Contemplating A Blogging Break
Nov 4 2009

I’m seriously considering a very long blogging break while I figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  Or shall I say what I want this blog to be as it grows up.  The posts have been kind of random lately…a bit out of focus like I feel these days.

I was having lunch with one of my advisers today who always pumps me up.   He’s almost 70 years old and calls himself a recycled dad because he has grand kids older than his youngest kids.  I like him a lot because he’s used to working with strong, smart, professional women.  In the company he founded some 30 years ago when it wasn’t cool to hire women in senior positions, he had the most on his team.  He always jokes that he knows that women are the ones who get things done.  I think he grew up with 4 sisters.  He told me no matter what happens that I should be confident in 3 things about myself.  I told him I’ll put those 3 things on a note on the mirror or at least repeat them to myself.  It’s nice to have people believe in you!  He also said something like don’t worry about how things didn’t work out, just change your perspective and move forward.

I think I’ve mentioned that I’m interested in the bioscience/health care field, and I’m figuring out how I can use my current job to find opportunities to learn more about those industries.  I’m also enjoying my time singing and learning more about singing.  I wonder if I can combine some sort of music with biotech and create an interesting business…

So while I make some decisions, I’ll leave you with a post by Seth Godin and some song lyrics by Bob Dylan that my friend Robb Lanum has been sending out the last several weeks on our email club.  I know Robb via his cousin Jay, who is married to Sandy (link to her photo site).   Oh the things that get written on that email club…I hope never see the light of day.  At least I’m never planning to run for political office!  I never listened to Bob Dylan growing up and don’t really know much about him but Robb has been randomly sending out these lyrics and they have been strangely poignant.

I hope you all will still be here when I get back.

Make a decision – by Seth Godin

It doesn’t have to be a wise decision or a perfect one. Just make one.

In fact, make several. Make more decisions could be your three word mantra.

No decision is a decision as well, the decision not to decide. Not deciding is usually the wrong decision. If you are the go-to person, the one who can decide, you’ll make more of a difference. It doesn’t matter so much that you’re right, it matters that you decided.

Of course it’s risky and painful. That’s why it’s a rare and valuable skill.

Summer Days – Bob Dylan 2001

Summer days, summer nights are gone
Summer days and the summer nights are gone
I know a place where there’s still somethin’ going on

I got a house on a hill, I got hogs all out in the mud
I got a house on a hill, I got hogs out lying in the mud
Got a long haired woman, she got royal Indian blood

Everybody get ready – lift up your glasses and sing
Everybody get ready to lift up your glasses and sing
Well, I’m standin’ on the table, I’m proposing a toast to the King

Well I’m drivin’ in the flats in a Cadillac car
The girls all say, “You’re a worn out star”
My pockets are loaded and I’m spending every dime
How can you say you love someone else when you notice me all the time?

Well, the fog’s so thick you can’t spy the land
The fog is so thick that you can’t even spy the land
What good are you anyway, if you can’t stand up to some old businessman?

Wedding bells ringin’, the choir is beginning to sing
Yes, the wedding bells are ringing and the choir is beginning to sing
What looks good in the day, at night is another thing

She’s looking into my eyes, she’s holding my hand
She’s looking into my eyes, she’s holding my hand
She says, “You can’t repeat the past.” I say, “You can’t? What do you mean you can’t? Of course you can.”

Where do you come from? Where do you go?
Sorry that is nothin’ you would need to know
Well, my back has been to the wall for so long, it seems like it’s stuck
Why don’t you break my heart one more time just for good luck

I got eight carburetors, boys I’m using ‘em all
Well, I got eight carburetors and boys, I’m using ‘em all
I’m short on gas, my motor’s starting to stall

My dogs are barking, there must be someone around
My dogs are barking, there must be someone around
I got my hammer ringin’, pretty baby, but the nails ain’t goin’ down

You got something to say, speak or hold your peace
Well, you got something to say, speak now or hold your peace
If it’s information you want you can go get it from the police

Politician got on his jogging shoes
He must be running for office, got no time to lose
He been suckin’ the blood out of the genius of generosity
You been rolling your eyes – you been teasing me

Standing by God’s river, my soul is beginnin’ to shake
Standing by God’s river, my soul is beginnin’ to shake
I’m countin’ on you love, to give me a break

Well, I’m leaving in the morning as soon as the dark clouds lift
Yes, I’m leaving in the morning just as soon as the dark clouds lift
Gonna break the roof in – set fire to the place as a parting gift

Summer days, summer nights are gone
Summer days, summer nights are gone
I know a place where there’s still somethin’ going on

Spirit on the Water – Bob Dylan 2006

Spirit on the water
Darkness on the face of the deep
I keep thinking about you babe
And I can’t hardly sleep

I’m traveling by land
Traveling through the dawn of day
You’re always on my mind
I can’t stay away

I’d forgotten about you
Then you turned up again
I always knew
We were meant to be more than friends

When you are near
It’s just as plain as it can be
I’m wild about you, gal
You ought to be a fool about me

Can’t explain
The sources of this hidden pain
You burned your way into my heart
And you got the key to my brain

I’ve been trampling through mud
Praying to the powers above
I’m sweating blood
You got a face that begs for love

Life without you
Doesn’t mean a thing to me
If I can’t have you,
I’ll throw my love into the deep blue sea

Sometimes I wonder
Why you can’t treat me right
You do good all day
Then you do wrong all night

When you’re with me
I’m a thousand times happier than I could ever say
What does it matter
What price I pay?

They brag about your sugar
Brag about it all over town
Put some sugar in my bowl
I feel like laying down

I’m pale as a ghost
Holding a blossom on a stem
You ever seen a ghost? No
But you have heard of them

I see you there
I’m blinded by the colors I see
I take good care
Of what belongs to me

I hear your name
Ringing up and down the line
I’m saying it plain
These ties are strong enough to bind

Your sweet voice
Calls out from some old familiar shrine
I got no choice
Can’t believe these things would ever fade from your mind

I could live forever
With you perfectly
You don’t ever
Have to make a fuss over me

From East to West
Ever since the world began
I’m only in it for the best
I want to be with you any way I can

I been in a brawl
Now I’m feeling the wall
I’m going away baby
I won’t be back ‘til fall

High on the hill
You can carry all my thoughts with you
You’ve numbed my will
This love could tear me in two

I wanna be with you in paradise
And it seems so unfair
I can’t go to paradise no more
I killed a man back there

You think I’m over the hill
You think I’m past my prime
Let me see what you got
We can have a whoppin’ good time

Author: | Filed under: blogging, random stuff | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

About Writing
Sep 24 2009

I’m sure many of you have noticed that I’m not writing as frequently as I have in the past on my blog.  This is due to a variety of things being led by lack of time and inspiration as well as logistics.  I have also been doing some personal hand written journaling so some of my writing needs have been met through that avenue.  The thing about writing, at least for me, is that I often have to have a spark of inspiration to start something and then it usually flows.

When I started this blog over 2 years ago now, I felt like I was forced to write because I started it as a tool to promote and build awareness of my business, Babble Soft.  So I dutifully wrote.  Somewhere along the way, the duty wore off and I started to enjoy it.  The comments helped but even when the comments weren’t numerous, I knew hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people were reading (thanks to feedburner, google analytics, and wordpress stats tools), and I was getting something out of it too.

It has became a vehicle for me to sort through and share insights in business, parenting, and life in a somewhat thoughtful, crafted, connect the dots sort of way.  For some of my posts I take all the swirling raw thoughts and attempt to distill them down into something usually coherent and sometimes imbibed with meaning that only myself or those close to me can sometimes fully understand.  Yet hopefully most people take something away that helps them in business or life…or if not maybe it’s sometimes entertaining?

Since I’ve started blogging, I have come to better appreciate the nuances of writers whose works we analyzed in depth in high school or college English classes.  As much as we try to infer from their writing what they were experiencing or trying to convey, we will miss much of it.  We probably made up stuff that actually never crossed the writer’s mind at all and did not pay attention to certain words and phrases that were full of meaning to the writer herself, but to other than maybe a few people who shared her space in time would be summarily dismissed.  As a woman writer, I’m particularly aware of how women writer’s even 50+ years ago had to make sure their writing not only lived up to their image as the fairer, weaker, well mannered, and sublime sex but also didn’t offend those who could not fathom the depth of a woman’s knowledge, insight, and passion.

As a South Asian, naturalized American, woman writer writing on the topic of entrepreneurship, leadership, management, (the aforementioned still typically a man’s world) and parenting, whose family sometimes reads her blog, I choose my words as carefully as I can.  Outside the blog, the words sometimes come out a lot messier, less filtered, and a bit more humorous for some reason.  The constraints and richness those life experiences and labels give me have added greatly to what moderate success I have achieved as well as sometimes to my self imposed dramatic misery.  :-)

I have made two attempts to write a larger body of work to publish.  One was a fiction novel I started back in 2001 after leaving my first company about a devastatingly handsome, blue-eyed, Jewish male CEO, an Asian female CEO, their relationship, and their different experiences starting technology companies.  I created an outline, table of contents, and generated probably about 16 pages and then soon after got pregnant.  My first readers (my sister and cousin) seemed to like it, but because life with kids started I left it sitting idly in my computer. Fortunately I printed it out because in one of our upgrades, the soft copy disappeared.  I’ve since scanned it back in and one day hope to do something with it.

The second attempt was to write a book on the meaning of life which I discovered most people were uncomfortable talking about so I morphed it to the meaning of success.  I got many more people to speak with me but couldn’t really find the right way to pull it together or an interested publisher, so I morphed that project into the university alumni magazine articles on the Success Profiles page of this blog.  The great thing was that I actually got paid for those articles!

I sometimes get frustrated at not having the time or energy to finish that fiction novel, but I keep recalling something that one of the wives of the people I interviewed for the Meaning of Success book said.  She was a writer and interestingly she wrote about being a vegetarian and hating people who eat meat I think, but she said ‘let the writing marinate in the juices of your life.’   Which thinking about that statement right now is ironic considering you probably marinate meat more than you marinate vegetables.  But anyway, she said writing can’t be rushed and it will happen when the time is right.  Whenever I say this on my email club of college friends, my screen writer by night and document proofer friend by day, Robb Lanum, who lives in Los Angeles, gives me a hard time and tells me what he pictures when I say that.  A description of his vision is not suitable for this blog but it has something to do with the word ‘juices,’ and he’s a guy so you can probably infer the rest!

On an unrelated note, Robb finally finished a script based on a challenge I gave him two years ago to write a main stream script.  He completed it a few weeks ago and I, The Annoying Challenger, still have not had the time to read it and others on our email club have already read it.  It pains me actually.

So I keep wondering when all this marinating will be done and when the juices of life will be more manageable so I can write a book that might get published some day…

Oh and by the way, stay tuned for some interesting news about Babble Soft in the next few weeks! 8-)

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When Does Your Day Job Become Your Job?
Sep 16 2008

A friend of mine, Robb Lanum, recently sent me a link to an article on The Onion called Day Job Officially Becomes Job.  For those of you who haven’t heard of The Onion, it’s a hilarious publication that makes fun of everything and everyone.  Most of the articles I’ve read from them make me laugh or say repeatedly “eww, that’s gross!”  Take for instance a recent, funny article called Woman Always Really Excited To Be In Whatever Relationship Status She’s Currently In

Robb did an impromptu guest post on my blog a while back about the writer’s strike.   He blogs at The Robblog and has been trying for years (probably over a decade) to make it big in the California screen writing scene.  He’s made progress and slowly but surely moves his writing career forward or at least makes it more visible by blogging about his experiences.  

Robb sent me the link to the article on The Onion because he himself took a day job over four years ago, and he knows the plusses and minuses of having a day job and trying to build your business, your brand, your writing career, etc.  He knew I could relate.  I’ve been at my day job for not yet 3 ½ months (seems longer) and so far overall it has been a good decision for a variety of reasons, one of which being my husband struck it out on his own to consult and someone had to have the stable job with benefits in the family. :-)  

But this day job article by the Onion is not funny.  It was written back in February 2004 and begins with “Another human dream was crushed by the uncompromising forces of reality Monday, when the restaurant day job of 29-year-old former aspiring cartoonist Mark Seversen officially became his actual job.”  

It then goes on to say “When I was younger, my attitude was ‘Never give in,’” Seversen said. “Nowadays, my attitude is ‘Get real, dumbass.’ If I have any advice for all the young aspiring painters, novelists, and rock musicians out there, it’s probably that they should quit following their dreams before they rack up a lot of credit-card debt. The sooner you accept your real job, the sooner you can start to build up seniority and get on board with the pension plan.” 

I expected to be laughing at the end of the article, but found myself frowning instead.  Then I thought, “Phew, I’m sure glad being an entrepreneur trying to build a web business after hours is not like trying to be a writer, painter, rock musician, or actor on the side! And working for The University of Texas at Austin isn’t like working in a restaurant.”  

Or is it?

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, random stuff | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Success To Me – Robb Lanum
Aug 31 2007

As some of you may know, I co-write articles on the topic of success for university alumni magazines with my wonderful writing partner Pam Losefsky. Our latest article for The University of Texas at Austin’s alumni magazine, The Alcalde, is about Robb Lanum, a husband, father of two and a writer with published script credits to his name. Robb blogs at the Robblog.  Our goal with this endeavor is to get people thinking about what success means to them by reading about how others define success. Click here to see additional articles we have written.

A correction: The Alcalde gave me credit for taking the picture of Robb, but I did not take it since I live in Austin, TX and he lives in sunny CA.  We conducted the interview over the phone.  His lovely and very talented wife, Michelle Campion, took it. :-D

successlanum.jpg

Author: | Filed under: success, success story, working father | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments »