Photo Credit: Scott Savage

Pivoting to Happiness

First, I want to thank everyone (all 156,000+ people) who read and shared my story, “I Can’t Do This Anymore”. The outpouring of support and hearing how my post helped them or even changed their life has been absolutely and literally awesome.

Many of you have shared your stories with me and I was moved — I still read through them when I’m down. Many replies suggested ways to lessen depression, such as exercise, medication, or “Jesus”. I’m not a religious person, nor do I take pills, but I am very healthy physically and I actually made that a primary focus in 2016 and wrote about that as well.

Others have asked me to share an update with my plans for this new career, and while I hadn’t planned on being public about it, for so many reasons, here is the follow-up;

Moving Forward

As an investor or an entrepreneur, you cringe when you hear the word “pivot”, but I believe it’s accurate and much less adversarial when referencing a career change — especially if that change is for the best. Now, more than ever, depression and poor mental health must be a focus in my next career, so I need to move forward and do something that I love — which is helping other founders start up.

Chasing a Passion

I have a real passion for supporting founders during the early stages of their company and helping them realize their vision — there’s no bigger rush for me. Helping one founder avoid a critical mistake, capitalize on a strategic opportunity, fundraise, or just keeping them focused — I love it all. But, I believe I can help even more as part of a venture capital firm, one with a team and a culture I can relate to.

Founder-First VC

After founding and operating startups for the last 16 years, I’m ready to help other founders like myself realize their full potential and build successful companies that impact the world while prioritizing mental health and wellness.

I have an advantage that many investors and VCs don’t. I’ve been in the trenches, and in every possible position within a startup — founder, employee, advisor, mentor, investor. I’m also a very outspoken founder-first investor and this has earned me the trust and respect of other founders and investors. The goal of any investor is to identify the best investments. I believe I will be very successful at this based on my experience from being on both sides of the table, and my access to amazing startups at their earliest stages.

The Pivot

This pivot is a quest to find a career that “sparks joy.” For the last few months, I’ve been applying and interviewing for the roles listed below.

  1. Principal or Partner at a VC firm/fund
  2. Managing Director or Partner at a Startup Studio, Lab, or Accelerator
  3. Director of Corporate Development (Startups & M&A)

While there are a lot of open positions publicly posted, this is an industry where you need an inside track. Furthermore, it’s very difficult to get a proper look without a “hook” (an “in”). Many of you asked if you could help. You can help by:

  • Referring me to Investment firms you have good relationships with.
  • Sharing my resume with Hiring Managers or Executives you know well.
  • Sharing with or tagging me on relevant career opportunities.
  • Sharing advice or guidance if you’ve had similar life experiences.
  • Spreading the word about my Startup Scouting Service for Investors.

Thank You!

Again, thank you for your support, kindness, and vulnerability. Mentally, things are about the same as when I wrote that article but there’s a renewed energy that was sparked by the response. I’m happy to be looking forward to the future again. Thank you.

P.S.

Please keep sharing your stories with me, with others, and with the public — it’s so amazingly helpful to others, I promise.

Originally Posted on RyanNegri.com, and on LinkedIn.