Diary of a Founder #6

Hello, 2024. 

How did I welcome it? Horizontal in bed covered in layers of blankets and doused in tiger balm. I pride myself as someone who takes good care of herself because 1) I want to feel good and 2) I have things to do in this life and I need to be in good shape to make them happen. I barely drink, I don’t smoke, I work out everyday, I eat locally and organically, I even have a tattoo on my left index finger to remind myself to drink water daily (shoutout to the tattoo artist on 6th Street who did this at 2am back in 2017)  and yet, I still got taken down by this beast of a virus.

I think we all go into different default modes when we get sick. For me, I get very dramatic. I am like… what does this mean that I am starting a new year off sick? Will I ever feel good again? Is the world ending? It’s a bit annoying to be me actually. (And in case you’re wondering how founders get by… Obamacare is a great way to have health insurance coverage while you’re building your vision.) 

The one thing that I do love about being sick is that I always feel like a layer of me is shed off afterwards. I get more clarity on my life. One must look for the silver linings when they are sweating bullets and chugging hot green tea instead of running their favorite trail and dipping in Barton to kickstart their new year. I did get to start reading Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver and cannot recommend it enough. As my friend Kelsey said, it makes Hillbilly Elegy look like a travesty. Oh! And funny side note — I did have a slew of men I used to date come out of nowhere in my moment of vulnerability. It’s like they could sniff out from far away that I was a man down. 

The clarity I’ve received during my tango with the flu/cold was to continue to have faith in the process of what we are building at Anact — and be patient with how the timing unfolds. Mind you, I had the idea for Anact in 2017 and thought it would take one year to get it to where I wanted it to be(we’re about to go on year six). Granted, I sometimes forget that we did have a global pandemic that threw things off a bit by +/- 2.5 years the same month that we were launching Anact, which was March 2020. 

I’m an extremely ambitious and driven person. But I’ve realized that you really can’t force things to grow faster than their own timing. Consistency truly is the key. 

I did manage to squeeze in a couple of important meetings in my zombie-like state. One of the coolest things that happened during a meeting I kept was that an investor shared that one of their core mandates was investing in founders who believed in Jesus. This is the FIRST time in my experience where this has ever come up in an investor meeting and it was so refreshing. It felt like balm for the soul. Hello, conscious capitalism. It’s nice to meet ya. 

The other meetings I kept were for an event that we’re planning for International Women’s Day (mark your calendars now!) on March 8th during SXSW. This event will build on the event we hosted last year with Patagonia and is something we plan to continue to build annually in Austin. 

Things that are giving me a pep in my step this month:

  • The launch of a new sales channel (stay tuned!) 
  • Expanding sales on our current channels and hitting out Q1 sales forecast
  • Closing our round and interviewing candidates for the Anact team
  • Preparing for our SX activation
  • A leadership academy I’m a part of in Austin starts at the end of the month
  • Getting back into comedy and going out and laughing more. Fun fact: Shane Gillis just moved to Austin!
  • Getting botox in my forehead. This might shock some of you because of how crunchy I am, but a girl has to have a vice now and then. I’ve only done it once (about two years ago) because I was worried about the lines in my forehead. Fast forward two years later and I decided to give it another whirl because it helps me feel more confident. It was a great experience overall. The person I saw was very holistic and thoughtful. As I was getting the injections, another woman gently tapped my shoulder to distract me. I couldn’t help laughing thinking about what the patriarchy would think of this. Three grown women cheering each other on in a small room on Cesar Chavez Street to fight the inevitable signs of aging because our society is obsessed with youth. Lean with it, rock with it, baby.
  • Reconnecting with someone from my past and asking the age-old question… can people really change? 

I’m also excited to share that we just booked our trip to NYC in mid-February! We’ll be going to support a good family friend, Stephen Quinn. He’s performing for Taylor Mac’s Bark of Millions. I was able to tack on some work meetings/projects that I'm very pumped about as well as family time. My dad is one of eight and grew up in the Bronx. Most of my dad’s family (and my 20+ first cousins on that side) have stayed in the NYC area except for a few of us. NYC has always stressed me out (I haven’t been back in five years) but I am happy to make an exception to support those I love and be with my family. I also can’t wait to have my eyebrows threaded by Indian women, sink my teeth into a greasy slice of pizza, and check out this spa (and get some Anact towels in there!). 

Lastly, if you need a little inspiration for the new year… this graphic is a great reminder to keep going no matter what. I realize that the world (at least American society) tells us to go to college, get a job, save our money, and we’ll be safe. And for some, that might work. But I can’t help but think there’s so much more to life. There is an opportunity for each person to be the person they are meant to be. I realize the boomer generation might scoff at this because that option wasn’t available to them. But I pray that we can make space for evolution.

In the words of Chris Williamson, it has never been easier to be successful in this world if you have an ounce of talent and a gram of hard work. And I agree with him. Songs that I’ve had on repeat this week are “Fall in Love with You.” By Montell Fish and “Junk Food Chimney” by Ezra Bell. 

Overall, sentiments for the rest of January are:

Until next time!

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