Learning to Let It Be


The concept of perfect hasn’t so much crept up as it has bonked me on the nose. Being comfortable with the unknown, the slower pace, the intertwined personal and professional… the pre-COVID-19 daily structures of “life” made this easy. 

It is easy to convince oneself that “you’ve got this” when the going is good. It is another to do so when things aren’t. Which of course is when it really matters. I am learning to breathe through many things as of late, recalling my earlier yoga or mobility days where I would stretch deeper through each exhalation… I am taking this literally and figuratively as I write. I can’t say that I am able to say “you’ve got this” to myself everyday, but I am learning to accept things as I can, and most days telling myself to “let it be” has helped tremendously.


Today, April 2, I participated in a panel on gender lens investing put on by the Canadian Forum for Impact Investment and Development (CAFIID). Our Moderator was Anne-Marie of FinDev Canada, and my co-panelists were Farah of MEDA and Lily of Volta Capital. 

We had incredible interest in the topic, with well over 100 participants on the line. We had many more questions than we had time to answer. In a time like the present, I was quite pleased to share Marigold’s thoughts and perspectives on the landscapes of GLI, impact investing, private market investment, governmental support, and social inequities. Beyond me highlighting the great work of three of our investments – The Discourse, NeedsList, Ulula – in response to COVID-19, the below are a few elements I spent time speaking to:


Private capital drying up and government supports will not solve it all

  • Pulling back: dry powder: > for existing, < new
  • Service & brick/mortar & inventory
  • Earlier = “riskier”

Social ramifications we’re already seeing

  • Domestic violence increasing
  • Support services faltering (target most vulnerable)
  • Low wage jobs lost quickest | pay gaps exacerbated
  • Childcare stressors & emotional/informal labour increase

Way of doing business will change (but we need to help each other get there)

  • Stages & types of businesses “worth” supporting
  • Diligence, origination and structuring will all change: modifying risk/return analysis & efficiency frontier? Alternative financing; blended finance (PPP)
  • Increased collaboration vs. competition
  • Opportunities (competition, valuations, sectors/needs) opening up already

Sectors that are already deemed more investible now

  • Digital media/journalism
  • Financial inclusion
  • Mental health
  • Supply chain traceability/accountability

Nadette, our youngest, began her online gymnastics classes today. She loved it, wearing her gymnastics suit, and it worked really well using the couch, a mat, and a few small obstacles. Later today she did three full Cosmic Kids Yoga classes!

Sofia is doing well with her mathematics, spelling and grammar work thus far. I think this normalcy is doing them both a world of good. 

At this point in my life it is hard to believe, but at one point I could pass for a native speaker in a few languages, and highly efficient in a couple of others. German, English, Italian, Polish, Spanish, with a sprinkle of French, Arabic and Japanese. While I’ve never lost my German or Spanish, I am dusting off both via Duolingo. It has been a lot of fun as of late.

  1. Dark chocolate
  2. Cereal
  3. Espresso
  4. Homemade pizza!
  1. Sum (Eagleman) – finished
  2. The Man Watching (Crothers) – nearly through
  3. Expert Secrets (Brunson) – nearly through
  4. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It (Ravikant)
  5. VC: An American History (Nicholas) – just begun
  1. Eric Barker
  2. Mark Manson
  3. Future of Good
  4. Fred Wilson 
  5. Brad Feld
  6. Axios 
  7. TermSheet
  8. Nieman Lab
  1. Fixed bikes and scooters first thing
  2. Shoulder mobility… going to begin 8-week Olympic lifting cycle
  3. Strict press – up to 3x @ 90% 1RM (125lbs)
  4. Push press – up to 3x @ 90% 1RM (145lbs)
  5. Snatch balance – 5×5 @ 95lbs
  6. High hang power snatch – 5x @ 95lbs
  7. 80% 1RM squat sets (5-7x/set to 50 reps) @ 230lbs
  1. Bill Withers, again
  2. Phyllis Dillon
  3. Jorge Ben
  4. Dengue Fever

Leave a Reply