Taking 60 seconds a day to make it a better one

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

the perils of work


Besides Americans not getting enough vacation (unless you work at FullContact and want to get paid, PAID vacay), or at least using their vacation, we also tend to have despicable eating habits.

Normally, meaning around 76.2% of the time, I eat pretty good.  Grilled fish, gluten-free pasta, chia seeds, spinach, with a dash of protein powder and a smathering of fruits/veggies for good measure.

Today, at 3:20 pm PST, I realized i hadn’t eaten.  Since last night.

I somehow bypassed my growling, grumbling innards (around 6:30 am) and found another gear.  A few bucket loads of water likely made the ridiculous eating schedg possible, but still.

No exercise today likely was the culprit.  Constant tapping on the keyboard, phone calls and more tapping meant most of my energy expenditure went towards the tips of my fingers, my saucy grey matter, and my vocal chords. I did straighten up in my chair a few times.

The result?

A choco/almond butter/blueberry/protein powder shake at 3:27 pm with a bowl of top ramen. (Beef-style; a girl needs her protein)

Now, back to work.


When it rains it pours

When it rains, it pours.

it’s a proverb that is dripping with negativity.  just the imagery of it implies grimness….

But what if the image in our heads looked like this instead?

Totally different mental image. Totally different perspective. How does that change someone’s behavior?
Anyone who knows me well knows the raining dollars image doesn’t do much to motivate me to do anything. Yes, it’s part of “The Necessary’, but it’s not the Raining  Money that gets me up in the morning.  It tends to be more of the “I’m going to make the world a better place today” variety.

As a firsty-start-up founder, I’ve been lucky to experience things that I don’t think the hardest of criminals could take. and yes, I said lucky.

I’m speaking metaphorically of course. I’m not one to judge, normally, but if they are taking cool drugs, driving fast cars and shootin bad guys all the time, that’s stuff I can’t really stomach. What I mean is the mental toughness required to be hit where it hurts (the heart) and be told in many ways, shapes or forms that what I’m creating isn’t great, or great enough, or big enough, or it’s too small.  I can’t just punch back. [would a hard criminal if their egos were pummeled in public?] I have the stomach to smile, ask for more, and then walk away with a promise to follow up.  And it’s all done with authenticity.

And lately, all the start-up biz has been met with some very personal challenges; making my resolve to turn the rain — as in the water —   from a torrential downpour in my mind, to a more positive outlook on the road ahead.

Take a look at this last week, and tell me your perspective on ‘when it rains, it pours’….

My aunt, my father’s sister, is dying from complications due to aggressive form of breast cancer.  She doesn’t tell anyone about how aggressive it is until she is transported home from the hospital under hospice care. She passes away Saturday.

My sister, recovering stoically for 2 years due to severe traumatic brain injury due to a car accident, and then diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer (for which she is given treatment the last 3 years), is given some life-threatening news.  She goes underground. Our family, a very close one, does a tailspin.

Two dear friends surprise me within a few weeks time with a dozen cupcakes delivered from Georgetown Cupcakes, which i devour each time within a few days.  I feel guilty about it for about 30 minutes – before and after the carnage.

I am an endurance athlete – which basically means i find joy in running, cycling, swimming and sometimes doing all those things together for long distances, even at a relatively fast pace.  I’ve had a hip injury that has caused me more anger, angst and anxiety than normal, and kept me from running for 2 weeks. This is cause for drug-use, and not the kind you get at CVS or Rite-Aid.

My own attempt at turning the rain into a positive?

Riding with friends for 75 miles, over 5500 ft of hills and gorgeous roads, in blazing sunshine.  Celebrating my health, my friends, my ability to mish-mash a crazy lifestyle of starting a company, caring for my family and staying true to my goals of  living an active, healthy lifestyle.

And the mental reward? My friend, Nick, pictured below (a world class triathlete and runner), saying to me “Tanya, you really can ride that bike up hills can’t you?”  (my response: “Well when you only have one bike, and it’s not a road bike, you kinda gotta make do”)

— intermission  —-

(boring clarification:  I was riding a triathlon specific bicycle. they are not ideally suited to lots of hill climbing rides. The other 15 or so riders that day were on road bicycles, the kind you see the guys riding in the Tour de France)


What is special about this ride, and others, was that it’s also a celebration of my ability to focus on giving back, or paying it forward. I’m a fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation, and will be riding 620 miles from San Fran to San Diego in 7 days in October. If i can raise another $6K, I can do the ride. If I don’t, well, none of my training miles goes to waste…. I’m still smiling on each and every ride and loving the fact that I can. And if I can, I’m not going to waste that. It’s a gift.

Any ideas you have for me on changing the rainy imagery to the positive, I’m all ears.

call backs

If you’re an actor getting a ‘call back’ is probably nirvana.


But getting a call back to put your boobs [back] in one of these….

…isn’t what a girl waits at home for.

But the icing on the cupcake is that when the [woman] technician uses a poor choice of words to explain next steps:

I wanted to ask her if she fell asleep during her “How to deliver unwelcome news to patients 101” class.

yes, i put emphasis on “woman” in the sentence above.  Because in this case, it shoulda mattered.

The silver lining?

I am excited for the amazing things coming down the pike for GOTRIbal and the people that are coming around the table as a first management team.

Besides, I am going to be celebrating Independence Day by riding my bicicletta up and down some mountains with my hub-alicious. And THAT is scrumptious.

Onward indeed.


part pack rat, part librarian, part Good Samaritan

I like to follow women that are a bit contrarian. Whether it’s in their writing, their actions, their opinions, or how they do (or opt not to do) their nails. Heck with it! Who needs well groomed cuticles!

Meghan Casserly is one of those women. She’s an online author for Forbes and she covers a lot of good stuff on business. Specifically, women in business. Nothing on manicures yet though.

In her post today, there was something I found myself smiling at. (and this is  my blog so i can end a sentence with a preposition if i want)  She was questioning the value of womens networks.   She had come across four questions in this HBR Post that made her think deeper about it. One – well several – of her findings resonated with me:

Where too many focus on the strength of numbers, the real sign of a healthy—and helpful—professional networking group is who’s there and how they communicate.

What do i love about it?

It’s one more teensy bit of data that confirms my own belief about GOTRIbal {and whether it’s good, bad or otherwise, that’s what we mere mortals do sometimes}.  And, it happens to be one of the things I stand behind when an investor or business-type says “So when do you anticipate reaching 1,000,000 uniques?”

Look people, I get it. The old rules of high school still apply in the digital age:  The more ‘friends’ you have, the ‘uniques’ you have, the more ‘followers’ you have, the cooler you are.  Which translates into dollar value.

To me, and to others in any community, it’s not so much about the billions we share membership with — it’s the value we derive from those billions.  If i could get the same value from 200, who needs another 1,000, 100,000 or million? In fact, in my own Facebook “friend” circle, I have over 400. Small comparatively. But really, when I need help, support or truthfully some shoog, I get it from about 25-30 of those people. And I’m a lucky recipient of some serious shoog.

Let’s look at another [smaller] community.  How about those guys in middle school and high school who were banging away at their keyboards and who had 3 shirts and 1 pair of flood-water khaki’s?

Or the ones mixing goo in petri dishes, playing games with mathematical equations that didn’t have one number in them and more letters than the alphabet?

They all run Google, Instagram and Facebook now.

In their communities, they had members who played part pack rat, part librarian and part Good Samaritan.

GOTRIbal has a good number of pack rats, librarians and Good Samaritans… and it’s not going to take 1,000,000 of us to make the planet a healthier, more connected, more fit place either.

Onward and upward.

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