The Start-Up Wife

A mermaid's swim alongside a pirate's dream

Smile, breathe and go slowly.

—Thich Nhat Hanh

flirting with san francisco

…or maybe playing hard to get.

the decision has been made. we are moving. but when?

in early july we made our first(as a family) initial jaunt out to SF in hopes of exploring the city and narrowing down the neighborhoods in which we would try and afford rent. the trip was a success and declan and i found out just how walkable the city is (and windy and chilly as summers go).  

we fell in crush with hayes valley, admired potrero hill’s seemingly tight knit community and meandered through sunshiny noe valley.  the dark horse neighborhood…lower pacific heights.  

it was a refreshing visit socially and i began to feel the rhythm of a new life start to surface. upon return i realized we would be living between two cities, for much longer than anticipated. due to the necessary sale of our condo, our initial goal of september 1 is beginning to look like october 1.  

flexibility and “non-planning” in this SULly is brutal for me.  any hopes of an entrepreneurial spirit in me have died.  i think i am too tied to a deadline or plan coming to fruition and i don’t handle the side roads or obstacles too gracefully.  it’s a bit anxiety provoking and i am not sure i am as easy going as i had once thought i was(maybe becoming a mother in the last year has impacted that as well).

are the “present moment” entrepreneurs more successful than the rigid, control/deadline focused spirits of business? or does their rigidity drive a company more quickly to its destination? or are these the companies that never take off because they have limited themselves before lift off?

All is fair in love and real estate

Well. We are one week into being on the market. Our cosmic but seemingly and ultimately tragic interested buyers have fallen off the face of our earth. We had a great round of showings, but no offer love. ‘Tis the season I suppose, but after months of moving timeline limbo I was a bit too optimistic.

I am shifting to my realist self regarding the condo sale. All the while trying not to be a downer. Just eager to get the next chapter rolling I suppose.

Which got me thinking…

Which is better equipped for “sully”? Optimism or realism? It’s a mixed bag, I am sure. Who finds more success in a startup? The optimist or realist? Any thoughts? Kinda curious. My guess: the realist wins out most of the time. They tend not to romanticize any idea or notion. But the optimist may have just enough rose tint to push through the “dip” and see the plan to fruition.

Stay tuned TBA ;)

the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams

—eleanor roosevelt

An Honorary Business Degree

I often find myself in a tug o’ war or career crisis lately. I have had the fine opportunity of staying home with our lil’ guy during his first ten months of life. Amazingly we have made it work during a crazy financial time. I am forever grateful. However….

I always have the bug to get back in school, but with existing school loans and living this “SULly” (aka start up life) I often times find ways of justifying putting it off. I just can’t seem to find the sense in adding to existing loans, but the craving and urgency to learn is always there.

And then I was thinking, hey wait! This sully life has taught me and educated me in many ways and I am actually interested and enjoying my intro to business, it’s design, the ever fascinating entrepreneurial ego, east coast vs west coast vc’s. Business terminology 101 such as acquisition, due diligence, valuation, angel investor, techcrunch, mashable and the likes. Not to mention the shift in online influence and the power of social media not only AS a business but TO a business.

So kudos and propz to my husband(and professor) for taking the time to chat and educate me along the way. Thanks for answering my questions and redundant questions and awarding me this honorary BA in business! I really dig it. Surprisingly.

A tad cosmic, a tad tragic

Amazingly, in this rental market, we have interested buyers. Moments after contacting the broker, my husband received a call from the interested couple. They were inquiring about a listing we had last year when selling by owner. Cosmic.

Interestingly, last week we noted a couple looking at the unit below us. I was bummed thinking, come look at ours instead. The phone call inquiry was from that couple (again cosmic).

However! The unit below us has bludgeoned our listing price by reducing theirs. Tragic. Dammit.

When will the market rebound? Do we sell or do we rent? Cross country rental management headache? Did I mention we (along with my sib-laws) together own several units in Boston?

Dear start-up life (AKA Sully), please let this interested buyer offer and let it be reasonable.

I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship

—louisa may alcott


Over the last year I have taken a stand against overconsumption. The need to want, want, want to excess.  The proverbial keeping-up-with-the-Jones attitude.  Primarily because we had our first child and this is one area of life where products are shoved down your throat or recommended as “must haves” by friends and family.

In addition, it was a way for me to cut back financially during the launch of our start up life and help out while on my “sabbatical”. It’s a great way to reduce our footprint as well. I started exploring ways of cutting back or tips and alternatives to daily living and those who prefer smaller spaces(we are moving to SF) and underconsumption.

I stumbled across one minimalist repeatedly, Rachel Jonat AKA, who I look to for inspiration along this journey.  She’s great, check her out. 

Making the money stretch further while consuming less can be fun!  I challenge myself daily to leave my wallet at home, I have revisited the art of window shopping, I carry around an item I feel is “necessary” and then upon leaving the store check in again and really ask myself if it is necessary.  I walk most places (the beauty of living in the city), meal plan and dress Declan in hand-me-downs/thrift finds. We have limited toy buying. Declan would MUCH rather play with safe(and unsafe) household items.

Our biggest challenge yet is just around the corner.  We are planning to downsize our car load from two to one with our move out to San Francisco, and potentially Zip Car as a supplemental form of transport if needed. Not too daunting yet!

So right know I am left with sorting through all our excess junk.  I can’t wait to purge, and find new homes for our accumulated unnecessaries.  

I am thankful to this start up life for giving me a new perspective on things and what really matters.  Quality vs. quantity. Experiences vs. stuff. 

be the change you wish to see in the world


uncharted waters

When I married I inherited “the start-up life”. Quite frankly, I had no clue.

Through the perspective of the spouse to an entrepreneur/business designer, this blog will follow my epic journey of learning the ropes, navigating uncharted waters and learning to love and appreciate the adventure that is “the start-up life”. 

Having a pirate spouse has turned my world upside down. And I am learning to love every minute of it (after many small fits of “what the’s?”).

It requires a finely tuned value system, patience, discipline, sacrifice, self confidence to periodically take a backseat, and embracing the notion of flying-by-the-seat of ones pants.

Although my tales were probably more entertaining in the last year or so, this journey begins as we prepare to move cross country from Boston to California with a modest income, 10 month old baby and a condo to sell. 

We are going for it.