i’ve grown up… (a tat)… but very much still an addict

Not too long ago I had updated my Facebook with:

Containing excitement … I love banking (you know that) … but I <3 <3 <3   start-ups to bits (a few of you know that)… whooooohooooo! Counting breaths 2 Silicon Valley …

I ended up with 5 PMs within 50-ish seconds, and a few whatapps over the next 30 minutes;

Am I pitching?

What’s the deal?

Will it be cradl-ed? VC-ed?

hmmmm … {and frankly none of your business*}

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

<<REWIND: few days

I got a call from an acquaintance applying for a cradle fund and needed a reference. I said, sure. why not? … and within 3 seconds I was shouting down the mouthpiece in Kinokuniya: WAIT!!! WHAT’S IT? CAN I EVALUATE?

And in 48 hours, I am in the vortex again … flipping the idea and biz plan, looking at the projections, not sleeping. Having perpetual migraines.

This got me thinking it was that lousy cup of latte I shouldn’t have. More so when I had not slept the day before from anxiety of presenting a rather straight forward analytic findings to one of the largest client I have this year. But I mean, there’s no need. The client is a friend (that however, makes it tougher to even remotely entertaining the idea of presenting less than perfect work). The results are simply amazingly simple and directional. The fact that 1/2 the report that was delayed would be covered by a colleague had no relevance to me or should be of my concern didn’t curb me from worrying endlessly.

But hours later I recalled a chapter in Marcus Buckingham‘s Go Put Your Strengths to Work – it’s not the bad tasteless latte that swirled on my lead tasting tongue. It’s not the fact that I was sleep deprived (which, again to put things into perspective is normal in my books).

It’s the missing/ broken link in the “SIGN” <quote unquote Mr. Buckingham>.

I know deep down, I shouldn’t be doing this. This VC, cradle, techno-prenuerial shite.

I retch thinking of endless of pasta, tuna, nuggets, oatmeal and instant noodles meals – they sell them in bulk [read: cheap].

But like loads of you, I am swayed.

But unlike loads of you, I am not swayed by the magazine covers are full of people who have given up their lives to grow a billion dollar tech company.

But unlike loads of you, I am not swayed by the fact (?) that the world needs more female entrepreneurs (here’s one by Jean Brittingham). Or the  fact (?) that there are funds out there for those without the Y-Chromosome -> WSJ takes a stab at guys with the deep pockets for not helping womenBut really? is that truly the case. And if so, why aren’t there enough women in the field?

My hunch is: entrepreneurship is long hours, huge tradeoffs and it’s far worse than swimming with the sharks – it’s entering the hardcore boys club; more so when you’re talking about techno-prenuership.

And for this reason, women are generally not interested. Fact is, women tend to downshift career wise as they progress with age, often trading success for children. This is so blatantly true that my precious tax payer money (which would have gone to far better use by deriving pure unselfish love for myself via the acquisition of a couple of Chanel a year or Birkin) has to be funneled towards questionable initiatives like TalentCorp’s Retaining Women in the Workforce/ Gender Diversity.

Thrown in techp-prenuership …  women simply don’t pitch (enough) is my general observation. It’s a boys club out there.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Whilst the equation of children does not exist for me, I’ve discovered that I am corrupted.

I can do long hours and trade-offs.

I do long hours and trade-offs anyways as an intra-preneur. But the hard truth is I can’t do the long insane hours filled with insecurity and a very dim flicker of hope any more. Not at my age.

I’ve come to realize that pure, undiluted, uncorrupted entrepreneurship is only for the intrepid few: the young with no responsibility. Or the rich with huge paid or unpaid support system.

And if anyone so much as comes and tells me that the secret to success once found can be replicated, i.e. surely I can conceive, build and sell another one again (having done this twice), I will laugh. Fact is:

  • it takes way more than a brilliant hair brain idea.
  • it takes way more than skills, knowledge and smarts.
  • it takes way more than tenacity and perseverance.
  • it consumes you. it takes away your life.

At this point of my life: I dream of the day a PE approaches me … I am ready to sell out my current venture.

At this point of my life: I derive joy creating platforms and opportunities to nurture and cultivate ideas for others.

But also at this point of my life:  I can’t shake off the addict in me. I probably won’t be pumping caffeine and dragging eye bags around, but I probably can’t resist the temptation of looking at good ops to invest. It’s just hard press for me to start over from scratch.

I am (after all) an addict.


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

* I don’t mean to be rude, but <<REWIND: couple of years – I had taken a huge bite of humble pie and reach out for help from a fellow woman techno-prenuer (there aren’t many in my market/ geography). Let’s say, for this particular instance, I would like amnesia – ok well, ok, I’ll settle for that ‘Men In Black’ Memory Eraser moment.



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