Tuesday, August 6, 2013

To Do and Not to Do During First VC Meeting

How to Pitch a VC and Not Piss One Off! 
Jessica Bruder Inc.com
Mark Suster explains what to do--and not to do--during your first meeting with a VC

Don't "tell and sell." The most effective pitches are two-way conversations. So stop talking once in a while and elicit feedback, Suster advises. Raise open-ended questions. Allow VCs to challenge you, and don't respond defensively. And if you don't have an answer right away, be honest. Use it as an excuse to follow up after the meeting.
Point out the elephant in the room...Handle any uncomfortable issues that are public knowledge head on. Maybe you got some bad press or a founder quit. Better to raise the obvious questions yourself--and be armed with answers--rather than let suspicions linger.
...but keep your skeletons hidden--at first. Speak up about public problems, but don't drag out your skeletons during a first date with a VC.
You're ethically obliged to address hidden problems prior to getting funded but not during the initial moments of courtship, Suster says. Just be sure to raise the issues with your sponsor before attending a full partner meeting.
Ask for referrals. If your company shows promise but isn't the right fit, many VCs will happily refer you to more suitable firms. So be sure to ask for referrals at the end of your meeting.
And Here are Sure Fire ways to Piss a VC off
Don't keep in touch. "Some people think, Well, I update the VC when we have board meetings," Suster says. "But when we have more context about what you're working on in a shorter cycle, we can be more helpful." Early-stage companies, especially, should send their VCs a brief summary every two weeks, charting recent accomplishments and short-term goals.
Focus on one partner. The venture firm that funded you may have half a dozen partners or more. Only one sits on the board of your company. "Almost all entrepreneurs I know just manage that one relationship," Suster says. "That's a big mistake. You have to build a relationship with all the partners." After all, funding decisions are made collectively.
Make it all about the money. Your venture capitalist isn't a wallet on legs. If you treat him or her like one, you're missing a valuable opportunity for mentorship. "Each partner has their own relationships, their own unique insights and experiences," Suster says. "That's a benefit to you. Not tapping into it is crazy."

Tough Love: Brought to You By the Notorious Mark Suster


Mark Suster is running late. Sitting in his Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, he surveys the traffic on West Sunset Boulevard through mirrored sunglasses. When his cell phone rings, Suster apologizes to the caller, an up-and-comer in Silicon Valley. "I'm sorry," he says. "I had a crazy morning."
This was no exaggeration. That morning in May, Suster had attended a business summit with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, raced to a taping of a Wall Street Journal webcast co-starring social-media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk, and attended two meetings with start-up founders. Now, he is speeding off to give a talk at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
When the conversation with the caller turns to term sheets, Suster's tone goes from apologetic to irritated. "You earn the right, through success, to get the kind of terms and protections you want. But you don't even have a product," he lectures. "You're not at the point in your career where you get to act like a prima donna." With that, Suster ends the call, leaves his car with the valet, and strides into the hotel to make his presentation.
Suster (rhymes with rooster) is in high demand these days. The entrepreneur-turned-investor is best known for Both Sides of the Table--the brash, opinionated, and gleefully obscene blog he has been writing since 2009.
Being a founder, Suster says, means enduring long days of anxiety, exhaustion, airport delays, and bad fast food. It means staving off creditors and working with less than nine months' worth of cash in your family's or company's bank account at any given time.
Co-managing partner at Los Angeles venture capital firm GRP Partners, he has built his name into a powerful brand, much of which is based on his hype-deflating candor. Suster, 45, has a talent for tipping sacred cows--and, on occasion, infuriating his readers.
On his blog, founders who waste time strutting around industry gatherings are "conference hos." Businessmen who smile, shake hands, and then eviscerate you are "grin f--ers." For an entrepreneur, becoming a VC means "going to the dark side." Suster keeps a reminder of this last phrase--a Darth Vader bobblehead doll--on the windowsill of his corner office. "If you never piss anybody off, you're not trying hard enough," he says. "And I piss people off on a regular basis."
Suster wrote one of his most popular blog posts, "Entrepreneurshit," on a sleepless night in November after returning from a weeklong business trip. The post dismantled the kind of glamorous fantasies about start-up life that are perpetuated by the tech press and celebrity entrepreneurs.
"If you read the tech press every day, you'd get the impression that it's all glamor. It's not," he wrote. Being a founder, he continued, means enduring long days of anxiety, exhaustion, airport delays, and bad fast food. It means staving off creditors and working with less than nine months' worth of cash in your family's or company's bank account at any given time.
It means tamping down your insecurities long enough to persuade potential employees, customers, and investors to take a huge gamble on you. All of this in pursuit of a vision that, statistically, stands only the slimmest chance of success. "No, it's not as bad as working in coal mines," he wrote in the post. "But it is quite the roller coaster, and the stress is real."
In fact, most entrepreneurs shouldn't seek the "rocket fuel" of venture capital, he says, firmly and often. Many businesses haven't yet maximized what they can do without it, and some businesses just aren't made to scale.
And there's nothing wrong, he says, with starting a company that's not positioned for massive growth, even if folks in Silicon Valley may deride it as a "lifestyle business." His take on venture capitalists? "The VC industry is very lemmingish," he says. "They find a trend and then everyone does it. But the Internet is a winner-take-most market. So you either back the winner, or you don't have outsize returns."
Six years ago, Suster was a new and relatively unknown player in venture capital. He had built and sold two businesses--the second, a content-management company called Koral, was acquired by Salesforce.com--before joining his mentor and longtime investor, Yves Sisteron, as a partner at GRP.
His original plan was to move with his wife and two young sons to Los Angeles, spend a couple of years there learning the game from his fellow partners, then head home to open a satellite office in Silicon Valley.
But around 18 months into the work, he had a revelation. "I realized, Why on earth would I go to Silicon Valley and compete with 80 other firms on Sand Hill Road, when here we're the largest VC in town?" Suster recalls. "We have amazing entrepreneurs at our doorstep and very limited venture capital. There was this enormous opportunity."
Besides, when he looked back over the trajectory of Internet-era innovation, he saw how the focus had shifted from Web infrastructure (routers, switches, and the like) to what he calls the three C's--content, communication, and commerce, sectors that haven't historically been dominated by Silicon Valley. Los Angeles, he says, "is the content capital of the world in terms of film and television."
So he stayed put, dedicating himself to helping build the city's nascent tech scene. In 2009, he founded Launchpad LA, a mentorship network that encourages start-ups to grow locally--and stay local.
This evolved into an accelerator, which now offers young businesses up to $100,000 apiece and free space in an airy, open-plan office in Santa Monica, one block from the beach. (Notable alumni include Chromatik, maker of an iPad app and Web-based learning platform for musicians that is used on American Idol, and Sometrics, a company that helps publishers monetize online games using virtual currency and was acquired in 2011 by American Express.)
Launchpad invested in 18 start-ups last year; the companies ended up raising more than $30 million combined in outside capital.
Of course, exposure, Suster-style, isn't always flattering. Sam Teller, Launchpad LA's managing director, still remembers what happened two years ago, when Suster introduced him to Courtney Holt, the former president of Myspace Music.
Holt had just signed on as the chief operating officer at Maker Studios, a GRP portfolio company whose YouTube videos, including the blockbuster "Epic Rap Battles of History," together get more than three billion views a month. After the introduction, Teller emailed Holt to ask him out for lunch. The next morning, he recalls, Suster published a blog post titled "Never Ask a Busy Person to Lunch."
The post didn't out Teller by name, but the message was clear: Lunch lasts too long. It imposes on a busy person's schedule. Try coffee instead. (Teller wasn't offended, but a flame war broke out in response to the post. Commenters called Suster's stance "Machiavellian bullshit" and told him to "get over himself.")
Today, Suster is one of the most influential tech investors on the Web. He is often mentioned alongside--and linked by--the two VC-blogger titans he came up admiring: Brad Feld of the Foundry Group in Boulder, Colorado; and Fred Wilson of New York City's Union Square Ventures.
Feld first blogged about Suster in 2006, when Suster was still running his second company; Suster had lambasted a group of venture capitalists who started a meeting 30 minutes late and then barely paid attention to him.
For that, Gawker founder Nick Denton gave Suster a "hero award" on the Valleywag website. "I'm just glad I don't appear to be one of the assholes he met with," Feld wrote.
Suster's credibility comes from hard-won wisdom. In the aftermath of the dot-com collapse in 2000, he was forced to lay off more than half of the 92-person staff of his first company, BuildOnline, which made collaboration tools for the construction industry in Europe. "I cut some of my closest friends," he says. He was devastated.
Not long before, he had attended the Fortune Global Forum at the Palace of Versailles in France, where he dined alongside Michael Dell and sipped champagne in the private wine cellars of Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of French luxury group LVMH. "I drank my own Kool-Aid," he says. "I thought we were changing the world."
Six months later, no one would return his calls. The economy had taken a dive, and companies were less open to spending money on newfangled Web software. On top of those challenges, BuildOnline had grown too quickly. It had raised too much money, hired too many employees, and charged customers too much.
So austerity set in. Suster went from staying in high-end hotels to a 20-euro-a-night dump in Frankfurt, where guests had to step out into the snow to reach the communal bathrooms. "It was freezing, f--ing cold, and there were these Turkish construction workers with leopard-print underwear--like bikini-style underwear--going to shower with me, and I was like, 'What am I doing?' "Suster recalls.
Sisteron, his mentor and investor at GRP, watched him struggle. "Nothing teaches you more than that kind of punishment," Sisteron says. "He survived. He matured."
Now, Suster brings his unvarnished perspective to young entrepreneurs. A few hours after meeting South Korea's president in May, he commandeers a conference room at the Santa Monica offices of Burstly, one of GRP's portfolio companies. Two entrepreneurs--Salmaun Ahmad, 32, and Jamal Ashraf, 29--walk in to discuss their start-up, Advocus.
They had just moved from San Francisco to spend four months at Launchpad LA, where Suster had met them the week before. Ahmad nervously recaps Advocus's mission: helping businesses put potential clients in touch with their best customers for recommendations. "Every company has advocates and evangelists," he tells Suster. "We're making those advocates accessible in the sales process."
Suster, who was double fisting Diet Dr Pepper and coffee, interjects between bites of his turkey sandwich. He likes the idea but is skeptical about the implementation. "My best customers ought not be talking to the unwashed masses," he says. "And my medium and worst people ought not be talking to anybody.
I don't have all the answers. I don't pretend that I do. I'm just here to spar with you and make sure you're thinking about it the right way." Ahmad responds, "We hear you loud and clear." They agree to meet again.
Next, Suster walks down the hall to Burstly's rec room. On a couch beside Ping-Pong and foosball tables, he meets with Arye Barnehama and Laura Michelle Berman. Their start-up, Melon, makes a brainwave-measuring headband that works with a mobile app to help users gauge their concentration. "It's about turning the invisible activity of your mind visible in a meaningful way," Barnehama explains. "Almost like a 21st-century journal."
Suster likes the idea, wondering aloud if Melon could help kids with attention disorders. (Suster himself has ADD.) But did it really have to be a headband? "It kind of needs something that makes it feel less like, 'I'm John McEnroe,' " he quips.
Suster loves this kind of work. "I get paid to have the smartest people I know come to my office and hear how they want to change the world," he said. "And if I don't like the idea, I don't have to spend any more time with them."
He misses being an entrepreneur, but he says he sleeps better as a VC. "The highs are more muted, the lows are a little less panic driven," he explains. Having a bunch of start-ups in his portfolio dilutes his personal risk.
This spring, GRP promoted Suster to co-managing partner. With a young protégé, Jordan Hudson, he is preparing to rebrand the 17-year-old firm, which will be renamed Upfront Ventures, in a way that will emphasize openness, transparency, and strong opinions. In a sense, this project is his latest start-up. Its offices will move from buttoned-up Century City to lively Santa Monica, a hot spot in the Los Angeles start-up scene.
Not that Suster has to be there to connect. Thanks to his blog, he gets cold pitched by strangers everywhere these days. They collar him when he walks down the street at South by Southwest or when he is dining with his wife at a restaurant in New York City.
That busy day in May is no different. That night, he attends a party at YouTube Space, a 41,000-square-foot Playa Vista aircraft hangar, to honor Cenk Uygur, co-founder of the Young Turks online news network, which has just reached one billion views.
After the party, Suster is waiting for a valet to pull his car around when he is rushed by the founder of a digital media start-up from Irvine, California. "I recognize you by your image," the man gushes. After 14 hours straight of accessibility and blunt talk, Suster is eager to get home to his family in Pacific Palisades. But he stands still, nodding patiently as he listens to the pitch.
That's the contradiction in Suster. Beneath the tough talk, many of his critiques are meant as tough love. Case in point: A week after he chastised the "prima donna" from Silicon Valley on the phone, he had an update. With Suster as the sponsoring partner, GRP would lead a $2 million round of financing for the company, which is set to debut this year. "Remember that guy I was talking to in the car?" he says. "We did sign a term sheet in the end. I got him to be reasonable."

Susterspeak: Here are some Susterisms defined

Entrepreneurshit. The unglamorous reality of start-up life.
Ballers on a budget. Founders who lease fancy cars as they rack up credit card bills.
Elephant hunters. Start-ups that focus on landing massive customers with enough "meat" to feed them for a long time. Instead, Suster says, you should hunt for deer--clients that are easier to catch but still have plenty of meat.
Gym salesmen VCs. VCs who pressure you to sign a term sheet in a couple of days and allude to pulling the deal if you don't.
Seagulls. Investors who know enough about your project to have an opinion but not enough to help. They swoop in for one day to check in, shit on you, and fly away.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

20 Things 20yr-Olds Don't Get!

20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don't Get - Forbes http://ow.ly/nvTgb

I started Docstoc in my 20’s, made the cover of one of those cliché “20 Under 20” lists, and today I employ an amazing group of 20-somethings.  Call me a curmudgeon, but at 34, how I came up seems so different from what this millennial generation expects.  I made a lot of mistakes along the way, and I see this generation making their own.  In response, here are my 20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get.
Time is Not a Limitless Commodity – I so rarely find young professionals that have a heightened sense of urgency to get to the next level.  In our 20s we think we have all the time in the world to A) figure it out and B) get what we want.  Time is the only treasure we start off with in abundance, and can never get back.  Make the most of the opportunities you have today, because there will be a time when you have no more of it.
You’re Talented, But Talent is Overrated - Congratulations, you may be the most capable, creative, knowledgeable & multi-tasking generation yet.  As my father says, “I’ll Give You a Sh-t Medal.”  Unrefined raw materials (no matter how valuable) are simply wasted potential.  There’s no prize for talent, just results.  Even the most seemingly gifted folks methodically and painfully worked their way to success.  (Tip: read “Talent is Overrated”)
We’re More Productive in the Morning – During my first 2 years at Docstoc (while I was still in my 20’s) I prided myself on staying at the office until 3am on a regular basis.  I thought I got so much work done in those hours long after everyone else was gone.  But in retrospect I got more menial, task-based items done, not the more complicated strategic planning, phone calls or meetings that needed to happen during business hours.  Now I stress an office-wide early start time because I know, for the most part, we’re more productive as a team in those early hours of the day.
Pick Up the Phone Stop hiding behind your computer. Business gets done on the phone and in person.  It should be your first instinct, not last, to talk to a real person and source business opportunities.  And when the Internet goes down… stop looking so befuddled and don’t ask to go home.  Don’t be a pansy, pick up the phone.

Social Media is Not a Career – These job titles won’t exist in 5 years. Social media is simply a function of marketing; it helps support branding, ROI or both.  Social media is a means to get more awareness, more users or more revenue.  It’s not an end in itself.  I’d strongly caution against pegging your career trajectory solely to a social media job title.
Be the First In & Last to Leave ­– I give this advice to everyone starting a new job or still in the formative stages of their professional career.  You have more ground to make up than everyone else around you, and you do have something to prove.  There’s only one sure-fire way to get ahead, and that’s to work harder than all of your peers.
Don’t Wait to Be Told What to Do – You can’t have a sense of entitlement without a sense of responsibility.  You’ll never get ahead by waiting for someone to tell you what to do.  Saying “nobody asked me to do this” is a guaranteed recipe for failure.  Err on the side of doing too much, not too little.  (WatchMillennials in the Workplace Training Video)
Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes – You should be making lots of mistakes when you’re early on in your career.  But you shouldn’t be defensive about errors in judgment or execution.  Stop trying to justify your F-ups.  You’re only going to grow by embracing the lessons learned from your mistakes, and committing to learn from those experiences.
You Should Be Getting Your Butt Kicked –Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” would be the most valuable boss you could possibly have.  This is the most impressionable, malleable and formative stage of your professional career.  Working for someone that demands excellence andpushes your limits every day will build the most solid foundation for your ongoing professional success.
A New Job a Year Isn’t a Good Thing ­­– 1-year stints don’t tell me that you’re so talented that you keep outgrowing your company.  It tells me that you don’t have the discipline to see your own learning curve through to completion.  It takes about 2-3 years to master any new critical skill, give yourself at least that much time before you jump ship.  Otherwise your resume reads as a series of red flags on why not to be hired.
People Matter More Than Perks – It’s so trendy to pick the company that offers the most flex time, unlimited meals, company massages, game rooms and team outings.  Those should all matter, but not as much as the character of your founders and managers. Great leaders will mentor you and will be a loyal source of employment long after you’ve left.  Make a conscious bet on the folks you’re going to work for and your commitment to them will pay off much more than those fluffy perks.
Map Effort to Your Professional Gain – You’re going to be asked to do things you don’t like to do.  Keep your eye on the prize.   Connect what you’re doing today, with where you want to be tomorrow.  That should be all the incentive you need.  If you can’t map your future success to your current responsibilities, then it’s time to find a new opportunity.
Speak Up, Not Out – We’re raising a generation of sh-t talkers.  In your workplace this is a cancer.  If you have issues with management, culture or your role & responsibilities, SPEAK UP.  Don’t take those complaints and trash-talk the company or co-workers on lunch breaks and anonymous chat boards.  If you can effectively communicate what needs to be improved, you have the ability to shape your surroundings and professional destiny.
You HAVE to Build Your Technical Chops – Adding “Proficient in Microsoft Office” at the bottom of your resume under Skills, is not going to cut it anymore.  I immediately give preference to candidates who are ninjas in: Photoshop, HTML/CSS, iOS, WordPress, Adwords, MySQL, Balsamiq, advanced Excel, Final Cut Pro – regardless of their job position.  If you plan to stay gainfully employed, you better complement that humanities degree with some applicable technical chops.
Both the Size and Quality of Your Network Matter – It’s who you know more than what you know, that gets you ahead in business.  Knowing a small group of folks very well, or a huge smattering of contacts superficially, just won’t cut it.  Meet and stay connected to lots of folks, and invest your time developing as many of those relationships as possible. (TIP: Here is myNetworking Advice)
You Need At Least 3 Professional Mentors – The most guaranteed path to success is to emulate those who’ve achieved what you seek.  You should always have at least 3 people you call mentors who are where you want to be.  Their free guidance and counsel will be the most priceless gift you can receive.  (TIP:  “The Secret to Finding and Keeping Mentors”)
Pick an Idol & Act “As If” – You may not know what to do, but your professional idol does.  I often coach my employees to pick the businessperson they most admire, and act “as if.”  If you were (fill in the blank) how would he or she carry themselves, make decisions, organize his/her day, accomplish goals?  You’ve got to fake it until you make it, so it’s better to fake it as the most accomplished person you could imagine.   (Shout out to Tony Robbinsfor the tip)
Read More Books, Fewer Tweets/Texts – Your generation consumes information in headlines and 140 characters:  all breadth and no depth.  Creativity, thoughtfulness and thinking skills are freed when you’re forced to read a full book cover to cover.  All the keys to your future success, lay in the past experience of others.  Make sure to read a book a month  (fiction or non-fiction) and your career will blossom.
Spend 25% Less Than You Make – When your material needs meet or exceed your income, you’re sabotaging your ability to really make it big.  Don’t shackle yourself with golden handcuffs (a fancy car or an expensive apartment).  Be willing and able to take 20% less in the short term, if it could mean 200% more earning potential.  You’re nothing more than penny wise and pound-foolish if you pass up an amazing new career opportunity to keep an extra little bit of income.  No matter how much money you make, spend 25% less to support your life.  It’s a guaranteed formula to be less stressed and to always have the flexibility to pursue your dreams.
Your Reputation is Priceless, Don’t Damage It – Over time, your reputation is the most valuable currency you have in business.  It’s the invisible key that either opens or closes doors of professional opportunity.  Especially in an age where everything is forever recorded and accessible, your reputation has to be guarded like the most sacred treasure.  It’s the one item that, once lost, you can never get back.

100 Inspirational Quotes from Forbes.com


  1.  Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. –Napoleon Hill
  2. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. –Steve Jobs
  3. Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein
  4. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.  –Robert Frost
  5. The common question that gets asked in business is, ‘why?’ That’s a good question, but an equally valid question is, ‘why not?’ -Jeffrey Bezos
  6. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. –Wayne Gretzky
  7. I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. –Michael Jordan
  8. Every strike brings me closer to the next home run. –Babe Ruth
  9. Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement. –W. Clement Stone
  10. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. –John Lennon
  11. We become what we think about. –Earl Nightingale
  12. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover. –Mark Twain
  13. Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. –John Maxwell
  14. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. –Tony Robbins
  15. The mind is everything. What you think you become.  –Buddha
  16. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. –Chinese Proverb
  17. An unexamined life is not worth living. –Socrates
  18. Eighty percent of success is showing up. –Woody Allen
  19. Don’t wait. The time will never be just right. –Napoleon Hill
  20. Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi
  21. I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. –Stephen Covey
  22. Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. –Pablo Picasso
  23. You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. –Christopher Columbus
  24. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. –Maya Angelou
  25. Either you run the day, or the day runs you. –Jim Rohn
  26. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. –Henry Ford
  27. The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain
  28. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  29. The best revenge is massive success. –Frank Sinatra
  30. People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing.  That’s why we recommend it daily. –Zig Ziglar
  31. Inspiration exists, but it must find you working. –Pablo Picasso
  32. If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. –Vincent Van Gogh
  33. There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. –Aristotle
  34. Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal. –Henry Ford
  35. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
  36. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined. –Henry David Thoreau
  37. When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me. –Erma Bombeck
  38. Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others.  Unsuccessful people are always asking, “What’s in it for me?” – Brian Tracy
  39. Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. – Ancient Indian Proverb
  40. Believe you can and you’re halfway there. –Theodore Roosevelt
  41. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. –George Addair
  42. We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. –Plato
  43. Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. –Christopher Reeve
  44. Start where you are. Use what you have.  Do what you can. –Arthur Ashe
  45. When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.  When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down ‘happy’.  They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. –John Lennon
  46. Fall seven times and stand up eight. –Japanese Proverb
  47. When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. –Helen Keller
  48. Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see. –Confucious
  49. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. –Anne Frank
  50. When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. –Lao Tzu
  51. The difference between a successful person and others is not lack of strength not a lack of knowledge but rather a lack of will. –Vince Lombardi
  52. Happiness is not something readymade.  It comes from your own actions. –Dalai Lama
  53. The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. –Arthur C. Clarke
  54. First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end. –Aristotle
  55. If the wind will not serve, take to the oars. –Latin Proverb
  56. You can’t fall if you don’t climb.  But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground. –Unknown
  57. Whoever loves much, performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well. –Vincent Van Gogh
  58. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. –Les Brown
  59. Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. –Joshua J. Marine
  60. The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. –Walt Disney
  61. I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. –Leonardo da Vinci
  62. Limitations live only in our minds.  But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless. –Jamie Paolinetti
  63. Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes.  You are free. –Jim Morrison
  64. What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do. –Bob Dylan
  65. I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong. –Benjamin Franklin
  66. In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. –Bill Cosby
  67. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. – Albert Einstein
  68. The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it. –Chinese Proverb
  69. There are no traffic jams along the extra mile. –Roger Staubach
  70. It is never too late to be what you might have been. –George Eliot
  71. You become what you believe. –Oprah Winfrey
  72. I would rather die of passion than of boredom. –Vincent van Gogh
  73. A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. –Unknown
  74. It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.  –Ann Landers
  75. If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money. –Abigail Van Buren
  76. Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs. –Farrah Gray
  77. Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. –Frank Zappa
  78. Education costs money.  But then so does ignorance. –Sir Claus Moser
  79. Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more. –H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  80. It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. –Confucius
  81. Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others. –H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  82. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. –Dalai Lama
  83. You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have. –Maya Angelou
  84. Dream big and dare to fail. –Norman Vaughan
  85. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. –Martin Luther King Jr.
  86. Do what you can, where you are, with what you have. –Teddy Roosevelt
  87. The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. –Alice Walker
  88. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. –Gloria Steinem
  89. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live. –Mae Jemison
  90. You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try. –Beverly Sills
  91. Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. –Eleanor Roosevelt
  92. Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be. –Grandma Moses
  93. The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. –Ayn Rand
  94. When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. –Henry Ford
  95. It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. –Abraham Lincoln
  96. Change your thoughts and you change your world. –Norman Vincent Peale
  97. Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. –Benjamin Franklin
  98. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn
  99. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. –Steve Jobs
  100. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. –Zig Ziglar

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Is it really failure?

#startups #smallbiz is it failure or just "not planned success" if there's positive takeaways from your venture? What are your thoughts?
Twitter @brownkevinl

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:San Clemente,CA

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Quotable Quotes

"Pinot Noir is like a tempestuos mistress that will leave you with a broken heart and an empty wallet' " But I still love it! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

What makes people overshare?

What Makes People Overshare? - WSJ.com http://ow.ly/l19O1

After arguing with her husband one Sunday, Vasavi Kumar was so upset that she called up her mom, her dad, her sister and three of her closest friends. "This is it," she told each one. "He is never going to understand me. I am getting a divorce."
Guess what happened the next day. Ms. Kumar and her husband made up. They said they were sorry, hugged and agreed to put the argument behind them. Yet Ms. Kumar, a 30-year-old life coach and social worker in Overland Park, Kan., still had some more apologizing to do—to six other people. "I dropped a bomb on everyone, but I was now fine and dandy," she says. "I had to go clean it up."
Ever share too much information—and you weren't even tipsy? I call it BYB—Blabbing Your Business. It's happening a lot these days thanks to reality TV and social media sites, where it's perfectly normal for people to share every single detail of their lives, no matter how mundane or personal. In the culture we live in, it's hard to remember that some things should be private.
It isn't all Facebook's fault. Experts say oversharing often happens when we are trying subconsciously to control our own anxiety. This effort is known as "self regulation" and here is how it works: When having a conversation, we can use up a lot of mental energy trying to manage the other person's impression of us. We try to look smart, witty and interesting, but the effort required to do this leaves less brain power to filter what we say and to whom.
This explains why people often blurt out embarrassing things to precisely the people they want to impress most, whether it's the boss, a first date or a future in-law.
Consider this scenario: Your boss walks by and doesn't make eye contact. You feel uneasy and think of something you need to discuss with him or her. "If you are psychologically aware, you will realize you are feeling anxious and picking up rejection cues," says Hal Shorey, a psychologist and assistant professor for the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology at Widener University in Chester, Pa. "You're trying to reestablish connection."
Does this work? Of course not. We often regret our disclosures, feel like an idiot—and then worry even more about what the listener is thinking. We may feel compelled to "fix" the situation, leading to—you guessed it—even more blabbing. It's a cruel downward spiral.
I know I'm not the only person who over-shares. I got the idea for this column after three people in one week said these terrifying words to me, "I want to tell you something I've never told anyone—not my spouse, my therapist, or my best friend."
Still, some people by nature blab more than others. They tend to be individuals with an anxious or "preoccupied" attachment style according to attachment theory, which psychologists developed starting in the mid-1900s. Our attachment system is the evolutionary byproduct of a process humans developed to stay alive, Dr. Shorey says. Attachment style is partly genetic, but it also is determined in part by how our parents related to us as young children.
There are three basic attachment types: Secure, anxious and avoidant. Secure people, roughly 55% of the population, had parents who were consistently caring and responsive; these people are typically loving and comfortable with intimacy. The other 45% have an attachment style that is more problematic—either anxious, avoidant or some combination.
Avoidant people, about 15% of the population, try to minimize closeness. Their parents typically were withholding or unresponsive. These folks aren't your blabbers. In fact, in interviews to determine personality type, therapists consider short, concise answers to be a marker of an avoidant attachment style.
Long, drawn-out answers typically indicate an anxious type. Anxious people, who make up roughly 15% of the population, typically had parents who were inconsistently nurturing. They are overly sensitive to social cues and prone to overmanaging their personal connections. (The other 15% are a combination.)
Of course, we all have our own bursting point, when under emotional stress we can no longer contain ourselves, says Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill, a Mount Kisco, N.Y., marriage and family therapist. "They think, 'Oh God, does that feel good to talk,' " she says. "But they're definitely not thinking of the other person and this may hurt their relationship."
The real trouble starts when you share information that isn't really yours to share. In her therapy practice, Ms. O'Neill says she regularly sees people who tell someone about their own marital problems, or a divorce or separation before it actually happens. Another common scenario involves mothers sharing information about their daughters. In all these cases, she says, "it usually comes back to haunt them."
So how do you stop yourself from blabbing too much? Do what your mother said: Stop and think before you open your mouth. "Go through the process in your mind where you walk through the ultimate effects of sharing," Ms. O'Neill says.
These are specific questions you should ask yourself, Dr. Shorey says. "Does my listener have time right now—and is he or she emotionally available to listen?" "Will your blabbing relieve your anxiety—or make it worse?" "In other words," Dr. Shorey says, "you can probably anticipate worrying that your boss will think you're an idiot for oversharing if you just take the time to think about it."
If you should find that you said too much, how do you recover? Most people think it's a good idea to go back and apologize. Most often, though, it isn't. "When I work with people in my office, I try to help them think through what the consequences will be," Ms. O'Neill says. "Will there be a boomerang effect?"
If you decide your listener has fundamentally changed the way he or she sees you, then apologize, but keep it short and low-key. "You should say, 'Listen, I don't want to make a big deal of this, but I want you to know I embarrassed myself and this isn't like me,' " Ms. O'Neill says. "And leave it at that."
Ms. Kumar recalls she was always an oversharer. Her childhood nickname was "Loose Lips." "I did it primarily as a way to connect with people, to get them to like me," she says.
When she called her father to apologize for telling him prematurely that she was getting a divorce, he started to cry. "He said, 'I just can't take this anymore. I am getting too old. I am taking blood-pressure medication. I have a nervous breakdown every time I see your name come up on the phone.' "
These days, Ms. Kumar says before speaking she asks herself, "Why am I sharing this with this specific person? What am I looking for here?"
"Otherwise, it's almost like you've spilled this debris over people's lives, telling them your stuff," she says. "And then you have to go back and clean up the mess you created."

Too Much Information: Avoid It, Recover From It

1. Recognize situations where you might overshare. You might be eager to make a good impression or nervous about what others think of you.
2. Before revealing information, ask yourself, "Does the listener have time to listen? Is he or she emotionally available at this time?"
3. Will sharing, rather than relieve anxiety, make you feel more anxious? Then don't.
4. Imagine the negative effects of oversharing and the regret you might feel afterward.
If you have overshared...
1. Think twice about revisiting the topic with the listener. He or she will probably forget about it if you don't drag out the awkwardness.
2. If you must return to the subject, keep it brief.
3. Your message is an apology. Don't seek approval. State your apology in as few words as possible and move on.
Sources: Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill, Hal Shorey

—Write to Elizabeth Bernstein at Bonds@wsj.com