My good friend Anne Dwane (General Partner at an early-stage venture capital firm, Village Global) joins me in this episode of Stuck@Om to chat about how we are both navigating life at home during a pandemic. Anne and I have both lives through multiple downturns — the dotcom crash, the 2008 meltdown and of course, the present. So it is obvious we talked about how her experiences through those tough times have given her some insights into navigating the current crisis.
We question if startups will have to deal with salary cuts, layoffs, furloughs, and elimination of non-essential expenses? Ann proposed a thought exercise — If elements of our ‘new normal’ are retained once we emerge from this pandemic, does that change the nature of the startup? Must they already plan to adapt, change strategies, or implement a full pivot?
Anne points out that we’re living through a threat to our health and way of life that also happens to have an economic impact. We are living in unprecedented times. She believes that the best entrepreneurs realize when the rules of the game have changed. We must learn how to adapt and be thoughtful with our communication.
In addition, we talked about Anne’s practice of doing something kind for someone else to help ease the hopelessness we’re all feeling. How a simple thing like a phone call, an encouraging email, or a donation to someone in need can make a lasting impact.
These are just a few of the topics Anne and I peruse in this conversation among friends. Take a moment to listen.
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Outline of This Episode
- The Practice of doing something kind for someone else
- An aviation analogy to demonstrate the importance of communication
- Find clarity and joy in your work when life is personally scary
- How cigarettes, coffee, and work got me through the last downturn
- How to plan for the worst—but hope for the best
- Anne proposes a thought exercise: Does the new normal change the startup?
- Experience helps with confidence and courage
- We are allowed to say “I don’t know” and “I don’t have the answer”
- Be empathetic to the current realities our teams are facing
- Why it’s imperative to embrace your health and wellness
- What Anne is doing to pass the time
Resources & People Mentioned
- The Book of Delights by Ross Gay
- Zinch (now Chegg)
- Red Herring
- 7-Minute Workout app
- Calm Meditation app
- True Ventures
- Village Global