I have fielded several requests for introductions this week. I like to be helpful, but I also like to be respectful of my network’s time. I like to ask if someone is open to an introduction before making the connection, and I appreciate it when people requesting introductions send me a forwardable email to make double opt-in introductions easy.
I updated these two posts that I wrote five years ago this week. They are tailored toward asking for investor introductions, but are applicable to all requests for introductions:
How to Ask for a Startup Investor Intro
How to Get a VC to Answer a Meeting Request
My realization of the week: In rereading these posts that I wrote five years ago, I realized how much I’ve shifted my approach to sharing advice. I have a tendency to want to tell people what they “should” or “can’t” or “must” do in a slightly (and sometimes not-so-slightly) demeaning elementary school teacher tone. My writing can also sound too formal or corporate and take on a bit of a robotic tone that prevents authentic connection. I am not sure if I even would have noticed these patterns if my partner Sue had not pointed them out to me five years ago.
These patterns are deeply ingrained. I’m an Enneagram 1 that strives toward perfection. My mother was a school teacher and I went to a strict Catholic school. My patterns seemed normal to me and I was blind to how they were holding me back. I’m still a constant work in progress, but I do think I’ve improved. I’m grateful to have a partner who can see my blind spots and candidly point them out.
Portfolio Quick Hit: The NFLPA named Shinesty as one of its three licensees of the year, along with EA Sports and Rawlings. Shinesty’s player-themed Hawaiian shirts were named the “Best Breakout Product of the Year.”
I post my most interesting weekly thoughts, coupled with the best of my listening and reading list, and occasional MergeLane Portfolio news every Tuesday. To follow Tuesday Takeaways and our occasional blog posts, you can subscribe to our blog or follow me on twitter.
I find that I have to expend three times more energy to feel productive during the holidays. This pattern tends to persist not only during the week of July 4th, but for the entire month of July.
We sourced five startups from our Fund81 VC forum members to present for our June forum. Check out this episode to hear pitches from these incredibly tenacious entrepreneurs.
I have fielded several requests for introductions this week. I like to be helpful, but I also like to be respectful of my network’s time. I'd like to share a few tips for making double opt-in intros easy.
I’ve always thought of myself as someone who has a modern marriage. Three months into this COVID-19 situation, however, I'm starting to feel like I'm stuck in a 1950s sitcom.
In a conversation on my partners Sue and Leah’s Marco Polo Channel this week, I shared that my fear of how my participation may be received given my white privilege has historically kept me on the sidelines of the racial equality conversation. Guest coach Kimberly Smith gave me some great advice.
As a VC, I have the opportunity to build relationships with people who have tremendous resources. I often hesitate to ask my network to support philanthropic causes, because I want to respect our business relationship. After seeing the impact of COVID-19, however, I decided it was time to ask.
I post my most interesting weekly thoughts, coupled with the best of my listening and reading list, and occasional MergeLane portfolio news each Tuesday. Here’s the best of what I’ve read and listened to this week:
I invited Dick Rothkopf, co-founder of Learning Curve International, the manufacturer of the Thomas the Tank Engine toys, to share his thoughts on how to spot big thinkers and big ideas with the propensity to scale, and how to help entrepreneurs think bigger.
During this epidemic, I've been doing more reading, listening, and introspective thinking. In an effort to remember and share some of what I learned, I'm going to start posting my most interesting weekly thoughts + the best of my listening and reading list + occasional MergeLane portfolio news.
Two people I admire recently shared their silver lining in our global COVID-19 pandemic—an excuse to say no to the constant stream of requests for their time. I’ve made great strides in saying no with candor, but it left me wondering: Can I really stop using excuses for my nos?