From navigating war zones to negotiating with affiliates of terrorist organizations, Emily For Amy Griffin, being one of the most successful venture capitalists actually has a lot in common with being a college athlete. Amy played volleyball at the University of Virginia, and now as the founder and managing partner of G9 Ventures, she helps early-stage startups perform their best in a different kind of arena. And some of the companies she’s coached include Goop, Athletic Greens, and Bumble. This week, we ask Amy about the secret to her coaching magic. Which, spoiler, is all about relationships.
In this episode, Amy shares:
How her mentality as a college athlete stayed with her throughout her career
Her experience stepping out of, and stepping back into, the workforce
How she supports founders through the good times – and the bad
Her approach to relationship-building
How founders can prepare for an uncertain economic environment
On Stepping Back Into the Workforce
Amy: It’s really hard to step back in. It's really hard to step back in and say, “No, I'm going to do this. I'm gonna be really clear about my objectives. I'm gonna keep going back to my narrative and my story.” Which is that I'm going to help founders, that I'm going to help beyond their teams…. And in terms of that being the hardest part of my career, the hardest part was literally to, to dive in and say, “I'm doing this full-time, I'm doing this full-time,” and I'm doing this full-time in an arena where, you said, my my husband's been in finance for a very long time.
On Teamwork at Work
Amy: I have gone into it the way that I go into any relationship, and that is what can I bring to the table? How can I show up for you? How can I prove to you that I'm going to be there for you when the chips are down or when you're doing well? How can I be maybe the smallest investor on your cap table, but someone who you would always say, “Oh, I have to call Amy because she's going to be able to help me with X.”
And I think that's, biggest components of all of it was to really solidify where I add value and where also I'm not going to ever compete with the big tech investors and I don't wanna compete with the big tech investors. But again, going back to my roots of being an athlete, of just saying, “Okay, I'm on this team. We all have to make each other better. The best person on the team and the worst person on the team, we're still on the team together. And so what can we do to move forward?”
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