I love the turn of the new calendar year. As arbitrary as it may be, it offers an opportunity to let go and reset intentions for the year ahead. Each year, I set a core intention:
2018 was a year of Yes — I moved across the country and embraced a new city (SF), new job (hello, venture), many new friends, and a host of new hobbies (hip hop dance, backpacking, skiing). It was at times overwhelming, but it exposed me to so many interesting, smart individuals and pushed me to expand my curiosities.
2019 was a year of No — I learned the hard way the consequences of overextending myself. As someone with chronic people pleasing tendencies, I had to learn — with the help of my fantastic exec coach Gia — to say no, so I could focus more deeply on a select number of priorities, including investing and community building.
2020 was a year of Introspection — This was a tough year for many, and at times, I felt guilty for feeling sad or stifled when I knew so many others were suffering in worse ways. Without the day-to-day distractions outside of work, I sought ways to articulate how I want to live a good life. I leaned on my housemates who became chosen family, and peers in communities like The Grand to find solace from the loneliness and uncertainty.
2021 marked my fourth year in the Bay Area and one for a lot of change. I found myself revisiting my disposition of 2018: saying yes, instead of no and finding ways to exercise agency and increase serendipity. I went nomadic for 5 months, moved into a new home, and left a job and team I adored for an exciting new career opportunity.
As I set my intention for 2022, these are the highlights I’m commemorating to inspire the coming year.
• Create vs consume
I got into blogging over a decade ago for two reasons: as a way to connect with others and because I strongly believe that if I’m spending time on a platform, it is more valuable to be an active participant versus passive consumer. In 2021, I started hosting audio-only conversations on Clubhouse — about building startups in “unsexy industries” to how to learn effectively — and co-hosted #thisisnotadvice, a video series about the future of work with my teammate Roy Bahat. Exploring video as a medium led to interviewing technology reporter and author Sarah Frier about her book on Instagram on IG Live. I also experimented with making short form videos and even co-hosted a Clubhouse chat where I got to meet one of my favorite TikTok creators Nick Cho. Testing new platforms helped build new communication approaches and connected me to a wider audience interested in startups, technology, and their impact on culture.
• Embrace the itch to build
Leaving Bloomberg Beta to embark on a new adventure was a tough farewell. Over the course of four years, I fell in love with investing in great founders and had the fortune of incredibly generous mentorship from great colleagues. I had one of the best jobs I could ever imagine doing, but I always had an itch to build. So when I had the opportunity to join Erik Torenberg and David Booth, the co-founders of On Deck, and build a global accelerator to help put 1,000 startups into business, I decided it was the right time to jump into something new and didn’t look back.
– The intention for 2022 is to embrace gumption — 2021’s highlights share common themes around experimentation, embracing discomfort, and pushing to reinvent myself. There will be even more of that this year with even more gumption.
This is a note to self to build at high velocity with a spirit of “done, not perfect. ask for feedback,” and January is already off to a roaring start — launched our first ODX cohort with cohort 2 already in the works, building a team, an offsite with founders.