Creator Lab: On Personal & Professional Growth

Last month, I had the good fortune of sitting down with Bilal Zaidi of Creator Lab, a podcast that dissects the thoughts and actions of leading entrepreneurs, non-profit founders, award winning designers, educators, artists and everything else in between. Our episode dropped earlier this week (Apple, Spotify, Overcast).

In our wide ranging conversation, we discuss my journey to becoming a VC and a coach, what I look for in a venture investment and why Primary is the best seed fund for entrepreneurs in NYC. We also dive into how to navigate your career, why I decided to adopt a sober lifestyle (hint: performance + clarity), how to create good habits, why the top performers have coaches, how I’ve coped with anxiety and the fear of death, and why 360 reviews are a powerful tool to uncover your blindspots.

This was a really fun and open discussion. I certainly didn’t hold back. I hope you walk away inspired to build the future you’re craving, make changes in your own life and/or help someone you care about. Enjoy!

QUESTION(NY)AIRE With Steve Schlafman At Lerer

New York City’s Silicon Alley has claimed a place among the ranks of top tech-hubs across the country such as Boston, Dallas, Seattle, and of course, its namesake and the “mothership”, Silicon Valley. While each of these start-up communities boasts its own set of advantages, Silicon Alley benefits from New York’s buzz and density people, which, in the past few years, has played into the hands of the social media phenomenon. Yet in many ways, the most important feature of any tech boom-town is the availability of funds.

Enter: the venture capital firm. Steve Schlafman is a principal investor at one of these firms, Lerer Ventures, which focuses on funding companies in the “seed-stage”. That is, Lerer trudges through the weeds of all start-up hopefuls to find entrepreneurs with “product vision, consumer insight, focused execution, and unwavering ambition.” Although he is now in the position of the lender, Steve is no stranger to the experience on the other side of the table. His work experience spans from startups such as Stickybits and Turntable.fm, to more traditional environments such as The Kraft Group and Microsoft.

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