In the past I’ve shared my love of listening to podcasts and audio books, especially when I’m exercising. It helps me to consume and learn things I wouldn’t otherwise have the time to do, and it really makes exercise fly by when my mind is listening to and thinking about new things. One of the podcasts I listen to regularly on the Stitcher app, (which I’m a big fan of) is the Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture Series. This lecture series is a class that Stanford students can take, which is how I was first exposed to it when I did my MS in Management Science and Engineering there in 2007-2009. Each week during the school year they bring in guest speakers on a variety of topics related to entrepreneurship. The quality of the speakers is usually very good, and it helps to hear stories of what other experienced people have been through.
A colleague of mine passed one of these lectures my way this week, and I realized that though I had started to listen to it, I hadn’t finished this particular lecture when it came out in February (that is a ‘problem’ of regularly posted podcasts – new ones come up, and I’ll often listen to those if I didn’t finish the previous one). So – I had a bit of a refresher and some new material to listen to this week with Cindy Padnos, an experienced entrepreneur who founded a VC firm in 2009. Her company, Illuminate Ventures, is focused on Enterprise Cloud Computing, as well as making investments that fall between the typical stage and value of Angel investments and Series A rounds. She has also focused on keeping her team on the smaller side to keep costs low, but to compensate for that she has developed a board of advisers that is close to 40 people! Pretty amazing. They are a mix of people she knew already from her years in industry, and people she was introduced to as she was developing her company. In the podcast she says she only goes to these people when their expertise is needed, so it is not a taxing obligation, but one of high quality, focused interactions. When Pandos brings the advisory team together, she creates an interactive opportunity for the advisers to meet and learn from one another, in addition to dealing with issues related to her business. What a cool way to bring together those giving you help and guidance – building a community for them.
Last month I mentioned an HBS article written by Debora Spar, the current President of Barnard College. As a follow-up, she has a book that has come out since my last post: “Wonder Women: Sex, Power and the Quest for Perfection” has come out. There is a teaser of the book in this post written by Spar: she believes that women have trapped themselves by buying in to the idea that we have to be perfect, that we can have it all, and that it’s leaving us unfulfilled. While I haven’t checked it out yet, I’m looking forward to getting the audio version (another thing I do while exercising – listen to books!)
And finally, there is a local event in Santa Monica that I was really looking forward to attending, but just had to cancel out of due to work travel next week. Karen Finerman, who co- founded the hedge fund Metropolitan Capital Advisors, is going to be speaking in the Milken Institute Forum series on the topic of women overcoming barriers they face in reaching their goals. She has written a book on the topic, so I expect the talk will pull from it.
Each of these women have become leaders in industries and businesses which are predominantly male. All of them are taking the time (and expanding their business/brand) by sharing their lessons learned with others. I’m interested in hearing what you’ve learned from other women who are mid/late career, and are looking to help other women in navigating their lives and careers.