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. Continue reading “Tips for Surviving in the Quar-Zone”
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: Continue reading “I got laid off, here’s how you can help.”
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. Continue reading “Namaste, I’m Impressed!”
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.
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 Hampshire, a 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”
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”
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:
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”
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”