Back To The Real Business

Three days in a small room, sitting on an uncomfortable folding chair…and the toughest part of becoming an author is complete: the audio book. Nothing like having to hear your own voice and enthusiastically read out loud the words you have written. It is nerve-wracking — the gremlin of doubt in your head keeps chanting “who wrote this…and why would anyone ever want to…” and you try to sound upbeat as your butt goes numb. And it is another career milestone I didn’t know was on my career journey that I can now check off the list.

And now it is back to the other business of being an author: planning a book tour (first public event is on the calendar –Wednesday, January 25 at the New York City Bar Association — networking reception and complimentary signed copy of my book included in your registration), plus writing and conceiving of new content, pitching the media and event/conference organizers….the list goes on and on.

Yes, I laugh (politely, not the full Kelly laugh) when people ask me “now that the book is done, what are you doing?”

Everything I can is the short answer. Everything I possibly can to make this venture (my book) a success. Just like any other startup founder or entrepreneur I know.

From last week…in response to my WTW on a new fund with the stated purpose of investing in women (my WTW was because it had a majority stale, pale and male investment committee aka ownership of the fund)…here’s the deal (according to me). Investing in women and women-owned business is where future economic growth is going to come from (Doh! it’s the largest untapped growth market). Slap yourself on the back if you’ve figured that out (finally) — and then be honest in your marketing efforts and transparent in your leadership. Wrapping a fund in a Joan of Arc’esque marketing mission of investing in women doesn’t cut it for me. If it’s about smarter bigger returns, just say it (heck, that’s what I used to say about the startup accelerator I co-founded), otherwise it feels fake (sorry boys). The structure of your fund is as important to me as what exactly you are investing in. Women-owned businesses are overlooked and undervalued — that’s opportunity (for investors to make a lot of money). And let’s face it, when we invest, we’re in it for the profit — otherwise it is a wealth transfer or charitable endeavor (for the record: the time I commit to the YWCA of NYC is my charitable endeavor). So…when a fund or initiative says it is investing in women, look behind the curtain and see who the wizard really is.

Your money is the vote you cast daily. Follow the money to see where the trail really ends…So as for women truly investing in women (as in looking-for-a-financial-return-on-investment investing) some of the women I look up to are (yes, this list is incomplete so don’t start bitching about someone I’ve left off it): Deb Jackson’s Plum Alley Investments, Kathryn Finney’s BIG Accelerator, Tracy Chadwell’s 1843 Capital, Vicki Saunders’ radically generous SheEO initiative, and angel investor Joanne Wilson ….and I do look up to a number of the dudes who clearly state they like the odds of positive financial returns from investing in female founded companies — big shout-out to Adam Quinton who transparently walks the talk.