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Are Your Words Empty? 

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January 28, 2019

Are Your Words Empty? 

Of the 20,000+  runners who braved pockets of rain and less-than-ideal conditions on Sunday morning’s Miami Marathon and Half, there’s a strong probably that there are at least 5,000 more would-be-runners  whose best intentions to train failed to carry them through to completion.

If you have already fallen off your weekly New Year’s resolution workout regimen, the concept of empty words and false promises is all too familiar.

So this week, inspired by the amazing stories of resilience, we’re exploring how to move from the aspirational to action.  We’re sharing one of the rules-to-live-by that our VCM team is putting into practice for a more impact-oriented 2019:

Rule 1:  Know the benchmark.  Notice we didn’t say “have” a benchmark.  It quite easy to select a random starting point upon which to build your plan.  The type of action that allow us to see our aspirational goals realized requires starting with an objective data point. 

You know the excuses we often make: “we’re not tech saavy,”  or “we don’t have the right metrics,” or “there’s too much to measure.” In reality, it’s like looking at a credit card statement after a spending spree in Vegas:  we’re afraid of what the data will tell us. 

It’s pretty hard to argue with facts.  For example, reports like ProjectDiane’s State of Black Women Founders, or State of LatinX Women Founders, or the National Venture Capital Association’s Deloitte Human Capital Survey Report demonstrate  that women entrepreneurs and VC’s, particularly those of color, are woefully underrepresented in the realms of deploying and receiving the financial capital necessary to scale and grow companies.   Indeed, less than 2% of funded startups are lead by Latinx women and Black women-led startups have received a mere .0006% of the total tech venture funding raised in the last 10 years.  When we take time to listen to and learn from the experiences of those most adversely affected, we discover that these numbers diagnose symptoms of a larger problem.

How does your organization measure up ?

As entrepreneurial leaders, let’s not shy away from benchmarks that don’t align with our values or current growth cycles. If the metrics suck, let’s fix them.  If it’s diversity, inclusion, representation, opportunity, equity, or whatever aspirational term you choose to focus on this year, give meaning to these typically empty words by putting a measurable plan into action.

Cheers,

Venture Cafe Miami

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