✅My learnings leading Investments

  1. The VC Reality:

This post is for those who want an insider view of a typical day in a VC’s life and how can you do it better.

I wanted to write this to share how my days look, and what frameworks and tools I use every day to do my bit right. While I am in the VC industry, this post could be useful to anyone who has a job where they were multiple hats.

The VC Reality:

Instagram @venturegod

After recovering from a shock like this, this is what I do in a day…

What I do in a day

The day in life of a VC is so unpredictable. It starts with breakfast meetings as early as 7.30 or 8.00 AM or sometimes even earlier — a sport session together or a long walk with a partner, fellow VC, or an entrepreneur.

Why is that? This is because time is the most important resource and it needs to be maximised for efficiency at all times.

What helps me: Thus automating repetitive tasks is paramount. A simple example to illustrate this: Coordinating with other to find time in diaries can seem like a simple task that takes about 2–3 minutes. But imagine setting up 5 meetings per day that is 10 –15 minutes and 3 -5 minutes to write each of these emails, it eats up so much time over time.

Time spent per day on cal invites → 5 (# of meetings) x 3 (minutes spent looking at your diary) *5 (time for writing an email , and marking the diary)= 75mts, say an hour! An hour a day spent on setting up calendar invites.

Context switching:

Once I start my day, i.e start responding to emails, some of them are scheduled replies from last night. I juggle multiple hats throughout the day.

As a VC I am constantly switching between thinking like an entrepreneur vs. an investor vs. a mentor vs. a salesperson. While it is a good problem to have that you have so much responsibility on your shoulder, it is important to find chunks of time to do each of these activities without being too distracted.

For example, allocate certain hours per day or few days of the week for specific activities. This is the hard bit and I found this difficult to manage as there are always ad-hoc tasks that crop up.

Research says, it can take up to 20 minutes to get your focus back once distracted. Thus to be in a state of “Flow” it is important to do one thing at a time.

Multitasking is overrated. Yes, I said it!

Creating a Brand:

Part of my job is also creating a brand image and brand presence. This includes going to events, and demo days, hosting events, writing blogs Lightspeed, Nfx, a16z, Twitter feed — think Naval, and creating content that is valuable to entrepreneurs. Sometimes, these are also white papers in partnerships with industry experts.

Most VC blogs — Online assets are one of the best ways to attract great entrepreneurs and talent.

For this, I use tools such as pocket, notion, or plain old Apple notes to clip articles that I want to read later.

Deal work — Inbound and Outbound

Apart from responding to inbounds and i also reach out to entrepreneurs that i find interesting. Getting to the best of deal flow includes a very disciplined effort of churning through data, automating reach outs and keeping up the conversation.

Well after all this, I remind myself “Being busy is not progress”!!!

🫂The difference between VCs and other professions:

  1. The VC club is extremely well connected for various reasons including discussing deals, ideas, and talent.
  2. Everyone, read most of the VCs are very open to getting on a call for a quick chat
  3. The VCs are trying to make this asset class as transparent as possible — in terms of process, frameworks, investment criteria, etc.

🕓 Tools that I use to manage my day:

  • Calendly — This saves so much time and a lifesaver.
  • Motion — A tool that is much cooler than Calendly and automates your diary based on task priorities
  • Notion — For everything, it is advertised for.
  • Grammarly — This tool saves me the embarrassment from typos, better sentence construction, punctuation etc.
  • Eventbrite — All things events
  • Linkedin — All things networking

👉🏻👀I would love to know your thoughts on what productivity tools you use.

💯 Qualitative skills that can't be emphasised enough to be successful as a female VC

  1. Expectation management — both internally and externally. Setting the right expectation in terms of what you can do, how much, and by when is very important.
  2. Communication: In this job, over-communication is important and preferred. It is also important to communicate things earlier than later.
  3. Physiological safety: Use the first few months at the firm to evaluate them as much as they do you.
  4. Analyse the following if you are in the investment team:

a. The deal team is open-minded, diverse and is inclusive

b. Solid TeamThe investment team brings in some startup experience, founder experience, or industry experience. It is very rare and hard to build a Tier 1 VC without these.

c. Learning and Quality chat— Just having a superstar founder Partner isn't important. They need to spend time coaching, and mentoring the rest of the deal team. Analyse how much face time you get with them.

5. Setting Boundaries — This is the most important of them all. Especially when you are new to the industry, you might feel like you have to prove your worth, or the classic imposter syndrome will knock your door. Don’t give in! You are in and that means you are worth it.

If you read till here, you really want to be a VC, don't you? Bonus question for you:

Is VC art or science? tbc….