The Bad Mother

As an entrepreneur consumed with building a business, sometimes I feel bad because I am not the type of mother who is teaching my children some of the things I learned growing up such as how to cook, garden or sew. Yet, today my 17 year old daughter asked me very seriously if I would help her to start a business.

Heidi Roizen: Picking your team is the most important thing you will ever do

"The vast majority of companies succeed or die by the quality of the team.” 

Over the years, Roizen has seen a lot of young entrepreneurs make the same mistake. They have an idea for a company, they start their own thing, and when it comes time to hire executives, they don’t want to bring on anyone who knows more than them. “They don’t want to be intimidated, so they hire someone who is the same age and knows about the same stuff. You hire people who are familiar to you because you trust them.” This sounds good, but at the same time, you’re missing out on all kinds of expertise because you’re worried about being outgunned or sidelined.

“If you want to be the smartest person in the room, you’re going to build a crummy team.” 

“Do you really want a VP of sales who knows less about sales than you? Do you want a CFO who knows less about accounting? No of course not,” she says. “You have to take risks to find the right people and then trust in those relationships. Your job becomes to empower those people and make sure they get along. My goal is always to be the dumbest person in the room because I want to be surrounded by really bright, really amazing people. That’s when exciting, world-changing things get done.” 

Excerpt from First Round Review’s 8 Rare Gems from Heidi Roizen on Building a Fulfilling Life and Career”

The Original Renaissance Man

He taught me how to… hammer a nail…catch, clean and fry a fish…change a tire…use a shovel and a hoe… plant a straight row of corn (and later pick and shuck it)… paint a window sill… enjoy a good book… negotiate with a car dealer… drive a car… spell “chenille” and other words… ride a bike… use a bike pump… use a gas pump… fill out a job application… fill out a tax form… open a checking account… write a check… caulk tile… unclog a drain (with a monkey wrench, not Draino)… make “quick” Jello… make meatloaf… create a week’s dinner menu… shoot a rifle (and hit the mark)… recognize the call of a quail in the woods… drive a power boat… answer a business phone (” ‘Mr. Marino is away from his desk’ not ‘Mr. Marino went to the restroom’ “)… wash dishes (properly, that is)… load a dishwasher (after FINALLY giving into the pleading to buy one)… swing a baseball bat… pitch a tent… outwit a boy trying to pick a fight… make snow ice cream… not to yell in the house (because “this is not how ladies behave”)… win Monopoly by the rules ($500 on Free Parking is for wimps)… and by example… love your children… work hard and always give your best… treat your parents with respect… live with gratitude and NO excuses. To name a few things.

What he could not teach me was how to fully appreciate him while he was still around. Only time… living… and perhaps being a parent… can teach that.