My 2015: conviction, mistakes & JOMO

2015 was one of the most rewarding and challenging years of my life.

In a nutshell, this year:

  • I joined the accelerator team at 500 Startups and learned so much about investing in early stage technology companies in Silicon Valley and abroad, and led a few of my first investments. It's been a true privilege learning from the entire team. I'm inspired everyday by the team around me.
  • I gave 10+ talks & 20+ pitching workshops, judged/spoke on 5+ panels, helped two batches of ~65 startups & two 500 Startups Demo Days, and mentored 100+ founders all over the world.
on stage
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3 Key Things I Learned: 

From my first year at 500:

1) Have conviction, and speak up more. There were moments this year when I felt terrified of speaking my mind, or worse, sticking to my gut when people disagreed with me or thought I was wrong. I learned when they were right and should stop, listen, and change, but I also learned when to trust my intuition and stand my fucking ground. This year,I finally learned not to abandon myself in those moments, to breathe through them, and it's made all the difference.

From deciding to speak Portuguese in public after 2 months: 

2) Be bold, and make mistakes.  Throughout my linguistics education, I was always studying languages. My journey with Portuguese has been unlike my experience with Tagalog, Chinese, or German - because this year I've never been much bolder about speaking and making mistakes daily. Like sales, every "no" leads to a "yes" - and every mistake led to faster learning for me. I still have such a long way to go, but I am feeling closer to fluency much faster than ever before. 

From all the travel: 

3) Embrace JOMO. Make quiet time for myself, no matter what. Health, sleep, water, activity, and filling my own cup comes first. #outgoingintrovert

What's On My Mind for 2016:

  • I miss building things. Stay tuned for some side hustles.
  • MOAR travel and investing in emerging markets with 500 Startups!
  • #empathywarrior, social impact, and diversity - stay tuned for launch of my new website and more.

Today, I feel so full of gratitude for all the new relationships, opportunities, and personal growth this year, and I'm so excited for the year ahead.

Now, onward.