Work place, women and productivity

I am generalizing and discriminating when I say that in a meeting women take notes and men don’t.

There are always exceptions to this and there are men who are avid list makers and great Product, Program and Project Managers. I have huge respect for them since they make lives of the contributors so much easier. But my experience in many years in work force, consulting and otherwise has made me realize that when it comes to creating meeting agenda, taking notes, sharing next steps and action items, it is usually done with the women in the team irrespective of the role. If she is not doing it, it is only because she knows that there is another person in the room who is taking care of it.

This is especially challenging when the teams are small and there isn’t a luxury of having a project manager, program manager or a secretary on the project. My assumption is that the task of setting up the agenda, expectations, documenting the minutes and action items falls upon the Product/Project Manager or Owner. The excuses range from:

  • I have it all in my head and you can reach out to me anytime if you have a question.
  • I can’t be doing all these, I have better things to do by owning this vision.
  • I don’t believe in making lists and wasting paper.
  • I’d rather be checking my emails while you all discuss the details of my product/project.
  • I am not good with words.
  • I can’t write.

What they don’t really say out loud is “It is a girl thing” because we still have not evolved to think that I can do everything a girl can even if that means more streamlined meetings that are effective and saves everyone time.

My tip to you visionaries – make a list, it will free your mind to do greater and better things. And if you make your list to run effective meetings, you will have a team to collaborate and follow on your vision.

Why Upstart is brilliant

Few weeks ago, a Sophomore High student told me he enjoys investing in stocks and looking at trends. I was inspired by his enthusiasm to commit to opening an investment account of $1k for him to play with and do it for real.

My nephew started his own iPhone repair gig while in high-school and managed to buy his own camera equipment, devices etc. with his own earnings. There are kids starting ventures in high-school and whenever I meet them and listen to them, I want to support them in whatever possible way I can not that I have deep pockets but I have my time to mentor them, few hundred dollars to show my encouragement and find ways to tell them that I believe in them and am willing to take a chance with them. These are the kids that make me wonder why PayPal or banks need to have a minimum age of 18 for these kids to open accounts-maybe for adults like us to discover them.

When I came across Upstart, I had just wrapped up my gig with a Mentoring Platform company and felt we need a disruptive way of investing in the future. Upstart allowed me to open my account quickly with just a couple of qualifying questions and I was on my way to put aside my money. Also I am one of those people who do first and think later so I instantly transferred $500 through my PayPal account and was ready to find young talent that inspired me.

It is easy to gravitate towards what you know – looking for your own individuals my Alma Mater – California College of Arts – Design MBA program. When I could not find any, I browsed further to find other candidates who wanted to do something in Education, Health and Community. Very soon from my short list, I picked 2 women. I couldn’t help my gender bias and a need to find a way to uplift other woman.

What made it easy for me to jump on this experience is:

  1. My personal belief in investing in future generation through mentorship and investments
  2. My comfort with micro-loans from my experience with Lending Club and Kiva
  3. Ability to quickly transfer funds through PayPal and other payment methods of my choosing
  4. My own prior experience of why I could not follow my dream of starting my venture first when I graduated from Fine Art college and very recently from the DMBA program.
  5. It was the best way to put my money where my passion is – investing in future.
  6. It gives me an opportunity to chose to mentor the person I am contributing to if and when that individual needs mentoring. This increase the chance for me to follow up on my investment.

My husband and I have consistently tried to support artist and designers through buying art, funding design projects or offering interning/work opportunities for people with no experience but with lot of passion. We don’t consider ourselves as collectors or investors (don’t even have a way to boot-strap my own start-up) but we would like to do whatever we can to encourage passionate individual committed to doing great things in the future.

Growth Model

On a personal basis there is a mis-match my relationship with money. I did not have money when I needed it most – when I went to school, when I moved to America, when I went to school, when I had my kids in middle of school, the jobs I picked because I could not survive without them. Now that I have little bit of money, I am not comfortable with who can invest for ideas, whom to invest in, what happens to our investment, who manages it, who really makes the money etc. Upstart finally provided me a way to make the best use of. I believe Upstart provides a model for sustainable growth for individuals, investors and development of community without putting middle-man with fat pockets in it.

I am comfortable with an average of 8% of returns or lesser. It is still more than what my savings account or CDs give me. This may change how I feel about writing checks to individual charities vs. individuals who want to make that trip to Haiti to volunteer their time to teach kids there.

Upstart is still focused on recent graduates from few school but very soon I expect them to disrupt lot of traditional models of what we do with our money. Will you be comfortable investing on individuals on Upstart?