Archive for July, 2012

Thoughts from Argentina

Saturday, July 21st, 2012 | Uncategorized | No Comments

I am sitting in my bed at Lina’s Tango Guesthouse in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is our last day here, and I have a couple hours before Karissa and I go to a final Tango practica and then off to the airport back for the states.

In the last 3 weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my life, and what I want from it in it’s next chapter. I wanted to capture those. So here’s a brain dump :

Small Business Coaching

I am imagining spending every Friday available to work on my friends’ businesses.

This might be helping Burn Blue change the world. I could be running a weekly Lean Startup experiment with Brian + his construction business, Karen + her studio, Ceci and her dog company. I’ve got a lot of skillz when it comes to setting up businesses, and I want to share them.

What about the money?

In true Customer Development style, I think step 1 is to measure desire and feasibility. Is this something that people want? Will it work? Can I make a real difference in helping my friends launch + be successful at their businesses.

Step 2 will be finding a way to make it viable. I have some ideas, though.

  • don’t worry about – this could be my version of pro bono work. I make much more than I need elsewhere, this could be good for my soul and the world, and that might be enough
  • sliding scale – have a low rate, like $150/hour and ask people to pay what they can
  • take equity – claim a piece of people’s businesses – I’m a little hesitant to do this, as I think it might create a conflict of interest, but who knows
  • pay me up to X after you’re making Y / month – a way to keep risk down and get paid if my help actually works
  • trade – a way to have people value their time with me, so far it’s been hard to find trades that work for me

I think for now, I’m not too worried about this part. I’m excited to get more experience coaching, more experience with Lean Startup + Customer Development, help people I love, and make the world a little better.


Trying to do tango with Karissa over these last 3 weeks has been less successful than I had hoped. We had several goals, and they all ran on top of each other.

I have gotten some of my tango skillz back, however, and Karissa has realized that she loves tango. These are both great.

I’m thinking that I should be dancing more. I love to dance, and I’ve been neglecting that part of my life. Part of this has been working 60-80 hour weeks for the past couple years. I want to be done with that.

I’m planning on committing to working 1/2 – 1/3 time for Nordstrom. In the rest of my time, I could (in theory) do some small business coaching, catch up on my other projects (the school, maptini), and still be around 40 – 50 hours / week.

I would love to spend time and energy on tango – and also on blues. Maybe it’s a pipe dream, but from here in Buenos Aires, it doesn’t seem crazy at all.

Living in a Commune

Traveling with KK has been wonderful. We are so good together. We laughed and played more than we have in months. We also spent time in awesome communal spaces at different hostels.

We want this for our lives.

There are people that we love, and we don’t spend nearly enough time with them. What if we lived with them? What if we raised our children together?

We have a unique opportunity right now – before we’re very much pregnant, with a nice financial cushion to do some really interesting stuff here.

It’s time to do it.

At Puerto Madryn, we loved their hostel. It has a huge common space that had several parts : a kitchen, with 2 areas with tables + chairs on either end of it, a bar next to one of the areas, then a computer room with couches, then a tv room with couches. In a space that big, it was really nice that everything was separate. The living spaces were mostly in a separate building joined by a covered walkway and an easy to open door. It was also super clean, we think because they had strict policies about food, and also had staff to help.

So, what if…

…we bought 3 houses that were all next to one another? The middle house could have a huge kitchen and common areas along with people like us living there that always want guests over. The other houses could have no or small common areas so that people could escape other people by going there or have their own private living room / kitchen. One of the other houses could have a hot tub or other cool things, and we could gate the whole thing in…

…the kitchen could have a coca cola refrigerator and have enough shelving for everyone to have their own space…

I still have another 3 weeks of vacation between Kaizen Camp, Egypt, and South Africa, so we’ll see what ideas they bring!