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Haunted by journaling

Journaling is haunting me. In different places, posts, blogs, podcasts, workshops or books, I get brainwashed by the wonders of journaling, what it can do for my morning as part of a morning ritual of meditation.

For many years, I thought if only I would journal, I would have a blog full of life, ideas that never end and a calm relaxed life, with my thoughts off my head every day, not haunting me for fear of being forgotten. I love a good empty page, be it on a book or a screen. To be fair, I even do better on a screen shining back with words filling faster than my hands think they can type and my eyes semi-shut to the wonders that can come by. I don't know what the end game is, I like it to go free. But I don't journal. I can't make up my mind if I want to give it a proper go or not, I don't like the feeling at "failing" some of these initiatives, I don't have much to say every day though I have random thoughts during the day that I which could be recor…
Recent posts

London FintechWeek - Day 1 Reflections

Today, I attended the day 1 of the London Fintech Week. It is exciting to have the opportunity to be part of such an event - personally and professionally.  I have done my formal work debrief so now want to focus on some reflections. 
The first session that called my attention was ‘Is London still the world’s financial center?’. by Nick Murray-Leslie. The speaker was clearly making a case for it but the more he provided the arguments for it, the gloomier I got about the prospects. Talent is key - and the environment is not prone to it as Brexit talks progress. And no, it is not all about Brexit but it certainly does not bode well for people wanting to hire across Europe and for talent looking for exciting opportunities. Moreover, in general terms and outside Brexit, I find that the world will be much less about where you are but rather about where you are connected. In a not so distant future it may not matter if we are based in London or Rome to do many of the jobs that converge in …

The Stigma of #Networking

I went to a good event on Monday, the Blockchain Alternative Investments Conference #baiconf, one of the first ones I attended around Blockchain, but more importantly, focused on institutional investors and banks. Was a bit of a killing that Goldman got mentioned 15 times within an  hour of the start of the conference. I liked it despite that, good content, focused on where I am focused, where will this go to become a ‘boring’ pension fund like type of investment. Good food for thought. 

But today I want to talk about the genesis of many of these conferences - networking. At some point the noise coming from people at the door chatting was so loud that I had trouble focusing on the speakers. Lunch was organised to continue this and off I went thinking how I could minimise it. Don’t get me wrong, I was meant to be networking and finding potential investment opportunities but i) I am not yet entirely comfortable in the space and ii) I was in so much pain and barely able to eat or speak de…

HBS Reunion (a year ahead of time). A world of opportunity

I sit in a Spangler couch. ‘It looks like an  expensive countryside hotel lounge’ my sister said when she first came to visit. It is all that except for the hotel part. Unbelievably comfortable for a solitude moment or a chat around a coffee table. Designed for both. 

I sit inside as Boston weather sticks to its reputation. 26 degrees for the 3rd day but rain has hit amidst the sun. Everyone is quick to reallocate. It is na odd environment, one where I am an outsider. It is not my reunion after all. And amongst all my strong interpersonal skills, I am still an introvert, which most people don’t recognise as truth (incl B really). Large social gatherings with people I don’t know get me exhausted. When I started going out with B, he was already out of the section ‘cult’ and I was full on my own cult. Our friends intersected in the international crowd and that was sufficient. And barely noticeable. But as I am here, with no offence, I belong nowhere. I am not in reunion but I am also not …

Today we lost Belide

Today was a sad day for us at A Little Gesture. We lost Belide. Belide lost his life. 

I was at Pilates at the end of a tough week. After a rough start with a visit to the A&E and a bloody head with the little one, the rest of the meeting was focused on work - meetings, power point slides, initiatives, strategy, KPIs. At ALG, all I can think about are the accounts, getting them done, getting Joana trained so I can sometime start wearing my CEO hat. All mundane, all put in perspective the moment I saw the message coming into my watch. Belide died. 
I felt that was the one thing I could not add to my day, to my week. So much time spent trying to give each child an opportunity, and now this one is lost forever. 

Belide was barely 18 years old and he was part of our HIV day center. He was an orphan. A bright kid, with a touching smile. He feature in our 2015 Xmas Calendar so I can share a bit more about him: 
"Always on time at the HIV Day Care Centre, he plays a lot and he’s finally…

How Natalie helped me frame my Vision... without knowing it!

I have been listening to the Bizchix podcast a lot.
The latest and trigger for driving this letter was Episode 310. It was na On Air Coaching call with Amber Hawley, an inspired woman with multiple ideas and clearly out of breath in talking about what she wants to do. It resonated with me - outside the intense family life, the charity - working on vs in the business, the startups, the coaching, the teaching, the writing, the board seat and oh, the day job, my current career. So different but yet so similar, especially in that I don't own a business but then I really do. I run 2 charities with 6 figure turnovers. The reason it appealed to me, is that Natalie was a star about putting the anxiety of ‘oh my god what will I do next’ in perspective. There are at least another 40 years of career ahead of me. I don't need to do all my ideas in the next 5 years. Or 10 even. As new ideas will certainly emerge and take the place of the not so good ones. But there is always an urgency of…

I have a dream...

I have a dream, a dream that I can do something else.  I dream that I can create something powerful. I dream that I can be part of something meaningful. I dream that I can help people. And in my head, this dream can be one and many streams together.  When I was a kid, I wanted to be "the owner of dad's company". Somewhere there, it was always clear I would end up working for myself, even when I did not know what that meant. Today, I know what it means, and I still have not changed my mind.  For the first five year years of my career, I helped companies execute on their transactions, achieve their desired deals, evaluate opportunities to grow. Yes, I was an investment banker. And I still say this proudly. I built the discipline and systematic analytics to dig deep, think big and execute. In HBS, this all made sense as each day I got to know three new companies that I could learn about, investigate, analyse, strategize. It was this desire for critical challenge that made me e…