moving into 2017

Last year I made a commitment to myself to make changes in my life.  I was running at a speed that worked when I was 30 but not at 55.  Age helps you recognize a lot.  It has taken work to get to a new place but at the end of the day it all comes down to a mental shift.

I have now been investing in companies for a decade.  It is incredible how many people I have met, how many investments I have made and how much I have learned.  Mistakes, failures and wins.  Reality is you learn the most from those experiences that don’t turn out as planned.  I don’t like to lose.  I am insanely competitive.  Somehow I believed that if anything went sideways that I could use my super powers to get in there and fix it.  Obviously unrealistic and certainly not practical but it is how I have operated my entire life.
Only once I realized it was okay to lose an investment, learn from the experience and not hit it out of the ballpark it was then I became a better investor. It allowed me to become less crazed and exhausted.  It has allowed me to focus differently.
Age is also a factor.  As much as I am concerned (to say the least) about the state of democracy in 2017, I am excited about a new attitude.  It will always be a work in motion but that is how life works.  This attitude allows me to shed things in my life not necessarily with ease but certainly with less angst.  It feels positive.
I am hoping that 2017 is a big turning year for not having to succeed at climbing every mountain that comes my way.  I am not putting away my climbing gear but I do plan on using it less often.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Jeremy Robinson

    Thoughtful mature words here. Reassuring to see others on a similar path to me and my wife [who is a psychotherapist]. Sometimes it’s very hard for me to let go of things. Or lose people. Grieving helps. But this shedding process, while invigorating, also feels so scary sometimes. We sometimes don’t know if our fear is something we need to move into or move away from [as in the fear of new things or the fear of touching fire]. But nothing in my life is as scary as our current political climate. Although, even here I am taking some solace that sometimes what people can organize in opposition can be better than they may have ever intended in the first place. Words of a naive, optimistic soul, perhaps. We shall see. One lives to be guided by hope.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I am an eternal optimist and am also very concerned about the political landscape but will try and compartmentalize that

  2. pointsnfigures

    Part of it is the liquidity premium on investing. The mountain is a lot higher today than it used to be. When companies went public prior to Sarbox, they’d do it at valuations of $50M-$250M. Now, they wait until they are multi-billion. Here is to hoping they repeal Sarbox so the general public can invest in companies at good valuations and grow their wealth. Repealing would allow private/public pension funds to direct invest earlier as well. That’s good for America. It would be nice if they repealed Dodd-Frank as well.

  3. Donna Brewington White

    “Not putting away my climbing gear”… love this!But a bit shocking to hear that our superpowers cannot accomplish everything! To my detriment, have not fully learned this lesson — a difference between acknowledging and internalizing.Thanks for sharing this end of year reflection, Joanne. These thoughts really help. I remember that post from a year ago and it made me think. Hard to believe it has been a year and yet in some ways it was a lifetime ago.I think that post was part of the journey of beginning to embrace the strengths that come as the gifts of age. Hard to allow myself to do when many of my peers (and clients) in the startup ecosystem are so much younger. Reinvented my career when others my age are beginning their descent.However, in embracing my own age (a little bit more), this year I hired some people who are much younger — not so much for their age but for the diversity that their millennial thinking brings to the team (prior to this, we were all over-40 moms). My wisdom and experience combined with their invincibility is a really great combination. 🙂

    1. Gotham Gal

      I love it!

  4. AMT Editorial Staff

    Resilience & grit. You got ’em.

  5. Pranay Srinivasan

    Timing means so much. I’m grateful for having your support and insight as I (hopefully) kick 2016 on the way out and (definitely) bring 2017 in with optimism!

    1. Gotham Gal

      I’m cheering for you

      1. Pranay Srinivasan