On Finishing 2021 With a Bang, BING BONG LYFE, and Sacking the Short-Term Haters.
YIKES, it’s been a while!
2021 was quite the roller coaster of a year, and I know that it wasn't the best for many of us, us included. We had some heavy lows during this roller coaster of a year, but the rest of the year filled us with some incredible and unforgettable memories (and exclamation points, sorry in advance) to add to our vault:
MAY: We got engaged!! It was my older brother’s bachelor party!
JULY: Nitasha met my grandmother for the first time!
AUG: I had a bachelor party that I'm STILL piecing together the gaps for! The same goes for Tash’s bachelorette!
SEPT: My cousin got married! Tash and I got married!!
SEPT/OCT: We escaped to the Maldives! I got pinged by the Clearco team!
DEC: Boxed officially went public and is doing well so far!! We finished this year among the active volcanoes and colorful buildings of Antigua, Guatemala!
2022 is looking like another wacky year, but if there’s anything 2021 taught the both of us, is that we need to do better on staying close with our friends, family, and loved ones. COVID-19 really challenged our physical and mental states overall, and only good people and energy can help us power through, forward, and upward.
What are you currently working on?
Clearco’s onboarding has been a doozy, but what’s exciting to me about the opportunity is that the company can truly be the right capital partner for consumer startups. The money is non-dilutive (aka no equity) and can be the major source of capital for inventory management, or more importantly, marketing spend (which has gotten so out of hand, cost-wise, these days). Add an incredible data and insights platform and a partner-matching tool to the mix (both of which are FREE to founders), and you have an almost unbeatable argument for founders to sign up for.
Yes, this is a bit of a sales pitch. But I wouldn’t push it if it actually DIDN’T help founders. I took this new gig because I deeply care about founders; being a founder is arguably one of the loneliest jobs out there, because people will always be there for the highs but very, very few will be there for the lows.
What are you currently excited about?
KNICKS TAPE, y’all. I’ve been a fan of the Orange and Blue since 1992, and it’s been a long, LONG time since I’ve been excited for a full squad. The management led by Leon Rose, Kenny Payne, World Wide Wes, and Thibs has injected a whole new sense of energy into this storied franchise.
Also, while you’ll never pry my Starks jersey from my cold, dead hands, I’ve finally found another player who I just can’t stop loving to watch and root for, a guy who basically looks like he’s having THE TIME OF HIS LIFE out there every minute: I.Q.
(It’s also nice to know that Wes is basically the reason why he’s on our squad, THANK GOD.)
What’s a story or article that you're currently thinking about?
You’ve probably heard a lot about NFTs, the Metaverse, Web3, and all of those fun new digital lingos out there. While I personally am excited about the future of it for creators who have struggled to build their reputations both financially and visually, it’s still a bit early right now. That said, Lerer Hippeau’s Megan Loyst put together an incredible handbook detailing the past, present, and future of the Metaverse, looking within the Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Virtual World spaces.
It’s a doozy of a read, but I highly, highly recommend going through it with a cup of good coffee.
What’s a product you’re currently obsessed with?
It’s not so much a product, but it’s a great list that I got from Tash (via The Guardian) on ways to slightly improve our lives. It’s a long list (100, to be exact!), but there’s a bunch of good pieces here.
#8: Send a voice note instead of a text; they sound like personal mini podcasts.
#16: Set aside 10 minutes a day to do something you really enjoy – be it reading a book or playing Halo.
#22: Laugh shamelessly at your own jokes. 🙃
#29: Eat meat once a week, max. Ideally less.
#30: Be polite to rude strangers – it’s oddly thrilling.
#39: Send postcards from your holidays. Send them even if you’re not on holiday.
#100: For instant cheer, wear yellow.
Wild Card: What’s an item you can’t shake your mind off of?
Two things here.
Firstly, I’m going to create a new sub-edition of Le Cinq called Hot Links! An expansion of point #3 on my typical Le Cinq editions, it’ll add some great stories that I’ve been reading with a takeaway or one-liner from them. Expect 5-7 links and a (hopefully) weekly time thread for y’all. Also, as you find great stories to share, feel free to drop them in the comments!
Secondly, this one’s going back to the above point of relying on your friends, family, and loved ones: At the end of my first full week at Clearco, a person through LinkedIn sent me a barrage of negative private messages. I’m not going to go into much detail about why this happened, but this person, who has never met me, accused me of not having any experience within the consumer world (only focusing on my major, Biomedical Engineering), and that I basically stole the job away from them.
The tone and attitude this person used deeply shook me. Why would they use such vile and acerbic language? Why did this person not look at anything else I have done? It put a major damper onto what was a successful and exciting week.
I told Tash about it and she was incredulous; she reminded me (as did other members of Clearco when I brought it up to management) that this person has NO IDEA who you are and what you’ve done, and there’s absolutely no reason to get irked by them! Sack these short-term haters, and you’ll mentally and physically feel better for it.
As we come out of the depths of the pandemic, where outings with friends were replaced with doomscrolling, feeling trapped in our homes, and watching some of the darkest stories cloud our minds, it’s easy to be stuck in these shells. But 2022 has a sense of promise for all of us; it is telling us to revisit our routines, emerge with a sense of strength, and focus on a happier future forward.
And if you’re having a difficulty getting out of that shell, reach out to me with the Subject Line “Shell Help” and I’ll know what it’s about.
Happy New Year, y’all!
~ C O L O P H O N ~
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