Live the life you want

I recently read a story about Steve Jobs and his final days.

Essentially, on his death bed, Jobs realized the “non-stop pursuit of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me.” He continued that “God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth”

As I am now in my 40s, I’m spending more and more time contemplating how I live from this point forward.

I’ve made some great choices and I’ve made some that were not so great.

Now, as I reflecting on my collective experience, I realize I have the choice of how I live my life.

I know my kids will only have one childhood and I will be an integral part of it.

But how I decided to spend time with the people outside of my family, is where the real opportunity lies to proactively live the life I want.

To pursue entrepreneurs and companies doing cool, innovative things with purpose.

To continue to express the need for humanity to provide food, water, shelter and security to every living person.

To meditate and be present in everything and every relationship I pursue.

Love can travel a thousand miles. 

Life has no limit. 

Go where you want to go. 

Reach the height you want to reach.

 It is all in your heart and in your hands.

– Steve Jobs


Live the life you want

Gratitude

I find myself in one of the most grounded, healthy and happy places I think I’ve ever been.

While the constant ups and downs of life still continue, I have found an internal compass magnetized by gratitude and pointing me in the direction of happiness.

This has not been an easy or short path.

It has not been without obstacles especially those self-imposed.

But as of now, I am in tune.

Much love.

Gratitude

New Beginnings

Yesterday we officially opened our new office at 65 N. Moore in Tribeca.

I couldn’t be more proud of my team and the entrepreneurs that helped us get here.

I started Brad Harrison Ventures, the predecessor to Scout Ventures, almost 8 years ago at a small Ikea desk in the corner of my bedroom.   From the first day when Niko Herman showed up to be an intern, I knew we were going to have fun.

We moved from my apartment into a squatter situation in midtown.   That office and part of the city just wasn’t a fit for us

But when John Ryu, my original venture partner, decided to leave WebMD, we moved back to Tribeca and found a brand new Regus with a spacious one room office at 99 Hudson Street.

From that office, we grew to four people, all of us unpaid.  We started to raise capital and invest. Our earliest investments in GateGuru and Olapic have both paid out significant returns and provided our LPs liquidity.

Then we decided to move to the basement of 47 Murray Street.  The office was really cool and provided us ample space to grow and expand our footprint.  Additionally, our home on Murray Street was super convenient – across the street from Equinox and only about a 1-minute walk from home.

It was in that basement that we built our initial bunker of good entrepreneurs, friends, Veterans and our advisors.  Our portfolio company, UniteUS grew from an idea to a 35 person entity provided SaaS products to help coordinate care in the human and health services sectors including Veterans.  Greensbury grew from an idea into an operating company with CEO, Ted Hopper, my old friend and colleague from AOL. We have also incubated a few other startups to include AssurelyAssurely, PortfolioWatch, MercuryXchange and a few others.

Now as we look forward to the future, we identify ourselves as investors, co-builders, and entrepreneurs.   We are now in the process of raising Fund III.  We have never been more excited about the future.  Our next step is to find the right institutional investors who can recognize all that we have been able to accomplish with limited capital, perseverance and a ton of heart.

Thanks for all the hard work from my team especially Brendan Syron, Dan Brillman and Andrew Price for helping me with the move in more ways than one.

My success is nothing without people to share it with.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbradley.c.harrison%2Fvideos%2F10154505575761846%2F&show_text=0&width=400

 

 

New Beginnings

Podcasting, greed and not wasting time on bad people.

So today is Day 3 of my podcasting adventure and I realized it’s not as much about actual podcasting.  In fact, the idea of recording my thoughts and sharing with people has been something I’ve been trying to do for quite some time.

Recently, my Facebook live shamanistic flute performance received a lot of positive feedback. I think people appreciated the raw creativity.

I realized that the podcast will require a lot of work to build a meaningful audience, but I am committed to trying to share interesting content.

As part of that, today I decided to mix the mediums from written and spoken word, as if I was hosting my own virtual open mic spoken word.   I have great memories of U street in DC with Jim DeLorenzo watching as he and others shared their creativity. So anyone that wants to hit me with something interesting to chat about, let’s see what happens.

Today’s topic comes from an entrepreneur that called me for help.  He moved out west with his great idea and a co-founding CTO.

His business requires a physical presence and the space he identifies is owned by forward thinking real estate owners.  He also brought in his first investor, described as a finance guy, who originally agreed to $6M valuation for his 3%.

But the business needs more capital to survive. It’s never been properly capitalized.

So, the real estate guys, who originally traded real estate for equity, are now squeezing him and re-trading the equity split from their agreed original deal.

This motivates the finance guy to re-trade his deal. Why not, right? What’s the value of his word or the original deal, especially now that the other guys are being greedy?

It might be a better use of his time, introducing one friend to simply match his investment.  Coincidentally, it’s the exact amount the business currently needs.

Coincidentally, it’s the exact amount the business currently needs.

Everyone’s being greedy to the guy who originated the idea.  He just wants to build a cool business.

My friend is smart, loyal and strives to always do the right thing.

Unfortunately, at Scout, we say there are four things that kill early stage companies.

At this point in the creation of this content, my iPhone died.

“I don’t mind a harpsichord in general but…”

This is what gets inserted into your blog post when your phone dies during a moment of creativity and you ask a cool friend for their phone to finish.  Thank you, Gael…now resuming my post.

At Scout, we abide by the Rule of 4. The four basic things that can critically kill a startup.

1) Running out of money

2) Bad critical hire on the early team

3) Bad early investor

4) Bad anchor customer or launch partner

The story of my entrepreneur friend tonight is one, where he, unfortunately, failed in the most critical thing needed to win – building a great team.

To all the entrepreneurs out there that have made any of those mistakes; we all have. Just don’t ever waste your time trying to work with bad people. You don’t get that time back.

A special ‘Happy Birthday!’ to my Aunt Faith.  Thanks for always encouraging me to be my boldest, most confident self and making the most of every moment in time.  Much love always.

 

Podcasting, greed and not wasting time on bad people.