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Stay Tuned: The Overture, Movement #1 of 3: The Winter Walk Home

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

Have you ever been struck by an idea that seemed so intuitive, so on point with your experience, interests and passions, that you wondered why it took you so long?

It happened to me one afternoon last winter. Walking home from an overly ambitious five mile jog to my alma mater, Stanford University, I decided to forego listening to my favorite podcaster and listen to myself instead.

I thought about three of my passions:

First, I've spent decades focused on entrepreneurship and innovation -- as a tech attorney, startup executive, government official, investor, and founder of several organizations. In my current job, I love that innovation and entrepreneurship are central to my and the company's success.

Second, nothing gives me energy and joy like music and the performing arts, whether studying voice, singing baritone in a choir or solo, acting in a stage production, or watching an awesome performance.

And third, I am passionate about engaging people to build community and support those making an impact, which I’ve done for years in philanthropy and politics.

Separately, none of these reflections was a revelation. But considering them together, without distraction, opened my eyes to what had always been there in front of me.

Many of the skills that are hallmarks of successful entrepreneurship -- skills like creativity, resilience, improvisation, collaboration, self-motivation, risk tolerance, adaptability, and discipline --- are also essential skills for performing artists. And I recalled reading about the connections between music training and brain development, math and other characteristics and skills likewise valuable for entrepreneurial success.

By the time I arrived home, suffice it to say, I was excited.

(continued in Movement #2)

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