Mailing It In
We flew down to Williamsburg Virginia yesterday to attend my dad's 85th birthday. He and my mom are in great shape and my brothers and their families were there. It was a great evening.
On the flight down, Josh and I read the Jay-Z article in NY Magazine and the review of his new record where the consensus was he "mailed it in". On the one hour drive from the airport Josh played the new record on his phone aux'd into our rental car and we talked about Jay-Z, the songs, and what mailing it in really means. At one point, Josh said "he didn't write this song, he barely raps on it, he just put it on the record". And I explained to him that Jay-Z might not be the rapper he once was but he's well on his way to becoming one of the biggest media moguls of his generation.
The song Jay-Z "didn't even write" made me think about my Video Of The Week posts. For me, those are "mailing it in." I don't feel like writing on saturdays so I post videos that I think you all might like to watch.
I worry a lot about mailing it in. Not just on AVC, but in all aspects of my business career. I don't worry about mailing it in when it comes to my family life. The Gotham Gal would never allow it.
There comes a time when you have had all the success you can ever imagine and it's tempting to kick back and enjoy life a bit more. There are days when I wake up and look at the blog post compose screen and think "what the hell am I going to say today?" There are days when I wake up and think "I'd like to blow off all of my meetings, go on a long bike ride, have a late breakfast sitting outside at my favorite cafe, and then read and nap all day long." And yet I don't do either. I keep grinding away.
Part of it is relevance. You are either relevant or you are not. And relevance is critical to the business I am in. I don't think you can be somewhat relevant. That's called "over the hill" "past his prime" "semi-retired."
And part of it is that the next big deal is just around the corner. I've been getting busier lately. Looking to make more new investments. I'm seeing opportunities I can't stop thinking about. I am starting to see around the corner. That feels good to me.
And part of it is that feeling when you realize that the two person startup you backed four years ago is a juggernaut now, they are going to absolutely kill it, realize their dreams, and create an iconic long standing game changing company. It doesn't take too many moments like that to keep you in the game. It's like making a birdie in golf. It doesn't happen to me very often, but it happens enough that I can't stop playing golf, as bad as I am at the game.
I may not be good at golf, but I've gotten pretty good at blogging and being A VC. I may mail it in every now and then, but I feel like I am still at the top of my game and have no intention of calling it quits any time soon. So if you are that two person startup that will give me my next birdie, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I don't reply to every email that comes in but I reply to a ton of them and I sure hope I reply to yours.
By the way, I am listening to Jay-Z's new record while I am writing this. I am enjoying it very much.