The Summer Semester is ending
For many years I have written a post at the end of each summer about where my head is at. There is something about summer that always gives me time and space to think about next chapters. The beginning of fall is my new year.
Over the past couple years I have been working on moving into something else. That doesn’t mean completely cleansing myself of what I have done the past 15 years, it just means that I have got to the peak of my evolution.
On one hand I hope to live to be 100 on the other hand people used to retire at age 62 (I am not there yet). I can never physically retire. I can just move into other realms. My energy level is not what it was 15 years ago (although I try and pretend it is) but I do want to use what I have learned and leverage it into something else.
That means less angel investing. I would like to sit on a few mature boards where I can make an impact. Just like entrepreneurs ask themselves if they have another one in them, I am burnt out on the early stage investing. I only want to do it when there is more capital at the table with investors who roll their sleeves up which tend to be institutional investors. They have to and angels don’t so most angels do very little.
I am going to start working out later in the morning to continue to give me (or force me) time to have space. Space slows you down. It feels good to get to this stage. I have worked hard to get here but I am excited for a different cadence of my daily life including new frontiers mixed with old ones. I never want to be out of the game but I am changing my game.
Random idea popped into my head. Could you form a small NYC-based “angel group” w/ 3-4 young folks who you love and you mentor them and supply the angel capital? That way, they will learn from you, they will filter out the noise of people pinging you directly, and you can find 3-4 high impact deals to take on with your sleeves rolled up? It provides that extra space but also pays it forward with the joy of mentoring the next gen.
I have been of help to many angel investors. So done it and still do it. People must supply their own capital and be able to have skin in the game. It forces the right mindset.The constant flow of emails to have one on ones for advice is something I have done forever but if you do that all day it becomes overwhelming. Unfortunately it has become something where the person on the other side of the table gets all the rewards and I get none so I pick and chooseMany VCs have learned that you just can not be the advice and council for everyone or you leave no time for yourself and your own work. While others have amplified it in groups such as All Raise like I did at the Women’s Entrepreneur Festival for years. That impact is something I feel insanely good about.Mentoring should always have joy and I fear too many have used mentoring just to amplify their personal careers.
Have you thought of writing a book? It would cover a lot of bases you mentioned above. You would impact and help a lot of people as well as have some of the upside.
and I fear too many have used mentoring just to amplify their personal careersVery interesting I would like to read a blog post on that topic.The constant flow of emails to have one on ones for advice is something I have done forever…I think there is a limit on how much someone can grow by thinking that they can learn by simply taking a shortcut and getting advice from someone who has experience (which they have acquired as you have over a long long period of time). For one thing it’s not a digital knowledge it’s analog in nature. It entirely depends on specifics and those specific change they don’t remain static and pinned to the first ‘advice’ conversation or initial details. What you might say to someone today (when asked) might change a month later based on a host of factors (that you won’t even know and you don’t have time to deal with).In the end it comes down to people wanting shortcuts and the easy route typically. Not wanting to put the time in.An example that I give to illustrate the concept is entering Manhattan by car and choosing whether to take the Bridge or Tunnel. Now the very general advice may be ‘oh you are going to the UES then you take the bridge’. But on the fly if the traffic is bad you might decide to take a tunnel. Which tunnel? That’s a simple example to illustrate that you can’t possibly cover all bases for what someone should do in even multiple conversations because if the facts change the advice would also change. Sure you could do it with entering the city IRL let’s say (‘listen to 1010wins and then make your choice while on the NJ Tpke) but that is vastly different than knowledge acquired over 10 or 20 years which is part of what someone considers in a more complex subject.
As I do more and more work at the intersection of business, philanthropy, blockchain and conservation, the power of having well connected, respected, known, and well capitalized people at the table is beyond powerful.Forming a non-profit that can invest in for profit impact projects is still new but a potentially powerful tool.Food for thought.
Have that on my list ?
Change is good. Count on my support for the next chapter. Whatever you need.
Beautiful post, Joanne. I always enjoy and am inspired by these. Looking forward to seeing what this new year holds for you. Good luck 🙂
Richly deserved for sure but I’m sure a LOT of early stage founders out there are going to lose out on your knowledge, insight and passion. I’ve been extremely grateful and thankful for your guidance and continue to look up to you as a mentor, guide and advisor.You’re one of my favorite people and I hope I am able to pay it forward in some small way.
Means switching from Rose to Red when summer ends.