Question of the week #20

ImgresOnce you begin investing in companies you must continue to invest to grow your portfolio.  I have actually been thinking alot about the question this week so it is a perfect time to answer it.

How many active investments do you
like to have at a given moment in time? Because you like to take an
active role, is there a limit to how many you can be active in at once?

I do have a few investments that I am not that active in for many reasons.  Notice the word not which means I am still active at some level.  Some don't need much help, others go in waves, others have moved into a different realm with other rounds of financing and some are not in my backyard. 

I do not have a number in my head about how many investments I like to do in a year.  I have the flexibility to do a deal when I just think it makes sense.  I am definitely hitting a point where I am probably over-extended but I am also about to see many deals move to the next level of capital.  My guess is that I will either take a board seat or be more of a consigliere to the entrepreneur instead of being involved as I have been.

There are times that I think I should just hang back for awhile but that never seems to happen.  There are times when I know that I have hit the wall but it all seems to work itself out.  So is there a limit? Probably but I have not figured out exactly what that limit is.  Just when I think I hit a limit, I seem to pull something out of a hat.  At one point the hat might be empty but it hasn't happen yet although I might just not know what an empty hat looks like. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. falicon

    Love it. It isn’t broken yet, so don’t fix it! 😉

  2. Jeff T.

    Empty hats for some people look completely full to others. I have a feeling that ’empty’ for you looks pretty full to most people 🙂

    1. Gotham Gal

      ha. you could be right.

  3. Rohan

    I have been having a funny bunch of learnings about being overwhelmed. I used to previously think it was wrong and that I must pursue “balance” but Viktor Frankl convinced me otherwise. Life’s joy is in the pursuit.. and even moderation ought to be in moderation.The interesting learnings here have been thanks to those moments every once in a while when I tend to hit “volume capacity” i.e. when I can’t do any more with my current mode of operation. I have 3 choices – cull a few projects (optimize a bit) or – go back to the drawing board and figure out why I’m doing what I’m doing to (start all over) or- start working at a completely different level (learn something that changes the way I work/approach)I find optimization generally unhelpful, even if it’s a quick win. Start all over is what I do more often. And, every once a while, I learn that I need some new education on how to approach this. It’s fascinating.Either way, i’ve learnt that things work out just fine. You don’t get what you want but you tend to go what you need.Phew. long rant. Nice topic! 🙂

  4. Cynthia Schames

    I think your level of involvement is exactly what makes you so very desirable to an entrepreneur. There’s smart money and there’s dumb money. Taking “just” money seems to me to be dumb money; I’d MUCH rather have an investor who brought insights, wisdom, experience and connections to the table…and that’s what I believe you are.So keep filling that hat, Joanne. You’re obviously providing great value to the companies lucky enough to have you on board!

    1. Gotham Gal

      thanks cynthia.