Yoga as Startup Inspiration

Went to yoga this morning. My favorite instructor, Phil, was teaching. When he saw me, he gave me BIG EYES… as in “Holy wow, I thought you must have QUIT yoga…it’s been so long…” But, as most lovely yoga people are, Phil was forgiving and funny and great.

About an hour into the class, we moved to the wall. This is part of Phil’s yoga magic, of course. The part where we practice handstands.

I dutifully moved my mat, placed my hands on the mat, and walked my feet up the wall until my torso and legs formed an EXACT (irony included) 90 degree angle. I took a few breaths, smiled, pretty much collapsed onto the mat.

When it was all done, Phil had us all move back into our places on the floor, and offered this wisdom:

Handstands are scary because you are afraid that you will fall on your head.

Pretty much everyone that tries to master this rather challenging feat does, actually, fall.

You practice on the wall so you learn that you have all the power you need to support all that will come when you fully commit.

***

As a part-time, totally humble yogi, I appreciated his humility.

As a full-on entrepreneur trying to bootstrap a startup, in this wild, wild world where all of the rules have changed, I heard something else:

In the new, crazy world, we (along with all of you) have the power to realize your dreams. That power is based on all of what’s inside of you. In our case, that’s a collective foundation of 20+ years of being students, lawyers with serious jobs, 5 kids, 2(ish) years of blogging, and (with much much humility) leaning in on all of the connections, goodwill, friends, and friends-of-friends that all of the foregoing has given us.

And as a direct result, E and I are also spinning. We realizing that, ironically, the biggest challenge in all of this is staring down (and planning for) what happens if your dreams and plans GO BIG. It’s actually easy to deal with the opposite… an app and idea that lives in mediocre-land for awhile, sputters along. That’s easily scalable, not that hard to support.

But GO BIG? Oh sheesh. Lets start with the fact that it’s a champagne problem. But more realistically, it’s a challenge – how MUCH do we care about the problem we’re trying to solve here?

A very good friend (who happens to be awfully awesome in the VC world) pretty much asked us this question last night. At almost midnight. On a flight, far away from his sweet family, and at the humble request of a friend he had not seen since the 80’s, and with whom I was only connected in a real sense via Facebook. THIS, friends, is the new paradigm. “WHAT are you willing to do? HOW are you going to compete with all of the 20-somethings with unbelievable connections??”

Got it B. As lawyers, we plan for the worst. As entrepreneurs, we absolutely MUST plan for the best.

Thank you B. Truly.

E and I have our own answer.

And, I suppose we’re posting this because we wanted to share the same query to our other friends – far and near- considering the same thing.

WHAT are you willing to do in your life for what truly moves you?? Do you have a plan for the best?

Thanks y’all — good week!

xo

H

Thanks Frank

Thanks Frank. Seriously. We so enjoyed your op-ed this week.

Our readers can find your article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/opinion/sunday/bruni-working-and-women.html?_r=1&ref=frankbruni

We appreciated it for a variety of reasons — but the biggest one was the fact that you stood up for your mom. As mothers (2 founders, 5 littles, many pets), we just like guys that stand up for their mothers, no matter what. But as MOTHERS, entrepreneurs, lawyers, wives, girlfriends, women and people, we just liked what you had to say today.

Hilary Rosen’s comment about Ann Romney set fire to the always-there-so-called-mommy-wars firestorm. And as you so respectfully commented, none of this noise really matters. We’re all working hard. At home with kids. In the office.

Hello, y’all? Taking care of other people is one of the wonderful gifts in this life, but it’s also hard.

We raise this here because our idea is built on this exact issue. Taking care of people is both wonderful and hard. We believe, so passionately, that technology can make it easier.

And so… the wheels of progress turn on…

Just wanted to put out there that we are nodding in agreement with you Frank. Hugging our little boys in the hope that they might stick up for us in the NY Times someday too. And working really, really hard behind the scenes to get our business up and running so we can play our part in the progress that we all need to do more for all of the people and places that require our time and attention.

Anxiety + All In

Friends.  This is a wild ride!

First of all, we were excited to set up our Twitter profile.  You can find us at @mycluckcluck.

Also, in startup news — first, we had a couple of meetings with potential developers last week. One was on vacation this week, the other promised us some info, and was busy, which we understand.  But when we saw a certain **new** social media site go up, and go crazy, this week, we got very, very anxious. We made a few calls, everyone is engaged again, and we are happier. More to come…

So… we’re working on executing some action items this week!  Talk to developers! Check!  Ask our super-smart friends to look at our business plan! Check! Fret, needlessly, over factors we cannot control?! Yep!

But don’t be fooled, we are loving this.  E sent me an article, with a title of “All In” today. It gave me chills… and inspired me to get after it…  here it is – happy reading: http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/11/instagram-all-in/

We are ALL IN. Stay with us… more to come..

Optimism (and its unwelcome cousin, Doubt)

Well, it has been a full week, almost to the hour, since E and I hatched our idea on my back porch. It originated from a real-life “why isn’t there an app for this?!” moment, and (at least in our own minds) had a life of its own from there. We think it’s a really good idea. The kind we would have downloaded for 99 cents awhile ago, if someone else has done it first. We are in the tech world, as lawyers, but we really get the “passion” bit a lot more now that we have our own baby idea…

But as soon as we got the confidence that comes from the “a-ha” moment I just mentioned, we also got insecure! Doubt! Neurotic! We watched the launch of a couple of different apps this week and thought “They totally know our idea and are surely building it too…” That certainly is possible. But… Not likely.

Anyway, more updates to come. This process is clearly as much about psychology (ours) as it is about ideas (also ours).

— H

Do Not Lean Back, Lean In.

Women almost never make one decision to leave the workforce. It doesn’t happen that way. They make small little decisions along the way that eventually lead them there. Maybe it’s the last year of med school when they say, I’ll take a slightly less interesting specialty because I’m going to want more balance one day. Maybe it’s the fifth year in a law firm when they say, I’m not even sure I should go for partner, because I know I’m going to want kids eventually. These women don’t even have relationships, and already they’re finding balance, balance for responsibilities they don’t yet have. And from that moment, they start quietly leaning back… So, my heartfelt message to all of you is, and start thinking about this now, do not leave before you leave. Do not lean back; lean in. Put your foot on that gas pedal and keep it there until the day you have to make a decision, and then make a decision. That’s the only way, when that day comes, you’ll even have a decision to make.

From Sheryl Sanberg’s outstanding commencement address given at Barnard College, May 17, 2011.