Taking 60 seconds a day to make it a better one

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.

damn it feels good to be a founda

ate 3 cupcakes.

one at 12:30.  that kept my eyes open for 20 minutes until I needed another one at 1:00 – a.m. – when my hubalicious made a drive-by and asked if i was coming to bed tonight.

Uh no… hello, cells E3-E5 on my Assumptions sheet weren’t going to magically jibe with the ones on my Advertising model sheet for FY 2013 and 2014 by themselves. (maybe he needs a cupcake)

hitting the rack at 2:30 has it’s benefits.

But getting up at 6:30 to prep for a 7:30 call doesn’t.  So i’m going to watch this again to change my mood and call that my preparation. I think Nightingale would’ve been proud.


Cupcakes and mammograms

My Tweet (almost 4 weeks ago):   “You can’t talk about those without sharing with US”  (i’m referring to a friend who was talking cupcakes on Twitter)

His Tweet:

Crickets. Nada. Not even one of his characteristically witty quips. Not one peep…or tweet.

Today the reply came.
The Delicious Box.

After I exhibited 5 seconds of mandatory patience (where I thrashed at The Delicious Box with a pair of scissors), I wiped my brow with a workout towel and saw The note:

Be careful what you Tweet my friend! It just might happen!!! Hope you are well.


Then, this:  The Gorgeous Box.

Cue the drooling.

Now, anyone who knows me well, {and my Tweety-bird friend here is one of them} knows that my kryptonite is something decadent, delish, and if it’s wrapped in chocolate, even better.  And the only thing preventing me from tearing into The Gorgeous Box above was my deep desire not to mess up that Gorgeous Box.

But a dozen of deliciousness wrapped in shoog was awaitin’.  And now, their scrumptious aroma has filled the air of my pad and I have a whole new perspective on my mammogram appointment tomorrow.

I’ll bring 3 of these lovely cupcakes with me to the appointment tomorrow, in the hopes that the technician is gentle…. I can’t really afford to be any more flat-chested….so hopefully the ‘cakes will persuade him (or her!) take it easy on the girls.

a ticking clock


think of someone you love.

really love.

now, sit with their image in your mind, and play an old movie reel of your history together.

if you had a year left to be with them, what would the movie reel look like?

Go make it happen.

Just start. Don’t be paralyzed by what if’s, grand gestures, or good ideas.

Just. Go. Make. It. Happen.



Rockin it.


I’m asked a lot about how I’ve done what i’ve done with my wee start-up.  I was asked where’s my team, the peeps who are the technologists, the community builders, the designers.  Investors in particular LOVE this question.  As if buying a team isn’t the right answer. You have to come with a co-team to prove value.  phft.

I said i didn’t have any of those people.

I said I just started.  And kept iterating. And executing some more.  And then some more.  Would it have been better if I spent time looking for a co-founder(s) instead of actually just DOING it, building it, starting it?  Seems in some circles, the answer is yes.

What I was, and am, surrounded by is an amazing community of people who have come in to volunteer their time, to give me their smarts, to cough up their own money, and to donate vasts amount of energy to help me build every, little brick of this brick-less beast.

When i get up at 3:00 am, or go to sleep at 2:00 am, because all i can think about is what i haven’t done, what must be done, who must be contacted…. it’s because i’m worried about not being able to do the impossible.

The to-do list is scary, long and mostly made up of things i have no idea how to do, how to solve, or who to talk to about solving.

Then I look back a year, a month, a day — an hour even — and say how did i do the impossible?

For anyone who has finished a marathon, gotten up out of wheelchair when someone told them they would never walk again, completed a triathlon, or had an idea that blossomed into a business that they built to impact people’s lives around the world, you are totally pickin up what i’m thrown down here.

I just wonder why fear, vs confidence, still overtakes me when i look to the future (whether that’s making it to next Tuesday or next year) and gets me out of bed at 3:00 in the morning…..

Is it because i still haven’t paid myself?  Pretty soon it’s not going to be okay to be in permanent ‘deferment’ mode on my now-very-old student loans.

hmm, nah. it’s not that.

Onward and upward. Always.

Painting like Picasso

This is what happens when you mix wine with painting.  M-A-G-I-C.

My girlfriend surprised me with a delicious gift of the Paintingvineyard. Give a girl 4 blobs of paint on a plate, a few random brushes, and a blank canvas — throw in a few bottles of wine — and call me PICASSO!

Cheers to girlfriends who know what to do, when to do it, and how.

I have a friend in Florida who once said she wished her girlfriends had penises for that very reason.

being in the peloton

Sunday ride


This past Sunday ride was a ‘reunion’ of sorts. The peeps who have done the ride from San Fran to San Diego for the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s “Multi Million Dollar Challenge” get together and do some long, re-union rides…at least until the ‘hard’ training starts in June.  It’s not often i’m cycling with a group of 30+ peeps, and i often forget the sheer joy, and sometimes ease, of being with such a large group.  – by ease, i mean pedaling along at 23 mph and feeling like you haven’t put your bike into its big chain ring yet.

It got me thinking, especially as I saw a few local challenged athletes ride by me…..

(Below are two photos of two of those athletes; handcyclist and multiIronman David Lee and the blind athlete here riding by with his ‘guide’)

and David one of the multiple times he whizzed by the group, until we caught him at the SAG station for PB& J’s….

David, all smiles.


My thinking?  Like cycling, business entrepreneurship is not a soloist effort.  Even the best cyclists in the world, the best triathletes in the world, train with teams. Cyclists in major tours race most of the race in large pelotons, or groups of cyclists, and even as they sprint and race up ridiculous grades, they try to do so together.

We get stronger with the support of others. A business, even if founded by one founder, is not a solo effort. It’s success depends on others’ expertise and strengths. It’s a world of magnitude harder to go at it alone…which is why I’m looking for a peloton to help me. [if you’re someone in search of a great idea, and a co-founder, i’m your girl]


onward and upward, always.

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