Category Archives: Adventurer

Focusing on Your “Inner-net”: Life-changing Insights from an Inspiring Googler Named Gopi

January 8, 2017 Adventurer, Books, Internet, Self Work, Technology

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Last week I shared a New Year’s post that suggested 5 books to read asap to prepare yourself for acing your goals and living your best life in 2017. One of those books was, “The Internet to the Inner-Net,” by Gopi Kallayil. Gopi is the Chief Evangelist for Brand Marketing at Google and, like many of us in the tech industry, lives a very fast-paced and high-tech existence. In the book, which is a collection of short essays, Gopi shares his adventures in, and lessons for, conscious, mindful living.

In a world in which the Internet is “always on” and clamoring for our attention, Gopi reminds us that, “ …the most important technology is right here, inside us. It is our inner-net, our brain, our body, our mind, our breath, our consciousness – the set of personal technologies that we carry with us everywhere.” His essays are inspirational tales chock-full of actionable ideas for “living consciously, living with full engagement and working with well-developed sciences, such as yoga and meditation…so that we can live in harmony and balance with the outer.”

The book covers topics from optimizing your time (and the myth of multi-tasking) to finding one’s meaning and purpose to the benefits of sleep, gratitude, yoga, and more. Two exercises to try immediately (I am only sharing two – buy the book here!):

1) 5 Essentials: These are the 5 organizing principles for your life. Figuring these out helps you best allocate your time and makes it easy to quickly say “no” to doing things that are nonessential.
2) 10 Things to Do with the Next Hour: If you had one extra hour each day, what would be the next one thing (up to 10 things) you would choose to do with it to maximize your quality of joy, presence and life?

Small Sacrifice for Big Impact

One of the essays in the book is called, “Ordinary People Can Have an Extraordinary Impact.”  In it, Gopi shares that one year he stopped enjoying expensive Frappuccinos and, instead, used the money to provide monthly loans via Kiva.org. I fell in love with the idea and adapted my own spin to it. As my purpose is to empower entrepreneurs and be a champion of diversity and equality in the tech/business worlds and beyond, I will be making one loan a month to a female entrepreneur chosen via Kiva. I plan to support female entrepreneurs in different countries across the globe, and my intention is to visit these women during my travels. Perhaps one day I will write a book telling their stories of courage, determination and hustle.

For my first loan, I chose to start here at home with Shawna, a mother of four, living in Cape Coral, Florida.  Shawna, who is a serial entrepreneur, is starting a new business that is very near and dear to my heart – it is called Furbabies Rescue and Doggie Daycare.

Go get em’ Shawna!

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#dobetterbebetter
#manifestthebest
#crushyourgoals

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work Hard / Adventure Hard

August 24, 2013 Adventurer, Outdoor Adventure

Well, I disappeared from blogging again. But I am back! I have been busy this past year helping to launch and grow my 6th VC backed startup – a DIY rich-media digital magazine called Glossi. Glossi has been a nice change for me as my last two startups were in the SMB space. Glossi is a Consumer Internet, Digital Publishing and Content Marketing play. My role, per usual, has included a bit of operations, team-building and process implementation, along with a great deal sales, marketing and partnerships. Glossi is my first startup that has truly allowed me to merge my love of starting companies with some of my other passions, specifically Fashion and Entertainment. In the first 6 months of our Beta, DKNY, Brian Atwood, Nina Garcia, Lionsgate, Conde Nast and Heart were among our early adopters. I am truly having a blast with this one!

I have also been busy with some great outdoor adventures. Here are some fun pics:

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BetterWorks, My New Adventure

December 14, 2010 Adventurer, Bootstrapping, Business, Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Startups, Uncategorized

Last Tuesday I started a new gig at yet another early-stage company.   The company is called BetterWorks, and we are located on 3rd Street Promenade (very close to where I live – this is always ideal when living the “startup” life).  I did not, of course, take on this new adventure solely due to location.   I was an immediate fan of the idea and business model, but was truly sold upon meeting with the founders.   After all, building a successful company is not about the idea, it is about the execution.   And the three founder of Betterworks have a long history of “crushing it.”  BW was founded by three serial entrepreneurs: Paige Craig – founder of The Lincoln Group and LA’s most prolific Angel Investor, Zao Yang – inventor of Farmville (sold to Zynga), and George Ishii -co- founder at Yammer and Geni.com.

The below is a ThisWeekInStartups clip of my former Docstoc CEO, Jason Nazar, talking with my current bossman, Paige Craig, about investment themes, startups, and Paige’s military background. Watch, listen and learn as this is a good one!

You are probably wondering what we do at this point.  I can’t share that yet, but look forward to posting more about our offering and our progress soon. For now, you can learn some info by checking out www.betterworks.com and following our blog.

BW is moving faster than any startup I have either worked at or with. Pretty exhilarating!  I have been moving at lightspeed since the second I walked in the door and I am loving every minute of it.  Speed is key in building a successful company, particularly in the tech space. In fact, it is a part of the 8 key drivers of the BW culture (TIP: if you do not have the defining points of your culture written down and shared with your employees, do so now! And while you’re at it read Delivering Happiness by Zappos’ CEO).

One last share- for those that think the early startup life is glamorous, check out the below photo.  That is our office – 4 people in 100 sq ft. room with cardboard tables and empty computer boxes for desks.  Nothing like a little sacrifice to make the reward of building a kickass company that much sweeter.

Puppies and Startups

November 28, 2010 Adventurer, Startups

Three months ago I entered into what is one of the biggest adventures I have ever undertaken.  I rescued a puppy.  I had been toying with idea of getting a dog for about 5 years (yes, 5 years).  Two things held me back: my startup life and New York City.  But I now live in sunny Santa Monica in a bungalow with a spacious yard.  Even so, it still took me two years, as my startup hours remained an obstacle.  Then, a friend posted a photo of a puppy she was fostering on Facebook and I fell in love.  I am now the proud mother of a Pit / Black Lab pup named Joanie (after Joan Jett, of course).

I have been working on balance (as just about every entrepreneur will tell you) since – well…..birth.  And rescuing a month-old, wildly energetic puppy provided me with an instantaneous, and sometimes overwhelming, priority outside of work.  Luckily, I have been in consulting mode as of late and have had more flexibility with regards to spending time with my pup. (I am starting a new gig very soon so stay tuned as this adventure evolves!).

To date, my life with Joanie has very much felt like a TV sitcom – chasing her down after she jumps out of the tub and spreads bubbles all over my house, stumbling over myself as she charges down the beach, sporting bite marks on my arms and bite holes in my clothes,  etc .  But it is all worth it, as I have a new best friend and we have tons of fun. 

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about how raising this puppy is very similar, in many ways, to my experiences launching Internet businesses. 

1)      It is exhilarating and exhausting all at once
2)      It requires dealing with all kinds of shit – and lots of it!
3)      Every day (hour, minute, second) brings something new
4)      It is anybody’s guess exactly how big it will be
5)      Some days the growth and progress are tremendous, others not so much
6)      It requires a great deal of stamina and patience
7)      Success in training has more to do with the owner than the dog / success in startups has more to do with the team than the idea
8)      It can be more rewarding than you ever imagined

Of course, companies don’t eagerly await for you to get home, look at you with adorable puppy eyes, or want to lick/kiss your face off.  If you don’t have one and want one, go for it.  There are way too many dogs out there that need great homes.  Check out People For Paws for assistance.

Greetings WORLD WIDE WEB!

January 5, 2009 Adventurer, Business, Entrepreneurship, Outdoor Adventure

Does anyone really call it that anymore? No need to answer. I think I just like the dramatic impact of “WORLD WIDE WEB.” I certainly have been told I have a flair for the dramatic.

So it is the first of the year and I am finally creating my first blogpost. I am officially a blogger in the blogosphere! Of course there are umpteen million blahblahblogs so I’ve been thinking about how to differentiate myself (yes, I’m a business chick). I’ve put some thought into why anyone (YOU) would want to read my musings over all the rest of the blahblahbloggers. I’ve also thought about why/how I came to read the blogs that I frequent. I concluded that I pick my blogs upon a mix of the 2 Es: education and entertainment. I am always reading to expand my mind but I need that entertainment factor – which most often comes in the form of the tone, presentation and overall personality conveyed by the blogger. So I figure if you somehow landed at www.robynmward.com, you are going to want to get a very quick taste for I’m all about to decipher whether or not you’ll visit me again.Pictures speak 1,000 words so here is my photo introduction to myself (man, this is a bit new and weird) – Robyn the Adventurer.


Yes, my “Robyn the Adventurer” intro qualifies as cheesy, but I think the photos back me up and prove me an adventurer in the truest sense. Indeed, my life has always been defined by exploration and adventure. It is what led me from the Midwest to Los Angeles for college and then New York City for an amazingly adventurous decade and now back to LA. In my professional life, I am an entrepreneur, which is absolutely synonymous with adventurer. I have been at some very successful and some very, well, not-so-successful start-ups over the past decade and man has it been quite a ride! My newest career adventure is heading up Business Development for www.docstoc.com. Go check it out – trust me you will want to add it to your favorites so you can find any document/template you will ever need fast, easy and, oh yeah, for FREE.

I will wrap it up here and hope I have won you over. I certainly promise to both educate and entertain you with stories/insights related to all my adventures in business, travel, spirit, and life in general.

Stay tuned ……………..And always ask yourself “what would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”