FIRST THOUGHT: Habits
I’m reading an incredible self-development book called Atomic Habits. One of the author’s messages resonated with me: He writes that there’s motion and then there’s action. Motion is the preparation, the planning, the brainstorming. It’s what makes us feel like we’re working on something. Motion’s the thing we do when we’re afraid to take action, like researching fitness classes instead of just heading to a gym and working out.
So, today, take three projects that are swirling around in your head and put a deadline on your calendar for them. By that date, you will have done something about them.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 10 Percent
In that same book, the author discusses that trying over and over again often yields better results than waiting, crafting and eventually unveiling what you think is “perfect.” There’s no shame in trying something new. Take, for instance, hiring women. The practice might be new for some companies but, why not give it a shot? Venture capital firms that increase female hires by 10 percent see an increase in their overall fund returns, too.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Connie Chan, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz
One woman who is in the VC space is Connie Chan. She’s a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Connie helps bridge the Asian markets with the American markets. This investor has had a heavy hand in the financial sector, as a private equity investor and even at HP, where she previously led its webOS efforts in China.
Andreessen Horowitz manages about $7 billion in investments and has invested in major brands, from Twitter to Instacart to Slack. When Connie decided to join this mega-firm in 2011 as an analyst, she brought her signature charisma and valued instincts. One of Connie’s former managers praised her for being “self-directed” and generally good at thinking outside the box while also getting good results.
CNN called Connie the “China whisperer” for her ability to understand the world’s second biggest economy in a way that other investors and tech moguls do not. When the founders of Andreesson Horowitz recall interviewing Connie, one remembers the confidence she possessed, and why she deserved to be promoted to partner. Connie exuded this idea that she would be the best at everything, through talent and determination.
Connie has worked alongside a lot of men over the course of her career. (Heck, even the company she’s at now was started by two men). But she has always felt connected to people, no matter the sex. She mentions that her Chinese grandfather named herafter a plum blossom tree on a hill. The blossoms come forth during winter, when most other plants go dormant.
Connie’s hope is to live up to her name. Her hope is to rise up amidst adversity. Her hope is to use her special talents to lift up consumer technology.
As Connie was once navigating academia during her time at Stanford University, she never stopped believing in the significance of action. Maybe it’s those moments when Connie chose action over motion that she was able to rise to the position of partner, which is still a position often inaccessible to women.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Connie Chan said:
"Don't be afraid to say your true point of view, even if it's in disagreement with your direct boss. ... I'm very willing to share my point of view."