VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better.
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I’ve a little bit of a bonus episode for today. September 8th is a very important day for me personally. Two years ago, on September 8th, 2021, I had lifesaving open-heart surgery to replace a failing aortic valve. It’s a birth defect actually that I didn’t even know about until I was 43. And its time came due on September 8th, two years ago.
And so in many ways, today is a second birthday for me. And I wrote about this last year, made a post on LinkedIn about it called “click.” Because I chose to go with the artificial valve that clicks when it closes. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m happy to have spent this day working, doing something that I love.
And tonight I’ll spend it with my children, and then I’m gonna have some time with my wife, maybe open a bottle of wine and kick back and enjoy her company.
One of the things that I think accelerated the need for valve replacement was at that point I had spent four years working two jobs. Our first fund was so small that I didn’t take a salary. And so I had a full-time job while doing SpringTime nights and weekends, working with Matt and Rick and John and the rest of the SpringTime team helping to bring SpringTime to life.
And let’s pause here for the irony of this, because I recognize how VCs will never invest in a founder that’s not doing it full-time. But Matt was doing SpringTime full-time, and people were really truly investing in Matt and the team that he had built to support him.
Four years of working two jobs was pretty stressful. And I’ll say that, that first fund, and any time that we go out fundraising in the market, it creates a lot of empathy for founders and what you go through when you’re out fundraising.
And I think the VC Minute is sort of the combination of my empathy for founders, my understanding that the venture world is unnecessarily opaque, and my desire that I’ve always had throughout my life to teach and to mentor.
And so today, as I reflect on the stress of four years of working two jobs, that ultimately led to heart surgery, a surgery that was inevitable, but maybe it was accelerated by all of that stress. As I reflect on all of that, I can’t help but be grateful to be alive. To do work that I love to do. To work with wonderful people, and to help fulfill a personal vision of mine to seed entrepreneurship throughout the country. It’s incredibly fulfilling.
And I’m and I’m grateful that you take time to listen to the VC Minute. I know I say it all the time. That time is our most precious asset, and I’m grateful that you’d spend some of it with me. Today that is especially true. Go spend this weekend with someone you love. Remind folks that they are important to you. Sit outside and enjoy the blue sky, watching the clouds go by. Whatever it is that you need to do to take care of yourself this weekend. Go do that.
Thank you. Thanks for spending time with me today.
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