Life Update

September 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I don’t write as much as I once did. I buried my head in a new life in San Francisco, my job, and figured weekend adventures up to Marin or Yosemite or Pacifica didn’t make the same entertaining reading material as all my capers south of the border.

That doesn’t mean that my life got boring – in fact, every year (both personally and professionally) seems to get just a little better than the one before. Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity to help build FiveStars from the ground up starting as an account manager and then, helping build out the customer success team. I made mistakes, learned so much, and build some lifelong friendships along the way. Joining FiveStars three years ago was one of the best decisions of my life, and now, I stand on the edge of “my next big thing”.

Next week, I start at Lyft working on their retention operations team and couldn’t be more stoked. Three years ago, I remember standing on 16th and Guerrero (now just a few blocks from my house) trying to hail a cab after having a drink at Elixir with some friends. After 10 minutes, I walked down to Valencia, and spent the next 20 minutes running from corner to corner in the rain every time I saw a cab that might be open. I wanted a better way to get home and in those miserable moments that I spent in the rain, I needed a better way.

When Lyft gained traction a year later, ridesharing and the ease of the whole experience just made sense. It wasn’t a new concept (hailing back to my Kiva days, ridesharing was just how you got around), but the way Lyft built the community between drivers and passengers was unique and reminded me of how relational every ride was in Guatemala and Peru. As I talked to Zach about Lyft and then through every interview I had, I realized the community Lyft built doesn’t stop in the car but extends to every member of the team.

Leaving FiveStars is extremely bittersweet – I am leaving some amazing friends and coworkers at an amazing time in the company’s history. But as I look into the future, I am so pumped to combine two of my passions (travel and building community), learn from some incredible new colleagues, and help Lyft bring fist bumps to every corner of the world.



January 7, 2012 at 3:06 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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With the New Year, comes many changes. And although I don’t think I have ever “officially” made New Years resolutions, I figure there is a first for everything.  So, here it goes: 

  • Make the South Bay my home.  So I live here. I work here. I am very familiar with the fast food here but I am not really connected to the area.  This goes beyond just meeting more people here, but to discovering what Norcal is like outside of the @FiveStarsCard office walls
  • Become really good at my job.  I’m not just talking about job performance, but about becoming a loyalty professional.
  • Continually learn.  This past year (2011) I learned a number of things, but the one I slacked off on was learning guitar.  I’m going to make that happen.
  • Travel. So, maybe I can’t pick up and leave the country for months at a time, but what is stopping me from rediscovering the US and visiting friends? Let me know if you think I should come out for a weekend in 2012!
  • Do more stuff for me. SURF. Blog. Photograph. Cook. Eat. Take Adventures. Find the stuff that makes me happy and do it.  

And there you go! What are you resolutions?


December 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I haven’t really blogged since I got back from Peru.  Well, I have, but it has been for the startup I have been working for over the last 9 months @FiveStarsCard.  Just because I haven’t blogged, doesn’t mean my life has become any less exciting.  In fact, I haven’t had time to sleep let alone post a reflection of what my life has been over the past few months…

I had no idea what it takes to start a company.  Late nights out of a living room, a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (ok, none of those really), and a good group of people.  At the end of the day, it hasn’t been easy… Realistically, it is one of the most challenging things I have ever done.  The best metaphor to working in a startup is running a marathon at a sprint pace.  All the training in the world won’t prepare you for the emotional, mental and physical investment of getting a great idea off the ground.  And to beat the competition, you have to run faster than you have run for longer than you have ever run.

So here is what I have learned:

  1. Your 100% isn’t quite enough.  At one point it was.  Maybe in college. Maybe in a 9 to 5.  But in the startup world, all you previously felt you had to give isn’t quite sufficient to do what is necessary.  You have to rise to the challenge and make efforts above what you previously thought your were capable of.
  2. You have to learn to work both smarter and harder. Busy work doesn’t exist in a startup.  Neither does “spinning your wheels”. If you are doing the same thing day in and day out without results, you are doing something wrong.  Revise your approach until you find something that works!
  3. Get innovative.  If you are in a startup, you are an entrepreneur.  Don’t expect others to think for you and don’t expect the answers to just drop into your lap.  Actively search for creative solutions to any and all problems that you encounter.
  4. Rest strategically.  If you work a 100 – 120 hour weeks back to back, your actual productivity will being to decline over time.  Taking a break from the day to day allows you to take a step back from your challenges and think about them more creatively.
  5. You can’t do it alone! Surround yourself with people you can trust and rely on. People that will both help you through all the difficulties that the startup life brings.

Just my reflections on the last few months working with @FiveStarsCard! Do you work with a startup? What has been your experience? Do you have any other advice?

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