Cat Wisdom Wednesday

It’s time for a new Cat Wisdom Wednesday.  This week, I’ve chosen a quote that talks about going for something that’s challenging and learning along the way:

Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.

~Mark Victor Hansen

Talking with Venture Capital

So I don’t know how many of you read my 6 random things post, but in it I mentioned that I sent T!’s executive summary to a venture capital firm.  I knew that a cold e-mail, without an introduction or personal connection, was probably the worst way to send a plan.  But we did not know anybody and had not yet met any of their members, so I wrote a specific e-mail to someone at the firm who shared my alma mater.  Steeling myself for inevitable rejection (the chances of receiving venture capital are something like 1%), I wrote then that “I hold out hope that they will at least take the time to read my e-mail and determine that our idea at least warrants reading our summary.”

Well, they did read our e-mail, and our summary.  In fact, I received a response from this fellow alum in the middle of that very night.  That person passed the summary to an analyst at the firm to read. This was our first VC submission, and we chose this firm in particular because of their business model.  They focus on early stage companies and invest smaller amounts of money than traditional venture capital firms.  And today, I heard back from the analyst. We have scheduled a phone call. This is a small step, but I am both thankful and excited.

Each step brings us closer to our goal of finding funding for our company.  But whether we eventually score funding or not, each step also brings us valuable experience.  Every phone call and business meeting gives us a little more comfort, a little more familiarity with the fundraising process.  It also gives us some feedback on our ideas and our plan, and another chance to assess how we are presenting it and to see how others respond to it.  And with each step we build confidence, which in turn increases our chances of convincing others that we are worthy of their consideration and possibly their funding.

Husband and I and our team want to make it to the goal so badly.  But whether we make it there or not, it’s already become apparent to me that both Husband and I have gained lots of valuable experience and skills from our work on this company.  All the time, I’m feeling more comfortable pitching myself or our business to complete strangers.  And it’s spilling over into other areas.  I’m finding it easier to pitch myself as a skating coach, tutor, or babysitter.  I’m more organized and I know where to start when I want to find new clients.  Husband is receiving tons of positive feedback as he looks for more consulting gigs.  And just last week I was chilling with some friends and we decided to start a small tutoring agency.  Now I’m a founder, too!

Six Random Things About Me

I haven’t had much time lately to write about my life or my thoughts, but I figure that I can at least manage a little meme.  I was tagged by KidsnData, who writes some excellent and thoughtful posts on her blog.

Here are the rules:

  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Post the rules on your blog.
  3. Write six random things about yourself.
  4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
  5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
  6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Now, for another list of 6…the 6 random things about me:

  1. I’m nice. Like, really, really nice.  I think if I had to come up with one word that almost everyone I know would say describes me, it would have to be nice.  Just today, someone told me they could tell I’m not a New Yorker because I am too nice – not that it’s a bad thing, but I’m missing that cloud of cynicism that so many New Yorkers have.  I assured her, I’ve got some healthy cynicism, it’s just that maybe I keep it in my head and only share it with people I’m close to.  There is room for niceness too in the diverse city that is New York!
  2. This year was the first time I voted for the candidate that went on to win the Presidency.  Not only that, but I voted for him in the primaries too!  I’m so excited.  I couldn’t help it, I couldn’t go any further without gushing about how excited I am about President-elect Barack Obama!  Election day was an interesting whirl of phone calls and e-mails from friends and familiar, from shared cheering to ridiculous e-mails from one particular family member who bought the crazy crap that’s moving around in the media in some phobic areas – you know, that Obama was really born in Kenya and thus isn’t a true Amerizan citizen (this, from a family member born in Guatemala), or that as soon as he got into office he’d put “a towel around his head” and “praise llah-a.”  If you don’t even know it’s Allah and you still refer to towels then you’re a bit too ignorant to judge.
  3. I have a distaste for suburbia that might be a bit unfair.  Growing up, I was exposed specifically to a certain type of suburbia – upper middle class white suburbia.  Where Judaism is a curious oddity (I did attend ONE bat mitzvah and learned a little bit about dreidels) and it seems like everyone is expected to grow up to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or a businessman.  And wearing clothes from Abercrombie & Fitch means everything.  I’m so much happier in the incredibly diverse New York City.
  4. Today I sent an e-mail and executive summary to someone at a venture capital firm.  I’ll in all likelihood never hear back from them because I didn’t know anyone who could personally introduce us, but I hold out hope that they will at least take the time to read my e-mail and determine that our idea at least warrants reading our summary.
  5. My cat, Fluffy, has spent all day either whining at me to hold her or pet her, or sleeping on top of some part of my body.  For the part where she was curled under the blanket except for her head peaking out, this was cute. The whining, not so much.
  6. I started two new jobs two weeks ago. One is teaching chemistry lab at a local university, and the other is coaching ice skating.  I really love teaching and interacting with students.  I’m intensely enjoying both of them, and just need to find yet more work to pay the bills.  I’m thinking of applying to a few part-time, freelance technical and science writing jobs.  In particular, I’d love to write science news for the public audience. If anyone knows of any openings or connections, let me know!