Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 7: Rainy Days and Mondays

I dropped my son off at school on the way to the garage for a brake pad repair, which off course, turns into a whopping $2,600 bill. Julien pops his second altoid commenting how he needs it to rally his spirits for Monday. It comes as a shock to me. Of course I know it's Monday. But, I realize it's the first Monday in 9 years, that I don't have the blues. Mondays used to remind me of the Carpenters: "Talking to myself and feeling old. Sometimes I'd like to quit, nothing ever seems to fit. Hanging around, nothing to do but frown. Rainy days and Mondays always get me down."

I am an INFP (Introvert/Intuitive/Feeling/Perceptive) on the Myers-Briggs test. A very rare animal in the business world. I lead with my heart. I believe in karma, spiritualism, helping others, being happy. I would be better served as an artist, a priestess, or a mentor. Instead, I spent the first 10 years of my life out of graduate school working on Wall Street, creating complicated new financial products. I loved the intellectual challenge, the fast-pace innovation, and the sense of rising to the occasion. Those were the days of fun and excitement, but not necessarily fulfillment.

I am the proud mother of five wonderful children. Today, I am hopeful, that I fulfill THE dream of having a vocation that makes me passionate. I hope that I can bore them to tears about how I love the work I do. "I know, I know, Mother.....Have some more wine."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 6: Machiavelli

A month ago, in preparation for my new life as an entrepreneur, I went for a lecture at Stanford. My former classmate, Jeannie, was the lecturer. The topic is Machiavellian and very much to my liking: how to make people do what you want them to do, even if you are not their boss. My takeaway is simple: you can't change people, so change yourself. I become a person, that you cannot resist wanting to help. For me to attain my goal, you will happily wade through crocodile-infested marshes, and jump from the Golden Gate Bridge. I think of this often. I experiment once in a while. Last time I tried this on a waiter, I ended up eating a veggie burger that I strongly disliked. I renew my vows today to keep trying. Soon, you will be cheering me on, as I claw my way up to satisfaction, I hope.

Day 5: Cheating

I have been sorely tempted to cheat on my day count. Should 200 days be 200 work days or 200 calendar days? My conscience wins. Entrepreneurs need to be "on" all the time, even weekends. I try hard to think what I did on day 5. I wake up for yoga, but miss it, because my coffee beans are nowhere to be found. Later in the morning, my coffee beans arrive, but now there is no milk to add. Reluctantly (not really), I reach for the wine, and plunge into lunch. In the afternoon, I re-install software in between laps in the pool. If my computer fails me frequently, I feel sure that I will become very fit.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 4: Time

Time is interesting. There are 24 hours to a day. I used to exchange 10 to 16 hours a day for a wage. In the remaining 8 to 14 hours, I cooked, ate, did my laundry, went grocery shopping, socialized, and slept (a lot). Now that I am an entrepreneur, I have 24 hours a day, to work, cook, eat, do my laundry, go grocery shopping, socialize and sleep. One would think I would be more relaxed about time. But, this is not so. Now, all 24 hours are mine. I don't have to give up hours in exchange for a wage. In fact, I have no wage, and that's why I have all 24 of the hours to myself. This makes me think of yoga. I used to have a 10-pack, but now I have unlimited access to classes for a set price. The incentives are reversed. The less I go, the less I benefit. Time is like that. The less I use it wisely, the less I benefit. Today, I find myself hopping out of bed at dawn, jumping into the pool at 7:30, buzzing here, buzzing there all day long, zipping between cars whenever possible, maximizing time. Next time I encounter a lunatic weaving through traffic at break neck speed, I may even honk my approval. Slow drivers will have to endure my words of encouragement. "Learn to drive, grandpa!"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 3: Parallel Universe

Santhosh and Sahir have prevailed. My external hard drive is now connected! Now I am back in business.

The last batch of my kids are back to school this morning, with backpacks stuffed with new school supplies, bus passes hanging on their straps.

It is a new beginning - I must celebrate with a 9 o'clock yoga class.

But, this is not to happen. Down on the main boulevard, cars are inching along bumper to bumper. This is the parallel universe of moms and dads driving their kids to school, unknown to worker bees like my former self.

An abrupt right turn takes me to another parallel universe, the swimming pool on a weekday morning. Serene water, super-fit regulars, no wailing babies and defiant young moms - simply superb.

There are allegedly thirteen mathematically proven dimensions. I wonder if I just entered one on them.

In the afternoon, the kids come home. My youngest is unhappy. He overheard someone in the bus say that "Well, he doesn't count." I think back to my career as a worker bee. How often did I feel like I didn't count?

In the evening, I go to yoga. No "moaning yoginis" there today. Lovely. On the way home, Billy Joel sings "My Life" - Simply divine. "I don't care what you say anymore, this is my life. Go ahead with your own life, leave me alone."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 2: F12

The brave Santhosh calls again at 8 am. By then, I am wide awake, fully engaged to tackle the day, to achieve my dream. At 11 am, Santhosh suggests we reinstall Microsoft XP by tapping the F12 button for 10 to 20 seconds. If anyone ever tells you to hit F12, never succumb. This is an invitation to the black hole. I foolishly succumb, just as I foolishly succumbed to an X-ray for Charlie yesterday. Charlie is no longer limping. He is no longer moaning. He is barking and running around the neighborhood as if nothing happened. I feel like smacking him. 6 hours later, Sahir from Mumbai has succeeded in re-installing XP for me, but all my files are lost, and my external hard drive does not work. Sahir tells me his name means magician, but he knows no magic. I vaguely feel like smacking him, too.

Hours of conversation with India have taught me a few things.

Shoe string enterpreneurs cannot afford in-house IT support. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Just never tap F12.

IT problems provide unexpected time to practice yoga poses in front of the computer. When I was an employee, I did not dare strike a pose in front of my computer at work. Anything is possible when you are an entrepreneur.

IT problem solving takes time so pace yourself for drinks. All of Mumbai now knows that I left my son in charge while I was in the bathroom.

Day 1: Talk to me, Santhosh!

The first of the 200 days that lead to a successful career as entrepreneur, is fraught with challenges. My in-house IT support (aka husband) leaves for a business trip. Last night, my laptop started misbehaving. Today, I have spent 10 hours speaking to Microsoft technical support in New Dehli. Santhosh, my third specialist of the day, is very nice and responsive. He and I have traveled together through the Microsoft maze. Mid-day, I excuse myself to take my dog to the vet - Charlie has been moaning and limping around the house all morning. Three hours later, and $313 poorer, I return home. Immediately, Santhosh calls me. "Talk to me, Santhosh!", I say. We are now comrades in the battle against my external hard drive.


I am a Taurus. I like creature comfort, and material satisfaction. I favor all gods that are willing to help, and I hope they favor me too. Jeannie, the Tarot card reader, assures me that the major arcana Tower is in force. Therefore, major changes are in the making. Crone, the other major arcana, indicates an alternative new path that I could take. Jeannie says, there is no doubt that I should choose the new path. I hope she's right.


It all started with a dream. Four years ago, I moved from New York to the wonderful Bay Area. Three years ago, I had THE dream. Life was busy. Business was brisk. I was amazingly happy and energized. I couldn't waste time sleeping. I jumped out of bed to further my fortune. Then, I woke up.

Ever since, I have been meditating, sitting on the proverbial rock, seeking the ultimate dream job.