • Home stretch – We’re in the final weeks of 2022. The year has gone by quickly. I want to make these last few weeks in the year count.

Week one hundred forty was a busy week. Looking forward to next week!

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Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Thirty-Eight

Today marks the end of my one-hundred-thirty-eighth week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week one hundred thirty-eight:

  • Truth – This week I thought about truth, which led to my post yesterday. Seeking truth isn’t something that most people do. I believe it’s one of the traits that separate the good from the great. Seeking truth allows you to make better decisions.  
  • Networks – I started to think about network nodes. How can you create more nodes to increase the free flow of information at early-stage start-ups and the people who support them? Can creating network nodes increase early-stage network quality?
  • Non-consensus  – This week I came across two great founders. They’re not in the right VC/start-up networks, and the problems they’re solving aren’t obvious (but they are painful). These founders are non-consensus and, in my book, great founders to back. They represent an opportunity for non-consensus alpha.
  • Thanksgiving – Looking forward to time with family and friends!

Week one hundred thirty-eight was a focused week. Looking forward to next week and the Thanksgiving holiday!

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Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Thirty-Seven

Today marks the end of my one-hundred-thirty-seventh week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week one hundred thirty-seven:

  • Focus – In my downtime, I’ve been learning about society’s inability to focus. I read about a new habit that helps with focus and other things. I tried it this week, and the early results are good. I plan to keep up this habit for a month before committing to it for longer.
  • Packed schedule – This week was packed with meetings, including a half-day one. I was intentional about scheduling time to focus, which worked out well.
  • Paying it forward – I spent half a day this week learning more about three early-stage businesses and providing feedback. These types of feedback sessions can be life changing for entrepreneurs, which is why I enjoy doing them. I remember this phase well and want to do for others what was done for me.  
  • Pitch – I’ve been honing my pitch with friendlies who are aware of the problem/industry. This week I pitched non-friendlies who don’t know the space. It went over well. Still some things to improve, but it’s getting better.
  • Networks – This week was a reminder to share what you’re doing. You never know who knows whom.
  • 2023 – I’m starting to think about next year and what habits I want to stop, start, or continue.  

Week one hundred thirty-seven was a busy week. Looking forward to next week!

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Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Thirty-Six

Today marks the end of my one-hundred-thirty-sixth week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week one hundred thirty-six:

  • Deal negotiating – A deal is good when neither party gets exactly what they want but both parties are good with the end result. This week was a reminder that keeping the spirit of the relationship in mind is important when negotiating deals. If you want a long-term partnership, the deal should reflect that goal. If it’s a one-time transaction, not so much.
  • Fundraising – I’ve talked with a few companies beginning their fundraising efforts now. The macro environment is tough, and the holidays are approaching fast. Fundraising is taking longer than these founders anticipated, and some are reducing round size and valuations to get the rounds done.
  • Low meeting bar – This week I had a few meetings that were the result of setting my meeting bar low. They had some unexpected positive outcomes. I like the idea of keeping my meeting bar low when time allows. It keeps me closer to ground level and allows for serendipity.

Week one hundred thirty-six was productive. I made some great unexpected connections. Looking forward to next week!

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Where Will You End Up?

A seasoned executive I respect emailed me a quote this week:

If you don't know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.

                               ~Yogi Berra

It’s a simple, powerful, and thought-provoking statement. And I agree with what Yogi said. Having a clear destination (or direction at least) helps me deal with all the uncertainty and noise in the world. It allows me to stay calm in stressful situations and make the right decision. I think about where I want to be and confidently evaluate decisions based on whether they get me closer to or further away from that destination. My decisions might be counter to what others would do in the short term, and I sometimes hear questions or criticisms from people who don’t understand one of my decisions. I’m able to confidently (and respectfully) tune that noise out, because the right decision is obvious to me, given my destination.

Yogi is right. If you don’t have a clear idea of where you want to go, you’ll definitely end up someplace else. So where do you want to go?

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Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Thirty-Five

Today marks the end of my one-hundred-thirty-fifth week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week one hundred thirty-five:

  • Sluggishness – I was under the weather this week, which wasn’t ideal. My productivity was noticeably affected. Feeling better now and looking forward to next week.
  • Complex concepts This week was a reminder of how important it is to communicate new or complex concepts using a simple visual image. A picture is worth a thousand words—but it can be hard to come up with the right one.

Week one hundred thirty-five was sluggish and only semi-productive. Looking forward to next week.

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New Networks = New Ideas

I shared some views on the importance of networks with someone recently, including how being part of different networks helped me navigate my early founder journey.

One thing I didn’t realize back then was that being part of diverse networks was valuable because it exposed me to new ideas. I learned about all sorts of things I would have never known about. Some of those ideas became transformational for me, altering my trajectory. Exposure to new ideas is something I now seek out, because it helps elevate my awareness about the world and my thinking in general.

If you want exposure to new ideas, consider joining different networks.  

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Weekly Reflection: Week One Hundred Thirty-Four

Today marks the end of my one-hundred-thirty-fourth week of working from home (mostly). Here are my takeaways from week one hundred thirty-four:

  • Venture Atlanta – This was a busy week in the Atlanta start-up ecosystem, with Venture Atlanta and a variety of other supporting events all week. I met some great people, many of whom were from out of town. Overall, it was a great week with great energy.
  • You never know I caught up with two out-of-town friends today. I shared an idea with them, and both offered to introduce me to people who could be helpful. I was surprised by these offers to make intros because I didn’t know these people were in their networks. Today was a reminder that you never know whom someone knows, so you should always keep people in the loop regarding what you’re working on and how they can help.

Week one hundred thirty-four was a long week of networking. Looking forward to next week.

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