Women & VC Funding: Questions Beyond the Headline

Photo by Kaboompics // Karolina from Pexels 

Over the last week or so there has been a flurry of articles about the announcement from PitchBook and Fortune that female founders got 2% of Venture Capital in 2017. The article points out the silver lining that dollars invested was up by a whopping (note the sarcasm here) $500,000 from last year. Read that again: Female founders got TWO PERCENT of VC in 2017. This is nowhere close to the almost 70% of capital given to male-founded companies. While an attention-getting headline, I don’t think this actually tells me anything other than people can add.

Now before you start going there, this is not a rant (yet) about the lack of funding for female lead startups. This particular rant is about the math and the metrics behind the story and the headlines it created. Continue reading “Women & VC Funding: Questions Beyond the Headline”

Using the Snowball Method of Create Big Things

Have you heard of the debt snowball method? It’s an approach first shared by Dave Ramsey to guide people in paying down their debts. Here’s a simplified version of the approach:

  1. You list all debts in ascending order from smallest balance to largest. This is the method’s most distinctive feature, in that the order is determined by amount owed, not the rate of interest charged. However, if two debts are very close in the amount owed, then the debt with the higher interest rate would be moved above in the list.
  2. Commit to pay the minimum payment on every debt.
  3. Determine how much extra can be applied towards the smallest debt.
  4. Pay the minimum payment plus the extra amount towards that smallest debt until it is paid off.
  5. Once a debt is paid in full, add the old minimum payment (plus any extra amount available) from the first debt to the minimum payment on the second smallest debt, and apply the new sum to repaying the second smallest debt.
  6. Repeat until all debts are paid in full.

In theory, by the time the final debts are reached, the extra amount paid toward the larger debts will grow quickly, similar to a snowball rolling downhill gathering more snow (thus the name).

The theory works as much on human psychology; by paying the smaller debts first you see fewer bills as more individual debts are paid off, thus giving ongoing positive feedback on your progress. [Wikipedia]

I’m sure you’re quite baffled as to why I’m writing about debt reduction when I’m all about amplifying yourself. Well, it’s because the same mathematics of debt reduction can also apply to amplification. Instead of going from big (debt) to small, you want to go from small (awareness) to big. Continue reading “Using the Snowball Method of Create Big Things”

Which Company Would You Want to Work For?

Let me just start by saying I read a lot of articles about people development, leadership, what to do with your resume, what not to do with your resume, questions should you ask potential candidates, what should a candidate do to prep for an interview….the list goes on.

Why all this reading? It’s a little like school for me. It’s the “research and development” part of my work that gives me the inspiration for thoughtful observations on how to navigate the complicated world called work.

I am inspired by what I read quite often. More often than not I’m inspired by something that’s connected to something else I read. (That’s that human “thinking” brain I keep talking about, the one that’s not a robot that connects disparate ideas. But I digress. The conversation about our non-robotness is a conversation for another day.)

This is not about me and my reading habits. It’s about you. Specifically, a question I have for you. But all that chatter is to set up the question. Let me set up the scenarios … Continue reading “Which Company Would You Want to Work For?”

You’re always making investments

Let me start out by giving you some advice. Advice you’ve probably received before if you’ve been around me at all. I was reminded the bajillionth time this week alone that this advice is still warranted. I’m going to say it again and again and again until I can’t speak anymore.

You want to do better in life? Surround yourself with people who challenge your thinking. Ask questions about your beliefs and seek out other opinions. Be open to these views. If their comments don’t make sense, ask again.

Just ask.

That ask, in itself, is quite an investment. Let me explain … Continue reading “You’re always making investments”

How do you navigate?

Musings from the top of the bottom of the world

Let me just start by saying that my life can sometimes be a little different. How different? Well, what was expected to be a very low-key, traditional New Years ended up with 30 something hours of travel to Ushuaia, Argentina. I lugged my suitcase full of boat parts on a bit of a rescue mission for my husband Randall Reeves and his project the Figure 8 Voyage.

Ever one to turn a terrible situation into a good one, I found myself hiking in the Tierra del Fuego National Park on New Year’s day. I spent a good twenty minutes amusing myself for coming up with the sentence “We’re hiking to the top of the bottom of the world!”

Watch my video to view just one of the stunning panorama we found. (Ignore the huffing and puffing as we’d been hiking up and up and up …) Continue reading “How do you navigate?”

Finding Support on the Skinny Branches

A while back a friend of mine texted me, “I need a pep talk.” Less than 24 hours later, I was on her couch. I wasn’t there alone. A text from me to another of our tight, trusted, hilarious, brave, curious, Ladybadass group manifested another shoulder, supporter, nudger, question-er.

I won’t share what we talked about. Share, even with names redacted or changed, any of the information on why I had to hug someone more than three times (this is a big deal for me.) Why both the bottle of wine and the box of kleenex we emptied. That’s not the focus.

Today’s article is about how three strong, brave, professional women found each other.

Six years ago I was invited to be part of an experiment. An experiment that brought together twelve successful women to join forces in an effort to up our individual and collective game. We met monthly for the year with each other and with coaches.

The only rule: Show up.

One of the biggest lessons from this year of ass-kicking: I had no idea how lonely I was. Lonely for people who took similar professional steps that I took. Lonely for people who could see a future for me that was bigger and bolder than I could imagine. Continue reading “Finding Support on the Skinny Branches”

Would you like barbeque or a steak roll?

Adventures in A/B testing

I travel a ridiculous amount. As I write, I’m mid-flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Miami, Florida. This is only the second of the four flights I’m taking to get to Ushuaia, Argentina. This is my life.

However, it’s the first leg of my journey that inspires this week’s article. To get to the airport, I decided to get a driver.

What my drivers never know when I tap the button on the app is I’ll want to chat with them (if they’ll let me) for the entire ride. I’ve found that rideshare drivers stories make for the most interesting conversations. Note that, to date, I’ve only had ONE driver tell me he wanted just to be a driver. They ALL have a dream, they all are using this side hustle as a means to an end. Continue reading “Would you like barbeque or a steak roll?”

Are you showing your work?

Do you remember that statement from school: “Show your work”? Let’s unpack that for a second now we’re not in 5th grade and navigating the school halls of life. Why do you think the teacher was asking the question? The teacher wanted to see that you understood the thought process and not just the right answer. New math, old math, it doesn’t matter; your teachers wanted to make sure you understood how to solve the fundamental problem so you’d always know how to find the solution.

This whole idea made wonder how old you are when teachers stop asking you to show your work?

In the workplace we are not asked to “show our work,” we’re expected just to complete it. At least that’s the expectation set when you’re in the early years of your career. I can almost hear the supervisor’s instructions:

  1. Here’s what we’d like you to do.
  2. Follow the process, and x result will manifest.
  3. We want lots of x.

Sure, I have simplified this a little, but if you took your work today and simplified it, would it break down into those three simple steps? Probably so.

This becomes a problem, however, the more senior you are in an organization. While your ability to make lots of “x” – better known as executing a plan or goal doesn’t go away – there is an expectation for you to be more strategic. Continue reading “Are you showing your work?”

Meet a Ladybadass: Jessica Shor – Mentor, Pragmatist, and Advocate

Over on our #ladybadass sister-site, we highlight many of the fearless, courageous, and inspiring ladies in business and in life around the world. We’re taking this idea a step further and finding out what it is that motivates and inspires these phenomenal women.

… and by the way, privacy is dead. Deal with it.

Overcoming challenges and hardships have set a blueprint of tenacity and grit for Jessica Shor from the earliest age: “Growing up without any means at all. Struggling with my mom being a single parent, not having any money, having to work a million jobs from the age of 12.” She realizes that the quest for  “financial stability and support is a pretty fundamental color in my life.” This adversity also motivates her passion for mentorship. “Most of what I do for myself and others with mentoring with WILPower and Hipower is aimed at ensuring all women have the ability to create their own financial freedom and independence, a sense of security.” Continue reading “Meet a Ladybadass: Jessica Shor – Mentor, Pragmatist, and Advocate”

Who’s making what decision in which room?

Part of the fun for me in putting ideas and questions out to this #ladybadass community are the conversations following. It’s rare for me not to get pulled into a discussion around a question I posed or a theory I’m developing. Once in a while, I ask people to share their ideas back with you. Share, because I want you to hear different thoughts and ideas. Share because I want you to meet the phenomenal people behind the conversations.

A couple of weeks back I posed the question, “Do you stay in a role longer than you should for the sake of the team?” This particular article garnered several conversations. One, in particular, caught my attention. A conversation I had with a dear friend and co-worker from a part of my life we’ll just call “Adventures in Chicago,” and I asked her to share.

So today, I introduce you to a total #ladybadass Cindy Barry and her thoughts about staying for the team…………..

Through the years I have encountered numerous managers who were nightmares. Having someone in your direct line of management, or a peer inside or outside your division can cause angst, negatively impact morale, and demotivate everyone around them. In the end, they are adversely impacting productivity, which means they are impacting revenue.

They are often the worst kept secret in the company, well known to Human Resources (HR). We can have an entire series of articles on theories as to how and why they are allowed to stay in place. Sadly, they are a reality with which we need to contend. Continue reading “Who’s making what decision in which room?”