Search

David LoVerme

Entrepreneur, Musician, Runner, World Traveler, MBA, Product Manager, Lifelong Learner

Author

davidloverme

Tips for Surviving in the Quar-Zone

This is a rough time.  Like everyone, I’m struggling through the COVID-19 crisis.  Some days are good, some are bad, and a lot of them feel like nothing at all.  I keep hearing people say “We’re all in the same boat.”  On a recent episode of Staying in with Emily and Kumail, they brought up this idea and shared what is perhaps a more apt metaphor, “We’re all in the same storm, but we’re in different boats.”  As for me, my boat is hardier than many but has its share of issues (like my wife and I both losing jobs at unicorn startups and having a cross-country move).  As I experiment with different ways of staying afloat, I thought I’d share a few things that have been fun or helpful for me.

Media Recommendations

  • Some Good News with John Krasinski – You’ve probably already heard about this feel good DIY show on Youtube, but if not, I highly recommend it.  I’m a big fan of The Office and I love that John is an unabashed Boston sports fan but you don’t need to like either to love this show and momentarily feel okay with the world.
  • Staying in with Emily and Kumail – The comedy powerhouse couple of Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani (writers of the semi-autobiographical film The Big Sick) started a podcast to help provide some good advice and reassurance during the quarantine period.  Emily is both a trained therapist and an immunocompromised individual, while Kumail is her comedian/actor husband.  The two are both endearing and provide a hilarious and helpful take in these difficult times.
  • Standup Comedy specials – Netflix, HBO, Youtube, and plenty of other outlets have a ton of standup specials you can watch.  A few comics I have been enjoying lately: Allie Wong, John Mulaney, Nikki Glaser, Hannibal Buress, Whitney Cummings, Dan Soder, Chelsea Peretti, and Marc Maron.  I’ve also been enjoying listening to old episodes of Pete Holmes’ podcast You Made it Weird

Fun with Friends

  • Virtual Game Nights – We’ve done a couple of these with my extended family and they were a good bit of fun.  We played Code Names on horsepaste.com and did some Jackbox Games as well.  Definitely a fun time.  Videoconferences with a lot of people can be tough but having the game as a focus helps
  • Virtual Open Mic Night – I hosted one of these last weekend and it was a great time.  From folk songs to standup comedy to Bach sonatas, it was a great creative outlet and a nice break from the typical movie or tv that makes up evenings most days.

Body and Mind

  • Bike Rides – Running is typically my cardio of choice (and I’m still doing that) but lately I have been doing more bike rides so that I can go further and enjoy some bodies of water.  Recent routes include a decent stretch of the Charles River and Jamaica Pond via the Emerald Necklace.
  • Lita Lewis’ 30 minute HIIT workouts – On bad weather days, I usually do a 30 minute interval cardio workout.  I found a few by trainer Lita Lewis that give me what I need and aren’t too over the top from a personality standpoint.  Lita strikes a good balance between providing a little encouragement and just letting me do the workout
  • Corner Studio Livestream Yoga – I’ve written before about my amazing friend Jenna Palm and her classes (via Zoom) have been critical in helping me stay grounded in this time.  I’m partial to her Wednesday afternoon Flow and Restore class but everything the studio offers is pretty spot on and with the livestream capability you don’t even need to be in the Boston area to enjoy it!

Useful Quote

  • “Your not working from home, you are stuck at home in a global health crisis trying to work.”  Not sure the source on this but I heard it on Staying in with Emily and Kumail.  Having been recently laid off, I’m not working but I am interviewing a ton and I think this can be broadly applied to any activity.  I’m not job searching from home, I’m stuck at home in a global health crisis trying to find a job.  Parents aren’t homeschooling their children, they are stuck at home in a global health crisis trying to teach their kids.  It’s easy to feel like we aren’t doing enough or doing what we are doing well enough but we need to be kind to ourselves and to each other right now.  With this little reframing it’s a lot easier to do that.

The recommendations above are not a cure all.  Many days (especially if the weather isn’t good) I struggle mightily.  For me, it’s issues sleeping and trying to present my best self in interviews while feeling far from it.  These are hard times and sometimes the best we can do is get to tomorrow.  I’m certainly still working on that but hope a few of these suggestions help and I’d love to hear what else is working for you.

 

I got laid off, here’s how you can help.

Like millions of others across the globe, I was recently laid off and find myself suddenly and unexpectedly on the job search.  I and those in my boat have been met with all kinds of encouragement and well-intentioned offers but they usually sound something like this:

I’m sorry to hear that, but you are great. I’m sure you’ll find something soon.  Let me know how I can help.

While the sentiment is great and genuinely appreciated, this places the burden of effort back on the job seeker who, if like me, is emotionally depleted and pouring all energy into applying, prepping, and interviewing (when we aren’t worrying about healthcare or trying to get through to state unemployment offices).

So what can you do that truly helps?  Like so many results-oriented actions in life, it is about increasing leverage.  What can you do to help that will maximize results (move me closer to landing a job) and minimize effort (does not create additional friction for me)?  There are a ton of things but here are three easy needle-movers:

  1. Write a Linkedin recommendation: This is a small thing that should take less than 5 minutes but it is truly meaningful.  The jury is out on how much it affects the interview process, but if nothing else, it provides a very real psychological boost.  One of the terrible things about being laid off (even when entirely unrelated to performance) is the toll it can take on your self-confidence and this is a low lift way to help.
  2. Ask me what I’m looking for in my next position: There are still plenty of companies hiring but many may not fit with my interests, geographic preferences, or lifestyle.  Just asking the question helps me think about it and realize that, as out of whack as the world feels, I still have some control over my career.  Plus, once you know what I’m looking for, you can help with number 3…
  3. Connect me with recruiters or hiring managers in the companies or industries that I am targeting: The majority of applications will never be responded to.  This is the sad reality of job searching these days but having a personal contact in the company almost always lands a phone screen at minimum.  In an increasingly unbalanced labor market, this is critical to landing a position.

In short, if you want to help me or the millions of others in my situation, a) THANK YOU and b) there are some easy and effective ways you can!

I truly appreciate your willingness to help and I hope this post leads to all of us working together to lift each other up more effectively.

Namaste, I’m Impressed!

As the sun set over the Zakim bridge, and I finally got stood up after a seated bow and a “Namaste”, I started to chat with Jenna.  This was my post-work routine on Wednesdays.  We had been friends since our early teens and lately, she had built a thriving, on-site yoga business called Yoga by Jenna.  It had been a long road to get there and she had worked hard at building the brand.  As you can imagine, therefore, I was surprised when she showed me logo concepts with the name The Corner Studio.  She had been looking at physical spaces and had just signed a lease.  After all the blood, sweat, and tears to build the Yoga by Jenna brand, why change the name?  I thought it was a mistake.  I told her so.  I was wrong.

After weeks of cleaning, painting, building, and anything else you can imagine that goes into starting a Yoga studio (plus lots of things you and I would never think of), Jenna opened the doors on the Corner Studio.  She sublet the basement space to a local startup and taught every class herself.  Every class. Seven days a week. Multiple times per day.  She was the CEO, the individual contributor, the janitor.  Not long after she opened, we had the snowiest winter on record in Boston.  Parking bans went into effect, no one left their homes.  As you can imagine, that doesn’t make for great business for a yoga studio.  Still, however, Jenna hung on.  She kept teaching classes, she persevered, she built the Corner Studio brand.

While I questioned abandoning the Yoga by Jenna name, Jenna had a bigger vision.  She knew that, while it might start with just her, long-term success would mean that not all the Yoga would be by Jenna.  Furthermore, she saw a future in which the Corner Studio would expand beyond yoga to offer many forms of wellness.  Today, Jenna is one of seven regular instructors at the studio.  Her clients have not one, but two options for massage, and it is not uncommon to attend a potluck or a movie screening in the Corner Studio space.  Jenna had the grand vision and belief to envision her dreams and the grit and discipline to make it a reality.  Having tried my hand at building a business, I have nothing but the ultimate respect for what she has accomplished.

Fermenting Entrepreneurship in the Granite State

Every once in a while I stop in my tracks and think, “Wow…my friends do some really cool things!”  It brings so much joy to me and so I thought I would share a few stories with you in a series I am calling My Friends do Cool Things.

Gumba
Bryant and I circa 2001 in Australia

A little over two years ago, a friend of mine, Bryant Naro, posted a link to a kickstarter page for a project that he and his wife Meagan were doing called Brew Hampshirea documentary on the budding craft beer scene in New Hampshire.  A longtime friend, I’ve known Bryant since we were 12 years old.  We traveled the world together on student tours in middle school and our bands played many a shared a bill in high school.  It had been some time since we had spoken but I was always excited to hear the updates on his film career from mutual friends and social media.  I knew he had spent time at Florentine Films but was impressed to hear he and Meagan had started their own production company, Slate Roof Films, and were working on a full length documentary on top of their day to day client work.  Always happy to support my friends in their endeavors, I backed the project and proceeded to more or less forget about it, despite the top notch job they did in providing frequent and meaningful project updates. Continue reading “Fermenting Entrepreneurship in the Granite State”

Building Routines

Dance

Things have changed a lot in the last month for me and the demands on my time have multiplied.  Many of the changes I have made fall into the category of forming a routine and I though I’d share some of my favorites. Continue reading “Building Routines”

How I Learned Entrepreneurship From Playing in Bands

BostInno/Streetwise Media founder Chase Garbarino sold Pogs on the playground and ping pong balls in college; Forbes 30 Under 30’s Tom Coburn had dozens of ideas before founding Jebbit; CampusTap’s Remy Carpinto had an IT installation and services company up and running out of his freshmen dorm room before he had fully unpacked.  It seems like every entrepreneur I meet, (and I’ve been lucky to meet tons of them at BC, in the Soaring Startup Circle, and in our awesome Boston ecosystem), has been on an unstoppable trajectory, seemingly born to start businesses.  I am always in awe of their talent, perseverance, and will-power.  Simultaneously, however, it makes for an interesting moment of introspection.  Sure I shoveled some driveways and mowed my neighbors’ lawns but was I ever really like Chase or Tom or Remy?  While these guys were starting businesses, what was I doing?  Ironically, it is the answer to this question that helps explain my own entrepreneurial streak. Continue reading “How I Learned Entrepreneurship From Playing in Bands”

Thinking About a BC MBA? My Reflections on a Great Two Years!

Almost three years ago today, I decided to pull the trigger on a full time MBA.  Reading about other people’s experiences really helped me so I thought I would pay it forward.  Early this summer I did a series of blog posts recapping my classes at BC.  Happy to answer any questions so feel free to reach out!

The Condensed MBA Series:

Good Luck!

The Unexpected Reasons Why All Entrepreneurs Should Drive for Uber

For the last several months I have been driving for Uber.  Sometimes I do it a lot, sometimes I go weeks without logging any hours.  Every time I do it, however, somebody will undoubtedly ask if I like doing it.  While we have all heard the horror stories and the calls for driver benefits, etc., for me the answer is clear: Yes!

I started driving for Uber the last few months of my MBA to limp through the finish without having to borrow more money.  Soon after, however, I got into the Soaring Startup Circle accelerator program to work on my startup, Radici Travel.  Uber gave me the ability to say yes, knowing that even in the lean early days of the business, I would be able to pay my bills.  The financial benefits were clear and expected but there are two other distinct reasons why I would encourage any entrepreneur to drive for Uber, Lyft, or another ridesharing platform. Continue reading “The Unexpected Reasons Why All Entrepreneurs Should Drive for Uber”

The Struggle: Why Ben Horowitz is better than an alarm clock

I knew it would be hard to get people to call me back; I knew the original idea would change; I knew I would have to scrap, claw, and hustle for every sale.

I never realized how hard it would be just to get out of bed in the morning.

I have been a full time entrepreneur, working on my startup Radici Travel for 39 days.  During that time most of my MBA friends have posted photos or updates detailing their European Adventures or the satisfaction of getting a fat paycheck after two lean years.  In contrast, I know that I have about 2 months of runway left before I need to shift a little more of my focus to Uber driving so I can continue to work day in and day out without pay.  I live in constant fear that the idea is not good enough, that my execution is all wrong, that I simply might not be cut out to build something from nothing.  The psychological roadblocks are the toughest to get through because there is no one to force me to get out of bed and get to work, no internet use policy to keep me off time suck websites, and no boss to get on me if I am not achieving goals.  Entrepreneurs tend to be optimistic by nature and we often hear the success stories with the obligatory “it’s lots of work…it’s really hard” caveats, but it all works out.  This can be both an inspiration or a dagger depending on where the mental compass is pointing that day. Continue reading “The Struggle: Why Ben Horowitz is better than an alarm clock”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑