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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Chutzpah in Scottsdale

Just got back from a few days in Scottsdale at a VC and Private Equity IT group conclave.  Delightful to find out that such a group exists, and a fun time with a good crew.

Didn't seem so at the beginning.  Coming in to a new group of people all of whom seem to know one another and feeling like I have to impress them is a situation that daunts the crap out of me.  And that’s how I was Tuesday evening when I went to bed after meeting a few people and depleting my slender reserves of chutzpah.

Fortunately, I remembered the Interventions and mindfulness about fear in particular.  By remaining mindful of what I was afraid of – actually, having people I wanted to impress react to me with indifference – I was able, paradoxically, to keep it in perspective.

(The opposite, not being mindful, tends to make the fear more global, more ominous, and, because it’s unknown, more scary.)

I also remembered the Intervention about associating with those with chutzpah.  I hung out with some guys who were speaking up at the sessions, who seemed to be a standard deviation or two out on the comfortable/confident  axis, and they proved to be great guys and very friendly to me.

This in turn started a virtuous circle going.  I won’t say I felt like Homecoming King at the end of the conference, but I had met a bunch of great people whom I’ll stay in touch with and whom I wouldn’t have met sans conscious work on the chutzpah dimension.